In this week’s blog, we talk about 2 different types of training: HIIT & LISS. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training while LISS stands for Low-Intensity Steady State training. They are both very beneficial but have a few of their own downsides, so we will explore the positives and negatives of each so you can fully understand which is the better option for your goals.
Questions to Ask Yourself
When deciding what type of exercise or program to begin, ask yourself a few things before you start.
- Are you wanting to lose weight as quickly as possible? Or over a longer period of time?
- How often do you exercise per week right now?
- Do you have any previous injuries?
- Do you need time to ease into a more rigorous workout schedule?
- How much time do you actually have to dedicate to training?
These are all very important questions you must ask yourself when it comes to choosing between the two, so make sure to accurately asses your goals and capabilities before jumping into a brand new exercise regiment.
Low-Intensity Steady State training is something that pretty much anyone can do, as it encompasses something as simple as walking your dogs or moving your body in whatever way you find enjoyable (sports, biking, swimming, etc). This form of workout has been around for decades (pretty much since we all took our first steps) and it is an effective way to burn calories without heavily impacting recovery.
- Heart rate should be between 50-65% of your maximum BPM.
- Forms of LISS: running/jogging, cycling, walking, swimming
- Long distance training (slower pace)
Examples of LISS
- A 2-4 mile walk, aiming for a 13-17 minute per mile pace.
- Treadmill for 30-60 minutes at a moderate pace.
- Swim for 60 minutes
- Steady state training improves your body's ability to use fat as fuel over stored glycogen in your muscle
- Whether you are a beginner, moderate, or pro this is great for all levels.
- Less stress on the heart and body means more recovery time.
- Pain elimination
- Posture improvement
- Burns fat
- Improves your body's cardiovascular capacity.
Downside: It takes more time out of the day to do, does not build muscle mass, and requires more time to get results.
Also known as High-Intensity Interval Training, it requires you to truly push yourself as hard as you can for short periods of time. The goal is to do high intensity intervals at 85-90% of your maximum heart rate and 40-45% for low intensity intervals.
Examples of HIIT
- Cardio burst exercises
- Jump squats
- Very efficient and quick way to workout, duration is typically 10-30 minutes
- HIIT can increase your metabolic rate for hours after training - after burn: 12-48 hours
- Helps you gain muscle
- Helpful for weight loss
Downside: If done too often (HIIT) it may increase a stress hormone called cortisol which might affect muscle growth/recovery. It is demanding physically and mentally, and stressful on the joints.
HIIT is for someone who is more experienced at performing harder exercises and LISS is a good start for someone to work up to high-intensity training. Even though injuries can happen through any exercise, make sure to be safe no matter what kind of exercise you do. If you're a beginner then go slow until you are confident enough to progress in difficulty and intensity.
Doing HIIT and LISS a few times a week on different days will ensure that you build and improve muscle composition while burning fat. HIIT and LISS are very beneficial and which one you prefer comes down to what you are training for as well as personal circumstances.
HIIT workouts are shorter but more demanding, burn more calories per minute and are better for maintaining muscle mass, and are geared more toward experienced athletes. The recovery time will also be a lot longer.
LISS workouts take longer but are usually more enjoyable and you can perform them pretty much without a limit. You could do HIIT after strength training workouts and LISS on rest and recovery days but it is ultimately your choice.
Whichever type of workout you choose always remember to be safe, have fun and consult a professional if you are unsure about where to start!
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Check out our other blogs for more tips on nutrition, training, and all-around fitness!
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