Is Cardio a Big Lie?
I’ll be honest with you, the title of this article and video troubles me because there is no consensus among fitness experts and there is so much conflicting information out there about Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise. This leads to a lot of confusion and contributes greatly to what I call the Inactivity Epidemic.
This is the first in a three part series exploring which is better – Cardio or HIIT [High Intensity Interval Training]. This video reviews the first three variables: starting out, making progress, and weight loss.
Welcome to “Is Cardio a Big Lie?“
Some see Cardio as a big lie. they see it as a chore and a waste of time, and they say you only need to do higher intensity exercise, often referred to as HIIT, high intensity interval training.
Others say HIIT is just too hard and that you only need to do Cardio to build endurance and lose weight.
So which is better, cardio or HIIT? To me the answer is clear, so I’m going to break it down for you. I will answer the question, but ultimately you will be able to make up your own mind. I have identified 6 variables. I’m going to deal with the first 3 in this video and the second 3 in my next.
Let’s look at variable #1, Starting. If you are inactive and don’t exercise much it wouldn’t be very smart to go all out or sprint at the start. So your focus as you get back into exercise should definitely be cardio. However, continuing at the same slow pace over time, while much better than no exercise, is not very effective.
So that leads us nicely to variable #2, Progress. You need to gradually increase your exercise intensity as you progress. This is how you get fitter, stronger, faster. So you should definitely include higher intensity activity in your exercise as you progress; however, you need to do so gradually and with great care to avoid injury.
So what about variable #3, Weight Loss? If you want to lose weight, the more exercise you do the better. There is plenty of evidence that both cardio and higher intensity exercise will help you lose weight. With steady state cardio the burn is slower but you can do more. With higher intensity exercise, such as HIIT, the burn is faster but you can’t do as much. So I’m going to call it as a draw.
So my conclusion so far…the jury is still out on cardio and HIIT, but based on the evidence so far, both of them should play an important part in your exercise program.
In my next video, which I call “The Real Truth about HIIT,” I review the next 3 variables: Metabolism, How Much, and Fun.
Until the next time in a few days remember my motto
You don’t have to be fit to start, but you do have to start to be fit and healthy.
By Jim Kirwan