When it comes to getting fit and losing weight, it's widely accepted that cardio is one of the most effective workouts - but when it comes to determining which specific type of cardio is best for burning fat, people split.
Especially when it comes to HIIT and LISS training.
HIIT training, or high intensity training, is a form of cardio in which you switch from short intervals of high intensity exercise, to short periods of rest.
For example, a typical HIIT workout schedule might include 45 seconds of uninterrupted jumps, followed by 15 seconds of rest, then move on to 45 seconds of mountain climber and another 15 seconds of rest, etc.
As for LISS, or low-intensity steady state, training is actually the opposite - it can be any form of cardio, such as walking, swimming, and cycling, but at a low, relaxed endurance level for at least 40 -60 minutes.
Unlike HIIT, which revolves around pushing your body to its absolute limit for a short amount of time, during LISS you are aiming for a low level of exertion for an extended period of time.
But which is the best cardio for burning fat? Let's see it right away.
Benefits of HIIT training
1. Saves Time
Do you ever feel like there isn't enough time to train? You're already managing different priorities, going to work, preparing food, cooking, washing, socializing, being on social media ... (okay, maybe the last option isn't a real excuse, but that's probably what you're doing). Dedicating 15-20 minutes to HIIT training is a great compromise - you're activating your body and muscles, without the commitment of a full-blown exercise session. You could even work out in front of the TV during commercial breaks, or while you wait for dinner to be ready. The high intensity of the exercises causes your body to still be burning fat, only in a short period of activity.
2. Train the whole body
One of the basic foundations of a HIIT workout is that it consists of exercises that work virtually every muscle group - trust us, after a round of burpees you will feel burning everywhere. Full body exercises like squats, burpees, mountain climbers are perfect for your heart and for losing fat mass.
3. It's Super Effective
Pushing your body to the extreme gets a quick response. Short periods of intense exertion that leave you unable to breathe triggers your metabolism to start working at a higher level, and your body can start burning fat to get the energy it needs to perform exercises, instead of carbohydrates. 1
Yes, it is not easy, but the results pay off the effort.
Benefits of LISS training
1. It's not scary
Some days you need a lot of mental strength to decide to go for training, not to mention start throwing yourself into a series of quick exercises that make you dripping sweat from head to toe. Going for a long walk can be a better alternative and can also be a great chance to relax your mind. Finding a type of exercise that is right for you - and that you really enjoy doing - can make all the difference when it comes to sticking to a training plan and achieving long-term goals.
2. You can do More
Being active doesn't always mean getting out of breath and full body aches for days - completing multiple LISS sessions per week instead of 10 minutes of high impact exercise is a much more effective approach to fat burning. The simple fact that you can physically perform LISS for a much longer period of time than HIIT means that you can also burn more calories. Plus, LISS in no way places the same strain on your body as HIIT, so it's a great choice for those who are starting to put their feet in the world of fitness or recovering from injury.
It can also be the best option for those who are already on an intense weight training program or who play a lot of sports, as HIIT can strain the body and thus increase recovery times. If you want to get back to optimal conditions for a big game or give it your all on leg day, then an hour of walking the day before is probably the best idea rather than pushing yourself to your limits with a HIIT workout.
Not to be forgotten
Finally, it seems that personal preference has the final say in the “Best Cardio for Fat Burning” debate.
Sure, a HIIT workout can get you fired through calories no matter what your schedule is - but if you're more likely to stick to a plan with 4-5 low-intensity cardio sessions per week than challenge yourself, then you'll burn just as many. calories, if not more.
Do you want to know which are the best HIIT workout supplements?