#16: What’s Best? Aerobic, Resistance, HIIT, HIFT?

#16: What’s Best? Aerobic, Resistance, HIIT, HIFT?


In today’s episode, Maria continues the conversation about exercise.
In addition to discussing the other exercise modalities of Strength Training, HIIT, and HIFT, she also touches upon their benefits, why building muscle is important to insulin resistance, and shares what’s the ‘best’ and most effective exercise modality to lose weight and burn fat.


In today’s episode, I will continue the conversation about Exercise Modalities and their benefits to your health and the benefits of muscles and insulin resistance.  Check out episode 15 for key reasons you want resistance training to be part of your exercise routine.

Let me revisit the questions I encourage you to answer right now. This exercise will help you identify areas you can do better:

  • How often do you exercise a week?
  • What types of exercise do you perform?
  • At what intensity do you perform them?
  • How long are your sessions?
  • Do you track your exercise activities?

Last episode I mentioned that resistance training offers a higher ROI compared to aerobic training.

The question is, what are other exercise modalities, besides aerobic and resistance training, can you explore so you find what’s right for you while maximizing time?

Strength Training

Let’s talk about strength training. This training modality uses resistance to increase the strength of your muscles and build muscle mass. There will be a roadmap to follow and ultimately, it will include performing low repetitions at a heavier weight.

High-Intensity Interval Training

High-Intensity Interval Training, as the name implies, you work at a high-intensity level at specific intervals of work and rest. HIIT can be anaerobic and aerobic:

Aerobic HIIT is great to improve respiratory and circulatory efficiency. Routines are structured with 3 components in mind:

  • You perform a movement for 45-60-90 seconds.
  • You go ‘all out’, give your 100% so the rate of intensity applied is high.
  • You rest for a similar period of time, a work to rest ratio of 1:1. That may vary on the person.

Anaerobic HIIT also involves giving your 100% from 45-to 90 seconds but the work intervals don’t rely on oxygen only (aerobic = oxygen). That means you use stored carbs. This method helps to build muscle and burn fat faster. The impact on your body also helps build stronger bones and joints. Isometric holds and high-intensity weight lifting are good examples of anaerobic HIIT.

High-Intensity Functional Training

Next is High-Intensity Functional Training. This is training method combines high intensity, aerobic and anaerobic, functional fitness, Olympic training, multi-muscle recruitment. This is one of the most effective ways to manage weight, improve insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, build muscle, and burn fat. This is what’s practiced in CrossFit.

Both HIIT and HIFT are often short routines, less than 30 minutes. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, many people get a great deal of success by doing as little as 20 minutes of intense training, 3x a week.

And if you are trying to lose belly fat, intense interval routines burn more fat than that the average aerobic ones.

What’s important to realize here is that you do not have to be an experienced exerciser to do HIIT exercise. You just need to get started by DOING and exploring your body. It’s not difficult to build HIIT routines when you incorporate burst exercises of 30 to 60 seconds within your routine.

If you are just starting out, GREAT. You can add intervals to your walking, jogging, cycling routines. You can incorporate bodyweight movements into any aerobic training you are doing.

Also, please keep in mind that although I have not touched upon, flexibility and balance, incorporating these practices are important for better performance with all other modalities of exercise.

Here are a couple of examples…

Your balance, or lack of, will impact your ability to perform one leg movements effectively.

Your lack of flexibility will impact the depth of your squat, the weight you are able to lift, and ultimately, the strength you are able to build.

You might be thinking…all my, there are not enough hours in a day for me to do all. Aerobic, resistance, high intensity, flexibility.

I agree and time of the essence.  We must pick their battles based on our goals. As a trainer, I would love to allocate 2-4 hours 4-5 times a week for fitness alone. What I will say is diversification of routines and intensity play a key role when it comes to exercising for longevity.

It’s because I focus on exercise for longevity with a focus on brain and bone health and coach people on weight loss with a focus on managing blood sugar and insulin through lifestyle practices, when it comes to exercise, I do advise weight training and ways to discover and implement HIIT to anyone’s exercise plan.

When it comes to muscles and insulin resistance, muscles clear about 80% of glucose from circulation. Resistance training, HIIT using weight, and HIFT, lead to more muscle mass, higher glucose clearance, lower insulin resistance or high insulin sensitivity, and lower production of triglycerides.


As a nutrition endocrinology practitioner and fitness trainer, I help my clients build a lifestyle program that takes other aspects of their health into consideration so they make progress and get results.

For example, a person who experiences fatigue will unlikely benefit from HIIT. Actually, she/he will cause more harm than good. It is important to personalize a plan that takes into consideration your goals, current lifestyle, health, and fitness level, and your health history.

Like anything else in life, what is even more important to know and practice in order to get results is CONSISTENCY. Being the weekend warrior won’t cut it, folks. Consistency trumps intensity every time.

Babies fall hundreds of times before they walk. That’s the approach you GET to follow in order to improve your health and fitness.

The other practice as important as exercise is your nutrition. The quote abs are made in the kitchen is not a joke.

Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, increase muscle, improve bone density, increase insulin sensitivity, and so on, your nutrition is indispensable to getting results in the gym and outside the gym. And of course, you can count on that I will talk about diet and nutrition.

So, what can you do today to step up your fitness and wellness game?

There are always ways we can improve.

If you are not consistent, focus on that. Pick one movement, best if it raises your heart rate, and perform it for one-minute upon waking. Track of your performance for a couple of weeks. Then, increase to two minutes and so on.

If you are consistently moving your body, what ways can you challenge your muscles? Is that by adding burst exercises of 30-60 seconds to your routine? Increasing reps, weight, or time?

Assess where you are today and improve from there. If you need help establishing a plan, do not hesitate to schedule a complimentary session at www.BeFabBeYou.com. I’d love to be part of your health village. Be ready to rock and roll.

That’s it for today. Thanks for listening and for sharing with your friends and family. Talk to you soon.

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