HIIT and LISS, Get Lean With Cardio

Get Lean With Cardio, HIIT and LISS


Fitness experts revealed how a combination ( HIIT and LISS ) of high-intensity interval training , low-intensity steady state, and cardio exercise can help you get seriously lean.

Cardio exercise plays an important role in helping people maintain low body fat without losing strength or fullness.

Yet, for many, it is often an afterthought to weight training and diet or a daily chore involving hours on a bike or treadmill. Some people are worried that cardio will sacrifice hard-earned muscle, but the dangers of this have been wildly exaggerated.

High cardio, survival mode

Of course, if you spend hours doing cardio on a low calorie diet there’s a high chance it’ll slow your metabolism because your body goes into survival mode and resists burning fat. In this case, it can break down muscle for fuel but if you’re sensible, it won’t come to this. So what’s best?

Morning cardio

There are several theories and methods, but in this article fitness experts focused on a combination of HIIT, LISS and cardio. Some people say that early morning fasted cardio yields the best results.

Speed up your metabolism

Early morning cardio not only increases fat breakdown, but also speeds up your metabolism, so you continue to burn calories at a slightly higher rate throughout the day.

Proper diet

Providing you have a balanced diet during the day, your body will have lots of stored nutrients to prevent from muscle wastage.

Hiking is a great cardio.

General response

Many report getting best results by doing 40-60 minutes of steady-pace, low-intensity cardio for two or three days followed by one day of HIIT for no longer than 20 minutes. This approach prevents your body from adapting to the same old routine and keeps you challenged.

Try it

Try doing 40 minutes of LISS on a high-incline treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical trainer. These sessions aren’t easy—they’re intense workouts—what’s important is that the effort is sustainable. You don’t have to do short bursts but you will still push your heart rate upwards of 170-180 bpm and find yourself beginning to sweat after 15 minutes.


The key benefit of this type of cardio is that your body burns plenty of calories in 40 minutes. What you’ll also like is that you can do this cardio exercise even if you’re not feeling wide awake. You can listen to music or watch a video and get on with it.

To compare, for HIIT you have to be focused and full of energy and it leaves you feeling drained.

So why do it when you can listen to music doing steady-state cardio? If you consistently do the same thing, your body adapts and becomes more efficient at doing it. Over time, this can lower your metabolic rate and make it harder to lose extra fat. Doing a few explosive interval training sessions each week literally shocks the body and keeps it from starting to plateau.

sprint interval training
A HIIT session usually lasts 15-20 minutes and burns 300-500 calories.

High intensity

Try sprinting on a treadmill, spin bike, rowing machine or outside for 20-30 seconds of all-out effort, followed by a similar recovery period (or up to 60 seconds, depending on what you can manage). Your heart rate will fluctuate wildly (it can go up anywhere to 190 and back down to 130) and your body burns a mixture of fuel, including fat and muscle glycogen.

A HIIT session usually lasts 15-20 minutes and burns 300-500 calories.

In contrast to LISS, your metabolic rate stays elevated for up to eight hours, meaning that your body burns more calories after you’ve finished.

Have some variety

In addition to fasted morning cardio,you can also include various sports activities, usually after my evening weights. You can try using the punch bag a few times a week. You can throw combinations of punches for a minute, then skip for a minute. Try doing this 5–10 times and it’s a great end to a workout.

In summary

There are several effective forms of cardio but when you also want to maintain muscle size and fullness, follow a structured approach rather than simply doing countless hours of the same thing and wondering why, instead of getting leaner and tighter, you’re starting to look soft and flat.

Try something else and vary your exercises

Combine fasted morning exercise with a mixture of full-body conditioning workouts after your weights sessions to maximize fat-burning efforts and protecting hard-earned muscle at the same time.

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Written by Jenny Nickelson

Jenny Nickelson has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. Because of her deep love to water, she started training swimming in early years. Today she swears on variety and does it all: from swimming, running and cycling to fitness, skiing, dancing and mountaineering.


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