This is the web’s legitimate high intensity interval training versus low intensity steady state cardio post. I will give you the breakdown among HIIT and LISS and help you comprehend which one is better for you and which one is better in general. So we have this steady rivalry going between the two and truly, it’s somewhat exasperating in light of the fact that to be completely straightforward with you, I surmise that anybody that is getting out there and getting dynamic and beginning to transform themselves for the better is accomplishing something extraordinary and we can’t always rebate individuals that are doing HIIT or doing LISS. In the event that they’re out there and they’re accomplishing something and they’re endeavoring to get more benefits, credit to them, however, how about we separate the science, we should separate the exploration, and we should comprehend the physiology of what’s really occurring in the body.
What is LISS?
The first that I need to take a gander at is LISS, low intensity steady state cardio. This is the cardio that you know. This is the cardio that you’re presumably effectively acquainted with. The kind you did in PE class when you’re circling the track. Low intensity steady state cardio is generally classified by being in like a 50 to 65% of your most extreme pulse extend. Presently this means you’re not at a high intensity. You’re at sufficiently only to inhale vigorously, likely can bear on a discussion, possibly running on the treadmill, circling the track for 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, up to two hours, whatever. You’re simply running, you’re getting the action going. It could be circular, it could be a stationary bicycle. That is simply low intensity steady state cardio. Presently what winds up happening is amid low intensity steady state cardio, you’re consuming more fat as a fuel source. It doesn’t truly imply that you’re consuming more fat generally. It just implies that your body consumes fat as a fuel source.
Presently I’ve discussed this in different posts yet I’m attempting to make this general since it’s the web’s solitary HIIT versus LISS post. When you are working in a lower limit that way, you’re working at a lower limit, you’re in a circumstance where your body can use fat as a fuel source. How it functions is the point at which you’re breathing oxygen, that oxygen comes in and oxygen joins with fat to make vitality, yet it can just do this at a low speed. When you begin going quicker and you’re not low intensity any longer, your body can’t keep up. It’s a slow procedure of taking in the air, removing the oxygen, joining it with fat, and really making vitality. When you begin and you begin going into high-intensity interval stuff, you’re going into an entire diverse framework in light of the fact that your body can’t keep up, so it needs to begin utilizing carbs rather than oxygen in addition to fat. We’ll get to that in a second. With the goal that’s the reason promoters of the low intensity steady state cardio are continually saying that LISS is better since they’re stating, “Admirably, you’re in this fat consuming zone. You’re in the fat consuming zone that is allowing you to simply utilize fat as a fuel source.” If you’ve been to the gym and you’ve seen those little diagrams that they have, they say oxygen-consuming zone, fat consuming zone, high intensity zone, all that? That is actually what they’re discussing.
So, the cool thing is you burn more calories from fat. But when you do low intensity the overall net calories that you’re burning are significantly less, because you are not working t a high intensity. So, although the percentage of calories from fat are higher, the net calories are less.
What is HIIT?
So, now we get talking about high-intensity interval training. HIIT is categorized as doing something like 10 to 60 bursts and then allowing yourself to recover. I have another post on HIIT exercises that you really need to be doing.
Basically you are doing sprints then you’re recovering, then you’re doing another short sprint and you recover again. You can be running, can be biking anything. The whole idea is to get yourself to like 80 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. So, your body has no choice but to start using carbs as a fuel source. And here’s where the competition starts.
The low intensity steady state cardio people compete with the HIIT people because they think HIIT is bad as it is not activating fat, but is activating carbs.
Well with HIIT the magic comes from the central nervous system stimulation, your CNS. You’re working your body so hard that you’re triggering metabolic response and kicking your body into this high state of recovery that takes calories later on.
There’s something known as post exercise oxygen debt and basically it means, after a hard workout like HIIT you are in oxygen debt and your body has to take time and has to recover to get your body back to homeostasis.
So, the nice thing about HIIT is that you can have a short workout that allows you to burn calories later on throughout the day because of recovery. But here’s the caveat, it’s not sustainable. You can’t always do HIIT forever. It’s hard on the body. You can’t recover from that day in and day out. Quite honestly comes back the old theory of relativity. You’re not taking it to the grave when you’re deead. So, whether you wore out your body in short amounts of time doing HIIT or you bored yourself to death doing low intensity steady-state cardio.
The fact is at the end of the day it’s all kind of relative. How quickly you want to get there, what means do you want to use to get there etc.
The other thing you have to look at with HIIT, because you’re stimulating the central nervous system you’re constantly putting stress on your glucocorticoids.You’re putting stress on your adrenals. This could trigger more fat accumulation later on. Excess cortisol from stress caused by HIIT could make it so that you’re releasing glucose into the system later on throughout the day. And that’ll contribute to overall abdominal fat.
So, now we have to get in to how we look at the two of them. So, there’s one particular study I looked at on HIIT vs LISS. And it ended favoring HIIT, but the study was a little bit odd, because of how it looked at it. It took a look at subjects that were doing four intervals of four minutes run at 90% of their max heart rates. So, pretty long intervals but what they found was that there was a 6 t0 15% increase in overall metabolism for a short period of time after the workout. And ultimately resulted in a more fat loss than the low-intensity steady state.
But what they didn’t measure was its sustainability in how long they could do that. A lot of studies show that although HIIT is very effective at helping to lose weight, it plateaus very fast. Whereas low intensity steady state allows you to burn fat for longer periods of time. Well, again it comes back down to relativity.
Comparison between HIIT and LISS
So, now I want to do a comparison between both and look at both. So, now we go back again to the fact that HIIT can burn more calories throughout the course of a day. But since it takes so much time in recovery, so, we can’t do it many times per week. Then we look at LISS, at LISS you cannot burn as many calories but the calories that you do burn are allocated more so from fat calories.
So, just like with the HIIT cardio we burn out faster because we burn out our nervous system, with LISS we end up burning out over time because a lot of times we’re doing repetitive motions. That’s the biggest problem with LISS in my opinion. LISS may cause damage from repetitive motions.
When we go out for a run, we don’t think of LISS as heart rates, we think of LISS as just consistent running or consistent movement. So, when we are running, we move our hip flexors in the same motion for say one hour. And we wear down our hip flexors and eventually, we beat ourselves up just like we would with HIIT.
So, low intensity steady state cardio shouldn’t always be just one motion. It should be throughout an entirety of different motions. And that’s where the paradigm needs to shift. We’ll come back to that in a moment.
We talked about the HIIT triggering that hormone response, triggering stress and cortisol and LISS being a little less on that allowing to do it a little bit more often.
So, where does this leave us because right now we are neck-and-neck? Well, here’s what I think. HIIT should replace weight training on specific days. So, if it’s a day where you are not sure if you should lift weights or do cardio, you should do your HIIT. If it’s a day you specifically want to do your cardio, do your LISS. Treat LISS as a recovery day. But don’t be biased.
I am a huge fan of doing HIIT on days I was not feeling like going to the gym and it help me get the same metabolic response that I would from weight training. Since it uses the same energy substances, you are using carbs with weight training and you also using carbs with HIIT.
But never should you substitute HIIT for LISS because they’re two totally different worlds. LISS should be on your recovery days.
Don’t let the HIIT people tell you-you’re wrong. Go for bicycling or jogging on a day you want to recover. But don’t ever substitute a HIIT day for a LISS day. The only thing I would like to add is that when you are doing LISS, don’t just run. Do different activities like biking for 5 minutes, the run for 10 minutes, then do the rowing machine for 10 minutes. You want to change it up so that you don’t put your muscles to the same repetitive motion. Otherwise, you’re gonna run yourself into the ground the same way you do with HIIT.
So, not like LISS is bad or HIIT is good, use HIIT and LISS both. Never substitute one over the other.