Advice on HISS or LISS Training

As some of you are aware, I am trying to work at increasing my fitness and exercise around an ankle which I am trying to nurture back to being flexible and pain free.

My Physio is happy for me to do things like brisk walking, 5 minute stints on CV equipment, but no standing around, no high impact stuff, and I am supposed to be careful on rough terrain - though I can manage to stumble over a twig, so I'm a bit of a liability there.

I am really getting back into exercising and stuff, and was reading at the weekend about HISS, which sounded interesting, and more suitable for me at the moment. Does anyone have any knowledge or thoughts, advice or comments about this, or things I could do? With a goal on the horizon, but with various parts of me feeling looser than I would prefer, I am very keen to up the action without paining my ankle.

My Gym is close to work, and that is my "go to" place for exercise other than walking - it is how I fit things in, and is really the way I can commit to doing this, so I have access to CV and weights, both fixed and free. No swimming pool, and the few exercise classes they do at the times I can get there are going to be too much for my ankle.

Here's hoping someone can share some knowledge with me.

And the March Fitness Challenge beckons. :)

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20 Replies

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  • Oh crumbs MissisB, I'd love to be able to help you, but have no clue what HISS is? I've only heard of HIIT! :o

    I hope someone more knowledgeable turns up! :)

  • I've edited it - I think I might mean LISS. :D :D :D

    HISS - High Intensity Steady State

    LISS - Low Intensity Steady State

  • That's not Brahms and Liss is it? :D (poetic license for the spelling ;) )

    I shall away and Google it! :D

  • Norty moreless Thought was only allowed seriousness on here. Liszt by the way - Hungarian Rhapsodies and all that kind of thing.

  • :D :D

    I found this, courtesy of Google :D

    Good examples of LISS cardio include:

    Cross trainer/elliptical machine sessions.

    Fast walking or slow jogging.

    Moderate swimming - in the pool or in the sea on holiday!

    Walking up stairs or using a stepper machine.

    Steady rowing/using rowing machine.

    Steady cycling.

    Hill walking/incline on treadmill.

  • Well done moreless + Google. All I found was very random blogs from people who confused me. I can cope with instructions like that. And I have CX and my C2. :D

  • You're sorted then!, but apparently you need to do 35 - 45 mins/day for it to be effective! Perfect for the March exercise challenge! :)

  • Oh brilliant. I was wondering about timings - works perfectly.

  • What a team, Google and I are! :D :D

  • Hi MissisB I too have an ankle issue. Not heard of LISS/HISS (just had to Google!) but for me I need to tighten my core and strengthen my thighs to take the pressure off my ankle. I have physio exercises and like you I can't do high impact. I have found pilates and yoga to be brilliant in terms of core work and stretching hamstrings/calves (mine are short and tight so stretching is uber important for me). I tried ballet barre conditioning yesterday which is also fab and the teacher was great at giving me alternatives. This is much more reps than impact so actually perfect as it is also about core and posture. Would highly recommend all of these. I have been walking more and can feel it in my ankle but I know now how much I can do. Please keep me posted on your LISS/HISS progress as I would definitely be keen to look into it. Sorry I can't help more. Hope the ankle continues to improve. Also, was it you talking about a bosu? Great for core and balance and recommended by my physio. I really need to get one as just use the gym one at the mo.

  • No, it wasn't me talking about bosu. Something else for me to look up. πŸ™‚

    Having a go at Pilates is on my wish list, and the ballet barre sounds interesting. At the moment I am trying to get my exercise habit back so I will be sticking with what is at my Gym. Once I have my habit back, I will looking around for extras.

    And I will keep people updated on LISS/HISS, although I always expect people here to be ahead of me on things like this. πŸ˜€

  • Hi Newbiewl. What is a Bosu? I have seen this mentioned a few times x

  • I used good old Google and found an image. :)

  • Essentially, HISS is a hybrid of the principles that govern HIIT (high intensity interval training) and LISS, but is more commonly known as cardio interval training.

    Due to the intensity at which it's performed, the duration is longer than HIIT but shorter than LISS (or SSC exercise).

    The benefit of performing HISS is that it increases the uptake of glucose and fat, leading to greater calorie expenditure in a shorter space of time (compared to LISS). Although some may argue that HISS/cardio intervals offers no benefit over LISS, I beg to differ.

    By increasing intensity of exercise, the body is forced to adapt. The growth of new capillaries to transport oxygen increases, allowing the muscles to become more adept at processing oxygen, leading to improvements in fitness and quicker rate of recovery. Improving fitness, through cardio intervals, allows for the eventual introduction of HIIT.

    Since your physio has advised against impact exercise, upon the assumption that they don't place too much pressure upon your ankle, consider using the recumbent exercise bikes (where legs extend in front) and elliptical trainers to perform cardio upon.

    However, since your physio has suggested that no longer than 5 minutes is spent upon CV equipment, you'll stand to gain very little in the way of improving cardiovascular fitness (until the ankle has healed). When performing HISS, CV exercise ought to be performed for a minimum of 20 minutes to reap the same benefits as LISS.

    It's such a shame that you don't possess nearby use of a pool, since it'd have been my first suggestion.

    That said, even if CV exercise cannot be undertaken for as long as you'd prefer, consider Pilates classes (purely for the reason it developed-rehabilitation from injury), in addition to considering lifting weights, so that metabolism continues to fire.

    When lifting weights, by aiming to use a weight that allows fatigue of a particular muscle group to be achieved after 12-15 reps (repeated twice over), you'll largely replicate the same effect of HISS, since the repeated contraction and extension of muscle fibres raises exercising HR; it's also the reason behind why Body Pump classes have retained their popularity in recent years.

  • Interesting reply MrNiceGuy 😊

    Good luck MissisB 😊 It is very frustrating when injury impedes our activity πŸ˜• I have a long standing ankle injury and it can be very painful and debilitating πŸ˜•

    I love walking so use a ski pole, and carry a folding walking stick around town for when I need it. Also love swimming (only just had the go ahead for this after hysterectomy and I'm full of a cold!!! Typical) and an exercise bike. I was surprised the physio suggested only 5 minutes? Are you allowed to increase this over time?

    Hope you see some improvement soon 😊 Good luck with Hiss . . . Isn't he a character in Disney's Robin Hood??? Lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  • I had a really positive physio session this morning, and the great news is, that in a few weeks, I am going to be able to start progressing again. I also now have a clear understanding of what pain is OK, and not OK, so I can work towards more activity based on knowing what the pain means.

    The 5 minute 'rule' is about mixing up the position my ankle is in, so different pieces of equipment will cause my ankle to move in different ways, whilst keeping on one piece of equipment for longer with aggravate things through repetition - at the moment.

  • Sounding very positive 😊 Good luck and get healed soon xx

  • Ah, now the five minute rule makes more sense. Glad to hear that you're not restricted to just 5 minutes of CV exercise.

    In that case, with regard to HISS, maybe do two minutes at a higher level, followed by 60s recovery, increasing intensity for another two minutes.

    Simply repeat the process as you move between machines

  • It seems I really did not explain myself very well at all!

    thank you for the suggestions MrNiceGuy I will start to work that in gradually from this evening.

  • Thank you MrNiceGuy I found your reply very informative and extremely helpful. I have written myself a few notes down in my gym book, to make sure I remember everything and progress.

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