Many coaches will tell you to lose weight you need to increase your cardio. But which, how much, and for how long? Ultimately, is there the best cardio for fat loss? Two fitness coaches decided to go deep into the question.
Physique coach and founder of Pro Physique website Paul Revelia, who is an expert at steady-state cardio to aid fat loss, and strength and conditioning coach Stephen Beaugrand got together to explain what is the best cardio for fat loss.
Unfortunately, the answer is “it depends.”
Best Cardio for Fat Loss
Firstly, the coaches defined what is low-intensity (LISS), moderate-intensity (MISS) and high-intensity (HIIT) cardio which, generally speaking, is aligned with how demanding a workout is for your lungs and heart.
- LISS – cardio you can do for hours, that is not difficult for recovery
- MISS – a bit more than the light intensity, a workout in which you can still hold a conversation with someone next to you while performing the exercise
- HIIT – all-out intensity, followed by periods of either moderate or lower intensity depending on how you are structuring (15 to 20 seconds tops of an interval)
Related: Learn How To Lose Fat Faster
Later, the coaches divided into categories to see which cardio is best. The categories are:
- Time – best bang-for-your-buck
- Skill – does it require a lot of skill to perform this exercise
- Recovery – does it make you very sore or impact sleep
- Interference – the more cardio you do, the more it interferes in your ability as a strength athlete
- Fuel – how total calories you burn are from fats, protein, and carbs
- Enjoyment – do you have fun doing this cardio?
When it comes to time commitment, HIIT is the best cardio for fat loss because if you did any other exercise, either LISS or MISS for the same amount of time, you will not burn as many calories.
Regarding skill, if it takes skill to perform this type of cardio activity, then the winner is LISS and MISS because they are pretty low skill. The example both coaches used here are walking (LISS) and jogging or cycling (MISS).
Taking into consideration the recovery aspect of cardio, if it harms weight training or anything else you are doing. In this case, it depends on what else you are doing outside of your cardio. If you are sedentary and work at a desk, then probably HIIT is ok for you as it won’t negatively impact the rest of your day. Otherwise, if you do any other sport or activity outside of your cardio, then LISS is the best.
For the next topic, interference, again it depends on what is your goal and lifestyle. “Being good at cardio and being a good bodybuilder don’t necessarily go hand in hand,” Beaugrand says. For that, MISS has the most interference effect because it takes too much time and could hinder your recovery. So LISS or HITT is what you want.
Based on the intensity of your exercise, there is a difference in where your fuel comes from, whether you are burning fat, carb or using protein to keep going. When utilising LISS or MISS you will be burning more fat, whereas when utilising HITT you will be burning more carbs.
Who cares what the best cardio for fat loss is, Revelia asks. “If you don’t like it, you’re going to try to do it, but you’re not going to stick to it.” In the end, find what you like the most and do it.
If you have more questions regarding the best cardio for fat loss, then check out the video from Revelia and Beaugrand below.
VIDEO – Best Cardio for Fat Loss
Read More: The Perfect Workout to Lose Weight