What Is LISS Cardio? A Detailed Beginner’s Guide

The low-intensity steady state (LISS), cardio exercise, sometimes referred to as “steady training” or “SST”, has been gaining a lot of attention lately. It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. This type of exercise is great for anyone who wants to get up off the couch and move. It’s also great for endurance and cross-training.

LISS is a slower aerobic activity that is done over a longer period of time. It can be walking, running, or biking at a leisurely pace.

LISS is the opposite of high intensity interval training (HIIT), which requires you to push as hard as possible for short bursts. Peter Katzmarzyk PhD is an associate executive director for population health sciences at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He studies physical activity and obesity.

Although the term LISS may be relatively new, the movement itself is not. It’s at the core of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Physical Activity Guidelines, which urge people to get 150 to 300 minutes a week of low-to-moderate-intensity exercise, Dr. Katzmarzyk says. (Katzmarzyk was a member of the HHS advisory panel that developed the guidelines.

He says, “LISS exercise can be described as the exercise that public health professionals have been advocating for decades — aerobic exercise such as walking, biking, and swimming.” He says it is synonymous with moderate intensity aerobic activity.

What makes a workout LISS?

LISS is different from other workouts in that it is intense. You can use heart rate targets to measure the intensity of your workout.

Your heart rate will determine how hard your body works (or how intense the activity). The maximum target heart rate is the highest level of exercise intensity considered safe.

It’s approximately 220 beats per hour (bpm), minus your age (about 200 BPM at age 20 or 185 BPM at age 35).

LISS, or moderate intensity exercise, should help you reach 50-70 percent of your maximum target heart beat.

Be aware that your fitness level can affect the types of activities you can do and cannot do without increasing your heart rate beyond a certain threshold. Slow jogging may raise your heart rate above the threshold for LISS exercise for people who are less fit. For those with higher fitness, jogging could raise your heart rate to the target for LISS exercise.

For those just starting out, you should aim to spend 20-30 minutes doing a LISS workout. This is Robert Ross, PhD who is a professor at Queen’s University in Kingston. His research focuses on obesity-related lifestyle and exercise strategies. Dr. Ross suggests that you aim to work out for at least 60 minutes multiple days per week as you gain endurance.

LISS Versus HiIT: What’s The Difference?

LISS exercises aim to maintain a steady heart beat for longer periods. HIIT workouts, on the other hand, are designed to increase heart rate for shorter time frames. The key difference is intensity. Ross suggests that HIIT should be done at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate during a workout. This advice is in line with the American Heart Association’s definition for vigorous intensity exercise which is 70-85 percent of your maximum target cardiovascular rate.

There are other differences:

  • Time: A LISS workout, which delivers the same benefits in terms of energy expenditure and calories burned, will take longer than a HIIT exercise that takes only 30 minutes.
  • PacingLISS takes place at the same speed throughout, while HIIT alternates periods of intense exercise and short recovery periods.
  • Focus and attention required LISS workouts require a lot of concentration. HIIT training may require you to pay more attention, concentrate harder and pay closer attention to changing up your movements and how hard it is.

LISS Training Has Many Health Benefits

LISS, along with other forms of low to moderate intensity exercise, offers many health benefits. It can lower your risk of getting sick. High blood pressure: Risk Stroke, obesity, diabetes and many other conditions. Types of cancer. It can improve muscle strength, endurance, cognitive function, sleep quality, and mental health.

A study that examined the effects of an 8-week interval-style, high-intensity workout program (Tabata-style classes), on a group of college students who were otherwise inactive found similar anaerobic and aerobic benefits.

LISS workouts also offer many other benefits, such as:

  • It is easier to learn and it has a lower impact on your body.
  • Recovery from a workout is often quicker.
  • It builds endurance and allows for longer workouts.
  • It can assist people in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

This post was written by Darryl Johnson, Co-Owner of Apex performance. At https://theapexperf.com/ we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of one-on-one training, small group classes and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, sports training and body goals!