HIIT training has been increasingly popular over the last few years, but what about low impact steady state training (LISS training)? So, what is LISS training and what are the benefits of LISS? This blog post outlines why you should be incorporating LISS into your workout routine.


What is Low Impact Steady State Training?

LISS training is, as the name suggests, a form of cardio which involves maintaining the same pace of exercise for a set period of time. It comprises of a slow and continuous exertion of the body for a long duration of time, for example swimming, walking or jogging for 30-45 minutes.

When performing a LISS workout you should be working at about 30%-40% of your maximum output. In simpler terms, this means getting on a cardiovascular machine like a treadmill and working at about a 4 or 5 out of 10 (10 being you’re physically pushed to your limits and gasping for breath).



LISS Workout Ideas

The beauty of LISS is that there are so many different types to choose from that you don’t have to get bored of doing the same low intensity steady state cardio every time.

Types of LISS:

  • Brisk walking
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Cycling (either outdoors or on a spin bike)
  • Steady rowing
  • Swimming
  • Using the cardio machines in the gym (cross trainer, stair climber etc.)


What are the Benefits of LISS Training?

LISS is great for beginners but it is also great for more experienced gym goers to include it in their workout as part of ‘active’ recovery. Here are our 5 LISS cardio benefits to persuade you to include LISS in your training programme.

  1. LISS Improves Cardiovascular Health and Blood Circulation

One of the major benefits of LISS training is the enhanced heart function. Due to the long steady state nature of LISS your body is required to work under constant pressure for at least 30-40 minutes. This forces your heart to pump at a strong and steady pace in order for enough oxygen to be taken in the blood to supply the muscle tissues with enough oxygen. This process helps with overall blood flow and respiratory health.

The effective functioning of the organ system helps us to stay fit and healthy in the long run, thereby by acting on the cardiac muscles for effective blood circulation through the body.

  1. LISS is Easy and Free

If you are new to fitness or just recovering from an injury, LISS is a great way to introduce yourself into exercise. You don’t even have to step foot in a gym! LISS can simply be going for a brisk walk for half an hour in the fresh air. Starting a new fitness journey or even returning to exercise after injury can be intimidating so LISS workouts can be a great way to ease yourself into a new routine without overwhelming yourself.

  1. LISS is Great for Aiding Recovery

If you have had a few tough training sessions during the week or you are feeling fatigued and lacking motivation to do a full intense workout, low intensity cardio is a great way to still exercise as it is low-impact. Performing LISS can actually aid recovery as it increases blood flow to damaged muscles and helps reduce post-workout stiffness.

Similarly, if you are just tired but want to exercise, LISS is a great way to exercise gently whilst still watching your favourite TV shows. Download your chosen TV show or film onto your smartphone or tablet, put it on the treadmill or cardiovascular machine and catch up with Stranger Things whilst exercising, it’s a win-win for everyone!

  1. LISS Aids Fat Loss

By training at a lower intensity it means that more oxygen is available to your body. Fat needs oxygen in order to be broken down, therefore the more oxygen you can give your body the more fat you may be able to burn. Whilst HIIT can be great for burning stored fat and calories in a short amount of time and boosting metabolic rate after exercising, LISS is equally as important as it helps your body metabolise fat- something HIIT does not do. Therefore, if your goal is overall fat loss combining HIIT and LISS into your routine is a highly effective way to achieve your goal.

  1. LISS Improves Overall Fitness Levels

If you are looking to build your overall fitness levels and endurance, LISS is a great way to achieve this. Low impact steady state training helps you get your heart and muscles used to performing over a longer period of time so you can build and improve your general fitness levels as well as endurance.

Even if you primarily lift weights, it is still important to include LISS training in your training programme. Your muscles need oxygen to be able to perform so by increasing your fitness levels, you are improving your body’s ability to utilise oxygen in your muscles. This comes in handy when you are trying to quickly engage your muscles quickly for weight training.

It’s important to remember that if you only perform LISS and not HIIT as your cardio, your body may begin to break down stored muscle for energy meaning you may potentially lose muscle and strength. Therefore, it is important to keep a varied balance of different cardio types in your workout routine. If you would like some more information about how best to incorporate LISS into your own training programme, speak to one of our friendly personal trainers at Beckwith Health Club.