I thought I'd start off my first blog post with an answer to a question I'm asked frequently. When it comes to cardio, which form is best for weight loss, HIIT or LISS? Well there is many an argument within the industry about which is best but the truth is both HIIT and LISS are effective in their own ways.
Stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Basically this involves short bursts of exercise at full exersion followed by a short break or less intense exercise recovery before another short burst. For example:
Sprint for 1 minute
Walk for 2 minutes (or rest completey)
Complete in intervals for 15-20 minutes
This is ONE basic example, there are thousands of ways you can put together a HIIT routine.
HIIT uses your anearobic system (the opposite of aerobic). This means your body's demand for oxygen exceeds the supply available and relies on energy sources that are stored in the muscles. As research suggests, HIIT is a little better for burning fat than LISS because when we train at this level of intensity, our bodies create the "After Burn" effect AKA: EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) in which calories continue to burn at rest for up to 38 hours post exercise. And then there are some other benefits:
Stands for Low Intensity Steady State which is where you perform at a medium level exertion for an extended period of time. For example, a 45 minute jog at a consistent pace.
The most fat is burnt in this form within the "fat burning zone" which occurs when you work at around 60-65% of you maximum heart rate (MHR).
While there are some fat loss benefits from this form of cardio training, it does not have the same after burn effect of HIIT. That said, it's other benefits are still strong within it's own rights::
Here's a little personal comparison for you. When I first started my fitness journey I was running every day and averaging weekly distances of 25-40km in conjunction with weight training 3-4 times a week. I was slim and lean yes but I was suffering from repetitive stress injuries and I couldn't gain the level of muscle I wanted because my aerobic system was literally eating away at my muscle to fuel my runs. I had your typical runner's physique and had no clue why I couldn't get the shapely, muscular curves I so desperately wanted.
As I learned more, I transitioned a little bit away from running (LISS) and added HIIT to my routine and I very quickly gained 5kg of muscle. I still run 2-3 times a week but now I do it to keep my cardiovascular system conditioned and to zen out or stretch out my aching muscles. I do enjoy a long beach walk in the sun with a coffee the day after leg day!
I personally recommend a combination of HITT, LISS and weight training because, like all things in life, it's about balance. But when it comes to choosing what's right for you, it really just boils down to your preferences, current health status and your fitness goals.
And like always, if you need any further info or would like to discuss your fitness goals, I'm happy to help!