The Low Intensity Exercise Debate
When it comes to cardiovascular exercise, there are two main types Low Intensity Exercise and High Intensity Interval Training.
Low Intensity Exercise like walking, jogging or biking has been the old method of burning fat. The new way of burning fat is called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. These exercises include sprint training and interval exercises.
The truth of the matter is both types of cardiovascular exercises work. However, neither are really effective without a significant modification in your diet. You can not out train a bad diet.
Nevertheless, lets consider that you have a good diet suitable for fat loss. The question still remains, which type of cardio works better to burn fat, HIIT or low intensity exercise? The better question would be which type of cardiovascular exercise are you willing to do consistently enough to get results.
But scientifically speaking, high intensity training is better for fat burning than low intensity exercise and here are some reason why.
Fat Burning Percentages For Low Intensity Exercise Versus HIIT
Some people might say that low intensity exercise, like walking for a couple hours each day will burn more fat. Their argument for this will be that low intensity exercise has a higher proportion of fat is being used as energy compared to carbohydrates through the duration of the workout. While this is true that a higher “proportion” of fat will be burned during the workout compared to carbohydrates, it is important to know that a higher “total” amount of both fat and carbohydrates is being used in HIIT. Even tho the percentage of fat being used isn’t as high as low intensity exercise.
You might be asking yourself, how can HIIT be better for fat burning when low intensity exercise burns more fat during the workout?. Here is the reason… The keys words here are “proportion” versus “total” amount of fat. You might be burning a higher proportion of fat with low intensity exercise, but that doesn’t mean you burned more total fat.
EPOC… The Missing Ingredient In Low Intensity Exercise For Fat Loss
While low intensity exercise burns more fat during the exercise, HIIT burns fat during and after the exercise. One of the key reasons why HIIT burns more total fat than low intensity exercise is something called EPOC = Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Your body has to burn calories after the workout to recover for the high level of intensity it just went through. Some of the recovery processes that the body has to endure include…
- Balancing hormones
- Replenishing fuel stores
- Cell repair.
The amount of EPOC generated after the workout will primarily be determined by how high the intensity was. Low intensity exercise generates little to no EPOC.
The Heat Effect Of HIIT Versus Low Intensity Exercise in presence of Testosterone pills
Another reason why HIIT is more efficient for fat loss than low intensity exercise is the amount of energy and calories needed through the generation of heat.
The heat generated in HIIT by the body accounts for 40% of the energy. Low intensity exercise only produces 10% of its energy from heat. That is 30% more energy being used in the form of heat coming from HIIT. This is part of the reason why people who correctly perform HIIT will see better fat loss results from their workouts compared to low intensity exercise, when the duration is equal.
Low Intensity Exercise Final Thoughts
It comes right down to what works better for you and which one you enjoy doing more. Some might enjoy going all out for 20 minutes in a high intensity interval fashion. While others might prefer the low intensity exercise approach and go for a brisk walk or a bike ride for 90 minutes.
While it is important to understand the actual science behind why one strategy works better than the other, that doesn’t mean the other one is ineffective. Fat loss will work with both HIIT and Low Intensity Exercise. The key is consistency with a good diet.
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