High Intensity Interval Training vs Chronic Cardio

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is very popular right now and for good reason. HIIT training is a different way to structure cardio sessions. Rather than going for a long slow run/bike or swim these are shorter sessions with a combination of short, intense sprints followed by recovery periods. This type of training gets away from the traditional long, slow cardio days and there are a number of reasons why this type of training is so successful and popular.

  • Avoids long repetitive training sessions which can lead to joint and soft tissue strains which can potentially cause overuse injuries such as shin splints, bursitis, tendonitis or stress fractures.
  • Working out at high intensity will boost your metabolism post workout and help you burn more energy for up to 48 hours after the training session.
  • Shorter sessions will prevent wear and tear on your joints and soft tissues
  • HIIT sessions will give you more bang for your buck. You will burn more energy in a shorter amount of time

For anyone looking to train efficiently and effectively you really can’t go past high intensity interval training. You can do HITT workouts in a variety of ways. If you love walking or running you can get outside and add some short sprints into your walk/run or if you are looking for a low impact option you can do swim/row or cycle sprints. I’m not a big runner so I will do my HIIT sessions on a stationary bike in the gym.


These sessions should be short and sweet. I generally structure mine with a five minute warm up followed by 6 one minute sprints with a one minute rest between each sprint. This type of training should leave you feeling like you have done a really tough workout in 15- 20 minutes. So if you aren’t that keen on exercise or don’t have a lot of spare time this type of training is great as you don’t have to dedicate too much time to your HIIT sessions. 1 to 2 HIIT sessions a week along with two full body functional weight training days is usually a sufficient amount of exercise for most people looking to improve their health and to prevent against injury.

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