Interval Training or Steady State Cardio: Which one burns more fat?

First, here’s a question I want you to answer (Trust me! It will add up). So now, take for instance, you need to reach your destination in the shortest period of time, and you are given two options:

  1. a) either take the most direct route even if you have to drive through a congested freeway that allows you to move only a few miles an hour or,
  2. b) take a longer route with no traffic jams but burn more gas while altering pace between city driving and highway driving

No doubt, both will make you reach your destination (coz’ it’s only the approach that’s different). This is a somewhat how our body responds to different workouts.

Steady State Cardio, in this scenario, is like taking the direct route. It makes your body used to low-to-moderate intensity work-rate for longer periods.

Conversely, High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is like going with the second option. You burn calories very soon and improve lung capacity but at the expense of stressing your body.

Is Interval Training better than Steady State Cardio? Or vice-versa

Like in the car analogy, both options will take you to your destination. Similarly, both the form of training will get results. It depends on which do you prefer. But, how do you choose one? Well, don’t get confused. Before, driving to any conclusion, let’s understand both objectively.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Interval Training and Steady State Cardio.

Steady State Cardio

Steady State Cardio is all about maintaining speed consistency, intensity level and the rate of working out. You do it by hopping on the treadmill in your gym (Fit O’ Clock is the best gym and fitness center in Jaipur), bike or on any other equipment and continue your movements usually for 20-40 minutes for extended period.


  • It exerts lesser physical stress on the cardiorespiratory system, and our body builds better endurance.
  • It increases lung capacity and improves cardiorespiratory fitness.
  • It lowers the risk of cardiac arrest by keeping heart rate under control.
  • It converts fats to energy, which in return could be used for higher-intensity exercises.
  • It improves aerobic efficiency along with lesser cellular damage compared to HIIT workouts.


  • It is a very slow process and takes a lot of time to achieve the result you want.
  • It improves lung capacity, you need to invest in longer sessions which may come off as a challenge if you are leading a busy lifestyle.
  • Due to extended exercising sessions, you may become vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries.
  • With time, it may get difficult to maintain a steady work rate.

Interval Training

Interval training involves high intensity workout for 15 seconds to 1 minute backed up by 1-2 minutes of low intensity workout. The trick is to alternate between the two until the session ends (usually in 15 to 20 minutes time). Though interval training burns fewer calories, on the upside you end up losing more fat.


  • It can improve lung capacity or burn more calories in lesser time compared to steady-state cardio.
  • It is ideal for people who likes variation and get demotivated during extended sessions.
  • It calls for greater metabolic efficiency, thanks to the anaerobic glycolysis that occurs.
  • It accelerates the muscle-building process and produces more testosterone (a fat-burning hormone).


  • Muscle spasm and soreness is a common occurrence during high-intensity exercise training.
  • Due to anaerobic metabolism outburst, muscles lose the ability to function.
  • It can be severely uncomfortable or painful for people.
  • This form of training limits the amount of protein in the body that repairs muscle tissue.

Why is Steady State Cardio a better choice?

  • Steady state cardio will not physically wear you out, and you will find yourself in a good mood after your session.
  • It builds endurance. So, if you are prepping for a marathon, steady state cardio is the way to go.
  • This workout reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and keeps blood pressure under control.

Why is Interval Training a better choice?

  • Because it can be done in 30 minutes or less, you can easily squeeze the workout into your schedule.
  • It produces results in limited time. It is fun and won’t bore you because you can see real results happen.
  • When you have been doing cardio for a long time, a few minutes of interval training could be an added advantage.
  • It can help you burn more calories aiding weight loss. Also, your body tends to continue burning calories even after a few hours post workout.

How to combine Steady State Cardio with Interval Training?

Are you tired of those long workout sessions at the gym (check out the best gym and fitness center in Raja Park, Jaipur) that have been giving you any major result? Or maybe you are looking for a change in your fitness regime to tone your body? Whatever, the reason may be, how about mixing things up?

A well informed combination of Steady State Cardio and Interval Training can work wonders for your body and burn off stubborn kilos.

When both are carried in ‘conjuncture,’ i.e., in combination with one another, the human body is able to burn more fats within lesser time.

Here’s one way to do it:

If you have been committing to cardio five days a week, simply swap three of such sessions with 15 to 20 minutes of interval training per week. Also, squats and kettlebell swings before the treadmill could add variety and some more strength.

Now, as your body starts to adapt to this new condition and gets comfy, add back a session of steady state workout for even better results. Also, try to incorporate some other different styles if it is not too much for your body to take.


Interval Training or Steady State Cardio? As mentioned before, it depends on what you are comfortable with. However, regardless of which exercise program you choose, it is important that you maintain consistency to achieve better results.

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