There is a lot of nonsense that goes around about building muscle and burning fat. With such easy access to the internet, you have probably read a lot about how to get in shape.
One topic that gets thrown about is the HIIT vs. LISS argument. Which one should you be doing? Which will help you lose the most fat?
HIIT, which stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, is a training technique in which you perform short bursts of very high-intensity exercise followed by short recovery periods. An example of a HIIT workout could be doing a 30 second kettlebell swings, followed by a 30 second rest and repeating this ten times. Such as the Workouts at Fitter Body Ladies.
LISS, or Low Intensity Steady State, is the opposite of HIIT. It is any low endurance workout that you do for a long, continuous period of time. An example of a LISS workout could be to swim lengths at a relaxed intensity level for 45 minutes. You should be able to hold a conversation while doing LISS.
Both HIIT and LISS provide many benefits. Both forms of cardio have been shown to improve fitness levels, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol profiles whilst helping you lose fat and retain muscle.
HIIT is very efficient, you can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time and some research has shown that it can increase metabolic rate for hours after exercising meaning that you carry on burning calories even after you exercise.
LISS also has its place. It has been shown to support fat loss because when we exercise at a moderate intensity, fat is the primary source of energy we are using – so we are ‘fat burning’.
If you are short on time, HIIT is the best way to get in a quick cardio session.
To conclude, both forms of cardio work for fat loss. Personally I prefer a quick 45 min HIIT workout with lots of variety in the exercises as I find this much more enjoyable than 45 minutes of steady state cardio only doing 1 exercise.