If you have ever wondered if intense and fast exercise is more effective than slow exercise, the first thing to say is that one way is not better than another, they are simply different. A lot of it comes down to personal choice and time constraints, but the speed of your workout routines can provide different benefits depending on what you use. Discover the benefits of each of them and which one to choose according to your goals.
To be successful, a good workout plan must take into account different variables that range from the basic exercises to include in each routine, to the rest days after exercising for recovery. It is also essential that you determine the pace at which each session should take place, because the speed, intensity and time spent exercising are factors that will influence the results.
Slow or fast workout routines: how are they different?
It is not just a matter of minutes. A workout in which you give your best in a short period of time and another in which you work more slowly can be just as intense, but in each of them the body’s response is different. It is useful to know the differences as it may help you to structure your sessions in a way to work towards your goals more efficiently.
In a fast and intense workout routine, the body burns a large number of calories for energy (explosive energy) in a short time. It is what happens, for example, in an aerobic circuit training in cross fit session or during the routine of high intensity interval training (HIIT). Exercising in this way means that not only are you working hard by raising the heart rate to 80% – 90% of cardiovascular capacity, but also getting the metabolic rate to rise, so that the body continues to burn calories and also fats even after the session finishes.
It is important to keep in mind that, after such an intense effort, our body will continue to demand energy to be able to recover. After finishing your workout exercises, the body will still be bringing to the muscles the extra oxygen needed, working on the elimination of excess lactic acid generated. It will also bring extra oxygen to simply contribute to the normalization of respiration, body temperature and heart rate . All these functions translate into the need for higher caloric expenditure.
In long and slow exercises, of at least 30 – 40 minutes of exercise, our body works differently. The effort may seem less intense, but, in reality, it takes a long time, so the result can be just as satisfying. In this case, our body ends up depleting direct energy reserves (glucose) and has to resort to accumulated fats to maintain physical activity.
This can really become the ideal training for you if the focus of the workout is to reduce adipose tissue and gain muscle definition. In fact, if you are looking for this, you should extend your sessions to 60 minutes or more, since it is in that time frame when fat burning increases the most.
Slow or fast workout routines: pros and cons according to objectives
When deciding to train quickly or slowly, you must take into account a series of considerations so that you get the most out of each session in order to get closer to the goals you have set for yourself.
- The short and intense training is not suitable for everyone. It requires a prior good physical shape, precisely because it demands the maximum from your body in a few minutes. If you are not sufficiently prepared, the risk of injury with this way of exercising is greater than if you choose to do it more slowly.
- Due to the caloric expenditure generated during and after exercise in a HIIT training, this type of training, intense and fast, is the best if your goal is to lose weight. Many people achieve great weight loss results with this form of workout once they adjust to the high demands on the body.
- On the other hand, if you aim to work on strength to gain muscle definition, slow training is the way to go. It will not only help you achieve your targeted muscle gains, but it will also help you build the weight resistance you can handle by improving the execution technique of each exercise.
- In sports that combine speed and endurance, such as running and soccer, the ideal situation is to combine short and intense workouts with those that maintain a moderate intensity for longer. This way you will be faster and you will also be able to run for longer. These sports work best when you do workouts with a mix of cardio and strength exercises.
As you can see, both the fast and slow workout routines can help you achieve your goals. You just have to put into practice the most appropriate one that works for you each time. If you are unsure about what you should do, always consult your doubts with someone like a personal trainer. Give these a go and find what speed works best for you.