5 reasons you need to slow down in the gym
If you’re striving for super-quick results, you can easily be pressured into painful (and pointless) workouts. So the personal trainers at Third Space have revealed the ways we could benefit from slowing down in the gym, and explain why low intensity steady state (LISS) training is your much-needed antidote for true progress:
1 You’ll actually lose more weight
Ultimately, weight loss comes down to the simple equation of calories consumed versus calories burned. A 20-minute circuit workout will burn around 183 calories. An hour-long jog burns 400. Yes, intervals offer the unquantifiable EPOC effect – the after-burn through an elevated metabolism – but steady-state actually melts more calories during exercise.
Read more: 10 reasons to join the Fat Burn Revolution
2 You’ll bolster your mental health
Stress is the modern malaise. Slow ’n’ steady is your salve. Jogging or any form of aerobic exercise has, conversely, been proven to lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone in the blood – researchers therefore believe it’s a potent antidote to today’s anxiety epidemic.
Read more: 6 exercise tips to heal your mind
3 You’ll improve your technique
Longer, slower sessions are also excellent for honing technique – something that’s all too quick to fall by the wayside during a max-out HIIT session. Whether you’re prepping for a triathlon or a 10K, a higher training volume will help you to maintain posture, as well as develop a better foot strike or pedal rhythm – especially when combined with the expert input of a personal trainer – letting you go for longer at a lower energy cost. Better technique means fewer injuries, too.
Read more: Breathe out to chill out
4 You’ll speed up recovery
LISS increases capillary density – the number of blood vessels in your muscle tissues – so that you can better deliver oxygen from your blood to your cells. Research shows that low-intensity therefore also helps you flush out the delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS)-causing metabolites of hardcore workouts. Hit the pool rather than the sofa on your rest day and you’ll be up and walking after intense classes more quickly.
Read more: At-home HIIT workout
5 And finally, you’ll actually live longer
Start playing the long game. A recent study by US scientists found that running just 30 minutes a day could be the most effective exercise to increase life expectancy. On average, runners can add nine years to their lifespan by lacing up on their lunch hour. The treadmill is waiting for you…
You can put LISS into practice with these three cardio workouts designed to be more interesting than an aimless plod.
On the rower
2 x 20 minutes with 2-3 minutes rest; done 21 seconds slower than your 2k split
On the treadmill
Walk 1 min at 3mph Jog 1 min at 5mph Run 1 min at 7mph Repeat x 15
In the pool
500m at 40% effort with 30 seconds rest 500m at 50% with 30 seconds rest 500m at 70% with 30 seconds rest 500m at 80% with 30 seconds rest