For Optimal Fat Loss - HITT vs Low Intensity Cardio
- 02-08-2008, 06:48 PM
For Optimal Fat Loss - HIIT vs Low Intensity Cardio
Recently had surgery and have been out of the gym for about 2 months now. Getting back into it starting next weekend and will be doing a cutting stack; Shred-XS, Lean Xtreme, DCP, Sesamin, Fish Oil, Green Tea, and CLA, as well as watching my diet, increasing my water intake, and BCAAs before and after the gym.
For my workouts, I am interested in feedback on what is the best approach to focus on fat loss including:
- HITT for about 20 mins vs. Low Intensity Cardio for about 40 mins
- Doing a combination of HIIT (3 times per week) and Low Intenstiy (2-3 times per week)
- Morning Cardio vs. Cardio anytime of the day
- Focusing mainly on cardio workouts vs. high rep/light weight workouts
- Cardio and Weights on the same day vs. always doing them on separate days
- Type of cardio machine setting such as Interval Training or Manual
I generally workout around 5pm during the week, but first thing in the morning if it is Saturday or Sunday.
- 02-08-2008, 07:13 PM
* HITT for about 20 mins vs. Low Intensity Cardio for about 40 mins.
HIIT is reported to have a greater "fat loss" effect, where low intensity has a greater "weight loss." Fat loss is specific to fat, where weight loss is both fat and muscle. Traditional cardio burns more calories during the workout, where HIIT has a greater post exercise caloric burn, so in summation, HIIT will create a greater calorie deficit. With my biased for fat loss leaning toward HIIT, doing BOTH would be prime. If you're willing to do both, then do both for primed loss of body fat.
* Doing a combination of HITT (3 times per week) and Low Intenstiy (2-3 times per week)
There you go, this would be perfect. As long as you meant "and" not "or"
* Morning Cardio vs. Cardio anytime of the day
Morning is best. Anytime of the day is good, but the morning is best.
* Focusing mainly on cardio workouts vs. high rep/light weight workouts
Keep your workouts in the hypertrophy zone, 8-12 reps, 3-4 sets.
* Cardio and Weights on the same day vs. always doing them on separate days
If you can handle both in the same day, do them in the same day. However, if your primary goal is weight loss, do cardio first, then lift. Which ever you do first will get the bulk of your energy and focused effort, so invest in cardio first if weight loss is your primary goal.
* Type of cardio machine setting such as Interval Training or Manual
Stairclimber and BOTH and if you get the time and the opportunity, do your HIIT on a field. You can't really reach peak output running or moving on a machine like you can physically sprinting.
Here's a personal favorite HIIT on a field.
Pick two points, 50 yards in distance.
Back peddle 50 yards, right into 50 yard forward sprint. that's one set. Count to 10 sec or 20 sec before you start back up. Do 10 sets. It should only take 15-20 min and you'll be straight.
Good luckNSCA - CSCS
- 02-08-2008, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the feedback.
Came across this great article on HIIT (aka as Guerrilla Cardio): Guerrilla Cardio
As for weights and cardio, sounds like doing HIIT for 20 mins and then following it with weights.
How would you apply the HIIT approach to lifting?
02-09-2008, 02:08 AM
The safest and most practical form of a power movement is the one arm dumbbell snatch. Start with something like 30lbs. You're standing with your feet shoulder width apart the. Db is placed in front of you, in the middle of your stance. Reach down (lower back tight, like dead lift, squats tight, bend your knees down) with your right arm and quickly pull the weight up and over your head to a steadied position and back down, 10-12 times, switch hands 10-12 times. Take a 30 second rest and repeat.
Another simple, safe and practical power movement are double dumbbell cleans.
NSCA - CSCS
02-09-2008, 12:25 PM
Was thinking something like this:
Monday - Full Body Weight Training
Tuesday - HIIT Workout
30 Seconds Brisk Walk, 30 Seconds Sprint, Repeat 9 More Times (10 Minutes Total)
Wednesday - Full Body Weight Training
Thursday - HIIT Workout
30 Seconds Brisk Walk, 30 Seconds Sprint, Repeat 9 More Times (10 Minutes Total)
Friday - Full Body Weight Training
Saturday and Sunday - Rest (maybe a HIIT session on Saturday)
02-09-2008, 12:28 PM
Your exercise program looks good and so does your supplementation plan.
I would take a look at the Yohimbine HCL being sold at the top of the MMA forum, Yhcl is really effective and they're practically giving them away, it's a clearance sale. the Yhcl is half price and two for one.
NSCA - CSCS
02-09-2008, 04:03 PM
I started some HIIT today... I began with about a 4 minute jog for warmup followed by stretching.
I balls-to-the-wall sprinted for about 16 seconds followed by 20 seconds rest.
After 4 iterations of this, I felt like my heart was going to asplode!
You may be in better cardio shape than I am (I thought I was in decent cardio shape... but I've never done ANYTHING like this before) but be aware! I was assuming I could go for 8 iterations just fine... but was I wrong!
Well, at least this give me another goal to attain! Maybe I can be making 8 iterations in 2 weeks?
02-09-2008, 04:19 PM
I agree with everything volcom said, including the yohimbine. take it precardio with only bcaas, no solid meals.
02-09-2008, 05:18 PM
I'm gonna be an ******* here. Do both. Along with full body circuits done in rep ranges that you gain muscle.
The cardio vs. HIIT debate in my opinion is just as lame as "what number of reps is best for gaining muscle?"
02-10-2008, 12:19 AM
Number of sets and reps is less of a debate and more of a science of exercise physiology. Intensity and volume quantities in your lift will excite very particular adaption(s). Lifting for power adaption(s), lifting for strength adaption(s) lifting for hypertrophy adaption(s) or lifting for endurance adaption(s) have their respective protocols. This is why we can put together effective sports performance programs, because we can predict and manipulate physical adaption(s) to particular styles of training.
NSCA - CSCS
02-10-2008, 08:41 AM
02-10-2008, 08:43 AM
02-10-2008, 08:46 AM
02-10-2008, 10:02 AM
As far as your question, again, what you're describing is circuit training. Power movements correlate much closer to HIIT and if performed in those short rests would have a greater fat loss potential then circuit training. However, do whatever you feel the most comfortable with.
NSCA - CSCS
02-10-2008, 10:23 AM
02-10-2008, 12:23 PM
Well since this came up I'll just quickly explain what I meant. Yes there are rep ranges that are supposed to work for certain things and generally it's true, but depending on different factors it varies a lot. Someone that's very fast twitch may get hypertrophy from 3-4 reps, and the rep range for hypertrophy can change depending on experience. Sure, 12 reps may be great for many people, but hell, try 50+ reps on leg press and see if your legs don't grow. My bench never progressed hardly at all until I started doing 10x3 and it exploded.
Then you have the topic of sarcomeric and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. Well shoot of course reps in the 5-8 range are going to do more hypertrophy to the actual contractile protein while reps in the 12+ range are going to do more to the sarcoplasm. So what's best? It's silly. I do many different rep ranges to hit many aspects because they all serve different functions. This is especially true of muscles that contain a lot of different fibers, such as delts, lats, quads, and calves.
02-10-2008, 01:04 PM
02-10-2008, 02:34 PM
I think he means some of the olympic moves like clean and jerks. could be any of the moves that use a lot of the core though, deadlifts come to mind.
02-10-2008, 04:35 PM
21-15-9 reps, with a running clock (do the work as fast as possible, no breaks between anything if possible)
Powercleans + Pullups
You could hit 21 cleans, then 21 pullups, 15 cleans, 15 pullups.. ect.
Someone mentioned DB snatches earlier..
20 Left Snatch + 20 Right Snatch + 20 Pushups
3 sets for time
You can get real creative, and those sites can really help you develop some really challenging workouts that will dramatically increase athletic performance (not to mention burn fat).
02-10-2008, 06:07 PM
In my opinion, for fat loss, lighter lifts like DB snatches suck. I think the goal should be to struggle against heavy loads involving large muscle groups, pushing as fast as you can. For example, squat variations, deadlifts, cleans, C&J, C&P, heavy pullup or row varations, heavy pressing, with an explosive tempo (while controlling the eccentric of course).
It should also be done for reps that are good for you for hypertrophy. For example a real fast twitch guy should do 5 reps to failure, while a less fast twitch guy should do sets of 10-12, and a more slower twitch guy sets much higher. And yeah, I like every set to be to failure for better results. If you get borderline sick from the workouts, all the better.
02-10-2008, 07:35 PM
The basic rule of fatloss is to raise the heartrate. Throwing in high demand on the body, while it is already working, is pretty much the most direct way of giving your body the toughest metabolic challenge.
Lifting with explosiveness for 5-12 reps a set won't have a signifigant fat loss impact. Building and maintaining muscle mass is thermogenic in it's own, but that subpath is pretty much it. Just because your going heavy and with explosiveness doesn't mean your going to lose fat. On the other hand, stringing together sets and incorportating "lighter" DB snatches will demand your body to work harder than a typical 8-12 set range. Try a superset such as a 21-15-9 DB snatch+pushup+pullup workout and you'll see what we mean... it taxes the body quite well.
02-10-2008, 07:47 PM
Go ahead and try high rep bull**** with wimpy lifts and see if you lose muscle. Doing high intensity sets with deadlifts, cleans, etc is going to be way more metabolically demanding than doing some wimpy one handed cleans (which suck anyway). Don't mix cardio and weights. Weights are weights and cardio is cardio.
If you're a more fast twitch person those workouts will suck and you'll lose muscle when hypocaloric. I don't care how demanding and mentally difficult the workout may be. Have you ever competed running the 2 mile event? That's pretty "demanding" and "taxes" the body a lot, and it's also painful and mentally difficult. That means jack **** when it comes to overall being lean and muscular, as you can tell by the physiques of 2 mile runners.
Of course it depends on your fiber makeup, but try a workout like this and tell me if it isn't more demanding then doing ***** one arm DB snatches:
1a - Deadlift 5-12 reps
1b - Hammer press 5-12 reps
1c - ATG Back squat 5-12 reps
1d - Weighted pullups 5-12 reps
Rest 1-3 minutes depending on rep ranges. No rest between sets. All sets taken to failure. Do this circuit 3 times to start out, 2-3 times per week, and work up to 4 sets. If you have the balls to do it properly it's extremely effective. Combine this WITH cardio and maybe a couple HIIT sessions if recovery currently allows, and you have a wicked fat loss program.
02-10-2008, 07:50 PM
By the way, did you know with HIIT you don't get significant fat loss during exercise! But with cardio you do. So cardio is better for fat loss, huh?
Oops, forgot about the other 23 hours of the day when the overall effect on metabolism matters more. Sets of 6 is much more metabolically demanding over a 24 hour period than sets of over 12.
But again, it also depends on fiber makeup, something you totally disregard with your cookie cutter plan.
*EDIT - By the way, dumbbell snatches are one of the dumbest lifts out there.
02-10-2008, 09:44 PM
lol, didn't mean to upset you (did you hurt yourself one time doing snatches or something!?!?)
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Does not stand for cardio. If heavy weight explosiveness is the best way to burn fat, powerlifters would be the leanest people in the gym, which is not the case. Heavy compound movements are great for building muscle, and you are certainly correct in how they work the body big time. Big time tax on the body, no doubt about it.
For a fat loss geared individual, it's just not the best route however. DB snatches are just an example of a compound movement that is safe to incorporate into a high intensity training style. Lifting heavy restricts you to a lower rep count, and your total work time isn't going to be high enough to raise the heart rate (raising the HR is how you burn fat, I think that's pretty obvious).
Check out Crossfit.com and watch some videos. You seem to half-understand the concept of supersetting. There really is no "wussy" exercises out there, and DB snatches are definitly not one. May not be the best bodybuilder's tool, but it runs the body quite hard. DB snatches are just one of the many changes you throw into a program. As you know, your body will adapt to any routine. Keep mixing it up, such as substituting deads/cleans/snatches into the beefy parts of the sets to keep your body guessing. Honestly, check out the site. Not to knock on your opinion, but this type of training has been tried and proven by thousands of people. It grasps the common knowledge we have about HIIT as well, just with weights, making it very easy to understand.
Realize that the OP's question was for fat loss...
02-10-2008, 09:47 PM
Yes, that workout will beat you down, but that's not the point. For fatloss, you would need a consistant approach. If doing this to failure, like you say, you're done with back and legs for days. Won't even be able to do cardio if you truely go to failure. Not smart.
02-10-2008, 09:56 PM
02-10-2008, 10:05 PM
DB snatches are good for injuries. They're good for people that want something entertaining instead of hard work like deadlifting.
And yes, I realize the question is for fat loss. Cookie cutter programs like yours don't take into account people's differences. So someone that's fast twitch should train the same as someone slower twitch? C'mon, that's just silly.
Show me some big lean guys that use pushups and 1 arm DB snatches for their fat loss. I only ever see small lean guys using this.
02-10-2008, 10:08 PM
If that's the case, you need to increase your work capacity. If you can't train 3 times a week (which is pretty much every other day), then you need to work on getting in better shape.
Cardio and interval running like 200m is what you do to get in daily work. If you want to add calisthenics, great, but they shouldn't be the core of the resistance training program.
02-10-2008, 10:21 PM
??? a) Chill out a bit, we just have conflicting opinions
b) I feel pretty strongly about this fat loss program. Yes, I have trained compound lifts before, and I do train hard. I'm not doubting the intensity of your routine, but it's nearly rediculous if you are centered for fat loss. First off, the way I see it, your just going to lapse into overtraining immediately. Doing 3 sets of failure of heavy deads+cleans+pressing, 3 or 4 times a week is just not smart. Doing it once a week to failure is quite a bit for one day. Several days a week... I just can't agree with that.
Do realize that I was just throwing DB snatches into the mix of compound movements that stress the body, inducing fatloss. I probably only do DB snatches once every 2-3 weeks. What I was offering is anything but a "cookie cutter" program, in fact it's quite the opposite. Listing off the 3 major compound movements, and writing to do it 3-4 times a week to failure, is about as "cookie cutter" as it gets.
Re-read the last thing you wrote.. his question again was for fatloss, and the most effective way. Destroying your CNS and overtraining is not my idea of the best fat loss program. Coupled with HIIT cardio, or even low-intensity cardio, you will burn out immediately. Definintly not something I'd recommend to someone looking for fat loss, nevermind the fact that he just came out of surgury.
If you have any sort of source for your program, by all means I'll read it. I've never, EVER seen anything like that for fat loss however, not through your ideas (no offense, just stating). Crossfit.com and the Navy Seal Crossfit site have proven results, and are backed by thousands of people. Definitly not a cookie cutter program in the slightest... just check it out and read some.
DB snatches may be a tough exercise to control, and it is possible to injure yourself, but deadlifting to FAILURE and squatting to FAILURE over and over supersetting even more exercises is far, far more dangerous.
02-10-2008, 10:24 PM
02-10-2008, 10:31 PM
If you can't handle a simple workout like that, again, you need to increase your work tolerance so you're no longer a geek that overtrains by walking up the stairs to the gym. Start out twice a week if needed, but the point is you gradually increase the work you do for better results.
Again, where are the BIG lean bodybuilders that use crossfit to get lean? I only ever see skinny lean guys doing this.
Going to failure on squats or deadlift is far safer than with cleans or snatches. With cleans and snatches there is a high degree of coordination needed to complete the lift--it's a technical lift. This falls apart with high reps and near failure. With squats I don't mean going to failure to the point where your hips are coming up first out of the hole. I mean to failure with good form. If you're going to failure by letting your back round a lot on deads or GM'ing up your squat, then you're just being stupid.
*EDIT - by the way, you mention Navy Seal style training. Now I've done this before and I'm assuming you have as well, so you know well that you can't just jump in and do the advanced Seal training from the beginning. You have to increase your work capacity and fitness before you can handle the harder workouts. Same thing with the full body "circuits" I mentioned.
02-11-2008, 06:31 AM
the other problem/question I see is rest time between sets with that. Generally if i'm doing that sort of grouping (the
1a - Deadlift 5-12 reps
1b - Hammer press 5-12 reps
1c - ATG Back squat 5-12 reps
1d - Weighted pullups 5-12 reps
I'm either having to work with relatively low weights, so not getting intensity, or having to take long rests between full rotations. Granted yes doing heavy deadlifts does spike heart rate, but since its anaerobic it also collapses right after.
I have done Poliquin's GBC before and it is sort of simiar, but its with lighter weights on purpose. then again, I guess with a 5-12 range, theres a pretty wide range of weights I could possibly use
02-11-2008, 11:23 AM
Try this one out -
Deadlift x 21, Pushups x 21, Thrusters x 21, Pushups x 21
Try doing that for three rounds, with a running clock. Total workout might take somewhere between 6-20 minutes, depending on level, and it absolutely kicks asses. I just made this workout up, but it's something you'd see in a crossfit program. Unlike anaerobic lifting, crossfit branches into aerobic as well (which is actually the entire meaning of crossfit). Depending on how hard you drive yourself through the workout, it can be one of the toughest anaerobic AND aerobic challenges (that I've ever faced).
I typically use these types of workouts in my normal routines, but just because they address my physical ability goals (not for fat loss). But from experience, they make you pour sweat harder than I ever have with weights. I'd be all for recommending these types of workouts to an individual trying to cut out some fat... coupled with additional cardio on off days, I think it would be absolutely the quickest way to drop bodyfat... and gain some awesome real-world performance and endurance. Check out these two sites, some of my favorites:
Welcome to CrossFit: Forging Elite Fitness
CrossFit Workout of the Day | NavySEALs.com - Experience the SEAL Edge
There's a new "Workout of the Day" for each day, with a 3 on/1 off protocol. Rarely will you see the same workout twice, as it keeps introducing new challenging concepts to the body. I used to be into powerlifting in my earlier years, but ever since I changed my goals, this new type of lifting has taken over me completely - I love it. Check it out, you won't be dissapointed! Lots of research behind it, and many people to back it... definitly a cool program.
02-11-2008, 11:39 AM
02-11-2008, 12:46 PM
Pushups, Body Squats, situps, flutter kicks, burpees... love em. Then to intertwine some aerobics into it, throw in some HIIT methods (aka Tabata). 20 seconds of air squats, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds air squats, 10 seconds rest. 5 sets of those is intensity in some of it's finest form! Simply stringing BW exercises together, even in simplist manner, will kick some serious ass, both anerobically and aerobically Highly underrated IMO.
Here's another sudo-form of the "crossfit" training style, built by one amazing man - Ross Enamit. If you've ever heard of him, you'd know how great this guy is. Check it out - Lots of free articles addressing training topics... definitely solid reading material. I own one of his books, "Never Gymless", which brings in conventional training styles into effective circuit training. His other big-time book, "Infinite Intensity", would be a better pickup (Never Gymless was good, but pretty simple concepts IMO) Another great high-intensity program that will shed you of any excess fat, and will truely earn you some high performance abilities.
RossTraining - Bridging The Gap Between Ordinary and Extraordinary
02-11-2008, 12:59 PM
The variation in rep range is to take into account individual differences. This is key. You should do rep ranges that you gain muscle in when cutting. If a fast twitch guy does sets of 12 or higher with very short rest while cutting, he's going to lose a lot of strength and muscle. On the flip side, if a slower twitch guy does sets of 5 with longer rest, he's going to lose muscle.
That's one issue I've seen talking with bodybuilders and lifting for cutting. Often they've tried the circuit training method with high reps and no rest, and it usually just helped them lose muscle. Why? Because a lot of these guys are moderate to fast twitch and they're doing workouts with 20 reps per set and no rest. They're not stimulating their main muscle mass, so why is the body going to keep it while cutting?
If I built my body doing sets of 6-8, for example, that means I stimulated the muscles in a particular way which forced them to adapt to the stimulus by hypertrophy.
When you start to cut, what does the body like to do? Become more efficient. We have thrifty genes, and the body is likely to eliminate metabolically demanding muscle tissue to help become more efficient if it determines that extra muscle tissue isn't needed for survival and caloric intake is low.
So you built a body with 6-8 reps, you've gained a lot of muscle, now you feel it's time to cut. So then you go and do sets of 20 with no rest? How are you stimulating all the new muscle you've built by convincing your body that it's needed for survival? You're not. And when the body feels it isn't necessary for survival and you cut down the calories, then it's likely going to reduce that unneeded muscle tissue in order to become more efficient.
Now all that hard earned muscle isn't being stimulated and your body is willing to let it go because you're not showing it's needed with the 20 reps with no rest type lifting (this is, of course, assuming you haven't built your body with 20 reps per set).
02-11-2008, 02:35 PM
02-13-2008, 06:39 AM
02-13-2008, 09:34 AM
02-13-2008, 10:10 AM
I think you are mostly right, but its not related to overtraining so much as once your bodyfat gets much lower than 15% your body has a much greater "desire" to hold on to it, as you are below normal levels. So your body is a lot more prone to burn muscle than the remaining fat.
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