HIIT is Better than Cardio

Research gathered from a recent meta-analysis confirms that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is more effective than Continuous Moderate Intensity Exercise (cardio) for improving peak oxygen consumption and decreasing fasting glucose levels in adults stricken with cardiometabolic disorders like obesity, metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

And why is that important?

  • It’s important because an elevated fasting glucose level is a common symptom for obese adults with metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
  • Equally important, an elevated fasting glucose level is an uncommon symptom for normal weight adults without metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

Elevated fasting glucose levels are a bad thing to have.

HIIT gets rid of elevated fasting glucose levels better than cardio.

Do more HIIT.

In addition to elevated glucose levels, it’s pretty common for obese adults with metabolic syndrome and heart disease to have low peak oxygen consumption (V02 max) numbers.

Once again, this isn’t good.

V02 max is a measurement of your ability to transport and use oxygen during physical activity and is a strong indicator of your physical fitness.

  • A high V02 max is good
  • A low V02 max is bad

This meta-analysis shows that HIIT is better than cardio at increasing V02 max.

Once again, do more HIIT.




Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

2 thoughts on “HIIT is Better than Cardio

  • October 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Como um amigo meu escrever… HIIT me!!!!

  • October 5, 2011 at 3:01 am

    HIIT rules. I can always justify running some sprints over endurance cardio on the treadmill or elliptical.


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