Is Interval or Cardio Training Better for Burning Fat?

fitnes, runWhat's best for fat burning – interval training or cardio training? If you read a lot of fitness blogs you will see that expert opinions seem to differ on the subject. The truth might not be black and white. Interval training alternates high intensity cardio workouts with periods of reduced activity whereas traditional steady state cardio is more consistent. Some say that interval training is more likely to induce weight loss than moderate training at a steady rate. There is no doubt that interval training supports weight loss and there have been many studies to back up the results but that doesn't mean a steady state cardio routine won't work for you. One of my rules of thumb has always been that an exercise routine you can stick with and perform regularly is the best routine for you even if it is not necessarily the one selected by professionals for extreme results. It all depends what your goals are. After all today's popular trend is tomorrow's old approach and there is always a newer, better way to do something.

One advantage I will cite for interval training is that you can get a great workout in a shorter amount of time. The variety is also good for keeping the mind engaged on the exercise and relieving boredom. Interval training is a good stress buster because your mind is active the whole time thinking about timing and what exercise to move to next so you have less time to focus on things that might be worrying you. Running on the treadmill for an hour at a time gives you plenty of time to let your mind wander back to everyday problems. Exercise bands lend themselves well to interval training.

If you opt for steady state cardio training, experts recommend working up to the highest heart rate you can maintain and then try to stay there for 20 or 30 minutes or longer depending on your fitness level. Interval training can be used to introduce variety to your cardio workout but if a steady cardio workout is what you prefer there is no really good reason not to stick to it.

When you are working with exercise bands, a good plan is to start with 10 minutes of cardio (skip rope or running on a treadmill) then go into your resistance routines. End with 5-10 minutes of stretching. You can introduce interval training by alternating the easier exercises with the harder ones or by alternating one rep tightening the bands to add more resistance and one rep with the bands slightly looser to lessen resistance.