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A CASE FOR LOW-INTENSITY CARDIO

Yes, you can overdo it with intervals

You’re already well aware that incorporating intervals into your training gives you the most bang for your workout-buck. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT—alternating between powerful, limit-pushing bursts and slowed-down recovery periods—has been shown to rev your calorie burn, boost fat reduction, increase strength and muscle mass and more. And, for those training for a race, intervals may help you improve your time even as you cut the time dedicated to training in half, according to a Danish study that tracked 5K times as affected by HIIT over a seven-week period.

But as praise for HIIT has reached cultish levels, the real, significant benefits of its counterpart, low-intensity steady-state cardio (or LISS, working at a lower intensity, but maintaining it for extended periods), have increasingly been swept under the rug. With the emphasis on intensity, most exercisers are overlooking the necessity (and benefits) of going easy and instead spending all of their time in this HIIT zone. Is it time to stop dissing LISS?