LISS Cardio vs. HIIT Cardio

Posted on March 1, 2016 at 12:42 am by

Ummm hi can we talk about the fact that it is MARCH? Time always seems to fly by, but I feel like being in school again makes it go by even FASTER if that’s possible!

Anyway – today I wanted to talk to y’all about the difference between LISS cardio and HIIT cardio. I’ve been getting a lot of questions on my Instagram about the difference so I figured I’d do my best to break it down for y’all.

LISS vs HIIT Cardio

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What does LISS stand for?

Low Intensity Steady State

What is LISS cardio?

LISS cardio is when you are preforming cardio for a prolonged period of time while keeping your heart rate at a low rate for the entire time. You want to keep your heart rate in the aerobic zone (usually 60-80% of you max heart rate). Since your heart rate stays low for the duration of your workout, you will be burning primarily body fat for fuel. I typically complete LISS cardio for 30-60 minutes at a time.

Examples of LISS cardio:

  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Stairmaster

What does HIIT stand for?

High Intensity Interval Training

What is HIIT cardio?

HIIT cardio is when you are preforming cardio for short bursts of time at max intensity. You want to work at 100% effort for about 10-60 seconds (depending on your fitness level) followed by a recovery period of about 30-90 seconds. Since your heart rate is in the anaerobic state, you will be primarily burning glucose for fuel. I typically complete HIIT cardio for 10-20 minutes at a time.

Examples of HIIT cardio:

  • Sprints
  • Plyos

So which is best?

They are both very valuable. Most people say that you get more “bang for your buck” from HIIT cardio, because you are burning tons of calories in a short amount of time and HIIT cardio triggers the EPOC effect (excess post oxygen consumption) which means you will continue burning calories even after your workout is over. I like HIIT cardio because it is a great way to get cardio in while still maintaining muscle. However, I still think it is important to incorporate some LISS cardio into your training as well.

If you’re looking for some help with HIIT cardio, I have a whole 4-week HIIT Program that you can get here!

Anyway, I hope this clears things up for you a bit! I make sure to incorporate both HIIT and LISS cardio into my training schedule.

xo, Jess

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