The Dreaded Cardio!

hiit vs liss

So this is something I have wanted to talk about for a while because it was a whole new concept to me just a few months ago and now I cannot get enough! Basically these are two different types of cardio workouts that have different benefits based on what you are looking for/capable of. Now you may be saying what the heck do those letters means…. so lets break it down.

HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is a type of cardio routine that is one of the BEST ways to burn maximum calories. Interval training means a period of high intensity that gets your heart pumping, followed by a short period of low intensity that allows for recovery. HIIT burns mostly stored glucose cells because of the limited amount of oxygen the muscles are receiving while working out. This is called anaerobic exercise because the muscles are deprived of oxygen. There are many different ways to practice HIIT but here are two of the most common routines I have seen:

hiit tredmillHIIT







HIIT can be done on a treadmill, bike or elliptical or can be done by doing a specific exercise for some time then taking a short rest before starting the next exercise. HIIT workouts place a high demand on the body and muscles and it can take up to 24 hours for the muscles to restore. Additionally HIIT workouts have been known to increase stress and growth hormones which is not a totally bad thing, however the proper precautions should be taken to avoid burnouts. The one great thing about HIIT workouts is that it keeps your metabolism elevated for up to 8 hours after your workout!

LISS or Low Intensity Steady State is a much less demanding form of cardio and works aerobically to burn fat calories. LISS workouts are when you run, walk, cycle, swim, do yoga etc, for 45-60 minutes, keeping your heart and breathing rate steady and controlled. There are so many different types of LISS workouts. Basically anything that is getting your body moving for over 30 minutes, without you getting out of breath. Aerobic exercise means that there is plenty of oxygen for the muscles to use, allowing for quicker recovery. LISS workouts place little demand on the body meaning the recovery time is much quicker than that of HIIT. Aerobic exercises burn mostly fat calories during exercise, this unfortunately stops almost immediately after the workout is complete.

tredmill     swimming

Neither LISS or HIIT should be done every day, rather in conjunction with your regular workout routines. I learned about these different types of cardio through Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide. Her guide consists of 2: 7 minute circuits made up of 4 exercises each. Each circuit is repeated 2 times for a total of 28 minutes. With a few breaks in between it usually takes me 45 minutes to complete one workout. In addition to these daily circuits she recommends doing LISS 2 times a week if you are just beginning, then increasing to 2-3 and adding HIIT workouts as you advance. As you become stronger and are looking for the next challenge you can do up to 4 LISS workouts per week and 3-4 HIIT workouts in addition to the regular circuits.

There you have it, a simple break down of two awesome types of cardio routines! Whether you are a beginner, expert or don’t workout at all, I suggest adding one or more of these routines into your weekly plans! What are you waiting for… get out and get moving!

BONUS: This is an example of a legs circuit from version 1.legsWhile it may look simple, I challenge anyone to try it and feel the burn. Seriously… it frickin’ burns!





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