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HIIT Vs Steady State Training: What’s Better For Weight Loss?

HIIT Vs Steady State Training: What’s Better For Weight Loss?

'Get fit and lose weight with just 16 minutes a week' sounds like a tagline from one of those late night info-mercials. The difference being this particular methodology has been backed by real science and can be done anywhere. It is known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It's the best way to get bang for your buck training. Given that 'lack of time' is one of the most common reasons for not participating in exercise this might be the solution for you. But what is HIIT and is it more effective than steady state training?

High Intensity Interval Training is the training principle whereby you exercise at a maximal intensity for a short period of time, generally less than 2 minutes. You then rest for a similar amount of time before going again at your maximal intensity.

The 8/12 Method

So in 2008 the University of New South Wales decided to look at whether HIIT was beneficial to fat loss in young women? The experiment split the girls into three main groups:

  • Group A: No intervention
  • Group B: 40 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 3 days a week (steady state)
  • Group C: an interval of 8 second maximal work with 12 seconds rest, for 20 minutes, 3 days a week (HIIT)

Interestingly they found that there were improvements in fitness in both Group B and C. However only the HIIT group had significant decreases in total body mass and body fat.

But is it too good to be true?

A study published by the University of Sydney, has the entire fitness world scratching their heads. As the findings of their research suggest it might not be as effective as first thought. They split the participants into 3 exercise groups

  • Group A: walking 33 minutes, 3 days a week (low intensity steady state)
  • Group B: interval of 4 minutes moderate intensity, 3 minutes walk, 4 repeats, 3 days a week (moderate interval)
  • Group C: interval of 30 second maximal intensity, 4 minutes walk, 3 repeats, 3 days a week (HIIT)

What they discovered is that there was no significant difference between Group A and Group C in terms of fat loss. So is our revolutionary way to exercise flawed? Not quiet. As they do go on to say that HIIT is a much more time efficient solution for similar results.

The biggest thing to be taken from this particular research is the fact that walking for 30 minutes a day is a fantastic way to manage your body fat has almost the same benefits as some weight loss supplements regimes. It's all about your self control in the end.

 For Fat Loss

  • Walk everyday for 30 minutes
  • 2-3 HIIT sessions of 8 second sprint to 12 second rest for 20 minutes

For more ideas on how to maximise physical and mental performance visit

Greg Stark - Fitness Expert

Greg has made it his fight to bring professionalism back to exercise. With a university degree in Human Movement and working with elite level athletes, Greg’s knowledge and experience is leading the way. Greg is the founder of Better Being, Australia’s only team of university qualified personal trainers delivering health solutions that suit your busy corporate life. Today, Greg continues to support the health and wellbeing of corporate executives and celebrities. He also educates trainers and regularly contributes to national publications and TV shows including Men’s Health, Sky Business and The Morning Show. Greg was awarded the 2011 Australian Exercise Professional of the Year finalist and is a proud ambassador for lululemon athletica. Greg’s passion is to create ways to inspire, educate and motivate people to build a happy and healthy life.

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