interval training vs endurance training

High intensity interval vs. endurance training? Which is best?

One of the uncertainties of athletes and those who want to get in shape is choosing between interval and endurance training. In this article, we want to compare the effect of interval and endurance training on fat burning, calorie burning, recovery, endurance, etc. After reading this article completely, you will know which type is better.

What is high intensity interval training?

Interval training is a kind of high-intensity workout, which includes cycles of recovery or rest between each set of high-intensity training. Most exercises, especially cardio exercises, can be used for interval training. For example, you can run at a high intensity for a short period of time, say 20 seconds, then run at a low intensity for 40 seconds. You should do this for several sets in a row.

What is endurance training?

Endurance training is a type of training that is performed with moderate to low intensity. The duration of these exercises usually lasts more than 10 minutes. For example, if you run for 20 minutes at a moderate speed on a flat surface, you have benefited from an endurance training.

High intensity interval vs. endurance training

In order to determine which type of exercise is better, we must compare them from several different aspects. In this article, we are going to compare the effect of interval and endurance training on fat burning, calorie burning, recovery, endurance and muscle loss.

Fat loss

Both interval training and endurance training work great for burning fat, but we want to know which type of training can lead to more fat burning. In a related study, it was concluded that endurance and interval training both lead to significant fat loss, but interval training provided about 28% greater reduction in body fat percentage.

Calories burned during each training

In the comparison between interval and endurance, the amount of calories burned is important. The amount of calories burned in each training session can directly affect the amount of fat loss. As we said before, the best solution to burn fat fast is to burn more calories and eat less.
In a study, researchers concluded that interval training can burn more calories in the same period of time than endurance training. For this reason, interval training is very effective for fat burning and cardiovascular health.

Muscle protection

As we said in the article “the best cardio exercises for weight loss“, muscle loss is one of the disadvantages of aerobic exercise. Now we want to check whether it is better to use interval training or endurance training to protect muscles.

The researchers concluded that interval training has less interference with the muscles, so by using more of these exercises, you can protect more muscles. The reason for less muscle loss in interval training is probably related to the increase in growth hormone secretion during training.

It is better to have high-intensity weight training in your training program. Another way to protect muscles is to separate cardio exercises and resistance training.


In the comparisons we have made so far, it seems that interval training is the winner, but there is still one very important comparison left. Recovery is one of the important topics in sports. Recovery means getting back to normal state.

Usually, after training, new conditions are created in our body. If these conditions do not return to normal (before training), it can cause complications.

Overtraining, injury and weakening of the body’s immune system are among these complications. In order to avoid these problems, more attention should be paid to recovery.

Since interval training is in the category of high-intensity training, it may make recovery difficult. If too much interval training is used, recovery does not happen well, and this leads to overtraining, injury and weakening of the body’s immune system. For this reason, sometimes it is better to use endurance training instead of interval training.


You might think that only endurance training can improve stamina, but that’s not true. research has shown that interval training can also improve stamina. But there is still a need for more researches on this topic.


In this article, we compared interval and endurance training. We examined several important factors such as fat burning, calorie burning, recovery, muscle loss and stamina. Interval trainings perform better in terms of fat burning, calorie burning and muscle protection. But the problem is that these exercises are very intense.
For this reason, it is better to use endurance training sometimes to improve recovery. Those who aim to increase endurance can also use both endurance and interval training.

Examples of interval training

If you need some examples of interval training, read the rest of this article:

  • Running: first run for 5 to 10 minutes at a medium speed to warm up. Then run for 20 seconds with high intensity. Then run for 40 seconds with low intensity. Repeat this for 6 to 14 sets.
  • Cycling: First ride for 5 to 10 minutes at a moderate speed. Then pedal with high intensity for 20 seconds. Finally, pedal for 40 seconds with low intensity. Repeat this for 6 to 14 sets.
  • Burpees: first run in place for 5 to 10 minutes to warm up. Then perform 30 seconds of burpees. Then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this for 6 to 14 sets.







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