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High Intensity and Endurance Exercise

Two exercise regimes, high-intensity exercises, and endurance activities are some of the trendiest fitness regimes people follow nowadays. In a fast-paced world, a high-impact workout squeezed in a very short time sounds lucrative. As the name suggests, HIIT aims at doing rapid exercises in a short time, and this causes rapid fatigue and large accumulation of lactic acid, which in turn signals weight loss and muscle growth to accommodate these "short bursts of high activity.”

What’s the Catch?

It is good for professional arm wrestlers who need explosive strength in a short time. Relay race runners use this technique to program their muscles to ensure maximum output in the short run. However, there is a downside as such muscle training leads to the growth of "short muscle fibers” and retardation of “long muscle fibers," which are vital for stamina and endurance.

On the contrary, endurance exercises like marathon running, cycling, swimming, and rowing, etc., train the body to work in periods of constant effort for quite a long period of time. This causes “long muscle fibers” to grow. Moreover, such training reduces the resting heart rate and changes muscle physiology to handle lactic acid accumulation. What’s more, studies have shown that in some elite athlete’s lactic acid levels began to decrease instead of increasing, something which was thought not to be possible.

What’s Better of the Two?

For the average joe who barely goes to the gym, HIIT is better at the start since it will compensate for not working out regularly and will be easier to do given its less time, but as one feels progressing along, fitness levels for endurance training should be gradually added to the training regimen to ensure that the change in muscle anatomy and physiology is maintained. This will also ensure better cardiovascular health. While age, fitness level, and personal choice will play a role in your decision, you don't have to choose one over the other. You can incorporate both into your training schedule, along with some circuit training and strength training. The more diverse your training routine is, the less likely you will become bored or overtaxed.

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