LISS stands for Low-Intensity Steady State cardio, and it involves performing aerobic exercise at a moderate, steady pace for an extended period. This type of cardio is in contrast to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest.
When you commence exercising, your body initially utilizes stored glycogen (sugar) in the muscles as its energy source. It typically takes approximately 20 minutes before your body recognizes a lack of sufficient muscle demands, prompting a shift to fat stores. This characteristic makes LISS cardio effective in preserving muscle tissue, and showing you that you dont have to do intense cardio sessions for maximum fat loss.
Benefits for Fat Burning:
- Fat Utilization: LISS primarily relies on the aerobic energy system, which uses a higher percentage of fat for fuel. This makes it effective for fat burning during the exercise session.
- Sustainable Energy: LISS is sustainable for longer durations, making it suitable for extended fat-burning sessions without causing excessive fatigue.
- Less Stress on Joints: Compared to high-impact exercises, LISS is generally gentler on joints, reducing the risk of injury.
- Increased Endurance: Regular LISS can improve cardiovascular endurance, enhancing your ability to perform other physical activities.
LISS is considered muscle-preserving because it doesn’t create the same muscle breakdown as high-intensity activities. It’s less likely to tap into muscle glycogen stores and doesn’t induce the same level of stress on the body.
Suitability for All Fitness Levels:
LISS is generally suitable for all fitness levels. Beginners can start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as their fitness improves. Advanced athletes may also incorporate LISS into their training regimen as active recovery or for specific goals like maximizing fat burning.
Preferred by Body Builders and Bikini Competition Models:
Many bodybuilders and bikini competition models incorporate LISS into their training routines, especially during cutting phases where the goal is to reduce body fat while preserving muscle mass. It complements weight training and high-intensity activities, providing a well-rounded approach to fitness.
How to Identify LISS:
LISS is characterized by a moderate and steady pace. Signs you are in the right zone include:
- You are slightly out of breath but not puffing and panting.
- Its hard to hold a conversation without drawing your breath in periodically but you can still talk.
- You have a thin layer of sweat on your back
You can also work our your fat burning zone for LISS by 220 minus your age then take 70% of that number e.g. If you are 54 years old then 220 – 54 = 166 x 70% = 116. If you are 35 years old it would be 220 – 35 = 185 x 70% = 130.
If you have a Smart Watch check your heart rate periodically to ensure its in this fat burning zone. If you are using equipment you can check it on the heart rate monitor. Otherwise, whilst a bit tricky, you can exercise and then stop, take your pulse for 10 seconds and times it by 6 OR take your pulse for 15 seconds and times it by 4 and ensure its in the fat burning zone.
Types of LISS:
Common examples include brisk power walking, walking on the treadmill on an incline, Stairmaster, elliptical and cycling at a moderate pace. If its cold, wet, raining etc outside and you cant powerwalk then there are LISS YouTube videos to do inside. We like @BurpeeGirlLISS and her easy weight loss videos to do at home. Try one HERE.
Have a dog? Be mindful if you walk your dog that it wont be LISS unless you are powerwalking with your dog without any stops!
Duration for Maximum Fat Burning:
The optimal duration for LISS depends on individual fitness levels and goals. Generally, sessions of 30 minutes to an hour, performed regularly, can contribute to fat loss. Consistency is key, and combining LISS with a balanced diet and other forms of exercise such as resistance can enhance overall results.
Some of our best results have been seen with those doing an hour of LISS 6 days a week and resistance 3 times a week!
Always consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have any existing health concerns or conditions.