You’ve heard of HIIT training, its benefits, and even added it to your workout routine. But have you heard your gym buddies discussing LIIT training? LIIT training shares some similar qualities as HIIT, but their differences are what make it stand apart.
If you’re wondering how the calorie burn varies between both training methods, you can torch a ton of calories with both workouts. Everyone’s body is different and burns calories at a different rate, says Andrew Borsellino, MS, NSCA-CSCS, NASM-PES, co-founder of Precision Sports Performance. “When comparing HIIT calorie burn to LIIT calorie burn, it’s dependent on total time of the workout session.”
You can burn the same amount of total calories with both training styles, he says. For a ballpark estimate, during a 30-minute HIIT workout session, a 185-lb guy can anticipate to burn between 350 to 450 calories. That same guy can burn the same amount of calories during a 60- to 75-minute LIIT workout session, he says.
Make sure to add LIIT training a few times a week to your regular workout routine. Learn more about the benefits of LIIT training on the following slides.
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It’s intense, but THIS makes it different
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“LIIT training is similar to high-intensity interval training because it follows an intense exercise period followed by a slower-paced recovery period,” explains Jamie Logie, CPT, certified strength training specialist. The difference is that the intensity during a LIIT workout is slower than a sprint, and the recovery time is longer. A good example would be a 90-second jog on the treadmill followed by a walking recovery of three to five minutes.
HIIT training does have its benefits, but there are some good things you’re missing out on if you aren’t doing LIIT workouts. “LIIT training is a good alternative for those who are newer to fitness, the older population that might not be ready to jump right into the incredibly vigorous high-intensity training, and those coming off an injury,” says Logie.
People who have been on a fitness hiatus and want to ease back into exercising will also benefit from this form of training. Not to mention, LIIT training also acts like a reset button thanks to its longer recovery time in between exercises.
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It Leads to Weight Loss
Even though HIIT has long been deemed one of the best ways to lose weight, it’s been found that low intensity exercises are just as effective. Researchers at the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, observed two groups of people performing HIIT and LIIT exercises over a gradual period of time, and discovered that the LIIT exercises got the same weight loss effects as their counterpart, according to the results published in the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine.
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Transform Everyday Exercise into LIIT Training
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Just about any exercise can be performed through the LIIT format as long as it’s modified, says Borsellino. “Modifying the weight/rep scheme of an exercise that you are performing or changing the tempo or speed at which the exercises are done is key,” he says.
Borsellino advises jogging at a moderate pace for two to three minutes followed by a brisk walk for five minutes. Or try a circuit of three to four rounds of 10 squats, 10 push-ups, and a 30-second plank with a 90-second rest in between sets. Weight training can also be transformed into a low intensity workout, and he suggests doing so with three to four sets of 10 kettlebell swings, 10 single arm dumbbell rows per side, and holding a side plank for 20 seconds on each side with a 90-second rest between sets. LIIT is also commonly done on household gym machines such as the elliptical, stationary bike, treadmill, or rower. Just make sure to boost that resistance for an equally effective workout and give yourself plenty of rest time.
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All Ages Can Do It
Whether you’re 21 or 85, LIIT training can benefit you in the long run. A study that focused on older adults discovered that through low intensity exercises not only did they get physically stronger, but they boosted their cognitive health as well. So not only is it more sustainable than HIIT exercises, but it also means that the injury risk is lower and is more appropriate for individuals who are less fit.