reasons for choosing steady-state cardio over hiit, treadmill
My reasons for choosing steady-state cardio over HIIT. Photo: pixabay

Yes, I know that, based on calorie-burning per session, HIIT is the better option and yes, I know that due to the longer recovery time, I will continue burning calories long after an HIIT session but I still prefer to take things easy. Not because I’m lazy but because that suits my workout plan and my body’s abilities better. Here are my reasons for choosing steady-state cardio over HIIT:

Maintain muscle mass

As somebody who finds it incredibly difficult to put on muscle mass (think ectomorph or a hard-gainer if you prefer it), my main concern when doing cardio is retaining the little muscle mass that I have.

I also lift heavy weights and I try to consume as few carbs and fats as possible. Based on these factors alone, HIIT is not suitable for me because it’s too demanding on my body and there is a risk of muscle mass loss.

Steady-state cardio is the better option for me. A 45 minutes incline walk on the treadmill doesn’t put too much stress on my body whilst it still helps me burn that stubborn fat.

Faster recovery

I enjoy working out but I am not a professional athlete and I don’t train for any competitions. I do it because I want to be fit, not because I want to look good in gym selfies.

I go to the gym at least three to four times a week and, for most of these sessions, I workout with a personal trainer lifting heavy weights.

The recovery time is more important to me than maintaining a low percentage of body fat. The quicker the recovery, the better as I don’t really want to be in aches and pains between my gym sessions and that’s why steady-state cardio is my preferred option as it aids recovery by increasing the blood flow to damaged muscles.

I don’t mind doing it as an add-on to my workouts

I put a lot of effort into my workouts making sure that I am 100% ready to hit the demands of my trainer. I am also (slowly but surely) beginning to pay attention to proper nutrition and I am quite consistent in my efforts.

The same consistency applies to my cardio too. Yes, the steady-state cardio is a bit long but I don’t mind doing it every time I go to the gym. It’s challenging enough to make me sweat and feel like I’ve worked out but it’s not too difficult to put me off from doing it again the following day.

If I was doing HIIT, I would be too tired to be doing it again the following day and even though my fat-burning will be on point, my consistency will suffer.

My reasons for choosing steady-state cardio over HIIT – conclusion

It’s important to stress that the fat-burning benefits of HIIT are much greater than those of steady-state cardio. However, to me, as an average person who goes to the gym, quick fat-burning is not the main factor. Maintaining muscle mass, quick recovery and consistency are my main concerns when it comes to cardio and that’s why I prefer steady-state cardio over HIIT.

1 COMMENT

  1. Steady state cardio is more likely to contribute to muscle wastage, it certainly won’t help you preserve muscle. However, HIT is proven to help preserve muscle mass and even have a slight anabolic effect. Example, look at a sprinter’s body against a long distance runner. If I were you I would increase your carbs right after training with protein to replenish your glycogen. I would also increase good fats for energy and the health benecits they provide. If you are on a low carb low fat diet, quite simply you won’t grow. Your body needs energy to grow. Also you really need to work out if you ars consuming the right calories to grow. If you are on the diet you say you are I’d bet you aren’t. Make these adjustments and your performance and grow will improve.

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