high intensity
Personal/Fitness Training Blog

High intensity workouts have been hailed as the holy grail of fitness for those on the go, or for those who struggle to set aside time for stringent physical activity. However, there’s a lot to consider before you decide whether these workouts will help to achieve your fitness goals. So to help you craft the best workout routine for your target and body-type, we’ve drawn a comparison between low intensity and high intensity workouts.

Low intensity vs high intensity workouts

High Intensity workouts

High intensity workouts are characterised by intensive bursts of exercise, separated by brief moments of recovery. They require small segments of activity with 100% effort to keep your heart-rate up for longer, thereby burning more fat. High intensity workouts can include aerobics classes or any kind of high intensity interval training (HIIT).


High intensity workouts take up much less time, while often being far more effective than lengthier routines. Various studies have shown that 15 minutes of a high intensity routine burns more calories than an hour of consistent effort on the treadmill.

Since high intensity workouts keep your heart rate elevated, they actually burn calories for longer. After a 15-minute session with very short breaks (some of which could even be active), your heart rate will stay elevated even once your workout is complete. In other words, you will still be burning calories long after you’ve left the gym.

The reason for this is that after an intense workout, your body must work overtime to return all systems to normal. In other words, your body will burn extra calories just to get your body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure back to normal. This process is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC.


While high intensity workouts might be incredibly effective for burning fat and toning muscle, they can also result in injury. If you consider yourself to be relatively unfit, a high intensity workout can be difficult to start with. It can also lead to serious injury without the appropriate form and technique.

Another disadvantage of high intensity workouts is that they don’t give you much time to work on developing the proper form and technique. So there is always a chance that you are forming bad workout habits as you go, while lessening the effectiveness of the workout itself.

Low intensity workouts

Low intensity, steady state workouts are cardio activities that require a moderate amount of effort for roughly half an hour to an hour. Walking, running, climbing, and just about any activity that requires endurance, are all forms of low intensity workouts. The goal is to get your heart-rate up to around 60%, which is optimal for burning fat, and keeping it there.


Beginners can set their own pace more easily with low intensity workouts than with high intensity workouts. This makes it a better place to start for those who are new to exercise.

Another upside is that the timescale of lower intensity workouts means you have more time to focus on perfecting your form and technique, so you can get the most out of each movement. By taking the time to form good habits in the beginning, you reduce the likelihood of sustaining injuries later on.

Low intensity workouts are also excellent for developing endurance as well as for burning fat, making them effective and holistic additions to your routine.


Low intensity exercises are time consuming. If you’re a particularly busy person, you may struggle to find the time to fit in your workout for the day.

The second problem with this is one of concentration. For some, low intensity exercises can feel a bit monotonous. However, developing endurance means building mental stamina as well. There are also ways to make each workout more exciting. Running on the road with a friend will be far more appealing than spending an hour on the treadmill.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both forms of exercise so decide which is best for you. You can use them in combination for an all-round workout routine that will melt fat and sculpt your body. If you’re just getting into fitness or getting back into it after an injury; success lies in doing the right moves at your own pace. While high intensity workouts should be difficult, pushing too hard and too fast will lead to injuries. The key is to listen to your body and maintain the proper form.

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy Today

Trifocus Fitness Academy offers accredited aerobics certifications and aerobics courses. For more information on aerobics courses that will change the way that you and those around you approach exercise, contact a consultant from Trifocus Fitness Academy today.