High or low intensity workouts?

Saravanan "Sharu" Hariram

February 24, 2021

A lot of our clients want to know how long they need to work out, and whether you have to work out for a specific number of hours to lose weight.

Realistically, you can’t ask how hard do I need to exercise. A workout is usually measured by intensity and categorized as low, moderate and high. High or low intensity workout – which is better?

High Intensity Workout
High Intensity Workout

A high intensity workout, which is defined as exercises that push your heart rate up to 75% of its maximum or more, is the best kind of workout, proven to increase metabolism and burn more calories. High-intensity workouts can burn nine times the fat per each calorie burn during exercise. Results can also be seen in a matter of weeks. But it’s not recommended for those just starting to exercise, or suffering from health problems like high blood pressure.

Low intensity exercise burns fewer calories. To achieve the same results as a high intensity workout, a

Low intensity workout
Low intensity workout

person will have to exercise longer. These exercises are beneficial for warming up and cooling down, before and after high intensity phases. Low intensity exercises are good for the elderly, anyone recovering from an illness or injury, someone significantly overweight and out of shape, or someone who is just beginning to workout.

Going back the question of how you should work out, the best approach to your training is to mix intensities. Sometimes you go easy and long, and other times you go hard and fast.

For intermediate and advanced level of exercisers, I recommend 20% of the allotted time to work in low intensity, 70% of the allotted time to work in moderate intensity and 10% of the allotted time to work in high intensity. An example of a 60-minute workout can be 12-mins at low intensity, 42-mins at moderate intensity and 6-mins at high intensity.

For beginners, I recommend a moderate intensity workout to lose weight because low intensity — though sustainable for long duration — burns fewer calories, and high intensity — though burns more calories — is not sustainable for long duration. Always consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Our experts can help build a diet & fitness plan that fits right into your lifestyle. Get in touch today.

About the Author

Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with a passion for bodybuilding. Combining his love for fitness with his career, Sharu did his certification in Sports Nutrition, and Rehabilitation and Healing Nutrition. Currently a Master Trainer with HealthifyMe, he specializes in Weight Management, Marathon Training, and Physical Rehabilitation. In his 20+ years of experience, Sharu has always maintained that one’s mind must have control over their body in order to lead a healthy life. At HealthifyMe, he continues to follow his passion while helping those around him realise their fitness goals.

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