What’s The Best Type Of Cardio?

What’s The Best Type Of Cardio?

Whats the best Cardio?

It’s really good question I get asked a lot!

First thing first I have for you is a question.

What’s your goal?

Before I ever give advice to anyone I always ask this question. ┬áBecause IF you don’t know your immediate goal then you don’t know which direction you should be heading!

When it comes to cardio what type SHOULD YOU DO?

HIT Vs. Slow Steady State?

I’d recommend both and here is why!

(Quick Summary of Cardio Types)

Steady State Cardio -The longer cardio sessions, IE Stair Master, Bike, Elliptical etc, IE 20 min – 60 min

HIT Cardio – Short intense interval training. ┬áSprinting, Circuits, Intervals etc.

I know there are tons of debates out there now with Steady State vs HIT that seems never ending but I think both cardio has benefits and negatives!

IE Goods and Bads

Steady State Cardio
The Good :
Low Intensity
Easy on the joints
Easy when your sore or tired
Feel Great Afterwards!

The Bad :
Takes A Lot of time (20 min to 60 min)
Pretty Boring
Low Calorie Expenditure Demand


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HIT (High Intensity Cardio)
The Good :
High Calorie Expenditure
Very Little Time ( 5 min to 20 min)
Fun (But Demanding)

The Bad :
Intense (Hard Workout If Sore or Achy)
Demanding (takes more toll on recovery system)
Hard after a intense weight workout (especially LEGS!!)

I would recommend alternating BOTH cardio methods depending on your TIME and your WEIGHT PROGRAM.

If your short on time hit the HIT, if your focused on HeavyLifting hit the slow steady state (in the AM if you can not after weights).

Another cardio method I am digging is “Cardio Strength Training” from Coach Dos. I just read it last weekend when I was in Halifax and its a great blend of Weights & Cardio. Using Circuits & Complexes for Fat Loss. I am doing a FULL blog post and video review on my blog soon so keep an eye out for it.

So there is no right or wrong. Use all the methods depending on your time, weights and factors in your life.

Either way hit SOME cardio just mix it up!

The BEST Cardio is the ONE YOU ARE NOT DOING!!!

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  • max

    in my opinion and experiences i have found that running is most likely to be the best cardio work out. not only is it great for you but its probably the cheapest sport out there. all you need is a good pair of shoes and you’re set.
    but there are other really great ways for cardio work out. for example, climbing really works on your inner core and really helps in strengthening your forearms (and arms in general), back, shoulders and chest but dont be fooled. only using your arms to pull yourself up can actually hurt you so try to use your legs to push yourself up rather than pull yourself up.
    any further questions about climbing just email me at max@wallnutsclimbing.com.

    -max lono

  • Violet

    Well, I do both, I find the HIIT training awesome but tiring…..I love the slow run because it’s relaxing. I think both have their benefits and you need both types if you want fat loss……period!!

  • If your goal is to maintain muscle (and everybody should want to maintain their muscle!), keeping your heart rate under 130 bpm is the only way to go (so slow and long duration).

    Anything more intense than this will BURN MUSCLE.

    First thing in the AM is the best time for cardio. Second best is AFTER weights.

  • Tim

    the best cardio for building muscle has to be strength cardio involving stair climber, rebounds, mountain climbers, squat explosions, even lunges. although some exercises can be argued that they are more of an anaerobic activity it’s the way you execute them that makes the difference between cardio and anaerobic. i personally am starting a new workout regimen where i sprint on off days (time sprinting= time resting) and days that i hit the gym i will randomly do one of the above to throw off my body. as a general rule the more you hate an exercise or the more painful it is, the more muscle you will build on your days resting. i personally hate lunges with a passion. so when I’m working on that exercise, i know that I’m going to build a good amount of muscle.

  • Tony Roberts

    Personally, I find that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in various forms is the best way to improve cardiovascular potential while heightening metabolism and keeping the muscle you work so hard for. For your run-of-the-mill body builder, steady state (long, steady paced) cardio is the enemy; although it’s still under some debate, it’s generally believed to create a net muscle loss during bulking phases, etc. HIIT on the other hand is meant to stimulate metabolism and maximize fat loss. Some examples of HIIT are sprints (5 seconds all out, 15 seconds walking/light jog), Tabata training (A type of training usually lasting no more than 4 minutes of 20 second work-10 second rest intervals coming from a Japanese doctor named Dr. Izumi Tabata. They work well, especially for those looking for advanced conditioning… just bring your puke bucket.), or intervals of increased resistance on a stationary bike (but who actually likes stationary bikes? No one who doesn’t want to feel like a hamster). Another popular variant of cardio exercise that not only protects but in some cases builds muscle are complexes. Complexes are essentially a series of lifts performed one after another without putting down the weights. For example, you would take a barbell loaded with appropriate weight, and perform 8 reps of deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, bent-over rows, hang cleans, push press, squats, and good mornings, without any rest in between exercises (obviously the weight is going to be as low as your weakest lift’s potential). Rest a solid 90 seconds, and do it again for 7 reps each, slap off 10 seconds of the rest period per superset, and go all the way down to 1 rep. I’ve seen the greatest results from using this method, not just with myself, but from the people that I’ve trained, and it’s a great way to maintain muscle mass while getting your cardio in. Diet of course is a big factor, but if you use these techniques, you’ll rev your metabolism, improve your cardio, and keep your muscle. Just my two cents.


  • Kurt

    Elliptical’s are wh*res..lol…they kick my a$$ in about half the time a treadmill does.

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  • I jump rope for about 15mins – 20mins before my resistance training.
    I use to also do the Spartacus workout training and changed it up at times.

  • Dave

    What about rowing? If I want to become ripped I start cardio sessions for 30 minutes after each work-out. This training has several benefits:

    – Totally body workout (if you do it right, your legs are doing the most of the work besides that you will definitely train your abs, at the back of the movement squeeze your abs).
    – Low impact on joints (especially helpful since I cannot run due to shin splits)
    – High intensity (interval) or steady intensity is easy to combine
    – nice to do together with your training partner
    – easy to see your progress in physical health (distance, hearth beat)

    Disadv: can be boring, need the rowing equipment, you need the right technique (is not that hard although).

  • mike

    coach Dos is the sh*t. end of story. I love the guy, and his workouts are amazing.