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Cardio For Fat Loss: High Intensity Interval Training Cardio Vs Low Intensity Steady State Cardio

Why is it that cardio is always the hot topic of fitness discussion and seems to be the fix all solution to burning fat?

As we have all learned and I have written about in the past that cardio is not the fix all solution when it comes to body compositional changes anymore. New times have rolled in and we have tons of research studies proving that weight lifting is far more superior for fat loss and body compositional changes. But, even though we have these new findings, people still don’t get it and people still want to sit on the bikes reading magazines about Kim Kardashian’s divorce for hours and hours. Do as you please, but I know I’m one of those types of people that want to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to training. This leads me to write about what is the right type of cardio for you?

I will be doing a comparison on HIIT cardio vs LISS cardio, since these two forms of cardio are used the most. By the end of this article you will have a really good idea of what kind of cardio is right for you and how to effectively use it.

David Bickley Photography

What in the world do these crazy acronyms HIIT and LISS mean?

HIIT stands for High intensity interval training, which consists of short sprint intervals coupled with low-moderate intensity work. An example of this would be a 30 second sprint followed by a 4 minute steady pace walk to cool down and bring your heart rate back to normal and then repeating it. LISS stands for Low intensity steady state cardio, which consists of purely low-moderate intensity work. An example of this would be walking on the treadmill or riding the bike and being able to hold a conversation (we tend to see a lot of this at gyms).

Now that you have a basic understanding of the two forms, let’s dive into some more detailed stuff.

LT & AD

Why testing the lactate threshold (LT) and anaerobic threshold (AT) is a good idea? The AT and LT are extremely powerful predictors of performance in aerobic exercise (cardio). There are 2 ways that muscle can burn glucose (blood sugars) and that is through aerobic work (with air) and anaerobic work (without air). For example, long bouts of LISS cardio is considered aerobic work and weight training or HIIT cardio can be classified as anaerobic work. The AT and LT are a great test for HIIT and LIIS cardio because it gives a great predictor of which type of work produces ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP is a quick burst of energy that we get in our muscles when we contract them (Ex: every time you do a bicep curl, you are getting a quick burst of ATP). HIIT produces better changes in exercise capacity as opposed to LISS cardio. High intensity training will hit the AT and LT, that’s what causes the body to make metabolic changes. When you are doing LISS, you are considered below the AT and LT.

A simple test is being able to hold a conversation while doing cardio. When doing HIIT you are above the AT and LT and when you are above the AT and LT you push for greater improvement in metabolism which thus leads to better fat loss over time.

How can you change your metabolism?

(1) If you want to change your metabolism, you have to increase muscle mass and increase your muscle’s oxidative capacity. Your muscles have these energy producing units called ‘mitochondria’ and this is where ATP are made and fats are burned.

The more mitochondria you have and the more active they are the greater oxidative capacity you will have for fat loss. HIIT increases mitochondrial capacity and you actually increase the amount of mitochondria you produce. Studies show that you get greater fat loss through high intensity training because of the increase in oxidative capacity. Whereas with LISS you’re only burning calories at that precise moment, there’s no 24 hour energy expenditure (boost in metabolism) and it hurts you down the line because your body adjusts to it and you end up needing more to lose fat. With HIIT you are burning calories at the moment but you actually change the muscles metabolism and it boosts your metabolism because you increase the mitochondria density of your muscle, so you increase the muscles oxidative capacity and you really do burn more calories. What most people don’t realize is you have to put your body in an uncomfortable mode and use the max energy expenditure.

It’s supposed to hurt when you’re doing HIIT and if it’s hurting, you’re in an uncomfortable mode and that means you’re doing it right.

The body is very adaptive

(2)We tend to see a lot of people doing hours and hours a week of LISS and according to calculations they should be losing pounds, but they can’t lose anything because your metabolism adjusts to low intensity exercise. It just doesn’t cut it because it’s just a calorie burn at that time, not 24 hour energy expenditure. If you do LISS all the time, you’re basically trading calories in and calories out and you can cut these same calories through diet and still get the same effects.

Ex: You burn 200 calories over 30 min of LISS, you can cut out 200 calories through carbs or fat and get the same effect as opposed to getting a 24 hour energy expenditure through HIIT cardio.

Alex Ardenti Photography

Research

(3) A study conducted by Wilson et al. From the University of Tampa, FL, shows when you add in LISS you get a temporary boost in weight loss. Subjects lost a couple of pounds the first week and after that they lost nothing. This happened because their metabolism completely adjusted to that and that became their new set point to what they had to do just to maintain. LISS with a low calorie diet is terrible for fat loss and could cause muscle loss. During a low calorie diet, LISS cardio is more catabolic (muscle wasting) towards muscle as opposed to HIIT cardio being much more muscle sparing.

The reason being that your metabolism gets so adjusted to LISS and you constantly have to do more and more and people don’t understand when you are on a low calorie diet, it usually ends up being low carb, so once you are glycogen depleted (stored carbs in muscle), your body is going to look for energy to rely on and guess what it goes after? Protein! Once it goes after protein, then you start to see catabolism (muscle wasting).

Further Studies

(4) In the same study by Wilson et al. It showed that LISS caused more muscle loss than HIIT. HIIT caused more muscle retention because when you’re doing LISS (say fast paced walking) you’re not activating muscles the same way as if you were lifting weights. So when you sprint you have hip flexion, knee extension, and these are all weightlifting movements. HIIT is another way to overload the muscle. Just compare a sprinters body composition to marathon runners, more muscle mass! So, it’s really hard to argue with this study because the point about HIIT activating hip and knee movements. Hip flexion and knee extension are the same movements when doing leg workouts. Also, by doing high intensity work you are activating muscle fibers and anytime you activate muscle fibers you are primed for growth. LISS unfortunately can’t stimulate muscle fibers the same way.

(5) In another study done by Naito et al. From Juntendo University in Japan, found that in rats, the enhancement of satellite cell pool caused by endurance training is influenced not by the duration but by the intensity of the exercise.

So, I know most of you are saying well that was done in rats, but rats are very good models for protein synthesis (making of new proteins in muscle tissue) & metabolism because they have similar responses to amino acids and their metabolism. Also, for those that don’t know about satellite cells, increasing the number of satellite cells is necessary in humans because it leads to makings of new muscle fibers and the more muscle fibers you have, the more muscle growth occurs. So, what’s interesting about this finding in this study is that when the rats performed HIIT, they got muscle stimulation and that’s because HIIT overloads the muscle. When the rats performed LISS, there was no activation in satellite cell pool.

So, it shows that when it comes to cardio, the intensity matters more over the duration.

LISS

Now I know a lot of you have gotten the hint as to why HIIT cardio is more advantageous to LISS cardio for muscle retention and fat loss and it seems as if I totally bashed LISS cardio to the ground.

But, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that LISS is useless. I’m a big believer in doing both HIIT and LISS combined. Here are the following reasons why:

  • You can’t do HIIT 5-6 days a week because eventually it will have a negative impact on your weight training and interfere with growth
  • Many people have legitimate orthopedic, cardiac, and even psychological reasons to avoid HIIT, so LISS is their only option
  • HIIT could be dangerous if not used right and could lead to injury
  • HIIT and LISS on either a combined, cyclical, or rotational basis seems to be the best formula in my opinion

So to sit there and say that HIIT is hands down more superior than LISS for improvement in body composition is as bad as saying that 6 reps per set is better than 20. I’m a firm believer that both HIIT and LISS cardio have unique benefits unto themselves. I feel they both should be incorporated into your routines since each have specifically different effects.

The Bottom Line

Do the type of cardio that you have a personal preference for. Whichever one fires you up the most because you’ll most likely work harder at it. HIIT is quicker, proves to be more effective for fat loss, creates metabolic changes, and helps with muscle retention but not everybody can do HIIT. LISS is safer, but takes twice as long to accomplish similar things and it still has its place for fat loss in moderate amounts, from a pure calorie burning standpoint (meaning only to burn calories & not make changes to your metabolism). My intentions weren’t to favor one form of cardio and bash the other, even though it sounded like that. My intent was to educate and notify you that times have changed and science is proving some good stuff with HIIT cardio. But at the end of the day it’s up to you on what kind of cardio suits you best.

Hopefully, after reading this article you should have a really good idea of what kind of cardio is right for you and how to effectively use it.

Author: Chris Martinez

References:

  • (1, 2) Layne E. Norton
  • (3, 4) Wilson, et al. Concurrent Training: A Meta Analysis Examining Interference of Aerobic and Resistance Exercise. University of Tampa, FL. J Strength Conditioning.
  • (5) Naito, et al. Satellite cell pool enhancement in rat plantaris muscle by endurance training depends on intensity rather than duration. Juntendo University, Japan. Acta Physiologica. 2011 Oct.
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61 Comments

  1. Tony says:

    When preparing for my comp I did a combination of HIIT (hill sprints) 2x/week and LISS 4x45min walks. I incorporated both for optimal results. Nice article Chris

  2. EFJK says:

    Fantastic article!

  3. roger says:

    High intensity cardio is more challenging and less boring. I’ve always been a fan of HIIT

  4. Andy says:

    Great article, thanks!

  5. PeterDownUnder says:

    Usually after the intense weight training session we all should be doing till the point of puking people would have trouble going for a HIIT run in the park even after hours of rest on the same day.

    If you have an intense weight training routine already implemented that alone will give you a massive metabolic boost and if you’re trying to cut a low carb lower calorie diet will shed the fats away whilst retaining the muscles that we earned through our workouts.

    Obviously contest prep is different where you must force yourself to extreme levels for that 3% body fat and dehydration for the one day show. But for most of us just trying to look our best everyday a clean diet and intense workouts will do the job.

  6. Ty says:

    ^ what roger said

  7. Moose says:

    HIIT all the way!

  8. Sourabh Agarwal says:

    Great Article.. ! thanks..

  9. Rampage says:

    Awesome article! Couple of dumb questions though… A fairly steady (speeds between 35-38kph) 30 minutes on an exercise bike, that is considered LISS right? And doing say, 30-45 seconds flat out as fast as you can cycling with a 3 minute steady cycle in between, that would be HIIT right?

    I’m training for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so I want to achieve a good balance of both cardio and muscle mass.

  10. Danny Boy says:

    Nice article! I much prefer short bursts of HIIT at the end of my weight training sessions compared to long slow cardio sessions!

  11. FitOverFat says:

    Great article ! I’m constantly encouraging my fitness friends to do more HIIT types of training/cardio so it’s nice to see an article that has the same view point as myself.

  12. haole says:

    What about medium to high intensity steady state? Like a fast jog for 3 miles or a faster jog for 1 mile?

    I prefer doing HIIT mainly because it helps maintain or increase my V02 max and it requires less time. It’s even better now that I know its better for muscle retention!

  13. Greg says:

    What this article does not go into – which it probably doesn’t need to for the authors purposes – is which method of cardio to do while resctricting calories as you get closer to competition? When you’re dialed in on calories you HAVE TO BE SUPER CAREFUL on what cardio routine you follow and the amount.

  14. Troy says:

    @haole:

    The main requirement of HIIT is to spike your heart rate and bring it back to baseline, you can not substitute this by doing a medium paced jog or a mile run.. we also want to keep this anerobic and use our fast twitch fibres (as HIIT as shown to increase muscle mass) again, a jog or a medium pace run will not suffice

  15. linckej says:

    Nice Article I need to incorporate more HIIT

  16. Troy says:

    @Rampage…

    Just do HIIT – You will enjoy it

  17. tby says:

    haha I just wanted to write “dont bash LISS to hard” than u wrote my point. but also 1 point misses.
    It’s as easy as that:
    your body saves as much energy as possible and always gets into a shape where the body is able to save as much energy as possible.

    if u wanna lose fat and u have a calorie deficit without doing any sports u will lose muscles. why? theyre not used so theyre not needed. body safes as much fat as possible as energy source in the “needy” time (in the time you have a calorie, so ENERGY deficit)

    so while having the calorie deficit train EVERY muscle. No matter how.

    okay HIIT is better than LISS – but! : while being on diet and having a low carb diet ur ability for HIIT is very limited.

  18. tayo says:

    nice article, very informative!

  19. Kasper says:

    Interesting reading. Currently I’m doing a HIIT Spinning session every wednesday and saturday, and LISS 12% 30 min mon, tue, thurs and fri.. Walking session. Works for me :)

  20. Lucas says:

    Awesome Article!! enjoyed reading it. As a Running Back, alot of my workout is based on cardio and endurance, and after trying both HIIT and something a liiitle beyond liss, i gotta say that HIIT does way more for ya in the long run. First article i read in here by the way, looks promising !

  21. Godwin says:

    Love it great article.

  22. Rampage says:

    @Troy

    I want to start doing HIIT, but how is it for building cardio? As I mentioned, I train in BJJ, so I need good cardio to last 10+ minutes rolling. From what I read, HIIT is good for not burning muscle mass, but how is it for actually building cardio?

  23. Sarah says:

    Finally someone who knows what they’re talking about. This is what I tell my clients and I’ve been preaching it ever since I learned it in my exercise physiology class a few years back.

  24. barbosa says:

    wow this article is probabily the best I have read in this site really amazing!

  25. AC says:

    Great article. Would love more science to back it up, all in all, good.

  26. NinjaB says:

    J U S T__________ G R E A T !

  27. gemma says:

    Cardio is the key to all results in getting that extra edge. Outstanding Article.

  28. Nafiz says:

    Thanks for the article, very informative.

  29. Kitesurfing says:

    I heard that kitesurfing burns more than 1000 kcal per hour. Could perhaps be a fun and great solution to burn fat :)

  30. master says:

    Great article, for all those doubting HIT, just try it. I know those cutting for a show on low carb/calorie diet say it doesnt favour HIT but trust me the only thing favouring LISS is your willpower. Man up and go for HITT, its far less catabolic, only needs 2-3 sessions a week for maximum 20-30 mins including warmup as opposed to 45 mins every day, and some on an empty stomach! Madness, Fat is the last thing your body wants to get rid of, doing LISS only makes your body burn muscle for energy as its not needed for duration work yet still needs to be lighter to survive, HITT requires your body to be lighter but its vital to hang onto muscle as they are needed for explosive work, so your body will boost its metabolism and use stored fat as energy over a longer period. I know it worked for me, just try it and see if it works for you:)

  31. HIIT RULES says:

    I LIKE HIIT BETTER!

  32. scott says:

    great article, love this site. anyone know where i can find some great hitt workouts.thanks

  33. Brad says:

    @Rampage
    Doing HITT will build your cardio base and allow you to sustain repeated maximal efforts. You will recover faster from maximal efforts in-turn avoiding gassing out to early. Although BJJ rolling is not like sprinting, beginners will admit how quickly you will gas. This is a result of the movements being a high intensity which you need to repeat over and over. You need to be able to go hard then recover as fast as possible which in essense is HITT. Anyone can jog for 3-5min at a time. It takes a big tank to be able to roll at 100% for 5min at a time. BJJ is definately a HIIT sport.

  34. Niko says:

    Great review of the different types of cardio and when they should be used. Like you say there is no one size fits all when it comes to cardio for fat loss. Personally I have been trying a combination of HIIT, Crossfit and Weight Training to attain a 9% bodyfat percentage. I have been posting all my workouts here http://www.noexcusefitness.com.au/category/nikos-training/ for those that are interested.

  35. Oliver Belanger says:

    i am doing HIIT 4-5 days a week. i do a good warm-up for 10 minutes, starting with a walk and increasing speed at every minute. than, i do my interval (60 seconds at 12 miles par hour follow by 2 minutes at 7 miles per hours) i do 5 to 8 interval for a total of 30 to 40 minutes in my cardio session.

    my workout look like this

    thursday : HIIT cardio in the morning (35-40 minutes)

    friday : HIIT cardio (25-30 minutes) in the morning
    friday night : full body workout
    1-barbell squat 5 x 8-12
    2- deadlift 4 x 5-8
    3- clean and press 4 x 5-8
    4a- dumbbell shrugs 3 x 6-10
    4b- T-bar row 3 x 6-8

    saturday : no cardio, only upper body 1
    1a- dumbbell chest press 4 x 5-8
    1b- weight pull-up 4 x 6-8
    2a- close-grip bench press 4 x 8-12
    2b- ez-bar biceps curls 3 x 6-8

    sunday : off

    monday : no cardio, only upper body 2
    1a- bench press 4 x 8-10
    1b- weight chin-up 4 x 6-8
    2a- barbell shoulders press 3 x 6-8
    2b- bent over barbell row 3 x 6-8
    3a- weight dips 3 x 8-10
    3b- dumbbell shrugs 2 x 6-10

    tuesday : HIIT cardio in the morning (30-35 minutes)
    tuesday night : lower body
    1- deadlift 5 x 5-8
    2- barbell squat 5 x 8-12
    3- power clean 5 x 5-8

    wednesday : off

    I see very good results. i dont growth has fast as i would like, but, my conditioning level and my stamina increase a lot. I feel so in shape. mu body fat percentage is very low, and my muscle look bigger while i become ripper. if i want, i can add an other session of cardio if i want to be leaner, or if i want to become bigger, i do less cardio and i put and other weight lifting session. i like the old school olympic lift to help me protect my muscle mass.
    what do you think about my routine ?

  36. shan says:

    Very Informative article …. I really like it!!

  37. Callie says:

    Love the article. My trainer always says doing more than 30 minutes of cardio is a waste of your time, and if you can hold a convo, then the whole thing is a waste. I am a slow runner as is but have been adding running 5k’s once a week to my exercise routine (aka 2 days of strength training at bootcamp and one day of hot yoga. I am also training for tough mudder and need that cardio stregnth to make it through. BUT i do do bursts like my trainer taught me. I ALWAYS choose the hill variation on the treadmill and I bust up into a sprint about 3-4 times (a sprint for one song, go back to normal jog for 2, etc) during the run. I love it, its great for my lungs and it sure is tough! I feel like as long as its hard to get through, its making me stronger.

  38. My recipe for my 50 pound weight loss in 18 months:

    no more chronic cardio.
    2x weight/week
    sprint session
    eat paleo!

    -> and I can eat as much eggs and dark chocolate as I want. YES!!!!!!!!!

  39. master says:

    Best Hitt cardio is 20 seconds flat out sprint, 10 seconds static rest, for 8 sets (total 4 minutes). Choose the cardio of yor choice, i like the treadmill, I set it at maximun incline and do a 5-10 minute warmup at walking pace. Then step aside, increase speed to as fast as you can handle, and sprint for 20 seconds, this should be a struggle and you should not be able to run at this pace for any longer, if you can then it is not fast enough. When the first sprint is finished grab hold of treadmill and step feet either side for your 10 second rest, this is your first set. As soon as the 10 seconds is up jump back on and go for another 20 second sprint, at the end of this you should be in some considerable discomfort, take your next 10 second rest. You have now completed 2 sets taking just 1 minute, now as you continue you may need to lower your sprint speed slightly by 1 0r 2 mph every few sets, thats fine as long as your giving your all, you will notice that 10 seconds isnt enough time to get your breath back, but thats what forces over time your body to recover more effiently. This is not for the faint hearted, it hurts, but it forces your body to make those adaptive responces by raising your metabolism to burn fat over a 24 to 48 hour period, your body will also have to hold onto muscle as it is needed to carry out explosive sprint work. Aim for 8 straight sets 2-3 times a week, you may find after 8 sets that your able to take a couple of minutes rest and shoot for another 8 sets, thats good, after several weeks of this training i was able to do the 8 set cycle 3 times in one workout. Try this training on the rower, cross trainer, bike, or even punch bag and let us know your results, Good luck everyone!

  40. Megan says:

    HIIT all the way, I use it for my training alot more benefits for me as a runner!!

  41. gagan says:

    awesome

  42. Benny Blanco says:

    B to the Bad Ass Article!!!

    Check out my simple HITT routine which leaves me in shambles and is super easy to perform. I use the Precor/Elliptical machine at my gym. I choose the Pyramid Hill course for 25 min. After a 5 min Warm-up it’s on. Starting at Min 5 I go from 4 to 10 (speed) and push myself for 60 seconds of full-out HITT. As soon as I finish the HITT minute I go back to 3 or 4 and catch my breath keeping this pace for another 60 seconds. I repeat this and as it gets harder (climbing the pyramid) I push myself even harder during the HITT minute. When I get to the last 5 minutes I change it up and if I’m feeling really good I’ll go for a 90 sec HITT session followed by 60 sec of rest. When I hit 25 minutes I can barely stand-up straight. The people next to me probably think I’m crazy while they read their books/kindles/ect but what they don’t know is that I just did more in 25min then they’ll achieve in the entire week. Think Rocky!!! “GIVE EVERYTHING – LEAVE NOTHING”

  43. Adolfo says:

    Great article, thanks you!

  44. Patrick PNuT Monroe says:

    Great Read!!! Thx

  45. Porth! says:

    Great article!!!!!!!! if I am understanding correct, with 20-25 min of good HIIT training (i liked the master routine…) 2-3 times per week burns more fat than running (speed: 6.5 miles / hr) 30-45 min 4-5 times a week???? This will give me more time for weight lifting….

  46. Oliver Belanger says:

    Porth, this is true.

    each time i do an HIIT session in the evening, i see results directly the next day when i wake up.

    i recommand you to do at least 10 minutes of warm-up, than, push you to the limit.

    last week, i try a new treadmill, and his max speed was 14,5 miles per hours. normaly, my treadmill go to 12 miles par hours. this is my sprint speed. it mean, that, after 60 seconds of sprint, i cannot do anymore, and need at least 105 seconds for recuperation at 7 miles per hour, and the other 15 seconds (to make the 120) is the time the treadmill need to get his max speed.

    So, at 14,2 miles per hours, i could not do more than 50 seconds for the 4 first sprint, and the other 2, i could only to 45 seconds, which is still very good.

    remember, if you feel you can do an other sprint after only one minute of recuperation, your speed sprint is to low. be sure to push yourself to the limit during your sprint.

  47. eric m says:

    great article, get off the elliptical..you’ll be glad once the zombies come

  48. Daniel says:

    Man can you show us some HIIT excercises, just to ad them to my routine

  49. Callie says:

    Awesome article!!! I’ve been doing HIIT for a bit now, as a train for the tough mudder, but never heard of LISS….seeing as i’ve been keeping my caloric intake low due to trying to lose some excess fat, LISS may be really helpful on those drained days. Thanks!

  50. StingRayy says:

    Awesome article, thanx man

  51. AK says:

    Oliver, if you can do HIIT4-5 times a week, then what you’re doing is not truly HIIT. The intensity should be so high that you need a day to recover. When I do HIIT, I do 5-10 intervals with 30 seconds maximum intensity followed by 60-90 seconds low intensity. On some of the intervals, I can’t even make it to the 30 second mark. If I were to do this type of workout 4-5 times a week, I would burnout. Now you may say you have a good recovery capacity. But that’s precisely my point. If you’re able to recover so quickly, then you’re not not pushing yourself hard enough.

  52. AK says:

    There seems to be an either-or mentality in the fitness world. You have people who say all cardio is bad and that you should only do weight training. You have people who say only low rep weight training is good and that MRT workouts are a waste of time. And in cardio circles, you have the HIIT vs. steady state crowd. No one wants to admit that all of these things have value. Speaking strictly for myself, I’ve found that the best approach is to incorporate all of these things. I do steady state, but not enough where I’m losing muscle. I do HIIT, but not so much that I burnout. My weight training consists mostly of low reps, but also includes high rep sets. This has allowed me to shed fat and retain muscle better than the “do only this, not that” attitude that so many in the fitness world have.

  53. Ok, some things that need to be cleared up. They both work, but LISS does not by itself reduce muscle mass. Your body adapts and makes itself more efficient for what you routinely place on it. The article brings up a marathon runners body vs a sprinter, but most marathon runners that’s all they do is run for hours on end! They’re not lifting weights and trying to add muscle mass, they’re trying to get better at running longer amounts of time. If you do LISS, but you’re routinely challenging yourself to progressively higher heights with the weights, you’ll be just fine. And when in a caloric deficit, you’re gonna lose some muscle regardless. Also on a side note, I will bring up recovery. If you’re doing HIIT on the treadmill 3-4x a week, its going to be a LOT harder to recover from a good leg day vs hitting yourself at a lower intensity, and of course we all know we grow outside the gym not in. My two cents yeh. Would love some comments back. Cheers

    ~Fredo

  54. Josh says:

    I’ve been doing different sprint variations no more than 4 times per week and I’m staying “shredded” and gaining lean muscle! (Proper nutrition of course) Love it!

  55. Jay says:

    @Rampage,

    While HIIT will definitely assist you in your MMA fights, you will also need to work on your steady state cardio in order to not get gassed after a short amount of time. Unless you are able to Do 5 minutes of HIIT, rest for 1 and do another 5 minutes (like during a fight) you will have to incorporate LISS into your workout routines. I like to have my guys do HIIT 3 days per week, where they roll non-stop for two minutes, rest for 1 and roll again for 2 minutes. The other 2 days, I will do LISS for 45 minutes (depending on what I am doing that is). I will keep increasing the HIIT (typically) on a weekly basis where they are able to competitively roll for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes rest for 90 seconds and roll again for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Ultimately, it will depend on the individual and how their body responds. You certainly don’t want to overtrain and cause injury. HIIT and LISS are very dependent on individuals…play around with them both and you will find what works best for you and your situation!

  56. ErnieCR says:

    Great article.
    I usually do cardio (running)every other day for thirty mins.

    the first ten: increase in speed

    second ten: (hiit) where i do 1 min fast 1 min reg 1 min uphill 1 min reg, alternating

    the last ten: i maintain a steady uphill pace

    My weight has dropped significantly as well as my body fat. I really have considered this to be the best method for fat bursting and this article simply convinced me even furhter.

  57. james says:

    Great article

    @Fredo,
    I was lifting hard and running long distance for three years. I would burn off as much muscle as fat. Now that I compete in track and field sprints I do not have that problem. I do track workouts indoor or outside. My bodyfat had slowly been going down for two years. My strength has increased each year. I am 48 years old and my longest run is 400m in training. If someone can actually get stronger running all that long distance more power to them but I doubt it can be done.

  58. Ana Alves says:

    I loved your article. I have a question for you, can i do HIIT ( on threadmill) just before i do the weight training,and do a Cycling class after the weight training ( can i call it LISS?)? Is it efective to lose some body fat. I make this question becaude i cannot go to the gym everyday, just 3 to 4 times per week. Thank you so much

  59. Adam says:

    Great article. I love HIIT, get fitter, faster, stronger quicker.

    Im currently doing 15 mins on stationary bike and 15 mins on elliptical.
    2 mins rest 1 mins sprint, getting my self to a 1:1 ratio eventually.

    What are peoples opinions on specific length of sprint:rest intervals?

  60. Isac Fernandes says:

    Well, i like to do my HIIT like this:

    10min warm up (strides,a-skips, cariocas..)
    5-10 sets of sprints over 80-100 or even more meters (the fast as i can) , and rest 3 to 4 min between sprints (just walking around to get my pace back..)
    Sometimes i mix it up, for example: do 10 vertical jumps that at the end of the 10th start sprinting for 100m or for as long as i can.

    Any of you guys use this aproach?

  61. Dan says:

    After doing hiit workouts 3 x 20 min for a year

    I got some decent results, but at the expense of my body burning out and also simply not something that i wanted to continue doing anymore. If something feels like torture, who is going to want to continue doing it??

    Liss while might take twice as long to accomplish vs a HIIT session is something that can be done comfortably (watch tv while doing it, time flies) and for the long run. But instead of doing liss from beginning to the end, after every 5 or 10 min, add one minute of sprint. Its the best of both worlds

    After a year of doing Liss with 1 minute sprints every 10 min, i became even more shredded. Its something i will continue to do

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