HIIT vs Steady-State Cardio: Which is better?

The HIIT and Steady-State Cardio both are slightly different from each other in terms of intensity, use and purpose. HIIT is the best workout program for weight loss and boosting metabolism while steady-state cardio is less intense and good for health. In this article, I’ve shared some important differences between HIIT vs Steady-State Cardio that help you decide the right exercise program according to your health.


  • What is HIIT?
  • What is Steady-State Cardio?
  • HIIT vs Steady-state cardio: A Comparison
  • Related FAQ

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training or HIIT is a full-body workout program designed to be performed at 75 to 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate. It is divided into intervals such as high-intensity activity and recovery period or less-intensity activity. For example, Do as many burpees as possible in 30 then res for 30 seconds.

You can do HIIT workouts in a circuit for the time period of 5 minutes to half an hour; depending on what you want to accomplish.

But it’s not important to do in a circuit. Even, if you do one exercise into different intervals, such as 30 seconds high-intensity then 30 seconds rest or low intensity, that is also considered as HIIT.

An interval of 30 seconds is just an example, it could be 20 seconds or 15 seconds. The recovery period depends on your fitness level. But when you do the exercise you should have to push your body well out of its comfort zone.

According to a study published in the World Council of Cardiology, The High-intensity interval training or HIIT is more efficient than a “medicine.” The clinical and physiological benefits of HIIT are greater than Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in terms of; skeletal muscles development, risk factors, vasculature, respiration, heart function, exercise capacity, inflammation, quality of life, and VO2peak.

Some Important Benefits of HIIT

  1. High-intensity exercise is one of the great ways to Enhance Endurance because it improves aerobic capacity and VO2 max ( the maximum or optimum rate at which the heart, lungs, and muscles can effectively use oxygen during exercise.)
  2. HIIT workouts boost metabolism and metabolic rate. Metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories.
  3. HIIT exercises not only burns calories during the workout but It also improves calorie afterburn. It means your body fire calories even after a couple of hours of the workout.
  4. The HIIT is an efficient way to lose belly Fats or weight and Many research already proved this.
  5. Improvement in Heart Health is one of the best advantages of doing HIIT consistently.
  6. HIIT workouts work for you as “Time Savers” because you can do many exercises in just 30 minutes or less.
  7. HIIT program boosts your overall performance gradually.
  8. High-intensity interval training not only improve your heart functions but also increase Breathing Capacity
  9. The HIIT exercises enhance coordination between muscle and joints as well as improve bone density
  10. Improve the quality of life and increase the mortality rate

Disadvantages of High-intensity Interval Training

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • HIIT also comes with the risk of injuries
  • Not very much effective for the people who want to gain muscles.
  • There is some risk of burnout or overtraining
  • Not good for the people with a heart issue and breathing problem.

Sample of 20 Minutes HIIT workout routine

Jumping Jacks30 seconds30 secondsAs many reps as possible
Squat30 seconds30 secondsAs many reps as possible
Moderate Run5 Minutes2 Minutes walk
Push-ups30 seconds30 secondsAs many reps as possible
Lunges30 seconds30 secondsAs many reps as possible
Jumping Rope2 Minutes1 minute—-
High-knees30 seconds30 secondsAs many reps as possible
Sprints30 Seconds4 minutes—-
Sprints30 Seconds—-
Sample HIIT workout routine

HIIT Vs Steady-State Cardio
HIIT Vs Steady-State Cardio

Low-Intensity Steady-State or LISS Cardio

Steady State cardio is an aerobic workout program that is designed to be performed at low-to-moderate intensity like 50 to 70 per cent of the maximum heart rate. The duration of this exercise program ranges between 15 minutes to one hour.

Steady-state cardio workouts are generally safe and appropriate for all fitness levels. Whether you’re male or female, beginner or intermediate, overweight or underweight, this is for all.

According to a study published in the American Council on Exercise, steady-state cardio is an effective way to burn calories and improve the aerobic system if you can not do high-intensity exercises.

Benefits of Steady-State Cardio

The steady-state cardio also has several benefits such as:

  1. Weight Loss: Low-to-moderate intensity cardio exercises improve your body’s ability to use fat as fuel instead of using glycogen stored in your muscles. According to a study published in the Journal of Obesity, continuous steady-state cardio training can be more efficient than HIIT at improving overall fat distribution.
  2. Adaptable and efficient: Steady-state cardio workouts are easy to do and put less stress on the body. Hence, anyone can do this for building stamina and enhancing overall fitness.
  3. Muscles Recovery: Steady-state cardio put less stress on your heart and body, that allows your muscles to get easily recover.
  4. Help you prepare for a longer workout session. Many athletes use to do steady-state exercises to warm-up the body for a longer workout session.
  5. The Steady-state cardio also maintains blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart fail, stress and anxiety.

Disadvantages Of Steady-State Cardio

  • Time-Consuming and Boring: Steady-state cardio sessions are generally slow, time consuming and boring. It’s not possible to get the result you want in the least time.
  • Risk of Overuse Injuries: Steady-state cardio exercises have fewer variations and doing the same kind of workouts can lead to injuries.

A sample of 30-Minute Steady-State Cardio Workout Routine

Walking5 Minutes2 Min Stretch—-
Jogging10 Minutes2 Minutes Walk
Plank1 minute1 minute
Crunches1 minute1 minute
Stationary exercise bike5 Minutes2 Min Stretch
Sample Steady-State Cardio Workout Routine

HIIT vs Steady-state cardio: A Comparison

High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)Steady-State Cardio
1. It includes both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.It only includes aerobic exercises.
2. HIIT workouts are designed to be performed at 75 to 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate.Steady State cardio workouts are designed to be performed at 50 to 70 per cent of the maximum heart rate.
3. The duration of this exercise is shorter.The duration of this exercise is longer.
4. HIIT workouts burn more calories than steady-state cardio.Steady State cardio workouts are less intense that’s why they do not burn many calories.
5. The HIIT isn’t suitable for everyone because of its high-intensity nature.Steady-state cardio workouts are adaptable and efficient and appropriate for all fitness levels.
6. HIIT exercises improve VO2 max ( the maximum or the optimum rate at which the heart, lungs, and muscles can effectively use oxygen during exercise.)Less intense cardio isn’t good at the improvement of VO2 max.
7. The HIIT training comes with a high risk of injuries compared to the less-intensity cardio.Steady-state cardio workouts are not risky because they are slow and less intense.
HIIT Vs Steady-State: Differences

Here we take a look at 5 Reasons Why you should choose HIIT over-steady state cardio

  1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) session is less time-consuming. You can complete a well-designed full-body workout in just 30 minutes.
  2. HIIT workouts are not only effective but they are also exciting, motivating and challenging. They will always make you feel satisfied at the end of the workout session.
  3. High-intensity exercises always challenge your strength. They do not only improve your aerobic fitness but they also enhance anaerobic health through different exercises like sprinting.
  4. If you want to lose weight HIIT training can help you burn more calories in the least time. Because they burn calories during and after the workout. Many research has shown that even after the 24 hours of HIIT session, your body uses fat as fuel instead of using glycogen stored in your muscles which promote weight loss.
  5. By the god grace, If you do not have any health issue, I would recommend you do the HIIT. In the beginning, it may be difficult for you but if you do it consistently you’ll enjoy more than any workout program.

Here We Take A Look At 5 circumstances When You Should Choose Steady State Cardio

  1. Steady-state cardio workouts are easy to do and put less stress on the body. So whenever you feel hazy and stressed, you can do less intense cardio to relax your body and mood.
  2. If your job is quite hectic and you feel more physically stressed, then steady-state cardio would be a good workout regime. Because it put less strain on your body as well as allows your muscles to get quickly recover.
  3. When you got recovered from your illness or any health problem, steady-state cardio training may ameliorate your condition.
  4. When you don’t have any specific fitness goal, you just want to maintain your fitness level. Then steady-state training may work well for you. It also provides you with various benefits. For example, improvement in heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol level and metabolism.
  5. When you want to enjoy the morning fresh air, chirping of the bird and fresh oxygen then you can do steady-state cardio exercises jogging, bicycle ride and less intense run.

Which One Is Better For Your Health?

Some people may gain benefits by doing HIIT while some people enjoy steady-state cardio. It’s not important for you to do that workout program which has various benefits. Instead, you should choose that exercise program which suits you whether it’s HIIT or steady-state cardio.

I would suggest you try both HIIT and steady-state cardio then chose which suits you best or you can also mix both exercises for optimal result.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.