Does Cardio Matter? The differences between HIIT & LISS Cardio

Does Cardio Matter? The differences between HIIT & LISS Cardio

  1. PURPOSE OF CARDIO: Cardio improves many different aspects of your health to include the heart, mental health, mood, sleep, weight and hormonal regulation and metabolism. 
  • Cardio helps with heart health as it improves your resting heart rate, and blood pressure. This will also help increase organ and sexual function.
  • When the blood circulation improves so does metabolism as it helps transport nutrients through the blood stream. (This concept also helps with skin)
  • Cardio helps improve brain function and is also great for the joints and the general skeletal system.

  • Women walking on a treadmill
    ( Model & Fitness instructor: Allison Dickey)
    1. TYPES OF CARDIO: The types of cardio that you partake in are dependent on your goals and body type. Some require more, and some just maintenance levels for general health.
  • LISS (Low Intensity Steady State)
  • This is things like: Stairs, treadmill walks, and elliptical or a hike outdoors. Something that is low intensity and low impact.
  • This type is easy to do, low risk, and does burn calories just takes a longer period of time.
  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • This is things like: Jump rope, hill sprints, box jumps, swimming, or light weight, high rep type exercises
  • This type is very effective at burning calories in a short period of time, is good for working on biomechanics and coordination but can also be high risk for injuries. 
  • MISS (Moderate Intensity Steady State)
  • This is things like: Spin class, elliptical at high effort, or any other listed steady state exercise above that is done at a higher intensity.
  • This, next to HIIT is typically more ideal due to the demand and effort placed
  • *NOTES: Cardio is something that is overlooked and underrated. Many place little effort to their cardio which results in more time spent doing it.
  • MY RECOMMENDATIONS- Place as much effort on burning as many calories as fast as possible so you don’t waste 2 hours a day doing unnecessary cardio. 

  • Fitness instructor and CEO Jesse Turner Demonstrating a HIIT exercise.


  • The recommended time for weekly cardiovascular training is 75-150 minutes based on the level of intensity (American Heart Association).
  • I personally recommend to my clients 5 days a weeks 30-45 minutes minimum. 
  • More or less depending on the goal and individual body type.
  • The goal should coincide with skill level, body structure and with nutrition in mind. 
  • You want to consider the food/fuel in place and the overall caloric goal to meet regardless if it is a deficit or surplus. 
  • Cardio paired with exercise and diet should create a full circle surrounding the goal.

  • Cardio while in a surplus or trying to gain weight is still necessary for general health and heart purposes.
  • We refer to this as maintenance level cardio because it has all the health benefits of cardio while keeping the excess calories from storing more fat then desired.
  • This level of cardio is typically done in the LISS format depending on the body type. 
  • This helps increase blood and bodily function so that the person benefits more in their fitness journey because hormones, organs, blood transport, heart, and sleep are all working toward the goal of growth. 


  • Cardio while in a deficit is done with the intent of burning calories to help break down and burn fat tissue. This associated with a good nutrition and exercise plan can be very effective at loosing the desired weight.
  • This type of cardio is typically done in the MISS or HIIT format due to the intensity levels being higher to help burn more calories. 
  • This goal still holds all the same cardiovascular health benefits. 
  • The demand for burning more calories is higher so this type of goal consideration may require more lengthy time spent executing.

  • Fitness instructor and CEO Jessue Turner doing a some cardio on an assault bike.

         6.TIME V. OUTPUT

  • MANY people have a tendency to waste a lot of time spent doing cardio and still not reach the desired goal.
  • The goal for most is to loose weight, which requires burning calories, which requires heat and energy, which requires effort.
  • The slower you move, the less effort you place, the longer it takes to burn calories beyond your bodies natural BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
  • The more effort you put into any version of cardio that you do the more calories you will burn in a shorter period of time
  • This is one of the main reasons why MISS and HIIT produce better results because it forces the individual to work harder versus letting them tip toe on the stair master for 60 minutes only to burn 320 calories. 
  • CARDIO IS VERY IMPORTANT regardless of the goal
  • But much like anything in life you get what you put into it. You can waste time, make excuses and not see results or
  • You can save time, maximize your effort, and see results faster and better than you ever imagined.
  • Cardio requirements can vary from person to person regarding heart rate, time, and output. For specific advice message me at or contact me on IG @savage_fitician