T Nation

HIIT-Not Always the Way to Go?


For the past several years I have gotten the opinion that the general concensus in the training field that HIIT is the way to do cardio due to its less catabolic properties. However, I have just started the Art of Waterbury program and see where he recommends in this as well as many other programs, days of light cardio.

My question is this, would doing HIIT sessions of 15-20 minutes lead to overtraining? Based on what I have read, I thought that HIIT was basically the newly established "right way to do cardio". Any insight on this is welcomed. Thanks.


If max fat-burning is the goal, I think 15-20 minutes of HIIT is optimal. But it's clearly more fatiguing than low intensity. I think low intensity is more likely to be muscle wasting when the duration is long as people do to try to compensate for it burning less calories and revving the metabolism less than HIIT. But I don't view shorter low intensity sessions like Waterbury recommends as catabolic. They can help recovery and a good way to burn some extra calories if that is the goal without taxing the nervous system.


I think it depends on several factors:

i) What type of diet you're on (Massive Eating, T-Dawg 2.0, keto, AD)
ii) How much you're dieting (or not)
iii) What other exercises you're doing in addition to intervals (hiit)

It was almost my impression that extremely low carb diets are not conducive to this type of training. Could be wrong however.



I have used both methods in the past and I found the low to moderate intensity cardio more effective on a low calorie plan. You burn out to fast with the high intensity stuff. I prefer 15-20 min incline walking on the treadmill at a moderate pace. I do this in the morning and again at night. If you are not losing fat at this level of cardio you are eating to much