For a long time cardio continues to be a hot topic in all discussions on methods of burning fat. After all, as we all know, not just cardio can dramatically change the composition of the body. Many studies have shown that actually weight training is more effective in the fight against fat. Despite this, people prefer to sit for hours on a stationary bike with a magazine reading gossip news. You are free to do what you think is necessary, but isn’t it better to try to get the most from workout? In this article, Goldenmuscles.com will compare two most popular types of cardio – HIIT and LISS. By reading this article to the end, you’ll get an idea of what kind of cardio is more suitable to you.
So what does mean cryptic abbreviations HIIT and LISS? HIIT – High-intensity interval training is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. For example: 30 seconds sprinting, followed by a 4-minute walk to restore a normal heartbeat, and then repeat it as many times as needed. LISS – Low Intensity Steady State Cardio. This can be walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike. Now when you have an idea about these varieties of cardio, let’s get into the details.
Why do we need to test our lactate threshold (LT) and anaerobic capacity (AC)? LT and AC – this is an excellent cardio performance indicator. Our muscles burn glucose (blood sugar) in two ways: aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen). For example, LISS is considered aerobic workout but resistance training or HIIT is considered anaerobic workout. LT and AC – this is a great test for the cardio, as they help to determine under what load is produced ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP provides a quick burst of energy for working muscle group (for example, every time you bend your arms with barbell, ATP is produced). HIIT, unlike LISS, increases the body’s ability to endure physical stress. High-intensity training makes you workout outside of the LT and AC, which leads to faster metabolism, which eventually leads to more intense fat burning. But during LISS you do not reach your LT and AC.
How to speed metabolism
# 1. It is necessary to increase muscle mass and muscle oxidative capacity. In our muscle tissues there are structures that produce energy; they are called mitochondria, which produce ATP and burn fat. The more mitochondria we have and the more active they are, the greater oxidizing power will get our muscles and the faster we’ll lose fat. HIIT improves the performance of mitochondria and increases their number.
Studies show that due to high-intensity training, we lose more fat as increase oxidative capacity of muscle fibers. During LISS we burn calories only while exercising. Low intensity cardio does not speed up metabolism. Moreover, our body gets used to such load and we have to increase the duration of cardio workout to continue to burn fat. Most people do not realize that for best results, it is necessary to go beyond the comfort and try to spend as much energy as it possible. And if you feel pain during HIIT, then your body is working in uncomfortable mode and you’re doing all right!
# 2. Our body quickly gets used to everything. We’ve all seen people who spend hours doing LISS. Actually they should lose those extra pounds, but this does not happen, because their metabolism has adapted to the low-intensity training. Their body uses calories only during exercise, and speeding up the metabolism does not occurs.
Regularly training LISS, you get results that could be achieved through diet alone. For example, you burn 200 calories in 30 minutes of LISS. But you could forego these 200 calories, reducing the amount of carbohydrates or fats in the diet. Plus, can use HIIT to accelerate the metabolism.
# 3. A study conducted by Dr. Wilson from the University of Tampa, Florida, shows that starting LIIS, from the beginning we lose weight, but this effect is quite short. In the first week of the experiment examinees people had lost about one kilogram, but thereafter everything stop. This happened because their metabolism has completely adapted to the new regime of physical activity. Furthermore, LISS combined with low-calorie diet can lead to loss of muscle mass.
During a low-calorie diet, LISS is more catabolic (breaking muscle) activity, unlike HIIT which take care more carefully of muscle tissue. The reason is that our metabolism adapts to LISS and we have to increase the duration of cardio workout. A reduction of caloric intake often occurs by reducing carbohydrate intake. Glycogen stores in the muscles are depleted and our body needs energy. And what do you think, how did the body will draw energy? From protein! And our muscles just consist of proteins!
# 4. The same study showed that LISS cause greater loss of muscle mass then HIT. The fact is that during these workouts our muscles work differently. It’s like training with weights! HIIT – is another way to stimulate muscles. As an example, compare sprinters’ and a marathons’ runner body. With this research it is difficult to argue.
# 5. In another study, conducted by Dr. Naito, from Juntendo University of Japan, it was found that production of satellites cells in experimental rats body does not depend on duration of endurance training but because of its intensity.
Most of you will say, “Well, it’s a rat.” However, rats’ body like human one synthesizes protein and has similar reaction on amino acids and their metabolism. For those who have never heard about satellite cells: These cells create new muscle fibers in the body, and this in turn leads to muscle growth. Thus, studies have shown that when rats were subjected to HIIT, were ensued stimulation of muscle fibers growth. During LISS similar reaction was not observed. This proves that in cardio the most important is the intensity rather than duration.
Now many of you are probably convinced that for muscle gain and burn fat is more suitable HIIT. However, it should be noted that LISS is not absolutely useless. These kinds of cardio make sense to be combined and here are the reasons:
You cannot do HIIT 5-6 days a week, because in the end it will reflect badly on weight training and muscle growth.
Many people have contraindications (orthopedic, cardiac and even psychological) to HIIT and they can do only LISS.
If used incorrectly, HIIT can lead to injury.
Therefore to insist that HIIT is more effective in changing the composition of the body is as wrong as saying that 6 reps per set is better than 20. HIIT and LISS have their own unique advantages. Both types of cardio are worthy to be including in your training program. In general, Goldenmusles.com leaves it to your discretion. Choose that kind of cardio that you like better. HIIT workout is shorter, more effective for fat loss, accelerates metabolism and helps maintain muscle mass. But not all people can engage in HIIT. LISS is safer, but to lose a similar amount of calories you will need double to spend your time. Furthermore, LISS does not affect metabolism.
Goldenmuscles.com does not have the purpose to convince you to give preference to any of this cardio, even if you thought so. Just the time has changed and science has discovered a lot about HIIT. And in the end, it is for you to decide what type of cardio is more suited to you. Goldenmuscles.com hopes that after reading this article, it will be easier for you to make a choice. If you are still in doubt … Just start practicing!