What is LISS and How Is It Different Than HIIT?
When it comes to cardiovascular exercise there are two popular types, namely LISS and HIIT. "LISS" is an acronym for "Low-Intensity Steady-State" while "HIIT" stands for "High Intensity Interval Training." They are at the opposite ends of the intensity spectrum and their names tell you exactly what you need to know – LISS is cardio performed at a low intensity while HIIT is done at a much higher level.
Walking at a comfortable pace is one of the most popular forms of cardio and is a great example of LISS exercise. In addition to walking, you can also perform LISS on the Treadclimber, an elliptical, a stationary bike, etc. All that matters is that you keep the intensity low.
HIIT incorporates short bursts of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise followed by periods of active recovery. A great example of HIIT is the 14-minute MAX workout on the Bowflex MAX. You do 25 seconds of cardiovascular exercise at a high intensity, then 80 seconds of recovery at a low intensity, repeating this pattern for just under 15 minutes. Like LISS, you can perform HIIT using various types of cardiovascular exercise and equipment including running, the rowing machine and a stationary bike, to name but a few.
So, the million-dollar question is often "Which is better, LISS or HIIT?" The short answer is that they both have value in a well-rounded fitness program. Both types of exercise confer different health and performance benefits. Doing any one type of exercise exclusively, no matter how effective, will lead to diminished results, boredom and burnout. So, when it comes to LISS and HIIT, mix it up.