Summer is around the corner! HIIT or steady state cardio to perfect that beach body?

As summer is quickly approaching, I find myself having a tough time staying active throughout winter. Too many Christmas cookies, too little steps. I always find myself torn when it comes to figuring out which form of cardio is better. Some RAVE about high intensity interval training (HIIT) which is popular because of how quickly it can be done. Others are loyal to steady state cardio, also known as LISS, because it’s not so taxing on your body. So, let’s break it down and see which is better for you.


HIIT is a form of cardio where you’ll do 20-30 second rounds of all-out effort, followed by 30-60 second rest. You repeat 5-6 times and then you cool down. Most sessions are 15-30 minutes long.

LISS is a slower form of cardio where you can run or walk at just above a conversational pace, for 30-40 minutes.

Pros of HIIT

· Is perfect for those who are short on time.

· Great for anyone who loves to get after it.

· Your body is still burning calories trying to catch up to the high intensity demands you placed on it 3-4 hours after you complete the HIIT session.

· Burns as many calories as a 45-60 minute LISS session.

Pros of LISS

· Not as high impact on your joints and cortisol as HIIT.

· Maximizes burning fat while keeping muscle at bay.

· Easier to complete after a resistance training workout.

HIIT Con’s

· If done too frequently too often, can keep cortisol chronically elevated leading to problems down the road

· Depending on the exercise, can be hard on your joints

· Increased risk for injury

· More intensity isn’t always better. It could negatively impact your gym performance

LISS Con’s

· Doesn’t burn as many calories as HIIT

· Becomes very boring and mundane after a couple weeks

· Requires longer and longer sessions as the diet continues

· Harder to implement for very busy people

So, which is better?

As you can see, both HIIT and LISS have their advantages and disadvantages. But the reality is you need both. In my opinion it’s best to try and incorporate both into your workout routine. Start small so you don’t overwhelm yourself. For example, I myself like to do LISS after weight training since it isn’t so intense. Or as you see most girls on Instagram and TikTok doing the “hot girl walk” meaning they do it in the morning as part of their morning routine. I think it’s best to do HIIT workouts on days you’re not doing weight training, so you have the energy and strength to complete it without any risk of injuring yourself.

But again, do whatever works best for you! Everyone’s different and some have more time in their day than others. But most importantly, make sure you ENJOY any exercise you’re doing. Never let exercise feel like a punishment. I hope this helps all you babes prep for summer!

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