The best form of cardio for weight loss

The best form of cardio for weight loss

Posted on Training

Over the course of this article I will explain the different types of cardio and which one is best for weight loss. Before I discuss cardio in too much detail however I want to make it clear that for anyone who has the primary goal of weight loss i would always prioritise weight training over cardio based training. With my clients i use cardio training as a tool in order to increase energy expenditure once progress starts to slow. Diet and weight training will be more than enough to massively change your body composition. This is not to say that you wont loss a lot of weight if you just done cardio but if your goal is to have any sort of body structure to your frame then weight training will be the best bet. That said you have two types of cardio training.

  1. LISS – Low intensity slow speed

The idea of LISS training is to maintain low intensity training such as walking,running, cycling, cross training etc for a prolonged period. Ideally 30-90 mins depending on the person and the goal.

2.  HIIT – High intensity interval training

With HIIT training the goal is to get your heart rate very high in a short amount of time. Allow a period of rest to recover then repeat several times. The most popular intervals are normally 1:3 ratio, normally 20 sec max work and 40 sec rest.

Now which one is best for fat loss? Like most questions fitness related with “whats the best…” in the question the answer is “it depends”. There’s pros and cons to both approaches. The list below shows the pros and cons for each.

LISS pros

  • Easy to recover from
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Easier to complete psychologically
  • Time for a mental break
  • Can be done easier with loved ones
  • Can help your body use fat more efficiently


  • Less time efficient
  • Can be repetitive and boring
  • No muscle building benefits
  • More likely to get repetitive stress injuries


  • More time efficient
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Can help to build muscle and power
  • More variety of exercises


  • Harder to recover from
  • Mentally tougher
  • More stress on the body

I think this tends to be one of the questions which majorly comes down to preference as much as anything. Whichever one you enjoy more you are much more likely to stick with. In PT sessions with my clients i will always use HIIT for time efficiency and variety (plus you don’t need me there for half an hour whilst you go on the bike!). In my personal weight loss journey I use LISS as it allows me the chance to have time to myself and get outside, as well as having less physical demands on my body!

If you have any questions or want any ideas of different HIIT workouts to try please get in contact with me directly via:

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