HIIT vs LISS

Utsav Agrawal
Utsav Agrawal

 | 1 minute to read
Exercise Science
Within the context of cardiovascular work, there are two subcategories, LISS and HIIT. LISS stands for low-intensity steady-state, while HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. Let’s discuss LISS, think of LISS as a steady walk on a treadmill or a low-intensity bout on an elliptical or another piece of cardio equipment, as the name implies, it is a very low intensity, low output cardiovascular work.

Inversely, HIIT is relatively short bouts of very high intensity, high output cardiovascular work, think intervals of 100m sprints or intense interval training on a stationary bike or rowing machine. HIIT is one hundred percent output followed by a relatively short rest period, you could use work to rest ratios such as these for HIIT training, these combinations are just a few of the endless combinations you can use for HIIT training. Work/Rest 20/10 30/15 60/20 If we’re talking about cardiovascular work per unit time HIIT is king, in a study comparing HITT to MICT (moderate-intensity continuous training), both methods produced positive body composition improvements with little difference between groups, however, the group performing HIIT needed 40% less training time for required results(4). HIIT, when implemented within a program effectively, can be useful and an important tool at your disposal. So what method of cardio should you choose? Yes HIIT can be more effective for advance or intermediate lifters as more output in less time but HIIT, as compared to LISS, is VERY demanding on our bodies, requiring more recovery efforts such as quality sleep, nutrition, hydration, quality movement patterns, etc. Given the intensity of HIIT training, it also puts us at a higher risk for injury and overtraining, when the output is cranked up movement patterns break down, sometimes severely, if you are untrained or a novice gym-goer this breakdown happens sooner rather than later and can be detrimental to your long and short term health. Furthermore, HIIT is very psychologically taxing, especially for the general population just looking to feel better and lose weight. Reference- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28401638
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