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LISS Cardio – The Cardio for Fat Burning

November 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Fat Burning Articles

LISS Cardio – The Cardio for Fat Burning

Article by Carter Irvin

The rage lately is all about HIIT cardio: High Intensity Interval Training. Well my well-liked cardio for fat burning is LISS. This is the opposite end of the spectrum: Low Intensity Steady State.

You may be asking yourself why you would want to do LISS cardio. The answer is simple! To preserve that lean muscle tissue you have worked so hard to create This type of cardio causes the body to use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates

Not that there is anything wrong with HIIT. In fact I use it quite frequently. But the difference between my HIIT sessions and most that I see now is mine are very short. My HIIT session protocol is 15 minutes total: 15 second sprint and 45 second recovery. My heart rate is high for a total of 3 minutes. The sessions that are extremely long, fourty (40) plus minutes long that can be catabolic in nature. HIIT training requires proper nutrition! If you do not eat before and immediately after that type of training you risk losing lean muscle tissue. With that type of protocol, not eating prior to HIIT, you will not achieve the best cardio for fat burning.In my opinion, without complicating matters, LISS is the best cardio for fat burning.

The higher/more intense the aerobic activity means more energy is being used from the FIRST available energy source: glycogen (aka carbohydrates!) If the calories you are burning are from primarily carbs, it will be at the expense of the lean muscle tissue on our bodies. The glycogen stores will deplete and our muscles will look smaller due to it.. If exercise continues and glycogen stores are depleted our bodies will use the next available energy source which is protein — the muscles in our body!

Basically our muscles are the gas tank of a car. You can look at a car and not be able to tell if the car has a full tank of gas or is on empty. Human bodies, on the other hand, (especially lean, muscular people) it is very easy to to see if their “tanks” are full by looking at their muscles. If they look small and flat instead of full and round you can quickly see their glycogen stores are depleted.

The key to LISS cardio is to keep your heart rate between 65% and 75% of your maximum and to make sure the session last no longer than one hour. You can do more than one session in a day but do not do them back to back. I personally like mine first thing in the AM before eating anything and immediately after working out (once again before eating anything post workout)There are two times in a day I’ll do LISS cardio for fat burning: first thing in the morning after waking (without eating) and immediately after an intense weight training session. The reason behind “fasting” prior to LISS cardio is because the fat burning processes in our body are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. The SNS comes into play when there is physical activity and a lack of fuel (food). The combination of fasting and exercising maximizes the impact of cellular factors and catalysts (cyclic AMP and AMP Kinases), which force the breakdown of fat and glycogen for energy. So, when you exercise on an empty stomach, you’re actually forcing your body to burn fat. So it’s a matter of understanding how the body uses energy sources in order to get the best cardio for fat burning.

As previously mentioned one reason to do LISS in a fasted state is our body’s choice of energy sources A simplified answer, our bodies have 3 energy sources available: carbohydrates, protein and fat.. The preferred order of energy sources by our body is: carbs, fat and finally protein. Keep in mind, the human body is designed to SURVIVE, so no matter what intensity we are exercising at — over time the body will switch energy sources.

So if the intensity level is relatively low our body will switch to the second source – FAT! Fat is a slow burning fuel. This is exactly why animals fatten up for hibernations — fat is used as their fuel source). This switch normally happens around the 10-15 minute mark (on average).The body will continue to burn fat for energy for about 1 hour but after that, due to the bodies requirement to SURVIVE and conserve, will then switch to protein. Yes, you will be using lean muscle tissue for fuel at that point! Here is another visual for you — long distance runners. Ever notice how they are lean everywhere but they have that little belly? They have gone too far when it comes to burning fat — the body will save that fat because that’s what it is designed to do!

Here is an idea for you. And it’s a win/win! What do I mean by that? Well do you own a dog? For those who own dogs – taking your dog for a long walk is a perfect example of LISS cardio. Plus it’s a benefit to your dog! Both you and your dog will see the results from the best cardio for fat burning! Keeps you and your dog lean and mean!

If the weather is bad I like to get on a stationary bike and pedal at about 65 RPM or walk on a treadmill (flat incline) at approx 3 miles an hour. I don’t know about you but I just dislike it when it is cold outsideI don’t know about you but I really dislike cold weather. However studies have shown that being outside when it’s cold will enhance the fat burning effect! Your body simply has to burn more calories to stay warm. So doing your LISS outside, in the snow, will enhance the the best cardio for fat burning!

I’ve told many people about this form of cardio and I always get the same feedback: I just don’t feel like it’s doing anything. With this HIIT crazed society it is very hard to believe that something low intensity has any results. But you have to have faith!. Believe me it works! This is exactly how I achieved my best conditioning of my life! Remember this cardio is designed, primarily, to help us burn body fat and preserve lean muscle mass. HIIT does still have it’s place for cardio conditioning and fat loss.

I still do HIIT but only 2-3 times per week. I did the Insanity program a few months ago and it did help me get into great cardiovascular shape but at what cost?Long, intesne HIIT sessions, especially for my body type, result in great cardio condition but I sacrifice way too much lean muscle tissue Body fat measurements showed that I did lose weight but not the weight I wanted — I sacrificed lean muscle tissue! Sure the scale moved down but that’s not what I wantedOur “results” are not merely determined by if the scale in the bathroom goes down. At least for me long cardio sessions like that are not the best cardio for fat burning.

About the Author

LISS Cardio will always be in my toolbox when it comes to fitness. For body-types like mine this is how to reduce body fat without sacrificing lean muscle tissue. It is what helped me get RIPPED for my bodybuilding competition.LISS cardio is the cardio for fat burning. Period.

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