HIIT or LISS? Find out how to Construct a Excellent VR Exercise

By now, you may be aware of the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), but you are still confused as to whether you should also incorporate low-impact steady state (LISS) into your exercise routine.

In this article, I’m going to examine some of the pros and cons of HIIT and LISS. And at the end of the article, I’ll even give you a list of personal recommendations for VR games that embody both types of exercise.

But first you should be aware that the best routine is the one that suits your lifestyle and health. There is no way you need to push yourself to your maximum heart rate if it causes problems. Alternatively, if you are a die-hard athlete, you can ignore my LISS recommendations. That’s okay. Let’s begin.

Pros and cons of HIIT

HIIT Pro # 1: Crazy Calorie Burners

By definition, HIIT is a high-intensity workout. It gets your heart up to the maximum BPM it can reach – a number you can approximate using this guide from Lifehacker. Although the intervals are shorter, HIIT expects you to exercise your body 100% continuously.

This means that you are burning the calories needed to push your body to its limits. You forge beyond what your body was able to do, resulting in a change in how your body works. For this reason, soldiers, firefighters and police officers choose this type of training.

The HIIT # 2: EPOC

It’s well documented that HIIT causes what is known as post-exercise oxygen depletion (EPOC), in which your heart continues to burn calories until it’s back to its original state. Therefore, if you wear a fitness tracker such as an Apple Watch or Fitbit, your calorie consumption may continue to increase in the hours after you stop exercising.

HIIT Pro # 3: Time Efficiency

The beauty of HIIT is how much work it gets done in such a short amount of time. If you’re doing HIIT, go in and perform at your peak, take a short break, and then perform again at your peak. Rinse and repeat until you are done.

Some sources claim that you should only be doing HIIT for a maximum of 40-50 minutes, and even 15 minutes of HIIT at full throttle will obliterate you if you are a beginner. But that alone is a massive difference in efficiency between, say, a two-hour workout that is much less intense. This means that you don’t have to extend your session to take advantage of a “full” workout.

This guy looks quick.

HIIT Pro # 4: Building Muscle

HIIT is both aerobic and anaerobic. Contrasted with sustained cardio, which is only aerobic. You push your muscles to their limits, which leads to an increase in muscle mass. While the loss of body fat is associated with the loss of muscle mass, HIIT builds muscle as fat is burned.

HIIT Con # 1: Stress

HIIT climaxes your body, which can be a problem if you don’t know your limits. When you get tired and push yourself so far that maintaining your shape becomes a problem, continuing to do so has been known to put strain and even serious damage to your muscles and joints.

When you are in the middle of a workout, it can be difficult to judge when you will be stressing yourself the next day.

HIIT Con # 2: High Recovery Time

HIIT is not easy to come back the next day. Especially when there is stress, returning to your routine the next day – or even within the next few days – can lead to injury and make it even more difficult to keep the routine going.

For this reason, you should buffer your HIIT routine with LISS workouts.

HIIT Con # 3: It’s difficult to get through

If your body isn’t ready to work at 80-100% of its maximum output for an extended period of time, your workout can easily overwhelm you. Non-athletes are likely to experience stress, injury, and fatigue when attempting HIIT first.

If I tried this with my training partner, I’d be pretty sure we’d both fail.

HIIT Con # 4: It’s difficult to motivate yourself

It’s not hard to conclude that HIIT takes discipline to come back to. Day after day, week after week. Especially when other stressful things are going on, it is difficult to prepare to put in sustained 100% exertion for 20 to 40 minutes of your day.

LISS pros and cons

LISS Pro # 1: Simpler activities

LISS can be as simple as walking, jogging, dancing, or anything else that will keep your heart rate around 50% of your maximum.

LISS Pro # 2: Less stress

Since you are not pushing your body to the limit, you will have less opportunity to get burned during your LISS workout.

LISS Pro # 3: It’s connected with fun

Imagine how much fun you would have now if you played tennis or frisbee golf outside. You can almost feel the summer sun on your skin, right? This light physical activity is LISS and is enough to release beneficial endorphin chemicals that improve your mood. At least most VR games can be incorporated into a LISS routine while standing and on a room scale.

Due to its variety of levels, Beat Saber can function as LISS training, HIIT training or everything in between.

LISS Pro # 4: You are more likely to stay consistent

When you have fun and feel good about doing something, you will find it easier to incorporate it into your daily routine. This also means you’re less likely to stop exercising regularly with a LISS-based training plan. VR gaming is perfect for this.

LISS Con # 1: Less efficiency

To get results with LISS, you need to maintain them over a long period of time. This can mean hours spent on your preferred LISS activity rather than speeding up your routine with a HIIT activity.

LISS Con # 2: Can lead to muscle loss

With LISS you will lose body fat. You won’t be doing anything anaerobic so you won’t be building muscle. As a result, your muscle mass will decrease as you go through your LISS routine.

LISS With # 3: No EPOC

Unlike higher-intensity training, your heart does not have any intense training to recover from after your LISS training. As a result, you won’t burn nearly as many calories after you’ve finished your LISS workout.

LISS Con # 4: Decreasing Returns

If you stick to a LISS routine for too long (and don’t deviate at all) it feels like a chore so you avoid the activity altogether. And then you need to change your routine until your fitness improves again. This is less of a downside in VR than allowing you to usually just switch games or add more HIIT to your routine.

VR workout recommendations

If you want to get the results of a HIIT workout with little effort, it is highly recommended that you do your workout in VR! The three must-have VR games on your list are:

  1. The thrill of the fight!


3. Holopoint

If you want to focus on LISS, here are some games you should play instead:


2. Space Pirate Trainer

3rd bat: Nx

And if you want to get 50-70% of your maximum heart rate for about an hour every day, I recommend:

  1. Hit saber

2. Sparc


You may be trying to figure out how to balance HIIT and LISS in your workout. If you want to see real results, you need to stick to HIIT. That said, you should consider a LISS routine if accessibility and maintaining regular play are an issue.

VR has games that offer both types of exercise, and there are also games that can act as either HIIT or LISS in different circumstances. There are no restrictions on your training in VR, so you can keep fit at your own pace.

Have you used VR to achieve a high intensity routine? Let us know in the comments.

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