HIIT vs. Cardio: Which One Is Better?

It is normal to hear or read about current fads on the Internet. We get constantly bombarded from the outside about the latest fitness trends. With the massive rising of social media “influencers,” it gets increasingly harder to gather serious info about training advice. One of the “hot topics” right now is “HIIT vs. Cardio.” Which one is better? Which one should we do? Here we are going to answer all of those questions, and even more.

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for “High-Intensity Interval Training.” It means that we train at very high thresholds of intensity while doing repetitive movements, followed by very short periods of rest in between. Think of very short, explosive sprints with short resting periods. HIIT gathers the benefits of both the length needed for aerobic exercise with the intensity of anaerobic training. With HIIT, we get both added into the mix, getting the best of the two worlds.

Let’s Look at Some of the Pros of Hiit Training:

  • We need very little space and little elements (a mat is more than enough)
  • It is highly efficient 
  • We train both respiratory capacities (added cardiovascular benefits)
  • It burns A LOT of calories (approx. 300 kcal for thirty minutes of HIIT training for the average 155-pound male!)
  • It keeps on burning calories AFTER the session
  • It is time-efficient (we don’t need more than thirty minutes to get a full workout)
  • It helps you build muscle

Remember that you will need a large exercise mat for some exercises if you want to do exercises that involve some displacement. In some cases, an extra-large exercise mat will also suit your needs, mostly for safety purposes.

Now let’s get into the cons:

  • It can be tiresome (VERY tiresome)
  • It can cause a high impact on your joints (not the best option for people with injuries)
  • Not too “beginner-friendly”
  • You need minimal levels of fitness to do them

What is Cardio?

“Cardio” is a term coined for continuous, repetitive movements at intensities that we can hold for periods not shorter than three minutes. Cardio workouts mostly train the aerobic threshold, which is useful for building resistance, and burning fat, leaving anaerobic capacities somewhat on the wayside. Think of riding your bicycle at a steady pace without a stop.

Here are Some of the Benefits of Cardio Training:

  • It trains the aerobic capacity (it helps you recover faster between training sessions)
  • It’s easier to adjust the intensity than HIIT
  • You also get added cardiovascular benefits
  • It is “beginner-friendly”
  • It is easier to adapt if injuries are present
  • You can slowly build your way up

Here are the Downsides:

  • It can be quite monotonous
  • In some cases, you will need bigger and more expensive equipment (i.e., bikes, treadmills, etc.)
  • You need space
  • You need time (no less than three minutes.)

Which One is Better?

It all comes down to your needs. If you are somewhat trained and want to “level up” your fitness capabilities, opting for HIIT should be your choice. If you are starting out, we’d recommend starting out small with light aerobic training before venturing into HIIT. Regardless of your choices, S36 has the best training mats in the market that suit your needs. You can get them here.