Whether sling trainer exercises for the whole body or a sweaty Wilde Rope workout – until recently, high-intensity HIIT workouts were simply unbeatable in the fitness world and are very popular among athletes. And for good reason – after all, these short, blatant programs are super effective and shed the pounds in no time. However, as much as we love and appreciate these workouts, they are definitely not for everyone. LISS training is exactly the opposite of HIIT workouts and has been gaining popularity for a few months now. We do longer training units with a lower intensity, which boosts fat burning and promotes our basic endurance. The training method is an excellent and worthwhile alternative for anyone who wants to tone their body without putting too much effort into it. Sounds great, doesn’t it? You can find out exactly how LISS training works and what’s behind it in our article!
LISS is a fairly new term in the fitness world and stands for “Low Intensity Steady State” or in German – a cardio workout with low intensity. The fitness trend is incredibly gentle on our body and joints, is said to strengthen the heart and is considered a real calorie killer! If you are a beginner or want to recover from an injury or surgery and still stay in shape, then this training method would be for you. And the best thing? You don’t necessarily have to sign up for a gym to do this!
What is LISS training and how does the training method work?
In contrast to the popular HIIT Tabata workout, where short, high-intensity exercise phases alternate with short breaks and our pulse is driven up, with LISS training we train at a moderate pace for a longer period of time. Contrary to popular belief, low intensity cardio offers some great benefits for fat loss, our fitness levels, and overall health. The reason for this is that, due to the low intensity, the body uses nutrients and fat pads directly for energy production, and not our muscles. A “slow to moderate” pace means that we have to train with around 50 to 65 percent of our maximum heart rate, depending on our fitness level. The rule of thumb in a HIIT workout is that if you can talk to someone while exercising without getting out of breath, then you are at the right level. So it’s a great way to spend time with friends and family and do something good for our body at the same time. Scientific studies have shown that longer, low-intensity cardio sessions improve the body’s oxygen uptake, reduce stress and have a positive effect on blood pressure. Here we have to mention that while LISS training is an effective way to lose weight, it also takes more time to achieve the desired results.
One of the greatest advantages of LISS training is that it fits easily into your lifestyle. Some of the sports that are perfect for a LISS workout are, for example, jogging, power walking, cycling, swimming and all cardio machines in the gym. You can choose any physical activity you want, as long as you keep your heart rate in the recommended range and exercise for at least 40 minutes. But these numbers mean nothing to you and you wonder how you can determine your maximum heart rate?
- Here we have a calculation example for you: 210 – (0.5 x your age in years) – (0.11 x weight in kilograms). For example, if you are 25 years old and weigh 60 kilograms, the result is: 210 – (0.5 x 25) – (0.11 x 60) = 210 – 12.5 – 6.6 = 190.9 – that is Your maximum heart rate. 60% of that would be 114.40 beats per minute.
What are the benefits of the LISS workout for our health?
LISS Training is a great exercise method for a number of reasons and, like other sports, offers numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower risk of heart disease, and improved brain function. In addition, it is easily accessible to people of all fitness levels and ages. After all, anyone can open the front door and take a long walk in the park.
- LISS workouts improve heart health and blood circulation – Due to the longer duration of LISS training, our body has to work under constant pressure for at least 40-50 minutes. This in turn forces the heart to beat at a strong and steady pace so that enough oxygen is absorbed in the blood. This process improves blood flow and respiratory health, and can also lower blood pressure.
- It’s perfect for everyone – Regardless of whether you are a professional athlete or just starting your fitness journey – everyone can benefit from a LISS workout. Since you can build up your fitness slowly and continuously without overwhelming yourself right from the start, the training method is especially ideal for beginners. LISS workouts are a great addition to your strength training. First lift weights and then take a walk through nature for an hour – the perfect combination for a toned body!
- LISS training for fat loss – When we exercise with a low heart rate in the range of 120-140 beats per minute, the body uses our fat reserves for energy and not the glycogen from the muscles, as is the case with HIIT. Due to the lower intensity and the longer duration of training, more oxygen is available to our body and the more oxygen we give the body, the more calories we can burn. A 2014 study found that LISS training is much more effective than a HIIT workout for fat loss in severely overweight people. And the best thing is that it is completely free and therefore perfect for everyone who doesn’t feel like paying overpriced gym membership fees and doesn’t want to work out at home.
- Shorter regeneration and lower risk of injury – Due to the moderate pace, LISS training is much gentler on the joints than high-intensity interval training. In addition, due to the low intensity, overloading with this training method is almost impossible. If you’ve done some tough strength training during the week or you’re just tired, LISS training is a great way to still train gently and effectively. The low level of exertion during the workout automatically means that it will take you less time to fully recover. This allows you to easily do 2-3 workouts per week.
Which sports are suitable for a LISS training??
The possibilities of adding a LISS workout to your fitness routine are literally endless. As we have already explained to you, this training method is a cardio training with low intensity and a duration of 30 to 60 minutes, with 30 minutes being the absolute minimum. So choose less strenuous sports that you can do over a longer period of time. For example, if you are a member of a fitness studio, you are in good hands with cardio equipment such as treadmills, cross trainers, exercise bikes and a rowing machine. However, if you prefer to exercise outdoors, you can go on a bike ride or take a short hike in the mountains. Fast walking, also known as power walking, is another excellent form of the LISS workout. According to scientific studies, taking a long walk outdoors can stimulate the release of endorphins in the body, which reduces stress and makes us feel happier. So call your best friend quickly and take a nice walk to shed the excess pounds!
Other popular leisure activities are swimming, skateboarding or surfing in summer. But doing the same movement over and over for a long time can become quite boring in the long run and ruin our motivation to exercise. Because of this, it’s important to choose something that you really enjoy. It would also be helpful if you switch sports every now and then. So you can go jogging the first week and cycling or swimming the next week. Professional athletes can use the LISS training for an “active day of rest”. Intense strength training day after day without rest and relaxation can lead to serious injuries or even burnouts and depression. A low-intensity cardio session allows your body to recover while you still include some form of exercise in your day. For lasting results and toning your body, try to do between 3 and 4 LISS workouts per week.