T Nation

Low Intensity Cardio or Intervals?

Ok, you will get alot of conflicting advice on this, even on this site. For the sake of argument you use this example. You have a 23 year old weight trained male. Squat 350 Bench 275. 17% bodyfat. Is on a diet that will meet his BMR or over by 100 calories or so.

Whatever he loses it will mostly be because of whatever energy expenditure he does. Now for the question. Is low intensity cardio or interval training the better choice for energy expenditure. Now we are mainly concerned with body composition so not so worried with the neural implications of low intensity exercise unless it hurts lean mass maintainence. Anyone?

CW, CT, and most other authors on this site are strongly for HIIT for fat loss while preventing muscle loss. See “The Running Man” by CT. And, um, I agree with them if that matters. It works for me.

[quote]caneman wrote:
CW, CT, and most other authors on this site are strongly for HIIT for fat loss while preventing muscle loss. See “The Running Man” by CT. And, um, I agree with them if that matters. It works for me.[/quote]

What muscle is lost by low intensity cardio?

You are looking at time frames here. Obviously, you can burn thru more cals in less time using HIIT. But there are good times for low intensity stuff as well. I like to use low intensity after workouts and in the am or late pm. I use HIIT 2 times a week at most.

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
caneman wrote:
CW, CT, and most other authors on this site are strongly for HIIT for fat loss while preventing muscle loss. See “The Running Man” by CT. And, um, I agree with them if that matters. It works for me.

What muscle is lost by low intensity cardio?

You are looking at time frames here. Obviously, you can burn thru more cals in less time using HIIT. But there are good times for low intensity stuff as well. I like to use low intensity after workouts and in the am or late pm. I use HIIT 2 times a week at most.[/quote]

I never said muscle is lost by cardio. I said HIIT causes fat loss while preventing loss of muscle and that CT and CW recommend HIIT above cardio. Read my post again if you want.

[quote]caneman wrote:
sasquatch wrote:
caneman wrote:
CW, CT, and most other authors on this site are strongly for HIIT for fat loss while preventing muscle loss. See “The Running Man” by CT. And, um, I agree with them if that matters. It works for me.

What muscle is lost by low intensity cardio?

You are looking at time frames here. Obviously, you can burn thru more cals in less time using HIIT. But there are good times for low intensity stuff as well. I like to use low intensity after workouts and in the am or late pm. I use HIIT 2 times a week at most.

I never said muscle is lost by cardio. I said HIIT causes fat loss while preventing loss of muscle and that CT and CW recommend HIIT above cardio. Read my post again if you want. [/quote]

I think I read your post quite well. It was easy, like most, you just regurgitated something you read and obviously know little about. You chose one over the other when either are appropriate.

They both have their place.

If you need a rest day, low intensity cardio will put much less stress on the ability to recover as long as you don’t run a marathon or something silly.

If you don’t have much time or want to squeeze in some additional items, then some HIIT would help keep things short and intense.

I like low intensity cardio when I’m reducing calories quite a bit (V-Diet) or when lifting with high intensity.

HIIT is great, but it works your CNS hard, and if you’re already pushing the CNS pretty hard with high intesity lifting, or if your carbs are severly restricted and you can’t recover as quickly, I’d limit HIIT cardio.

I think it’s the in-between stuff that’s not good (long paced medium/high cardio, like jogging for 45 minutes).