High intensity vs. low intensity cardio for fat loss?

(Allan Misner) #21

I’m inclined to agree with @devhammer on the food for fat loss/exercise for fitness concept. However, if you are fat adapted, cardio can do a great deal to push fat loss along. It is harder for a sugar burner as cardio typically makes them hungrier.

To your original question, I would do both. The long, slow distance will keep you in a state where you’re not burning muscle glycogen. And if you do this fasted, you’ll likely become a fat burning furnace. The sprints/HIIT will burn through the glycogen, and your body will have to work to replace it. Some reference this as a rise in metabolism. But I prefer to see it as building your dual fuel capacity.

(betsy.rome) #22

@AllanMisner - Thank you, I really had no idea how to begin, sounds like a good plan! so that I understand, a 1/4 work to rest ratio means (for example) 10 sec high-intensity, then 40 secs rest. Do I completely stop moving during the rest phase, or just go slowly?

(G. Andrew Duthie) #23

What are your thoughts on rowing WRT knee or other joint issues?

I find the rower (I’ve got a Concept 2 Model C) to be really good for HIIT, and engages a wide range of muscle groups. But not sure how it would be on the knees (I don’t have serious knee problems, just asking for those who might), given the motion involved, and the big leg push at the beginning of each stroke.

(Eli Miles) #24

I was reassessing my current situation as I had reduced macros about three weeks ago and have been stalled around 207-209 lbs for the last week. I would normally do a fast followed buy some IF for a few days then adjust macros but i think i will keep my macros where they are at for the next 5 weeks and do a little experiment on my self. I am going to get a DEXA scan next week. I will do both forms of cardio for 4 weeks following the scan and change nothing else and see what changes show up on a re-scan following the 4 weeks of keto and cardio. Ill take measurements as well as weight weekly and pics as well. I do best when i give myself short term goals.

(Allan Misner) #25

The rower is an excellent piece of equipment and can definitely be used for HIIT. I find the monitor reading really keeps me motivated to push. I would just caution to make sure you don’t over-extend (hyper-extend) your knees after the stroke. I see this happen with a lot of folks who are pushing hard. Keep the strokes smooth and you should be fine.

(ianrobo) #26

in this I refer everyone to the FASTER study. That has shown that fat burning occurs much higher in your zones first thought.

Basically it is now over your threshold limits and nearly your Vo2 max which many HIIT sessions will hit. So the answer is both will burn fat now but the MAF method shows just get in the endurance sessions where HR or power is no higher than Z2 in other words, working but at a fairly easy pace.

(Allan Misner) #27

Sounds like a plan. But keep the HIIT to one time per week. If you do it right, it is a big stressor (albeit a good one) on the body. You’ll need a good week to recover from each session.

(Allan Misner) #28

Yes, you have that right. You can just go slow, particularly if you’re on a bike. It is hard to just stop.

And 10 seconds is a great starting point.

(ianrobo) #29

My training is a lot of endurance/sweet spot work at the moment with like today occasion Z5 and 6 efforts …

(Jamie Hayes) #30


I’d be interested to know how many days per week you go to the gym and how long each visit is, plus clarity on your goals, and any injuries/conditions you may have. Some indication of your age, height, weight, waist and fitness might help as well.

Then, rather than asking what’s the best cardio, you might ask “What’s the best use of my time in the gym?”

No doubt you’d get loads of different answers. My big-picture thought as a 30 year gym owner is to use the exercise choices you do in the gym to stimulate an adaptive response (aerobic or anaerobic). This is in contrast to the time-wasting volume-based exercise many do in gyms, especially on treadmills, that is based upon CICO (calories in calories out) dogma.

(Eli Miles) #31

@JamieHayes I only go to the gym on days i feel like it which as been 9 times in the last month about 60 minutes each time. usually a 45 minute cardio session which i enjoy. Followed by a 15 minute full body resistance circuit usually really light weights with mediocre effort as i am forcing my self to do it. I do a minimum of 2 30 minute walks outdoor every day usually breakfast and lunch time i also run one mile a week outdoors. I don’t really count these toward exercise as i did this even at my biggest. Current measurements: Height 5’8 weight 208lbs age 28 waist is 40.5 inches at belly button relaxed. My goals now are to reduce body fat. As far as injuries are concerned i separated my ac joint (grade 3) in a downhill mountain biking accident which is fine now as long as i don’t do any super heavy pushing lifts

(Jamie Hayes) #32


You may find a piece I wrote Introduction to Lifting of value.

I’d suggest that you create a plan, committing to the exact days and times that you’ll be going to the gym and put them in a default calendar as a weekly repeating meeting. Have your gym gear ready. Consistency trumps!

Personally, I’d make the weights circuit first, but change the weight you use on each exercise to a weight that’s light enough for you to do 8 very slow controlled reps (say 5 secs up and 5 secs down), and then do as many reps as you can endure. Record the machine, the weight and the reps on each exercise. If you can do 15 or more reps on any exercise, increase the weight by a small amount next time. Rinse and repeat!

The goal is to give your muscles an “overload stimulus” so that in the 24 - 72 hours after, your muscles will recover and adapt, get stronger and increase their blood-sugar-handling capacity.

When doing cardio, I’d try using interval training, where you walk uphill, or run, or sprint (on a bike or rower) for 20 seconds and go at a slow pace for 40 seconds. (There’s lots of combos. One I like is the 8/12 Lifesprints routines). Check out https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/lifesprints/id320766623

Be careful of your AC joint. Let me know how the above goes. Good luck.

(Eli Miles) #33

Thanks for the response this has motivated me to go in the garage and pull out all of my old workout journals. Seeing these old measurements and workouts i think will help me get back on track to lift :smiley:

(Haley Kathryn) #34

I personally find that a fasted HIIT workout on a day that I am starting keto (if I’ve fallen off the wagon) it depletes glycogen stores and gets me into ketosis faster.

Also, fasted cardio in general, (HIIT or not) will make you better able to utilize cats which will only be beneficial for staying in ketosis as well as weight loss.

(Haley Kathryn) #35

I totally think you can, I would warm up for 10 minutes, and do 20 minutes of 15 seconds “sprint” and then the rest of the minute at a slower pace. During those 15 seconds you should be bringing your heart rate up so that you can feel you are working. Over time you can begin to increase the sprint duration.

You would also benefit from just Biking for half an hour or more at a comfortable pace, and incorporating HIIT after a few weeks.

(Mark) #36

(Alex Dipego) #37

Technically your NEAT will be your biggest fat burning over all compared to HIIT or LISS.

As has been said in here fat loss doesn’t need exercise. You can lose weight fine without it. Cardio is not efficient in the least and the body thins down to try to be efficient as the excess weight deters from the act of running. The body is an adaption machine. The goal shouldn’t be your weight but the ease to get to that weight. It’s easier to gain a lb of muscle than run all the time. Gaining that 1 lb increases your metabolism inheritly along with the keto boost you already have. This is important because the faster the metabolism the easier it is to lose fat.

(Dave) #38

Do both… I like sprinting up a hill on grass or going for a long walk… Jogging on the hard road doesn’t seem to agree with me… I am a big walking lunge fan, 400m of walking lunges then walk for a bit after is pretty cool… Combining both low intensity and high is good, row 500m / walk on an 10% incline treadmill for 5min then repeat as many time as you like… A few ideas

(ryancrawcour) #39

respectfully, disagree. to each their own! telling someone who wants to exercise indoors that it is crap is harsh.
i find being able to work out indoors when it is dark outside great. and also, safe!

(ryancrawcour) #40

i’d be careful. ease yourself in to it. HIT puts a lot of stress on a lot of things.