The majority of the people today will tell you that if you’re not lying on the floor wishing to die after your cardio workout then you didn’t work hard enough.
This isn’t always true or even the most productive way to reach your goals. Liss cardio has passed the test of time for a reason.
In this article, we’ll go over the pros, cons, and benefits of liss cardio. The best workouts to do, how to do them, who should do them, and how liss cardio is different than HIIT cardio.
What Is Liss Cardio
Liss is an acronym for (low-intensity steady state) Any exercise or action that you do for an extended period of time at a low intensity would fall under Liss exercises.
The common theme between these activities is that none of them are strenuous, a liss fitness plan won’t include any exercises that test your strength or endurance.
A good way to tell if you’re working at too high of intensity is whether or not you can have a talk while working out. Liss exercises shouldn’t raise your breathing rate to a point where you can’t hold a conversation while you’re performing the exercise.
You simply start the exercise and continue at a slow pace for 30 to 60 minutes without starting and stopping or changing intensity levels.
What’s the old saying “slow and steady is how it goes” or “slow and steady wins the race” I’m not sure which one it is but you get my point, hopefully.
Your Heart Rate During Liss Cardio
I have to explain the ranges of your maximum heart rate or MHR first in order for you to completely understand what heart rate you should be working towards during liss.
In order for you to tell what intensity level you’re working out at experts have broken intensity levels down into ranges depending on what percentage of your MHR you’re using.
An easy way to know what you’re MHR should be is to subtract your age from 220. For example, I’m 40 years old, so my maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute.
Here is how the MHR percentages are broken into different intensity levels.
- 50 – 70% = Low Intensity – You would aim for this heart rate during liss cardio, warming up and cooling down.
- 70 – 80% = Moderate Intensity – Training at this level will cause enough of the oxygen deprivation that your body will start to burn off carbs and fats to create energy. This is great for endurance training.
- 80 – 90% = High Intensity – This is when you’re doing HIIT training and can only be sustained for a small amount of time due to the high amounts of lactic acid being used.
- 90 – 100% – Kill Mode – Unless you’re at peak physical fitness you won’t even be able to reach this heart rate and when you are able to you’ll only last for a very short period of time.
If we use my MHR of 180 beats per minute, 60% of that is 100. I would want my heart rate to be around 100 beats a minute when performing liss cardio.
I can’t over emphasize how important it is to stay within 90 to 100 beats per minute when doing Liss cardio, if you stay within this range your body will use your stored fat to create fuel, but if you go higher than this it will switch to using glucose and you won’t receive the same fat burning benefits
How To track your heart rate During Liss Cardio
There are many different products you can buy to track your heart rate during your workout, here are 2 that I recommend to my clients.
- Utilize 24/7 heart rate to more accurately track calorie burn, resting heart rate & heart rate zones during workouts
- Track all-day activity, including steps, distance, hourly activity, active minutes and calories burned
- Automatically track sleep, plus due to the heart rate feature, get more insights into your light, deep & REM sleep stages
- ULTRA-LONG BATTERY LIFE: The Polar Vantage M Advanced GPS Running & Multisport Watch lasts for up to 30 hours of training time.
- POLAR PRECISION PRIME HEART RATE: Polar’s heart rate monitor watches redefine the gold standard in optical heart rate accuracy by combining the latest in bio-impedance electrodes and optical sensors.
- TRAINING LOAD PRO: The Vantage M is the ultimate fitness tracker, separating a cardio load, muscle load, and perceived load. Polar’s Training Load Pro provides an unparalleled look into how your training affects your body.
- SWIM/BIKE/RUN FUNCTIONALITY: As a waterproof watch, long-distance running clock, and biking activity tracker combined, you can capture critical metrics like swimming stroke and pace. You can even pair with your favorite compatible cycling accessory.
How Long should You Do Liss Cardio For
In the liss world, there is a so-called sweet spot where you’re MHR is at 60% and this is when your body becomes a fat-burning machine.
As soon as you get to this happy place you’ll want to keep your heart rate at this level for 30 to 60 minutes.
Technically a liss cardio session has to last at least 30 minutes to be considered liss, the good thing is that you’re not pushing yourself to hard and it’s not challenging to keep the pace for an extended amount if time.
Why Is Liss Good For Fat Loss.
Liss is the most efficient way of burning fat while preserving lean muscle tissue, this is important for three reasons.
This is because oxygen is needed to break fat down and when you do liss cardio at the correct intensity you don’t put your body into an oxygen-deprived state allowing it to burn your excess fat stores away.
- If you’re trying to lose weight but keep lean muscle (cutting)
- If you’re trying to build lean muscle mass while maintaining your current weight (bulking)
- If you’re simply trying to become a healthier version of yourself.
Liss is also exceptional at targeting gender specific body fat.
What is Gender Specific Body Fat
- The donut or spare tire around the stomach
- Muffin top and love handles
- The fat roll under your chest muscles
- Man boobs
- Arm fat
- Bra fat or back fat
- Upper thigh fat
- Butt fat
How many of you have lost a considerable amount of weight but can’t get rid of the little bit of fat left around your stomach or you can’t get your thighs as tight as you like.
Let me guess at that point you thought you had to work harder in order to lose that last bit of fat.
That’s not how it works. Working harder is not the answer you have to work smarter.
You need to work with your bodies physiology and bio-chemistry, working harder and dropping your calories won’t burn that last bit of fat it will only take away from your lean muscle mass making you skinny fat( a person that is skinny but has no muscle definition)
So, what should you do?
Liss performed in the absence of insulin will make your body much more prone to oxidize those stubborn areas of gender specific body fat.
The best way to do this is to workout first thing in the morning before breakfast, Think about it, you just spent 8 hours technically fasting.
Wake up, take a tinkle, wash those dirty hands of yours, drink 16 ounces of room temperature water and if you can put some caffeine into your bloodstream. You can’t go wrong with a double shot of espresso.
When liss is done correctly and you’re only using 60% of your maximum heart rate your body will use your stored fat to produce energy, this is why liss is so good at getting rid of those stubborn areas of fat.
This is how you get rid of those last couple of pounds around your gut, or you allow your six pack to be visible.
Benefits Of Doing Liss Cardio
- Liss is easy – Walk out your front door, walk at a brisk pace for 20 minutes, turn around, and walk home. You just performed a 40-minute liss exercise, told you it was easy. Seriously, to do a lot of liss exercises you don’t need much equipment or know-how.
- Perfect for beginners – When you’re new to exercising the machines and weights at the gym can be intimidating. Until you feel comfortable learning them jump on a treadmill or elliptical and do a 45 to 60-minute liss cardio program.
- Liss is free – Who doesn’t like free stuff, walking, jogging, hiking is all free. If you have a pool you can swim for free, or walk the steps in your office building. There are a lot of ways to do liss cardio without a gym membership.
- Safer – Since liss is low intensity and the very low impact is a great way for older people or people who are injured or just healing from an injury to get back into the habit of exercising without overdoing it or hurting themselves.
- Easier to start – If you’re completely new to working out it’s easier to change your habits by taking easy smaller steps at first and it’s definitely easier to go for a 30 to 40 minute walk your first week than it is to start strength training or HIIT exercises.
- Increases appetite – This can be helpful if you’re to bulk up and you’re on a high-calorie diet, increasing your appetite will make it easier for you to consume more whole foods throughout the day.
Who Is Liss Good For
- Someone who is just starting a fitness regimen and is finding it hard to get motivated or is intimidated by gym machines and free weights
- Older people who need an easier, low intensity and low impact exercise.
- Someone who is trying to work out on a budget, you can do many liss exercises for free
- If you’re on a calorie surplus trying to build muscle and want to limit the excess fat that comes with bulking.
- If you’re cutting and want to hold onto all of the precious lean muscle that you’ve worked so hard to build.
How Much Liss Should You Do
This is going to depend on what your goal is…
If you’re trying to build muscle you’ll only want to do 1 or 2 cardio sessions per week , you don’t want to do to much cardio and take yourself from a calorie surplus to a deficit.
The other side of that is if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll be able to do more cardio sessions per week but you don’t want to do so much that your body starts to tap into lean muscle rather than just your fat.
Another way people utilize liss is to use it on their rest days and to do Hiit workouts on other days.
Is Liss Or Hiit Training Better For Fat Loss
Both of these methods are great at burning fat and increasing your cardiovascular endurance but there are drastic differences in the type of workouts and how they make your body burn fat.
Liss is a slower, easier more methodical approach that has you doing one exercise at a low intensity using 60% of your maximum heart rate usually between 30 to 60 minutes.
When done correctly your body will use your stored fat as fuel making it a great option for people that are bulking, cutting or trying to lose that last 10 pounds.
HIIT training is basically the opposite, you’re going to do intervals of high-intensity exercises where you’re using 80 to 95% percent of your max heart rate at a very high intensity followed up with low to moderate intensity moves to rest up for the next high-intensity interval.
Your body will transition from using body fat as a primary fuel source to using glucose.
Which one you should do really comes down to your goals and lifestyle.
If you’re trying to build muscle than liss is the better option since it has the smallest chance of diminishing lean muscle mass.
HIIT on the other hand burns through a ton of calories and can easily swing you from a calorie surplus to a deficit and can limit lean muscle.
As far as time restraints go, HIIT training can be successful in a much smaller time frame with some workouts lasting only 15 minutes.
The traditional time frame for a liss workout is 30 to 60 minutes with 45 minutes being the opportune time.
What it comes down to is you really need to do your research and figure out which approach works best for your fitness goals and lifestyle.
Liss Cardio Examples
- Brisk walking
- Cycling (outside or in the gym)
- Light jog
Liss Cardio Workouts At Home
All of the workouts above can’t be done at home unless you have an elliptical or treadmill, don’t let this persuade you.
You don’t always have to walk, run or jog to accomplish check off your cardio for the day.
Remember, liss cardio is exercising at a low intensity. You can literally put together any cardio circuit you want just as long as you do it at a slower pace and stay within your target heart range.
While doing any exercise is always better than not doing anything at all, you’ll achieve faster, better results if you work with your body chemistry and do the correct exercises for certain goals.
Liss cardio is definitely better for individuals that are trying to tighten, tone, bulk, or cut. Just remember to stay within the correct heart rate parameters and you’ll have the body you want in no time.