LISS Training

What’s Included?

  • What is LISS?
  • Benefits of LISS
  • Comparing LISS to HIIT
  • Incorporating LISS into your training

What is LISS?

LISS is an acronym for Low Intensity Steady State movement. In the world of exercise, it is the opposite of HIIT which is High Intensity Interval Training. Let’s start by breaking LISS down a little bit further into the two parts: Low-Intensity and Steady-State.

LOW INTENSITY:

You engage in LISS anytime you participate in movement, activity, or exercise at an intensity and stay UNDER 60-65% of your max heart rate for approximately 30 minutes (think walking, light cycling, light swimming, yoga, etc). Rather than pushing yourself hard and working up a sweat, LISS is typically done at an easy, relaxed, effort (a 1-4 out of 10 challenge level on the RPE scale). When doing LISS, you should be able to maintain a conversation and speak easily without losing your breath.

STEADY-STATE:

This refers to the fact that your effort should be the same throughout the entire time you’re engaging in the activity, exercise, or movement. Rather than doing intervals of rest and work, steady-state movement is done at a steady and constant intensity the whole way through.


Benefits of LISS

LISS has many benefits, especially for runners (both new and experienced)!

First –

LISS is easier to do than it’s more intense or vigorous types of movement! If you’re brand new to running or exercising & you’re trying to build consistency to stick with the habit, then incorporating more LISS movement into your weekly schedule can be an easy way to make some huge progress.

Second –

In addition to FEELING easier, it’s also easier on your body. Since it’s done at a lower intensity, it is both safer and easier to recover from than more intense workouts. Not only is it easier to recover from, it can actually promote recovery if you’re someone who trains at higher intensities. After a hard workout, a nice easy walk can help to get blood flowing again & promote recovery within your muscles.

Third –

Outside of these benefits, LISS can improve your overall cardio and it burns fat as the primary fuel source. This is because your body needs oxygen in order to break down fat, and lower intensity forms of exercise leave the most oxygen available in your body to metabolize and break down the fat as fuel.


Comparing LISS to HIIT

When trying to figure out which one is BEST – the answer is that there is NO best, there is only best for YOUR specific goals. LISS and HIIT each have their advantages and disadvantages:

LISS TAKES LONGER THAN HIIT

It takes longer to walk 3 miles than to run 3 miles – that’s just the facts. So for those who are trying to make their workouts as efficient as possible due or have limited time to workout, LISS might be harder to incorporate. Instead, you could try to incorporate LISS more regularly throughout your day to day schedule & life by doing things like parking further away, taking the stairs, walking while on the phone, etc.

LISS IS LESS TAXING ON YOUR BODY THAN HIIT

It takes less time to recover from an LISS session than a HIIT session – and it doesn’t add as much to your overall training load.

HIIT IMPROVES PERFORMANCE FASTER THAN LISS

While LISS will improve your cardio and endurance with time and consistency, it won’t push you to new levels as quickly and efficiently as HIIT sessions will.

HIIT BURNS MORE CALORIES BUT LISS BURNS MORE FAT

That may sound confusing but HIIT is a more efficient workout & will burn more calories as a result. However, LISS uses fat as the primary fuel source while HIIT typically relies on stored carbs as fuel – so LISS will burn more fat than HIIT.

While both serve their own purpose, it’s important to remember that balance is KEY. It may take some trial and error, but typically about 20% of your movement and exercise should be done at a higher intensity (so you can keep pushing your limits and making progress).


Incorporating LISS

Whether you’re a new runner or experienced, incorporating some LISS in your week (walking, biking, yoga, etc.) can be a great way to keep building your cardio base so that you can continue to build up your training.

Use it to Build Your Base:

There are ENDLESS ways to incorporate LISS into your training, but here are a few helpful tips:

Use it as Recovery:

You can work it into your schedule throughout the week after those harder sessions to get the blood flowing again & promote recovery.

Use it to Unwind:

Incorporating more joyful and easy movement can be a great way to relieve some stress, have some fun, and try new things.

Amy Haas
Run with Aim, LLC
UESCA Certified Running Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Certified Nutrition Coach

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