There are all types of cardio you can do — running, elliptical machines, burpees, dance, etc. But there are two main umbrellas of cardio these exercises fall under. There's HIIT (high-intensity interval training), which features fast, intense bouts of movement followed by a short rest period, and LISS (low-intensity sustained state), which is a more moderate level of intensity but is sustained for a longer period of time. It's totally normal to wonder which one is better for weight loss.
We asked Gunnar Peterson, celebrity trainer who has worked with the Kardashian klan and is a headline trainer at this year's Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival, and he gave us some sound advice. "I think it depends on what you're doing," he told POPSUGAR. "You can't just crank-hit cardio from now until the day you die. So you have to learn how to ungulate your training, you have to learn to periodize your training. You can't always be peaking; it's hard for the body."
HIIT training has certainly become the more popular form of cardio these days, but Gunnar said, "Even the highest-end car you can't drive flat-out all the time — something's going to give. Sometimes you just don't have it in the tank." So when you're trying to decide which cardio to do, make sure you "set yourself up for success, not for failure." If you just don't have all that energy to put into HIIT training, do LISS instead.
"You know, [LISS] is tried and true for bodybuilders — and I'm a fan of it," Gunnar admitted. "I do it on occasion on some days. Or I do that for 30 minutes and I'll do 10-15 minutes of HIIT intervals. I'm a big bike head. "
"So with that, the choice should be, whatever you will do, you should do," he continued. "Obviously sometimes you should come out of your comfort zone, but if you hate running or it hurts your back or your knees and they say running will burn more calories per minute, but you hate it, I certainly wouldn't encourage you to buy a treadmill. I would say get what you're going to do. Because then there's adherence to the program, [which] has a much higher chance for success."
So there isn't one right answer over the other. Gunnar simply recommends doing what you enjoy most, because that will encourage you to fit in even more cardio, which will only help with weight loss. Just make sure you're pairing it with a healthy, balanced diet as well.