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Cardio For Fat Loss - LISS vs HIIT

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Cardio For Fat Loss - LISS vs HIIT

Here at Own Your Goals, we talk about HIIT workouts a lot. HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a great fat burning, cardio workout. Cardio training such as HIIT increases our heart rate and helps us burn calories and fat, helping to promote weight loss and a change in body composition as we build more lean muscle. 


But there’s another cardio exercise on the scene - LISS, or low intensity steady state training, which also has fat burning benefits. So, is one better than the other? Let’s find out. 


What's the difference between HIIT and LISS?


HIIT involves working out aerobically to your absolute maximum intensity for short bursts, followed by short recovery periods for example, 1 minute intense exercise followed by 30 second recovery and repeating for a total of 15 minutes. It encourages us to exercise at our upper limits by performing as many reps or for example running at our top speed for a minute or so, with short, sharp rests in between. Cardio Max HIIT is an intense 10 minute session as an example. 


LISS involves working out aerobically at a lower intensity for a longer length of time such as 30 to 60 minutes, with little to no resting time. For example, this could be a low intensity 30 minute OYG workout such as Step with Fitz


Working out aerobically means doing an exercise such as your next OYG workout, jogging, running, cycling, swimming or jumping or dancing about, that gets your heart pumping. They can all be applied in some way to either HIIT or LISS training by adapting the intensity and time.


So we can choose to exercise for a shorter amount of time but to very high intensity, or at a much lower intensity but for longer. 


What burns more fat - HIIT or LISS?


Great question!


It would be easy to assume that LISS is better for calorie and fat burn, since it’s a longer exercise. But research suggests that in fact, working out for a shorter time period but to a higher intensity, actually burns more calories and therefore more fat. 


This is because after a LISS workout, we stop burning calories. But after a HIIT workout, we continue to burn calories as we need to consume more oxygen to get our bodies back to our normal resting state. This is called post exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, Excess Post Oxygen Consumption. 


EPOC is involved in not just getting our breathing back to normal, but in restocking our energy supplies, building lean muscle to repair the tears we’ve caused through exercise and rebalancing our hormones. Whilst the body is doing this after an intense workout, we’re continuing to burn more calories. 


Should I just be doing HIIT exercise?


Whilst HIIT exercise is great for fat burn and fitting in a short workout, we should still mix it with LISS exercise to keep things entertaining and to help increase our fitness. 


As with anything, keeping things exciting and different is the key to success, so keep up with your OYG plan, we’ve got everything covered for you, all you need to do is put the effort in! 



Workout with Davina McCall!

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