Interval Versus Steady State Cardio Training
If you’re getting started on your weight loss workout program, one key element of the program plan that you want to be sure you don’t overlook is what type of cardio training you’re doing. Many people often question what their best choice will be. Would they be better off doing interval sprint training a few times a week, or is steady state training the single best way to go? Many people right now are fast to point towards interval training as the primary form of cardio that should be done if the goal is fat loss, but before you’re too quick to jump on an interval training program, there are a few key important issues that you need to keep in mind. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as a one-size-fits-all approach and unless you take your own full program into consideration, you could make a big mistake with your selection. Let’s see what you should consider.
The Diet You’re Using
The very first thing that you’ll want to think about is the type of diet plan that you’re currently using. If you’re using a very low carbohydrate approach, you must remember that during interval training, carbohydrates are actually the only type of fuel that can be utilized. For this reason, low carb diet plans and loads of interval training really do not mix. You could try and do those interval workouts as you wish, but you would never perform up to full capacity and would quickly overtrain. If you are using a very intensive fat loss diet plan that is very low in carbs as well, you will want to keep it to steady state cardio training only. Since you can very easily use stored body fat as fuel, they will work much better with the particular diet plan you’re on.
How Many Lifting Workouts You’re Performing
Second, you also want to think about how many weight lifting workouts you’re doing as well. If you plan to lift dumbbells four times a week, adding another two to three sessions of interval sprints is likely going to be too much for the CNS to handle. Even on a normal diet where you are eating enough calories this would likely be too much and performance would begin to suffer, so when you’re using a reduced calorie fat loss diet plan, you can imagine the problems that will come about. Always make sure you have a good balance between your lifting workouts, your cardio workouts, and your recovery time so that you don’t wind up too tired to do anything.
Your Current Fitness Level
Another consideration to take into account is your current fitness level. There’s no questioning the fact that interval training workouts are going to be incredibly intense and unless you are of the fitness level capable of doing them, you likely would be far better off choosing moderate intensity workouts instead. While it’s great to push yourself as hard as possible, you do also have to realize your limitations and work within them. Those who try and go beyond what their body can realistically do will just wind up injured.
Your Recovery Ability
Finally, also think about your own individual recovery ability. Some people do have better recovery ability systems than others so will be able to handle more interval cardio workouts in their program. If you are someone who takes a few days before you can hit the gym for a second workout however, then steady state, moderate paced cardio should be your choice. You can still see great results with this type of cardio workout and it will be much more applicable to integrating into your total training plan. Always remember that more important than anything else for fat loss is the diet you’re using so don’t let yourself put too much emphasis on loads and loads of cardio training. Cardio training should always just be an add-on to any smart program plan and when you keep it in perspective and put more focus on what counts – your nutrition and weight lifting workouts, that’s when you’re going to see the most optimal results.
This article is contributed by Adana, a fitness enthusiast who enjoys hitting the gym & blogs at My Dumbbells Affair.
Great post! As a marathoner who also enjoys the challenge of interval training, I find your info really helpful! Thanks!
Yup, mixing interval training with slow cardio is definitely the best way to boost your performance in every sport.
Thanks for reading my guest post 😀
Everyone seems to be raving about interval training everywhere you look, so it’s refreshing to see a comparison and some reasons why it should be carefully considered.
I know it seems really popular these days. I’ll have to do more research on it too because anything that will help get me back on track would be a good thing.