If you had to pick the better runner — a sprinter or a marathoner — the answer would depend on the type of race. In a 200-meter race, the sprinter will have an edge over the marathoner, but if it calls for, say, 18 miles, the marathoner will outrun the sprinter.
That’s how you should think about high-intensity interval training and low-intensity steady state cardio. One type of workout isn’t necessarily better than the other, but one might be better suited for you, depending on your fitness goals.
What exactly is the difference between HIIT and LISS cardio? HIIT involves alternating between short bursts of intense effort with periods of rest or active recovery. There are many ways to do HIIT, but some of the most popular work-to-rest ratios are 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest, 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest, or four minutes of alternating between 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest (also known as a Tabata).
LISS cardio is low-intensity exercise, such as walking, jogging and cycling, at a relatively easy pace.
“If you’re looking to do a marathon, mud run or endurance-based activity, put some energy into LISS. But if you’re looking to be more explosive, athletic or build muscle, HIIT workouts are best suited to help you do that,” says personal trainer Rafique “Flex” Cabral.
To help you decide which type of exercise is best for you, here are different scenarios where HIIT or LISS could be more beneficial.
If you’re new to exercise and just want to get moving
Whether you’re a gym newbie or are getting back into working out after a hiatus, LISS is a good way to ease into exercise. Because you’re working at a low intensity, you