HIIT vs LISS Training For Fat Loss

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This is the age old question of what is the best way to lose weight. It’s widely accepted that you’re going to have to involve some sort of cardio to shift weight, but which is best? This is hotly debated and you’ll soon see why.

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a form of training where you face short intervals of high intensity exercise, followed by short rest periods. HIIT certainly isn’t for the faint hearted. 

An example of a HIIT workout structure is; 30 seconds of burpees followed by 15 seconds rest, then followed by 30 seconds of sprinting on the spot, followed by another 15 second rest.

LISS (low intensity steady state training) is the opposite basically. This is classified as cardio performed at a low intensity level. Examples being; walking, swimming and cycling and these usually last between 45-60 minutes.


  1. Time Saver – you only need 20-30 minutes to do a HIIT. Struggling to find the time for a full blown gym session? Then this could be for you. HIIT can boost your metabolism for hours after you finish exercising. 20 minutes of interval training will result in additional calories being burnt hours after you finish.
  2. Full Body Workout – HIIT pushes multiple muscle groups as hard as you can go. Exercises for different body parts are performed at maximum intensity throughout the circuit. Perfect if you are trying to build up a strong core and shed fat at the same time.
  3. Builds Lean Muscle Mass – HIIT not only burns fat but due to the strength nature of many of the exercises, also works to build muscle mass.


  1. Less Daunting – This doesn’t require you to be jumping up and down, each and every way, so if you are after a more relaxed approach to fat burning this is the option for you. Fitness is all about finding something that is sustainable and works for you. If that’s getting on a treadmill and lightly jogging for an hour then go for it. This is equally as effective a method of burning fat.
  2. Easier To Avoid Overtraining – If you are following an intense weight-training programme and don’t want to overtrain and fatigue your body then LISS is a very effective method. You will be able to recover quicker to smash your workout the next day.


The real answer is that it is completely dependent on the person and their current fitness programme. HIIT will have you smashing through the calories quickly and certainly has its place. A plan that has you doing 4 LISS sessions a week may be more sustainable and certainly should not be frowned upon. Your body can only take so much exertion remember and you don’t want to run the risk of overtraining. Intense cardio coupled with weightlifting regularly, may unfortunately have that result so finding the balance is important. For someone who is after building muscle tone and is in the gym 3 times a week, then HIIT may be perfect for you. It is incredibly, allowing you to reap the benefits around your schedule and outside of the gym.