Many trainers will tell you to lose the weight you need to increase your cardio. But which ones, how many, and for how long? Finally, is cardio the best for fat loss? Two fitness trainers decided to delve into that question.
Physical trainer and founder of the website Pro Physique Paul Revelia, who specializes in steady-state cardio to aid fat loss, and strength and conditioning coach Stephen Beaugrand come together to explain what cardio is best for fat loss.
Unfortunately, the answer is “it depends.”
Best Cardio for Fat Loss
First, coaches define what low-intensity (LISS), moderate-intensity (MISS) and high-intensity (HIIT) cardio is, which, in general, aligns with how demanding the workout is for your lungs and heart.
- LISS – cardio you can do for hours, it’s not difficult for recovery
- MISS – less than light intensity, exercise where you can still have a conversation with someone next to you while exercising
- HIIT – all-out intensity, followed by periods of either moderate or lower intensity depending on how you structure it (15 to 20 seconds on top of the interval)
Related: Learn How To Lose Fat Faster
Then, the trainer divides into categories to see the best cardio. The categories are:
- Time – the best for your money
- Skill – does it take a lot of skill to do this exercise
- Recovery – does it make you very ill or affect sleep
- Interference – the more cardio you do, the more it interferes with your ability as a strength athlete
- Fuel – the number of calories you burn are from fat, protein and carbohydrates
- Fun – do you enjoy doing this cardio?
When it comes to time commitment, HIIT is the best cardio to lose fat because if you do another exercise, either LISS or MISS for the same amount of time, you won’t burn as many calories.
About skills, if necessary skills to do this type of cardio activity, then the winners are LISS and MISS because they are relatively low skill. Examples of both trainers used here are walking (LISS) and jogging or cycling (MISS).
Take into account recovery cardio aspect, if it harms weight training or anything else you do. In this case, it depends on what else you do outside of your cardio. If you are inactive and work at a desk, then maybe HIIT is ok for you because it won’t negatively affect your day. Otherwise, if you do any other sports or activities outside of your cardio, then LISS is the best.
For the next topic, disturbance, again it depends on what your goals and lifestyle are. “Being good at cardio and being a good bodybuilder don’t necessarily go hand in hand,” says Beaugrand. For that, MISS has the most disruptive effect because it takes too long and can hinder your recovery. So LISS or HITT is what you want.
Based on the intensity of your exercise, there is a difference in where you are fuel comes from, whether you’re burning fat, carbs or using protein to keep going. When using Your LISS or MISS will burn more fatwhereas when using Your HITT will burn more carbs.
Who cares what cardio is best for fat loss, asks Revelia. “If you don’t like it, you’ll try to do it, but you won’t stick to it.” In the end, find what you love the most and do it.
If you have more questions about the best cardio for fat loss, check out the video from Revelia and Beaugrand below.
VIDEO – Best Cardio for Fat Loss
Read More: Perfect Exercise for Weight Loss