Who wants to burn fat today in the gym, it should be with the so-called LIT Try (Low-Intensity Interval Training). Although there are many fans of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), but many recreational athletes still prefer conventional endurance training (LIT). Both forms of training are perfect for burning fat but have different effects on the body as they train the organism and the cardiovascular system in different exercise limits. In the following, we want to take a closer look at the difference between HIIT and LIT and show what advantages an intensive interval training can have over a rather constant endurance training for the athlete.


HIIT and LIT have been empirically proven for some time. The effectiveness of HIIT was scientifically proven as early as the mid-1990s. In one study, 27 untrained volunteers were divided into two groups. Group 1 completed a 20-week conventional endurance training (4-5 units a 30-45 minutes per week), while Group 2 completed a 15-week HIIT (3 units a 20-25 minutes per week). Although both groups had an average comparable body weight at the end of the study, the HIIT Group 2 showed a significantly lower body fat percentage in the subcutaneous fatty tissue. Although HIIT burns more fat, it can only be sustained for a short time. Why? In the case of the HIIT, the pulse is quickly boosted up to the maximum load limit. With LIT, on the other hand, cardio is practiced at a constant rate while the pulse must remain in the aerobic range. This consumes a lot of energy in the long run, if you train long and constant. The fat pads are continuously reduced, but only when the glycogen stores are almost completely emptied. While your metabolism drops rapidly after a LIT workout, after the end of a HIIT training session, you will burn energy for a few hours afterwards because of a so-called afterburning effect.

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What is a afterburn effect?

In a sporting activity, your body requires significantly more oxygen than at rest, which is particularly noticeable in the increased pulse rate. In addition, there is a higher respiratory rate due to the intense stress that also causes your body temperature to rise quickly and make you sweat. The greater the difference between our metabolism in resting and in the stress state, the longer your organism needs, until it can fall back into the normal range. That's why HIIT consumes more energy because it takes much longer to regulate a rest pulse than traditional LIT. This process is also referred to as the afterburning effect, which lasts long, especially in an intensive HIIT.

The HIIT training

A HIIT training consists of two phases: 1.High Intensity Phase: You train at a predefined time interval up to your personal stress limit for a certain period of time at the stress limit. This phase can be between 20 to 60 seconds and should not be repeated as many as eight times. 2nd recovery phase: Then you recover in a predetermined second clock, which should be in the ratio 1: 2 to the high-intensity phase. If the high-intensity phase takes 30 seconds, for example, then you take 15 seconds as a break. Then you repeat the high intensity phase again with 30 seconds. This change of the two phases requires a high load intensity, which is much more strenuous than a long-lasting LIT at a moderate pace.

Choose between LIT and HIIT

For the athlete, this does not mean that he should completely renounce his LIT. Not every recreational athlete can start with an HIIT immediately. This training requires a stable cardiovascular system, because in this form of training a lot of blood must be pressed through the body in no time. Especially for the elderly, a moderate LIT is the much better form of exercise to get rid of body fat. If you want to train HIIT, you need to be slowly introduced to this form of training. And the endurance athletes are often already so slim that they do not have to additionally accelerate the burning of fat. Ideal is the combination of LIT and HIIT, which can be trained alternately during the week. Both forms of training should be trained a maximum of two to three times a week.

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