interval training vs cardio

Interval Training vs Traditional Cardio

Previously the most effective methods to melt those pounds away were thought to be traditional, constant cardio exercises such as running, walking, cycling and swimming. But nowadays with the growing popularity of high-intensity interval training people are wondering if this really is a better and more effective method for losing abdominal fat. This is very important and essential if you want to stay healthy because abdominal fat often leads to having a cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Time Efficiency

High-intensity interval training is mostly consisted of intense, short exercises, which last from 10 seconds to 4 minutes, and recovery periods from 30 seconds to 1 minute which allow you to catch a breath between exercises. With interval training you will achieve better results and spend less time exercising. The “International Journal of Obesity” study made in 2008 studied the interval training of a group cycling for about 20 minutes and the continuous training of another group which cycled for about 40 minutes.

The first group warmed-up, cooled-down and did 30 cycles of eight-second sprints with 12-second recoveries on a cycle ergometer in the aforesaid 20 minutes. The results showed that the first group burned more calories and lost more abdominal fat than the second one, thus proving that interval training saves time and is more effective at the same time.

Appetite Suppression

Some people claim that interval training also contributed to losing weight by helping them suppress their appetite. Even though more research needs to be made on these claims, one study has shown that HIIT really suppressed appetite for a short period of time after working out. Thus, this really improves our chances for not overcompensating for all the burned calories in the workout.


By continuously doing the same cardio exercises with the same intensity, your body will get used to the same exercises and the number of calories burnt will start to decrease. This only contributes to the delaying of losing abdominal fat. This is not the case with HIIT. With interval training you have a lot of options which you can choose from and also adjust the duration of it and the resting periods. This way you will be challenging your body and keeping your workouts more interesting and appealing to do.


Even though studies have shown that interval training can be more productive and compelling when it comes to losing abdominal fat, it should only be done two times a week. If you do sessions more frequently, your body won’t have time to recover and it will not be able to keep up with the intensity of the exercises. This will only lead to less productivity.

If you have any health condition or are prone to having musculoskeletal injury, consult with your doctor about which exercises will be good for you.

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