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Understanding the difference between HIIT and LISS
In order to succeed as a personal trainer, it is crucial to understand your client and provide them with the skills to reach their fitness goals. We have weighed up the weight loss aspects of both HIIT and LISS to help you determine the best method for each individual client.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training which is a form of cardio whose popularity has rocketed over the past 10 years. HIIT consists of short bouts of high intensity exercise which require maximal effort at around 90-95% of maximum heart rate. These burst of high intensity are broken up by periods of lower intensity which allow the heart rate to drop back down again. When done properly HIIT workouts only require 15-30 minutes. A simple example of a HIIT session would be sprinting on a treadmill for 10-15 seconds followed by walking for 90 seconds and then repeating this for 10 rounds.
What is LISS?
LISS stands for Low Intensity Steady State cardio which as the name suggests is a form of cardio where you work at a lower intensity continuously without any fluctuations in intensity. Due to the lower intensity, LISS sessions need to be performed for a longer duration. An example of a LISS session would be jogging on a treadmill for 40-60 minutes.
So which is better for fat loss?
There’s a constant debate going on as to which form of cardio is the best for fat loss, with many trainers and fitness professionals either in the HIIT and LISS camp. The truth is both have been shown to aid with fat loss. The reason for this is that they both increase energy expenditure and if energy expenditure is greater than energy intake it will lead to fat loss. It is therefore a case of deciding which form of cardio will be more sustainable for your client. Sustainability is vital for any training programme because if a client doesn’t complete the sessions you set them, then they won’t achieve their goals. Here are a few things to consider when deciding which form of cardio to give your client…
- Time Available
Some people might find it difficult to fit an hour of LISS training into their daily schedule due to work or family commitments. Therefore, a short 15-20 minutes of HIIT which they could do at home if they needed would be a good alternative. On the other hand those people who have lots of free time, might want to spend a bit longer doing their cardio and so LISS might fit them better. Giving your client the option of doing either will allow them to be more flexible and fit their cardio in around their schedule.
- Fitness Level
For clients who are severely overweight or very unfit LISS training might be a better option to begin with as they might struggle with high intensity and it may lead to injuries. For those with a good level of fitness and want to increase their fitness levels further (as well as lose fat), HIIT training could be more beneficial.
- Personal Preference
Personal preference is going to have a big impact on whether or not a client sticks to their cardio. Some clients may prefer the short intense nature of HIIT cardio and enjoy really pushing themselves hard. Others may prefer the lower intensity of LISS and are happy to spend more time doing their cardio.
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