Low Intensity Steady State: Why This Workout Works So Well for Weight Loss

Not everyone is thrilled by the thought of an intense workout that leaves the muscles hurting. This sort of workout routine is the reason why many people avoid exercise; it’s just too much work and too painful. If you fall into that category or you are new to fitness workouts, then low intensity steady state (LISS) exercises are best for you.


dancing - low intensity steady state



What is low intensity steady state exercise?

LISS is not a workout that you can complete in 10 minutes. It takes longer, but is less intensive. This is a cardio training that is low intensity and works to help your body burn fat. Unlike HIIT where your heart rate fluctuates wildly between exercising and rest, low intensity steady state cardio keeps your heart rate in the moderate zone (50 to 60% of your maximum heart rate) until you start your cool-down.


Types of LISS cardio training

There are different types of LISS cardio training and most do not require any form of equipment. You can begin today and they are more sustainable. Some include

– Walking at a fast steady pace either outside or on a treadmill

– Biking on mostly flat terrain outside or on a stationary bike

– Dancing class, such as Zumba, hip-hop or salsa

– Using an elliptical trainer

– Pulling on a rowing machine


walking- low intensity steady state



Quick recovery: Recovery time is pretty fast because the exercises are light and so it’s easier to do it again the next day.

Low Impact on Joints and Ligaments: This is particularly important if you have not exercised in a very long time (or ever). Also if you are really overweight, you don’t want to put too much pressure on your joints.

Works great with your normal routine: If you do cardio four times per week and strength training twice, make one of your cardio sessions LISS. When paired with some HIIT and yoga, it becomes a well-rounded training routine that not only prevents boredom, but is best for fitness and easy on the body.

Is great for burning fat: LISS workouts convert fat to fuel over a period of time and are really effective for weight loss.


The Talk-Test


With all of these cardio activities, the pace is steady, but constant. You can use a heart-rate monitor to stay in the moderate range or use the “talk test”. You’ll know you are in the moderate range when you can carry on a conversation at the pace you are exercising. If you struggle talking, your pace is too fast. As you get in better shape, your pace will quicken somewhat, but it will still be easy to talk.


low intensity steady state workout


LISS sessions that last from 45 to 60 minutes and can condition the body over time to burn fat as fuel. However, a better strategy is to incorporate LISS training into your overall exercise routine.


While LISS is not an end-all training strategy, it certainly has its place as part of an overall routine. Try adding in a session a week, if experienced at exercising, or start with LISS solely as your training regimen until you are more fit and can add more training routines to your overall workout program. Or you may never progress beyond LISS … and that is O.K. too.





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