First thing I hear when people decide to lose weight is “I’m going to start running tomorrow”. When they say running, they usually think about jogging and in so many cases they have no clue what makes a good cardio exercise.
Cardiovascular workout is any type of workout which increases your heart rate. Not all cardio exercises are same, and here is the basic difference:
LISS stands for low-intensity steady-state cardio. It means a long duration cardio exercise that keeps your heart rate somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of your maximum heart rate. This is what we call a fat burning zone. With that cardio exercise, the most of calories you burn comes from fat, because of its long duration. Once you finish with your LIIS workout, fat burning stops.
When to practice LIIS?
- If you are new to exercising, because HIIT requires very good conditioning
- If you are looking for an exercise that is easy to preform
- If you need an exercise that doesn’t require any equipment
- If you are overweight and preforming HIIT could cause you to get injured
- If you want to improve your aerobic capacity
- If you want a better blood flow
- If you want to improve heart strength
- If you are about to use cardio to burn calories, but you don’t have any stubborn fat to get rid off
- If you want a break from high intensity workouts
- In any other case, if you are just enjoying this kind of workout
HIIT is a short term for high- intensity interval training. Unlike LIIS, this kind of exercise combine high intensity intervals, followed by low intensity intervals or completely rest. For example, you sprint for a few seconds, then walk or rest for a period of time and you repeat the same again. In those high intensity intervals, your heart rate should be somewhere between 70 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate and in the intervals of rest or low intensity intervals, your heart rate won’t be less than 60 to 65 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Different then LIIS, doing a HIIT workout will burn more energy from stored glycogen, what makes HIIT an anaerobic exercise. After workout, you will increase oxygen intake, because you need oxygen to restore the body to a resting mode. It is excess post- exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Because of that, your body is put into afterburn mode, where you continue to burn calories several hours after you done with the exercise. Maybe it sounds too perfect and you are about to do HIIT every day, but too intensive workouts are not suitable for practicing every day. Since it is high – intensive, it is recommended to practice it 1 – 2 times per week.
When to do HIIT?
- If you are short with time
- If you are well trained and want to improve your endurance
- If you want to become faster
- If you have stubborn fat to get rid of, since high intensity workout mobilize fat cells better
- If you like to push yourself to the limits
- If you want to increase your metabolic rate
- If you want to put your body in the afterburn state
Every type of cardio has pros and cons and it is hard to tell which one is better or which one will make you more successful in fat loss. The key in moderation is to practice both of them, because the most important is to improve your health and avoid any injury. Switch between LISS and HIIT and get the best of both sides. Cardio doesn’t have to be boring anymore.