7 Things to Know about Cardio versus Interval Training ...


When you are at the gym, you may encounter a lot of different opinions about cardio versus interval training. Some people believe cardio is an inefficient way to train, while others believe high intensity interval training (HIIT) doesn’t provide the traditional benefits of cardio. The truth is they both work in different ways. During cardio exercise you will perform the same exercise for an extended period of time, running is a great example. HIIT exercises are performed in very short intervals at your maximum effort. You can get benefits from both cardio and HIIT; however, it is important to know the differences between the two when you are trying to get fit. Although you will get benefits from both, there are some key distinctions of cardio versus interval training that may led you to choose one over the other, depending on what you are trying to achieve.

1. Aerobic Workout

One major difference to be aware of regarding cardio versus interval training is that cardio will provide you with a much better aerobic workout. Aerobic exercise requires oxygen and is fueled by glycogen, a form of carbohydrate that is stored in the muscles, as well as some stored fat. For aerobic exercise, you need to perform at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum effort with a heart rate of about 120 to 150 beats per minute. When you do this, you will be getting a good cardiovascular workout, which, as the name suggests, is great for your heart. It also works your body’s entire aerobic system, including breathing and even digestion. As you can see, cardio exercise will provide you with a great aerobic workout; however, it will not give you an anaerobic workout.

Anaerobic Workout
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