HIIT VS LIIT. Two different training programs. Many may have heard of the HIIT program, however, there are only a few persons knowing the LIIT program.
Today’s article hosts a discussion on the similarities and differences between these two training programs.
I believe this helps on selecting the program best for your needs and goals.
HIIT and LIIT are high-performance training disciplines and probably the best way for training, leading to body fat & weight, loss, and muscle strengthening.
The high demands of these training sessions strengthen the physical endurance, increase muscular strength and stimulate the metabolic rate.
Cardiovascular and respiratory systems are improved.
The one training discipline includes exercises with fast turns and pace, being highly pleasant, though difficult to become bored, while the other is slow and less tedious (for those not looking for stressful exercises but for results).
Exercise becomes less boring and more fun with these exercise programs.
Below are the details of each training program.
1st Training Program: HIIT
What it is:
A highly demanding exercise activating the metabolism and enhancing the muscle strength. At the same time, spectacular benefits for the cardio-respiratory system are obtained.
The aerobic nature of the HIIT exercise and the fast alternations of exercises increase the athlete’s alertness and interest during training.
The metabolism goes up and calories are burnt in a pleasant way. The most interesting thing is that you continue to burn calories for many hours after the end of the workout, so enhancing rapid fat loss and weight loss.
Even more interesting is the fact that in the HIIT training the same number of calories are burnt as in traditional aerobic (cardio) training, nevertheless, only in 1/3 of the time, as confirmed by scientific studies.
HIIT training has many benefits for the body, not only in weight loss, but also in health, psychology, brain function, mood, fitness and even sexual health.
Increases the secretion of important hormones in organism favoring the proper functioning of the entire organism.
How it works:
The HIIT consists of high-difficulty exercises performed over a short period, activating the organism’s capability to burn glucose to save energy.
In a cleared way, carbs are burnt during high-intensity exercise and even better body fat is burnt during the recovery period (in the rest of the day).
Excessive body fat burning for many hours after the end of training is due to a phenomenon called EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen), describing the consumption of excess oxygen even after the end of the training process for many hours later.
The explanation is very simple. Following high-intensity training, the cardiovascular system continues to work at an increased rate, resulting in increased oxygen consumption and therefore increased fat dissolution for production of beneficial energy.
In other words, the organism continues to burn fat even after the end of the training in order to replenish organic energy levels and restore them to the point at the start of the exhausting training.
How to execute the discipline:
Like any training process, HIIT first requires a good warm-up of the muscles so to cope with no injuries during the dynamic exercises that follow.
The main part of the HIIT training includes exercise cycles starting at very high intensity (depending on independent tolerance) and continuing at a more moderate intensity.
At the end, there is – certainly – a muscle recovery program (relaxation) including exercises starting with moderate intensity and continuing at low intensity and relaxation.
The HIIT program is usually fast-paced, not including more than 15 exercise cycles.
In high-intensity exercises, the sets should be performed very quickly, to the best of your capability and in a time not exceeding the 60 seconds.
Therefore, everything is done very quickly and at a very high intensity.
During the next phase – since the body has already started to get tired – the exercises are performed in moderate intensity so that the body returns from the previous sprint and is reconstructed for what follows with the next cycle of exercises.
There is no exact time limit for HIIT training. However, as this is a high intensity training, exercises are performed in a short time.
This means that a satisfactory & efficient HIIT training session lasts about 20 minutes, including about 5 minutes of warm-up, 15 minutes mainly training (with high and moderate intensity exercises) and finally a few more minutes with low intensity exercises of at least 10 minutes, up to individual’s desire, for muscle recovery and relaxation.
As an elevated cardiovascular function, HIIT might cause intense stress on the body (following for hours after training), this being also one of the reasons why the burning of body fat in organism continues for long afterwards.
In the case, the workouts are in the evening, and then might overwhelm you, causing disturbance on the sleep.
Furthermore, HIIT “works” so extensively and in such intensity that the body requires at least 24 – 36 hours (depending on individual’s physical condition) recovery and rest before the next session.
Finally, a well-structured diet is important for such a demanding training. The body needs energy and nutrients to cope with the tedious workout, also requiring protein to increase body muscle mass for supplying the body with energy during exercise.
2nd Training Program: LIIT
What it is:
LIIT, or Low Intensity Interval Training, is a low-intensity training program.
Unlike the high-intensity HIT training, the LIIT program is less demanding and tedious, aiming at long-term muscle rebuilding and to gradual fat loss as well.
It may not be as fast as HIIT, but LIIT training is more persistent on each muscle group with a targeted strengthening.
Though the low intensity has very positive effects as well on stimulating the cardiovascular system and increasing endurance, improves posture & flexibility, augments your muscle strength and increases focus during training.
It is an ideal workout for those who can’t stand the fast alternations and the high intensity in their training, wanting slower & targeted results.
LIIT training is less threatening for injuries and more accessible for beginners in training.
Basically – to understand it better – if your HIIT training requires a dynamic sprint that will eventually lead to jogging, LIIT training suggests a milder but more dynamic jogging that will result in dynamic walking.
How it works:
It is a mild form of training also promoting (though at a slower pace) the body fat loss.
It may take two or three times as long to get the same results of HIIT training, but for those who are not fans of dynamic workouts and not capable to attend such exercise programs, it is the ideal solution.
Does it burn calories? Yes! At the same time, however, improves the individual’s flexibility dramatically, requiring more time and attention in each exercise.
The slow but persistent application of exercises for each muscle group gives muscle stimulation and strengthening without requiring aerobic training.
Unlike HIIT, even recovery / relaxation intervals are more generous, making this discipline more pleasant and relaxing.
This workout takes significantly longer to perform, at least twice the time of a conventional cardio workout and at least three times the time of a strenuous HIIT workout.
Muscle results and weight loss take place at a slower pace, however, with less effort and more rest.
It is an ideal exercise for beginners and people with difficulty in aerobic training.
Besides, in LIIT training you do not raise the heart rate and you do not have short breathing.
So you can apply it “in a manner with friends”.
Many – especially beginners in fitness – start this workout with a friend. During the exercises they can chat and joke, making the process more pleasant and accessible (even for the most skeptical to get up from the couch of their home).
What to select?
Any selection to be made, is related clearly to your physical endurance and to the goals preset on the personal training.
You wish to lose weight fast? Then you will definitely choose HIIT.
You wish a more pleasant and relaxed exercise during the week between work commitments? Then you choose LIIT.
The HIIT offers faster results, while the LIIT presents slower but more relaxed results.
The choice relies on the individual.
A training program where HIT will alternate with LIIT training at intervals may be also implemented.
Ideally, we suggest trying both trainings in order to check your physical limits and find the ideal training process.
The body type is also important for any personal selection, along with weight loss and muscle gains planned.
Finally, find what pleases you the most, as exercise should never stop being a fun and entertaining process.