There is an endless debate when it comes to regular gym junkies whether high intensity interval training or slow steady state cardio is the best in order to get rid of those unwanted fat stores. Some suggest HIIT, others suggest SSC, while some suggest both, but what does science say? Well, let’s have a look.


High intensity interval training is a great way to bump up the heart rate which will allow you to burn more calories and the more calories you burn the more fat will eventually be burned right? Hmmm. Here is the thing. Burning calories doesn’t necessarily mean you are burning fat, your body can free up energy from other places too, not just fat stores, in fact your body loves freeing up energy from glycogen (which is carbohydrates stored in the liver and muscles), and even if you do free it up from fat it’s not to say it will be burned for good.

HIIT has got a few benefits like boosting testosterone and growth hormone production (both these can help you maintain and build lean muscle), it can also improve VO2 and vascular endurance. But the main reason lifter and gym junkies love implementing HIIT is the fact that it can help free up fat from fat cells. What does that mean exactly? In order to burn fat as energy you will first need to free up the already stored fat within your fat cells, and HIIT is a great way to do this. But now if you don’t utilise this energy there is a good chance that it might actually go back into your fat cells and be stored again. Sucks right!

Some individuals are quite active during the day and this might even help utilise the freed up energy, and this is also the reason why you might feel more energised during the day after an intense gym or cardio session. However, some on the other hand are not as active and after their 20min HIIT session they go sit behind a desk for the rest of the day. If that’s the case you will need to do something extra to make sure you are burning that available energy for good, and SSC is a great way to do it.


Steady state cardio is not as effective as HIIT in mobilizing fat stores, however it’s proven to be very effective in burning triglycerides that are floating around in your bloodstream due to the HIIT, by doing SSC after your HIIT session you are ensuring that the fat you have freed up gets burned! This is one of the main reasons both HIIT and SSC should make up as part of your cardio regime. In order to capitalise on this you will need to ensure that you do at least 20 minutes of SSC after your HIIT session. You can either jog, cycle, row, or get on the stepper, if you get bored easily you can even do 5 minutes of each.

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