what do yous do for HIT cardio

  1. what do yous do for HIT cardio

    what do those of you do that do HIT cardio.  I am going into my cutting phase next week, and am looking to get in some good cardio.


    Honestly I can't stand doing cardio, so the idea of 15-20 minutes HIT 3 days is sitting well with me.


    besides sprints, what else do you guys do?  My gym is small, and I don't live in a country side or anything where I can just go outside and do sprints......

    Also by HIT cardio, what % of our max heart rate are we looking to sustain for the duration of the workout.......AND...do we count the minutes it takes us to get up to that heart rate. 




  2. I swim.

  3. Yaaayyyy...swimmers!!!!

    *runs to get book that has a whole section dedicated to HIIT*
    Heart rate should be around 180 bpm in the relief intervals (time spent doing light work such as light jogging)...

    Now...HIIT is the main workout...the warm up does not count time-wise.

    uhhh I got to go so I will add more to this later....
    Read This Book!!: Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William N. Taylor M.D.

  4. 180 bpm? Wouldn't it depend on the age of the person?

    also that means 180 in the down time, or 180 is the HIT?


  5. This is from an article at bodybuilding.com by Eric Satterwhite


    Over the years, there are certain laws and rules of bodybuilding that have accumulated over the years. And they have amassed an un-written bible of bodybuilding. Bulking 3:16 says, "Lift big, Eat big, and Get big". Certain things like, eat more and grow; if you want to gain muscle, you are going to have to gain some fat; and of course, never do cardio. Well, things change. We get smarter and consequently we get bigger. Every year, there are new techniques in training, diet and supplementation that allow us to take our physiques to the next level. I think many of the "Old School" laws have hung around much longer than they should have. We have to learn to accept that there won't always be one best way to do something. You don't eat your eggs raw anymore, do you? We now have whey protein and there's really no need to do it anymore.

    Cardio: Yea or Nay

    Well there's one more thing that should go. And that's the law that says cardio will kill your gains in muscle. Cardio should be a part of every program whether your goal is maximum muscle or serious fat loss. In fact cardio, if implemented intelligently, can even augment your effort in the weight room! That's right, you don't need to be come a slob to put on muscle. You can stay lean and even lose that spare tire in the process. Is it really possible to build muscle with out 6,000 calories a day?? You bet your sweet ass it is [7,14,17,18,20,26]! And even more interesting, it happens in young, healthy people who have been training for years[15,26,27]. Its really a matter of how you go about it and how you manipulate your diet to maximize you bodies internal workings. This first article is going to focus on just how cardio can help grow muscle.

    First we need to realize that simply increasing caloric intake does not lead to muscle mass [26,33]. We can all agree that the types of calories (ie. Protein, carbs, fat) play a much bigger roll. Its also been widely accepted that keeping glycogen stores high is a determining factor in the rate of growth. This is why many bodybuilders find it necessary to consumer more carbohydrates than some endurance athletes. This is where cardio, and more specifically intense cardio comes into play. A protein molecule called, GLUT4, transports glucose. It basically sits on the surface of cells. The more you have the more glucose can be carried into muscle cells. High intensity aerobic work greatly increases the amount of the transporters [21]. Intense aerobics also creates the same catabolic state and 3 hour nutritional window of opportunity as does weight training [13,25]. This is the first down fall of many bodybuilders. How many of you out there actually supplement a cardio session exactly the same as weight training?? That's what I thought. And this response stays elevated above normal resting conditions for literally days [21,22].


    However, you can't get any glucose into a muscle cell with out the presence of insulin, the king of anabolic hormones. If you don't control your insulin all day, every day, you are basically shooting a hole in the boat you're sitting in [21]. Both aerobic and heavy weight training increase insulin sensitivity [11], so in the long run, less carbs are needed to reach optimal levels of glycogen stores. There is also a strong correlation between the amount of insulin secreted and the rate of protein synthesis [28,29]. And, surprise, surprise, insulin responses are much higher to the initial dose of carbs after intense exercise [15]. However, the longer you are inactive, those high rates of synthesis drop off quickly with ever hour that passes [30]. So for those of you who lift on a 3-day split, you may be wise to slip a short intense cardio session on those off days. And if you are someone who goes to lift twice a day, it would also be wise to make one of those times a cardio session instead of more weights. By lifting two times a day, you are setting yourself up for disaster. It seems that with every weight training session on a given day, the catabolic hormone response is amplified [25]! But overall cortical (the catabolic hormone) levels stay very low in people who go once a day, every day [15]. In fact, its been shown that people who incorporate 3 days of weight and 3 days of cardio gain more lean mass, and even with a negative nitrogen balance [26]. As much as a 4% increase in dry muscle. Not, fat free mass, not weight, not lean mass, pure stinking muscle. And a loss of 5% body fat ta-boot [27].

    Growth hormones and IGF-1

    The most promising aspect of cardio work is its effect on the two remaining hormones that are paramount in muscle growth, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I. Now, there has been some debate as to whether or not GH is really anabolic and increases muscle mass. Well let's say for argument's sake that it isn't. But one thing is for sure, its metabolic offspring, IGF-I sure as hell is [2,3,8,9]! We all know that stacking on the heavy weights increases these two hormones rather effectively [1], but not many think of cardio doing that as well. In fact, cardio is just as effective as the heavy weights [19,15,31]. GH whether or not it is actually active in muscle growth is irrelevant when you know that it is the hormone that stimulates the release of IGF-I [32]. And it appears that as the intensity of the cardio increases, so does the amount of GH [31]. And to top it all off, if for some unknown reason you decide to do more than one cardio session a day, the release of GH is magnified with every time [19]. What exactly is "intense" cardio? Well roughly 85-90% or your VO2 max, or heart rate [26]. If you can go for more than 20 continuous minutes, it simply isn't hard enough. The goal of intense cardio is to not so much burn off the 400 calories in the session, but to let your body do that as it tries to "fix" it self after the ass whipping you just dished out. The shorter your sessions, the less chance you run of hitting the catabolic wall [25]. However, the effects of IGF-I on muscle seem to be "local", meaning it has to be produced by, or introduced into the muscle [4]. And because contracting muscle has an insulting-like action (you probably call it the "pump"), all the extra movement from the cardio will be drawing more IGF-I in to cells. So it would be wise to find some type of cardio that uses a lot of different muscle groups.

    So to bring this to a close, doing cardio during a "bulking" phase to stay lean or lose some extra fat will only magnify your efforts in the gym. Cardio increases your ability to store glycogen with less carbs and calories, it conditions our body to suppers catabolic hormones for longer periods of time and it not only sets the muscle building stage buy producing an abundance of anabolic hormone, but it keeps the process going at a high rate 24/7.

    However, all of this means squat, unless you play your "nutritional timing" cards right. And in the next article, I'll explain how to stack the deck in your favor.


    In the previous article I went against the grain and explained how cardio can increase gains in muscle and keep unwanted body fat to a minimum in the process. The key word there being, can. There are a number of things that need to be addressed before you can get the maximum results.


    The first is cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone secreted in response to stress (in our case exercise). Cortisol's main objective is to liberate energy from tissues for use during these periods of stress . It doesn't have a preference on what tissue it gets it from, but it does seem to favor muscle tissue rather heavily . The amount of cortisol released is directly related to the intensity or degree of the stress. It seems that after about 20 minutes of high intensity work, cortisol levels shoot through the roof. With that said, for high intensity (85-90% VO2 max) cardio to have the most benefit in its muscle building/fat burning properties, sessions should be kept under 20 min.


    This is where so many go wrong. As I stated in the previous article, cardio creates the same anabolic state and window of opportunity as heavy weight training. Sucking back a few grams of glutamine just won't cut it. To make this as effective as possible, a pre & post work out supplementation protocol should be followed, very much in the same fashion as most do for weight training sessions. First and fore most is our good friend, insulin. Keeping insulin up in the period surrounding a cardio session is critical. Having Insulin and carbohydrates present before and during a cardio session seems to slow the muscle destroying action of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. This aspect single handedly slows the start of Gluconeogenesis. Gluco = sugar/blood sugar, neo = new, genesis = formation or creation. It means the formation of blood glucose from non - carbohydrate sources, or in most cases, muscle protein. This is exactly what we don't want. Secondly, protein should be added to the mix. High intensity cardio uses a lot of muscle groups and makes use of a lot of the type II fibers. The same ones we use during weight training. This action alone will be drawing the glucose and amino acids directly to every last one of them. Cardio accelerates the rate of protein synthesis and break down. If you don't address which protein is added, its going to hurt you in the long run (6,7). This is what most bodybuilders attributes as "burning up muscle".

    Creatine should also be included into the mixture as well. Although the exact reasons aren't fully understood, creatine has the unique ability to preserve and even accelerate muscle growth in times of caloric restriction and a negative nitrogen balance . I would be lead to believe its has much to do with its cell volumizing properties which leads to greater protein synthesis. If you are one who uses creating before and after weight training an does cardio in the evening, I would recommend that a small 2g dose before and after should be enough. Or 5g only to the post work out supplementation.

    Glutamine is another supplement I suggest to add in at this time. Aside from its anti-catabolic properties and its ability to accelerate protein synthesis, an 8g dose replenishes glycogen stores with out added carbohydrates. And is even more effective when carbohydrates are included . So, we have dextrose, whey protein, creatine, and glutamine so far. This is very similar to the supplement composition that not only minimizes cortisol secretion and lactic acid build-up over continual training, but it also maximizes the Anabolic hormones. Namely, we are taking advantage of insulin, IGF-I and Growth hormone 7. I think that it's very important to get these nutrients in at this critical time and as soon as possible. Secondly I think its important that the protein and carbohydrates be liquid in nature. Solid foods simply take longer to digest in the stomach. The longer we need to wait for the nutrients to be delivered to the small intestine for absorption, the more tissue breakdown can occur. More over, after intense training, the rate that material is actually dumped into the small intestine from the stomach is much slower. So liquid supplements are highly sought after at this time. I would also recommend taking some anti-oxidants after cardio as well, like vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, alpha lipoic acid, NAC, etc. Most free radicals are nothing more than un-paired Oxygen molecules. So I think it is safe to say aerobic exercise will create more of them than resistance training.

    You're probably thinking a meal replacement that would fit the bill at this time, but there is only one problem. Most MRP's are comprised mainly of casein, which takes a very long time to digest. Whey hydrolysates, isolates and concentrates, in order of preference, are what should be taken in the period immediately after any work out. The longer it takes the nutrient to get into the blood, the more muscle breakdown can occur. Whey is a much faster "acting" protein than casein.


    First and foremost is the protein issue. As the work load increases, so does the need for proteins. Both strength and endurance athletes are instructed to intake amounts of protein well above normal requirements. When you combine the two, the demand is even higher. Throughout the data I have read there was one common occurrence. The people who did both cardio and weight training seemed to gain more muscle and loose more fat, but they were in a negative nitrogen balance (6,7). Don't skip on the protein folks, simply adding calories from fat and carbs will not, I repeat, will not increase gains in muscle (6,8). Imagine how much muscle these people would have put on if they had consumed enough!

    The second, and maybe the most important part, is the composition of the rest of your diet. More specifically, how to use the glycemic index in the correct manner to maximize your results. There are a number of articles on this web site on the GI. My advice is to read them, know them and love them! But, I can direct you to one of the most complete lists I have ever seen at http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm. Most of us understand the importance of carbohydrates that are High on the GI after a work out. But many don't realize just how important foods low on the GI are during the rest of the day. Just simply by adjusting your food intake to Low GI foods outside of the 3 window of opportunity, you will have not only greatly reduced muscle tissue break down, but also increased fat oxidation. And a diet with a large amount of low GI foods increases nitrogen retention even during periods of restricted carbohydrate intake (18).

    As I talked about in Part I, fat oxidation is already accelerated from the high intensity cardio . But combining that with low GI foods and you are basically throwing napalm on the metabolic fires. This is an example of what a Bodybuilders "Food Guide Pyramid" should look like. We keep the refined and high GI foods up and the top of the pyramid because they are only for those critical times around workouts. Next on the list is mod GI carbs and starches such as, oatmeal, pastas, some certain forms of rice, barely, etc. I like to include these in the end of the 3-hour window. Next comes the protein and supplement portion. Milk, meats, poultry and of course Whey. Don't exclude milk. I'll have to refer you back to Big Cat's article on milk. But I have also found that milk raises the level of circulating IGF-I and helps to prevent some forms of cancer. So drink up.

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    Click here to see the GI of the foods you are eating
    I know many people like to use whey only for post workouts because its assimilated so fast and leaves you hanging. But, if taken WITH meals and not as a meal replacement its extremely effective. By taking whey with meals, it ensures the presence of insulin and puts you in an absorptive state. Doing so almost guarantees that the why will be channeled to muscle tissue rather than oxidized as an energy source. I also include other supplements in the category. Things like creatine, glutamine, CLA, fat burners, and so on are very beneficial and are a bigger part of the overall diet than people realize.

    Last on the list are Low GI foods. Vegetables in their many forms are very low on the list and should be used often. And you can virtually eat as much as you want. In fact, many of them have a negative caloric value. Meaning it will take your body more energy to digest them than is actually in the food. This is kind of a way to trick your body into thinking its getting more calories than it actually is. However, lets get one thing straight. We aren't trying to overly restrict calories here. In fact that could be detrimental to the entire process. The data shows with out a shadow of a doubt, that people who participate in high intensity weight training and cardio, use the GI properly are leaner and have more muscle when they ate their normal healthy diets (6,7,18)! Even leaner than people who "diet" in the true sense by limiting calories (20). I've included MRPs to the bottom rung of the latter because they are a staple in a sound diet and are very effective in fat loss endeavors. They are also low on the GI. I know maltodextrin is common in most and is regarded as being HI on the list. However, I took it upon my self to test it out personally. I have a little blood glucose meter and took some test readings. My fasting level is about 85mg/dl. A single MRP raises it to about 125 mg/dl. On the other hand eating potatoes or rice will elevate it close to 190mg/dl. So I think they are a much safer bet.


    Single bouts of high intensity have been known to elevate testosterone levels post exercise. However, as we continue to train day after day, levels drop off continually with every session (7). So it's our job to fix the problem with our diet. This is why I've included essential fats/oils to the bottom rung of the pyramid. The amount of testosterone is directly correlated to the amount of saturated and monounsaturated fat in our diet. Polyunsaturated fats seem to have a negative impact . And saturated fat really has no function other than storage, so there's no need to try to include it in your diet. So keep the olive oil, nuts, and flax seeds handy. But I would include CLA and maybe an EFA supplement as well.


    In the last article I show that it is in fact possible to loose body fat while gaining muscle mass. The biggest obstacle is to forget what the numbers on the scale say. The goal of a "bulking" phase is go gain the maximum amount of muscle in the shortest amount of time. This article gives you an idea of how to manipulate your diet to do just that. And you now have more reason to do cardio during you bulking phase than not. No I'll give a couple examples of how to go about pulling all of this information together.

    Three Day Split Routine Train Every Day / Twice A Day.
    6:30am - High GI breakfast (commercial breakfast cereal), whey & milk. 6:30am - High GI breakfast 1(commercial breakfast cereal), whey & milk.
    8am - Pre-work out (weights or cardio). Dextrose, Whey, Creatine, Glutamine (drink this during warm up sets). 8am - Pre-work out. Dextrose, Whey, Creatine, Glutamine (drink this during warm up sets).
    9am - Post work out. Same as Pre + anti-oxidants. 9am - Post work out. Same as Pre + anti-oxidants.
    9:30 - Solid food meal +High GI starches. 9:30 - Solid food meal +High GI starches.
    10:30 - MRP. 10:30 - MRP.
    12:00 - Moderate GI foods + Whey protein. 12:00 - Moderate GI foods+ Whey protein.
    Low GI meals for the rest of the day. Low GI meals.
    Night Time - Follow my first article "Building Muscle 24-7" 4:30 - 13 min Hi intensity cardio.
    4:45 - Dextrose (optional), creatine, glutamine, whey + anti-oxidants.
    5pm - Low GI Meals.
    * On a 3 day split, you might lift Mon, Wed, Fri. And do Cardio Tues, Thur, and Sat (if you are ambitious). The main idea is to employ this method for every work out cardio or weight training. Night time - Follow the strategy I outlined in my first article "Building Muscle 24-7"

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    Also "cycling" the amount of cardio you do, in volume and intensity, seems to further stimulate the fast twitch (the big ones) muscle fibers to grow . So it may be a good idea to not only include a wide variety of cardio machines and activities to hit all the muscle groups, but to also take a break every so often. If you are doing 3 sessions regularly, near the end of your training blocks, cut back to 2 for a week. The next week cut back to 1, then the last week just do 1 moderate/ low intensity session, then take an entire week off of training all together.

    One final suggestion is to keep the meals in the hours after your first training session very low in fat to keep things moving smoothly and quickly. A light sprinkle of crushed flax seeds on your solid food meals should rally be enough at this time.

    Of course, these are just samples and suggestions. You can modify, as you'd like. But this illustrates the type of timing that is involved in making it all work. This approach to training and diet produces an internal environment conductive for maximum muscle growth. I know that the idea of cardio building muscle probably goes against everything you know. But there's to much evidence to deny it. I know it may be even harder to believe that doing as little a 13-15 min of it is going to benefit you in your fat burning and muscle building efforts. I think the biggest mental obstacle is the fact that everyone misses the big picture. It is true that we are not going to use fat as a primary fuel source during high intensity cardio. However, for the next 24 or more hours fat will be oxidized at a much higher rate. This "after-effect" simply doesn't happen with normal cardio. So now you need to ask yourself, "would I rather burn fat for 30-45min, or burn fat for the next 24 hours?"


    I've stressed the point of 85% to almost 95% of VO2 max, but that's something that is very hard to determine. What I think is a better concept is the "Comfort Zone". This is what normal cardio feels like, you know you can keep it up for 40 min or more if you really wanted to. Intense cardio leaves the comfort zone in the dust. The health industry refers to it as an oxygen deficit. You're lungs start burning and your body feels like its on fire. You have to stumble your way back to the car when your done. Much like John described in his response. Not everyone like that feeling and its something you need to get used to. As bodybuilders, wear not endurance athletes, thee is no reason to do the lower intensity, long and drawn out cardio work anymore. This is very similar to lactic threshold work, in fact you will probably cross that point at one time or another and have to stop briefly. But that's what it should be like. You've probably lived by the "No pain, no gain" adage for a long time, you might as well apply it to cardio.


    So, all the science mumbo-jumbo doesn't float with you? You want to see how it works with some "real" people? Well. Before writing this article, I had advised a number of people to construct their diets and work out plans in such a manner. Here is a sample of the responses I received:

    Zach - 3yrs. Previous training: "I used to eat a ton of meat and the cheapest whey protein I could find, with as little carbs as possible and a lot of fat (came with the red meats). My daily caloric intake had been about 2400 to 2800 per day. I have in the past year switched my meat intake to only white lean meats (chicken breast, turkey beast, etc....). My protein supplementation, which had previously been all cheap brands of whey protein, has been switched to hydrolyzed whey protein isolate. I have added a great deal of carbohydrates, low GI except right after working out at which point I opt for higher GI carbs. I have cut out almost all fats and have supplemented with CLA. My current daily caloric intake is about 1600-2000…"

    I used to lift Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Each workout would last me about 1 and 1/2 hours. Each body part was worked twice per week. I also used to aim for positive failure at about 8-12 reps, stressing perfect form not allowing my body to move like it wanted to. I used to always perform a great deal of isolation exercises for muscles like my biceps and triceps. I have since switched to training each body part once per week, lifting 6 days a week, with short 1/2 hour sessions…

    Cardio has been the biggest change. I used to perform 3 super long cardio sessions on the days I didn't lift. Generally distance runs of anywhere from 10-20 miles. I have since switched my cardio to 6 days a week, all the days I lift, and do about 20 minute sessions of the highest intensity I can maintain in that time frame…

    Prior to making the switches I have listed above, despite my efforts I was soft looking, albeit fairly strong. I had a good deal of body fat, blaming "genetics" for not being able to achieve a six-pack. Despite my young age, I had been unable to pack on the muscle like many of my peers who at this age could seemingly train any way they wanted and get results. I stayed with about 18 percent body fat for what seemed like forever.

    After the switches I gradually made over time, I went from 18 percent body fat to and 9 percent body fat, gained 5lbs in total weight while achieving the six-pack that I thought "genetics" had been denying me. I went from envying the guys my age who seemed like they could do everything wrong and make progress, to the guy that they came to for training advice… (that's a 20lb increase in lean body mass for those of you with out a calculator).

    Comments: The most important things I have learned is that genetic limitations do not really exist. The basics that are so widely accepted amongst bodybuilders are the true limiting factors that have been so inappropriately dubbed "genetics". Training right gets you results, if your not getting results fast, or not getting them at all, your not training right, it is that simple… The second greatest discovery I have found is that I haven't any need to go through a uncomfortable bulking phase in which I stuff myself, and a horrible cutting phase where I starve and lose 1/2 of my hard earned muscle!! Bodybuilding is about gaining muscle and losing the fat, why not do both at once!!! Even eastern philosophy believes that nothing in extremes is lasting, moderation is everything. Why go for super high cal diets and super low cal diets when a moderate to slightly low cal diet is so much kinder on your stomach and mood."

  6. good ****, thanks


  7. I use a Concept II rower. Going all on it it can be painful.


  8. that article by eric is great. for those of you without the science background, basically just go at any exercise all out for 10-20 seconds, run, bike, swim. rest for the remainder of the minute and repeat for 20 sets. in 20 minutes your done the workout and well lets face it your probably done too. personally i like 100m sprints. every week lower the rest by five seconds and add one set. after 6 weeks, change the distance and the rest periods. ie you could run 40 yard sprints every 30 seconds for 20 min or 200m sprints every 1:30 or 2 minutes (better to start at 2 min and cut 5 sec rest every week). basically the idea is the same as periodizing your training to keep the body adapting. every 6 weeks or less if you are an extemely high level athlete change up the rest and work periods. if you used the 40 yard sprints for the second cycle, then use the 200m sprints for the third cycle.

    why does this type of training work? basically, the body's metabolism is cranked up for up to ~40 hours after the workout (the harder you go the harder you get). even though you don't burn many calories during the workout, your body burns much more recovering from such a workout than low intensity cardio so in the end it is more efficient (time wise too). it is as eric said anabolic. also after the workout adipose tissue (fat) uptake of nutrients is shut down for up to 6 hours (assuming maximal effort and high fitness level) so post workout nutrition should be same as weight lifting, that is to say; protein: ~0.25g/pound, carbs: ~0.30-0.90g/pound right after workout. the sooner, the better. obviously go with the lower carbs if you're cutting and the high end if you are bulking up. the carb source should be maltodextrin or dextrose, but gatorade powder will also work quite fine, just get it in bulk if you can.

    for all of you athletes out there: if you are involved in an anaerobic sport like hockey, football, baseball, etc., there is no need to do aerobic work 75% of the time. interval training is the fastest way to improve your sports performance through cardio training as it is the fastest way to raise your VO2max which is how fast you can take in oxygen and use it.

    cheers, pete

  9. oh yeah, forget about stuff like max heart rate ( assuming you have no heart problems and are otherwise healthy). just do your workout and go home. don't forget nutrition!!! seems kind of easy doesn't it.

    cheers, pete


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