Many studios now focus their promotion on HIIT training, which is short for High Intensity Interval Training. This type of training involves working vigorously with a high heart rate, followed by periods of recovery which can either be rest or slower paced exercise.
But another recent trend seems to be emerging too, one that is slightly less hardcore perhaps. LISS training stands for Low Intensity Steady State and is growing in popularity as a training method.
What Is LISS Training?
LISS training means elevating your heart rate with any form of training but generally not increasing it above 50% maximum heart rate. This is generally sustained for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Whilst doing LISS training breathing is raised above usual rates but not so much that you can’t carry on a conversation. Bonus for those of us who enjoy a social gym visit with friends! Types of LISS training you can do include:
Walking at a moderate pace.
Group exercise classes such as aerobics.
Steady cycling either on a spin-cycle bike or outdoors.
Using cardio equipment at the gym, such as the elliptical trainer, at a steady and moderate pace.
Recreational activities that can be done at a steady state, such as skateboarding or surfing.
Bonus points for LISS training as many of these don't cost you a penny!!
LISS can be used as a primary form of training for those who’s training level is relatively low, whilst for a high trained athlete this type of training can be useful for recovery on rest days.
Why Is LISS Any Good?
Let's be honest, nothing in the fitness industry can exactly be described as new. Steady state exercise at a fairly low heart rate is hardly groundbreaking work. But in a current fitness market where the majority are shouting about High intensity intervals and “go hard or go home”, LISS really does have a place.
For people who’s fitness levels are low or beginners, LISS is the ideal starting point. A month or so of LISS is a low risk, less intimidating entry into training, yet has the benefits of boosting work capacity and improving cardiovascular health.
For the trained athlete, LISS is more about active recovery. The human body simply isn’t designed to sustain high intensity work day after day, and we often forget that exercise is simply a stimulus to recover. It is during our recovery time when muscles grow and adapt.
In a fitness industry that loves an all or nothing approach, we think there is definitely room for a bit of LISS in everyones lives! Steady state work seems to have fallen out of fashion of late; let's get it back into the mainstream and mix it into our weekly routines.