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Pros And Cons Of HIIT Cardio


Is HIIT cardio the most effective form of cardio for you?

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing the pros and cons of HIIT cardio and why you should NOT be doing HIIT, if these two factors apply to you.

In other words, this video is all about if HIIT cardio is the most effective form of cardio for you.

This is the first in my new video series on the “Truth About Cardio”.

If you’re not subscribed yet to our Live Lean TV YouTube channel, click the subscribe button below with notifications turned on, so you don’t miss an episode in this series.


Also make sure you read all the way to the end of this post, as we’re making a big announcement.

What is the best type of cardio to lose belly fat and maintain muscle?

The research shows the fastest and most effective type of cardio to lose belly fat, while maintaining muscle, is HIIT cardio.


However, there are pros and cons to HIIT cardio, because it all depends on you.

In other words, HIIT cardio works well for some people.

But HIIT cardio may not be the best type of cardio for you, yet.

So first, let me share why HIIT cardio may be best for you, then I’ll share if you should not be doing it.

Pros and cons of HIIT cardio

HIIT cardio is the best form of cardio for you, if:

1. You want to boost your metabolism and burn more TOTAL calories in a day

One of the key benefits of HIIT cardio is the increase to your metabolism, hours after you finish your HIIT cardio workout.

Even though the cardio machine may show that you burned 250 calories during the workout, what’s more important, is the total calorie burning throughout the day.

In the big picture, you’re actually burning more total calories, due to an increase in your metabolic rate, for an extended period of time, after you finish your HIIT cardio workout.

Even though HIIT cardio workouts are shorter, since they are performed at a high intensity, your body spends a longer time recovering after the workout.

This is referred to as EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption), but I like to call it the Afterburn Effect.

In an effort to recover, your body will be consuming more oxygen after the workout.

When you complete a properly structured HIIT cardio workout, you’ll be burning more calories throughout the day, even when you’re just sitting on the couch, or sleeping.

This helps you burn more total calories, for a longer period of time, when compared low intensity steady state cardio, also known as LISS cardio.

Pros And Cons Of HIIT Cardio

2. You want to complete your cardio workouts 3 times faster

Since you are training at a higher intensity level, for shorter periods of time, HIIT cardio workouts usually only take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

On top of this, HIIT cardio workouts follow a high and low intensity interval format.

This means for some HIIT cardio workouts, you may only be in the high intensity zone for less than 4 minutes of the entire workout.

For example, one high to low intensity interval ratio that I like:

  • a 20 second sprint followed by
  • a 60 second low intensity walk

When you repeat this interval 10 times, that’s just a total of 3:20 of high intensity work.

So when you factor in a 3-5 minute warm up and a 3-5 minute cooldown, you can be finished your entire HIIT cardio workout in less than 25 minutes.

However, to get more results, in less time, you need to push your body out of your comfort zone for those short, but intense intervals.

3. You want to improve your athleticism and maintain lean muscle

If you grew up playing sports, but the adult years have taken a toll on your coordination and athleticism, HIIT cardio workouts can help you feel like an athlete again.

When it comes to cardio workouts, most professional athletes like football, basketball, baseball, and hockey players train for speed, not LISS cardio.

And when it comes to maintaining lean muscle, just look at the difference between a sprinter and a marathon runner.

HIIT workouts are better for maintaining lean muscle as they are considered both anaerobic and aerobic.

Also, since HIIT cardio workouts are shorter, the potential of entering into a catabolic state, where you are burning muscle for energy, is less likely than when compared to LISS cardio.

4. You want to increase your VO2 max

V02 max is the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in during exercise.


HIIT cardio can help increase V02 max, which will ultimately increase your cardio endurance.

So even if you love endurance training, like distance running, incorporating HIIT cardio workouts can also help improve your endurance, in a shorter period of time.

These are just a few of the primary benefits of HITT cardio workouts.

Now let me share some of the potential reasons why you should not be doing HIIT cardio workouts.

You should NOT be doing HIIT cardio yet if…

1. You suffer from chronic injuries

HIIT cardio workouts are no walk in the park (no pun intended).

As mentioned earlier, HIIT cardio is a more intense version of cardio that needs to push you out of your comfort zone.

So if you suffer from bad knee joints, the impact from some forms of HIIT cardio may not be suited for you.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t do HIIT cardio.

It just means you should complete your HIIT cardio workouts on cardio machines that are easier on your joints, such as the elliptical machine.

2. You’re currently obese

And I say “currently”, because since you’re subscribed to Live Lean TV, I know with our help, this condition is just temporary for you.

Now, when you have a lot of weight to lose, and you are brand new to any form of exercise, HIIT cardio is usually not the best starting point.

This is when low intensity steady state cardio can be a great way to begin initiating the fat loss process.

I shared the pros and cons of low intensity steady state here.

And if you think, overweight people can’t do HIIT workouts, think again.

Depending on your fitness level, a HIIT workout could simply be alternating between a fast walk and a slow walk.

If a fast walk is all it takes to elevate your heart rate into the high intensity zone, that is a HIIT cardio workout.

Bottom line: Is HIIT cardio the most effective form of cardio for you?

The answer truly depends on your current situation.

If the pros and cons of HIIT cardio sounds like a good fit to you, HIIT cardio is your go-to form of cardio.

Regardless, of which form of cardio is best for you, let me hook you up with the best of both worlds.

Welcome to Live Lean Sprint 2.0!

Live Lean Sprint 2.0

Today, is the launch of my brand new Live Lean Sprint 2.0 cardio and nutrition program.

For the first 250 people who purchase Sprint 2.0, I’m also hooking you up with a copy of our brand new Team Live Lean 30 day Fat Melting Power Sets resistance training program.

Get ready to say goodbye to your stubborn lower belly fat.

29 responses to “Pros And Cons Of HIIT Cardio

  1. Very, very interesting and useful information for all catagories of people interested in losing weight and working out. Great job, Brad!

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