HIIT has been a huge topic of conversation over the last few years, with the likes of cross fit, F45 and more rising in popularity when it comes to ways for people to stay fit.
However, while HIIT has been trending, now some experts are suggesting that we should do the exact opposite with the rise of LISS training.
LISS stands for ‘low intensity steady state training’ and it is when you train at a steady state, such as 50% of your max heart rate, over an extended period of time. So a LISS workout may be a one hour walk, or running on the treadmill at a cruisy speed or riding a stationary bike. A HIIT workout, on the other hand, is hard and sweaty for a shorter period of time.
LISS is great for many reasons including:
Not many of us can do back to back HIIT workouts everyday, and if you do, you need to be aware of the inflammation and potential burnout that may occur as a result if you keep pushing yourself and don’t take time to recover.
Over time, around 45 to 60 minutes of LISS can help the body become conditioned to better use fat as a fuel source for your next workout.
While HIIT is still good for you, with studies indicating that high intensity exercise is more effective for burning kilojoules than typical cardio (treadmill, stationary biking, etc), ‘everything in moderation’ applies to many things in life, including intensity training.
In fact, if you push your body to the max too frequently it may break down due to having excess stress, which in turn may develop into high inflammation. Why? Because HIIT workouts are designed to push you to the max to cause your muscles and cardiovascular system to adapt, however as with anything, too much stress becomes distress so it’s important to recover accordingly when training at this intensity.
So while fitness marketing would have you believe that HIIT training is the only way to achieve your goals, it’s important to realise that movement integrity workouts such as yoga, specific strength training and animal flow are beneficial as well, especially for longevity. As a general rule of thumb, try to keep HIIT sessions to no more than three per week and try incorporating these lower intensity movements into your routine as well.
Ben is the owner and co- founder of Flow Athletic, an incredibly successful yoga and fitness studio based in Paddington. Prior to getting into the fitness industry, Ben was a professional NRL player for the Cronulla Sharks and a number of other teams. After finishing his stint with the NRL, he went on to own three very successful personal training studios and during that time he also turned to Ultra Endurance running.