HIIT vs LISS: Best Cardio For Weight Loss and Muscle Retention?

HIIT vs LISS: Best Cardio For Weight Loss and Muscle Retention?


Well-met, and whaddup! I’m Mulatto_Rance
with Muscle & Magicka, and you, my friend… just accepted a quest. Hopefully you guys
can bear with me today – I’m recovering from the flu, because unfortunately, Mulattos start
out with very little disease resistance. Today’s topic is cardio: high intensity, low intensity,
which is better, is it necessary at all? Now this is a highly controversial issue, and
you know what that means. We’re gonna slay some misinformation, and probably aggro some
naysayers. So, make sure your buffs are up… and let’s go. So, last week, our boy Muneeb joined the Quest
to level up, and he asks: “Hey, Mulatto_Rance. I wanted to request a video about how to do
cardio in way that maintains muscle mass and burns fat most efficiently, my main problem
being love handles. I’ve heard about steady pace cardio (i.e. walking for 40 minutes on
an incline treadmill), but i don’t know how often to do it and what alternatives there
are.. I think walking on the treadmill is quite boring actually, so there must be some
other way to conquer this problem?” Excellent question, Muneeb, and you have already initiated
the starting quest by providing us with our Key Objective during a cut, which is maintaining
muscle mass. There are two main types of cardio that most people tend to use for losing weight,
and that’s HIIT (or high-intensity interval training) and LISS (which stands for low-intensity
steady state). High-intensity interval training is alternating short bursts of very intense
activity with longer periods of less intense activity. So, for example, going all out on
the eliptical for 15 seconds, followed by 1 minute of just cruising. And then repeat
the process for up to 15 or 20 minutes. Low-intensity steady state cardio would look like exactly
what you described, so walking on an incline treadmill at a steady pace for maybe 45 minutes.
Now honestly, there are studies suggesting that high intensity cardio is better for retaining
muscle mass. There are studies suggesting that low intensity is better for retaining
muscle mass. And there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence in between to support either side
of the argument. So until further research is done that shows us that there is a clear-cut
winner, I choose to look at cardio like this: For everything, there is a season: a season
for bulking, a season for cutting, a season for playing Legend of Zelda. I take that back.
It’s ALWAYS the season for Zelda. My point is, we don’t cut forever. We cut for a time,
and then we stop. And as such, I don’t think the minor differences of which form of cardio
uses X substrate or happens to be Y% more optimal is important. What’s important during
a cut, keeping in mind our Key Objective of maintaining muscle mass, are the following
3 factors. Number 1, setting your calories appropriately and not running too steep of
a deficit. Number two, making sure that you’re getting plenty of rest for recovery in between
workouts. And number 3, the most important factor, your training. I cannot stress enough
that the biggest key to maintaining muscle mass during a cut is weight training, and
we want to do everything in our power to support training and keep as much weight as possible
on that bar. And it’s through that lens that we look at cardio. The biggest draw of HIIT cardio is the fact
that it’s much more time efficient, and it can be a little bit more exciting than
LISS cardio. The tradeoff is, because of its high-intensity nature, it has a much greater
potential to interfere with recovery from training. And, since our Key Objective is
maintaining muscle mass, and our Key Item is training, we have to be very careful with
anything that might interfere with that. The bottom line is this: if you’re like me,
and you’re on a relatively high-volume, full-body training program that places significant
recovery demands on your body, you may be better off sticking with low-intensity. Now,
personally, I’ve got the time, and I’ll entertain myself by watching a movie or listening
to an Elder Scrolls Lore podcast. But hey, if recovery’s not an issue and you feel
like steady state cardio makes you feel like a Time Mage cast slow on you, then you may
want to go with HIIT – or a combination of the two. In any case, if you want to do
HIIT, I’d suggest starting out with not more than 1 or 2 sessions per week, assess
how it affects your recovery, your performance in the gym, and then move forward from there. Now, there are people out there who have successfully
cut without any cardio whatsoever. But unless your maintenance is through the roof, or you
just don’t like eating food, I suggest you achieve your caloric deficit through some
combination of diet and exercise. In my book, the biggest benefit of cardio is the fact
that it allows you to eat more food, which in turn supports training. Did I mention the
importance of training? Anyway, I hope you gained some experience points from that. If
there’s any particular Quest that you’d like to go on, let me know in the comment section
below. And, as always, if you want to come along with me on future quests, make sure
to subscribe to the party… and join my channel. Until next time, Mulatto_Rance… loggin’
out.

5 thoughts on “HIIT vs LISS: Best Cardio For Weight Loss and Muscle Retention?

  1. Great videos man i just recently started a vegetarian diet after extensive research do you have any comments on how to reach calorie goals while not eating meats?
    -Ernie

  2. Quest Completed!
    Thank you for the information my man much appriciated. I will be asking more queations in the future as i am happy with my answer this time 😀 👍

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