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Low Intensity Vs High Intensity

Low intensity vs. high intensity? In this Vision PT article we discuss the difference between the two types of training and why you need both!
Weight Loss Articles
Weight Loss Articles

By James David at Drummoyne

A nice relaxing walk in the park or sweating it out on the treadmill with sprints? Which would you prefer? Well we are going to give you all the facts below so you can make your own choice for what best suites you and your goals.


Now both form of cardio training have positives and negatives related to them and we will go into as much detail as possible below. Both training forms can be better suited to certain people and everyone will have an opinion about this topic. It is a great idea to try utilize both forms of training if possible as they will each give you results in a different manner. Our recommendation is:

75% Low to Moderate - 25% High Intensity

Let's break this down and see what all the discussions are about.


Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIS)

Low intensity training relates to cardio sessions where your heart rate does not increase much higher than being ever so slightly out of breath. This could relate to a walk in the park, an easy bike ride to work, a hike. These exercise sessions won't leave you exhausted and not able to breath but will still elevate your heart rate.


  • Less stress put on the body
  • Suitable for all ages and fitness levels
  • Burns calories
  • Less energy required to perform



  • Requires a longer duration to be performed
  • Not suitable for time poor people
  • Wont challenge you and push you to your limits


As you can see above there are both positives and negatives for this type of training and it can be effective when used at the right time and for the right reason. As long as this training isn't purely being used because it's easier then you can still achieve results by using this method. Understand why to use it and when then make the most of it on your own.


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High intensity interval training or HIIT training refers to just that. Intervals at a high intensity work rate. So to put it simply working at your maximum effort for a short burst followed by a short rest break. This sequence is then repeated multiple times over.  One of the most common training structures for HIIT training is 30 seconds maximum work followed by 30 seconds rest. This pattern is repeated for up to 20 minutes at a time.



  • Studies have shown the fat burning process can continue for up to 24hrs after exercise
  • HIIT training targets the 'fat burning zone' for a greater amount of time during exercise
  • Very time effective. Only 20 minutes needed for a HIIT training workout
  • Hundreds of possibilities in terms of exercises that can be used and timing used



  • Can be very taxing on the body
  • Not suitable for those wanting an easy walk on a weekend


Use the positives and negatives above to determine if this type of training is for you and when to perform it. This is a great way to perform cardio in a short amount of time while still maximizing the fat burning process.

It is recommended to perform cardio sessions with as little to no carbohydrates in your body.  What this will mean is that your body will start to run on and burn body fat at a higher percentage. This results in a greater fat burning time zone. This is especially important with low intensity training as it is easier on your body so not as much energy is required. This is why it is vital to have minimal carbohydrates to ensure your body reaches the 'fat burning zone' as quickly as possible.

Make the right choice depending on your goal and structure your exercise accordingly. Both cardio types should be used on a regular basis and they will both benefit each other and further more benefit yourself and your training. As we said earlier, a recommended mix is 75% Low-Mod: 25% High Intensity

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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