LISS cardio stands for Low Intensity Steady State cardio. As the name implies, it is a steady cardiovascular form of exercise where you where you keep your intensity low but your effort consistent. LISS takes on many different forms such as slow jogs and is excellent for losing weight. LISS is used by bodybuilders, fitness models, athletes and people looking to lower their body fat percentage. By keeping your your intensity low (approximately 65%) for long periods of time your body is encouraged to use fat stores. LISS is often performed for 30-60 minutes, twice or more a week.
Examples of LISS Cardio:
- fast walks or slow jogging
- hill walks or incline on a treadmill
- moderate swimming in a pool or the sea
- walking up large sets of stairs or stair stepper machines
- using a cross trainer or elliptical machine
- steady rowing or rowing machines
- steady cycling or using an exercise bike
However, low intensity steady state cardio is sometimes criticized as it may cause higher muscle wastage compared to other forms of cardiovascular exercise used for weight loss. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for example is also know to be very effective and can help to increase muscle retention. However, LISS can be carried out much more frequently than HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio and is much less likely to have an impact on other training. For example, a weightlifter could use an exercise bike 5 times a week for 30-60 minutes with very little impact on their tendons, joints, muscles, and energy levels that would usually be impacted by weightlifting. Unlike weightlifting, low intensity exercises are also much less likely to cause injury.
Some people may find LISS training easier as it’s less physiologically intense and is not as physically demanding. Anyone older who is exercising or fears repeated injury, should start with a low intensity form of exercise and allow the body to strengthen before moving onto more intense forms of cardiovascular exercise. However, one of the biggest complaints about low intensity training is that it can be extremely boring and for busy people it takes a significant amount of time to complete.