When taking a look at cardio, the real debate lies within HIIT vs. Slow and steady state cardio. Research shows that slow and steady state forces the body to use fat as its source of energy to where intense training will use glycogen as its source of energy before it uses fat. They both hold true to this statement but when the session is over, the amount of fat being burned is around the same. Slow and steady takes a long time to finish, but is easy to do and puts minimal stress on the body. HIIT on the other hand adds a lot of stress to the body, is extremely hard to finish (if done correctly), but takes a short time to complete. It all depends on what you feel is best for you. If you have the time to do an hour of cardio at a slow inclined pace, and do not take kind to stressing your body through cardio, then slow and steady is the path for you. If you are limited on time and like to put yourself through some cardio pain, the HIIT is the path for you.
My thoughts show favoritism for HIIT. I need to feel as if I’m working, I need to feel out of breath, and I need to feel the burn. I like the fact that I can finish a cardio workout in 20 minutes instead of an hour and still burn as much or even more fat that I did with slow and steady. The reason why I say “even more fat” is because HIIT keeps your metabolic rate increased for hours after the session, to where slow and steady does not offer this effect. Plus the 20 minutes is a lot easier to fit into your schedule than an hour is. HIIT also keeps me away from the comfort zone by making me push my body to the limit offering better overall endurance, speed, and strength. HIIT done in the morning is when I choose to do this. Now, in a fasting state and applying high intensity interval training, should call for gluconeogensis.
The fact is that I will burn the fat and any glycogen available before the protein is broken down, and since the sessions are short, if there is any gluconeogensis taking place it will not be happening for long. So I choose to take my chances and do HIIT on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Not only does this get the cardio session over and done with, but it gets my day started and revs up metabolism for the rest of the day.
Vincent Russo, 25 years old from Kenilworth NJ. Has a BA in Biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison NJ. A Bodybuilding.com Team Athlete, Silver Model, High School Football Coach, Substitute Teacher, Waiter/bartender. Was a top 5 finalist out of 500 guys for bodybuilding.com‘s 2012 BodySpace Spokes Model. Compete in the Men’s Physique category where in recent competitions placed 2nd in NPC East Coasts (Nov. 2011), and 3rd in Bodybuilding.com‘s BodySpace Spokes model competition (LA Fit Expo 2012).