What’s the difference between HIIT and Steady State Cardio?

26th April * 2 min read

IIT vs Steady State Cardio

The benefits of committing to and maintaining a training and exercise programme are endless however for some, fat loss is a goal of such programmes. There are plenty of debates around what is the best method of cardio for fat loss with some schools of thought who will sit on one side of the cardio fence, or the other. Here at Fitness HQ, our fitness courses look at both styles of cardio from level 2 onwards, so you will be equipped with the knowledge to see the benefits of both.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training which can be carried out either in the gym or outdoors. With HIIT, certain exercises are executed at max capacity for a short period of time (often between one and two minutes). Following a short rest period, it’s back to the max capacity level. This cycle is repeated for a number of sets. HIIT is designed to get your heart rate up very quickly and it also helps in waking up your metabolism and is great for fat burning. HIIT can be carried out on anything from the treadmill to outdoor sprints, from the spin bike to burpees and box jumps!

Steady state cardio is exactly what it says on the tin. Put simply, it is a cardio workout that is a continuous, steady effort, as opposed to an interval cardio workout where energy output varies. Some of those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, steady state cardio can be a less daunting and more doable form of cardio. And yes, calories will still be burned. Steady state cardio is also great for developing aerobic fitness level and increasing your cardiovascular endurance.

It all depends on goals and objectives of each individual, if your goal is to complete a 5k, 10k or even a marathon, or long distance cycles then steady state cardio will be necessary for your legs and body to clock up the miles. But, if your goal is to strip some body fat, you might be better adopting the HIIT approach.

Both styles of cardio are discussed in great depths across a number of our courses that will add value to either your training sessions and fitness or your clients. From experience, I find that a combination of HIIT and Steady State Cardio works really well for fat loss. Having completed several marathons I sometimes like to use HIIT to break up the monotonous feeling and sometimes boredom which is associated with long distance running. As a trainer and athlete I highly recommend using both methods to truly reap the health benefits of both.

At FHQ we hope you found this short blog interesting and useful. If you have any questions on the above or any of our blogs then please don’t hesitate to call us FREE on 0800 112 3431

Take it to the next level

We’re passionate about producing and developing industry leading fitness professionals and personal trainers.
Choose one of our fitness courses, get the qualifications you need and develop a successful career!

In affiliation with