LISS - Fat burning workout without the stress

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to a great type of workout that will help you lose fat, become more healthy, that doesn't involve any heavy weights and you can do in your own space and time. This is a LISS workouts (Low Intensity Steady State).

This type of training is the opposite of hardcore, intense HIIT workouts, LISS training focuses more on long, steady workouts that build up stamina gradually rather than pushing you to breaking point. After years of being told we need to sweat until we can't see in order to achieve any type of 'dream body' in the gym (not that I'm saying that doesn't work), LISS workouts are a much-welcomed break from the extreme exertion and can be a great place to start if you don’t have much experience in exercise.

Question - Can LISS Training really burn fat?
Essentially, yes - although it works in a very different way to a hardcore 30 minute HIIT session. LISS is essentially a marathon vs a sprint and refers to any form of cardio based activity that's performed at a low intensity, but for a prolonged period, which means you don’t have too be exerting yourself in order to lose weight. In terms of effective fat burning, the body needs oxygen (obviously), training at a lower intensity actually means that more oxygen is available to be used by the body to break down fat and use it as energy. Steady state exercise in the right heart rate zone, (i.e. in the ‘fat burning’ zone which is between 70-80% of your maximum heart rate) is effective if your goal is to burn fat. For the best fat burning benefits, you should aim to stay in this zone for the majority of your workout.

Steady state exercise in the wrong heart rate zone, either higher or lower will still bring other benefits. For example, roughly 50-60% is a low intensity zone, 60-70% is a light zone which will improve your general endurance, 70-80% is fat burning, and 80-90% is a hard zone where you’ll be breathing heavily and likely unable to work at this level for prolonged periods of time.

Below are some of my favourite types of LISS training that I encourage my clients to do when they are not with me, but I also do myself:
  • Fast-paced walking

  • Walking on an incline / Hike

  • Cycling on a bike with low resistance

  • Swimming

Question - How long should a LISS workout be?
You've probably guessed by now that you need to put a little more time in to see results if you're not going to be doing intense workouts.  If you’re doing LISS as part of a circuit you need to be working out at each station for at least 10 minutes to burn fat, If you’re sticking to 1 cardiovascular machine, then around 30 – 60 minutes at a steady.

Question - Can I do other training alongside LISS?
You defiantly don't have to stick solely to LISS workouts to see results. I would recommend mixing your training / exercise routine up. Take one of examples of the ones i gave above and so you wont get bored and may find some new exercises that you love. Obviously depending on your goals, general health and injuries you can decide yourself if you want to combine LISS with high intensity workouts. If you are free of injuries and ready to take it to the next step, I'd say start to mix up your routine and add some HIIT back in. Incorporating these two types of training together can help your body adapt and get better at a variety of movements over time, which in turn will keep your cardiovascular system in check.

Take Home Message 
Be in awe of your body, it works so hard 24/7 make sure you take care of it. You won't get another. 

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