health fitness exercise healthhabits workout

More proof that you should Just Say No to Cardio

  • You want to be healthy
  • You want to be fit
  • You want to be strong
  • You want to be fast
  • You want to be powerful
  • You want to look great naked

If this sounds like you, you need to stop doing boring old cardio workouts…

human hamster wheel

…and start combining strength training workouts with high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.

Here’s why…

In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers examined whether a combination of sprint interval workouts and strength training workouts would result in compromised strength development when compared to strength training alone.

During this study, they also monitored maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and time to exhaustion (TTE) to determine if the HIIT workouts would improve aerobic performance.

The Results

After 12 weeks of 4x per week workouts, they researchers found that:

  • Upper & lower body strength improved in both groups with no difference between the strength training (ST) group and the combination HIIT-ST group.
  • VO2max improved in the HIIT-ST group but not in the ST group. Previous studies have shown that HIIT is equal or superior to traditional cardio in improving VO2max

Conclusions

  • Strength training without HIIT will make you stronger
  • Strength training + HIIT will make you equally as strong
  • HIIT improves VO2max as well or better than traditional cardio training

When you combine this new data with all of the previous studies + years of real-world experience that has shown that traditional cardio training reduces strength, power & muscle mass in favour of aerobic performance (VO2max et al), it all starts to become very clear.

It means that if…

  • You want to be healthy
  • You want to be fit
  • You want to be strong
  • You want to be fast
  • You want to be powerful
  • You want to look great naked

…you need to just say no to cardio and just start saying yes to HIIT + strength training.

Reference

HIIT is Good for Your Heart

For decades, doctors have been telling their obese & out-of-shape patients that they need to do long, slow & boring cardio workouts if they want to lose weight and get healthy.

Luckily, science is finally catching up to the awesome health-improving aspects of HIIT workouts.

In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers concluded that a 6 week program of both moderate (10 s work : 20 s rest) and heavy (30 s work : 60 s rest) intensity interval training…

  • Reduced Carotid Arterial Stiffness in both groups
  • Improved Heart Rate Dynamics in both groups
  • Improved VO2 Max in the HEDIT group only
  • Improved Lactate Threshold in both groups

 

hiit-stats

Conclusions

  1. HIIT workouts are good for your heart
  2. This study is only scratching the surface of HIIT research. Besides the limitations of such a small study, the conclusions probably raise more questions than they answer – but since that’s the nature of good science, I am cool with that.
  3. The researchers believe that the HEDIT group (30 s work : 60 s rest) saw improvements due to “mitochondrial biogenesis while the MEDIT (10 s work : 20 s rest) duty cycle induced a vascular stimulus, but had little impact on mitochondrial proliferation”.

Reference

Like this article???

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

button subscribe