Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 31

Thread: NEW ARTICLE - Cardio 101 - Exploring Steady State, Complexes & HIIT

  1. #1
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    10,936

    NEW ARTICLE - Cardio 101 - Exploring Steady State, Complexes & HIIT

    The truth is, that MOST of us aren’t cardio fans, but do see the usefulness of it.

    In fact, it's making a bit of a comeback lately, with a recent trend for top powerlifters who are harnessing the power of fat burning cardio to get them looking better and lifting strong in lighter weight classes.

    We break down the different types of cardio available to you, what each is useful for and how to plan it into your training program.

    READ HERE
    http://www.wannabebig.com/logo/alnlogo_black.gif

    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

    Can I have some lean muscle & strength please? – My Training Journal

  2. #2
    Senior Member IronDiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    593
    Good Article! Thanks for the reminder to switch it up from steady state.
    Best unequipped meet lifts - 120kg Open class
    Sq: 629lbs
    Bp: 330lbs
    Dl: 585lbs
    Training since Dec 2008.

  3. #3
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Millville, DE
    Posts
    54
    Your arguments for using HIIT as opposed to steady state are somewhat flawed. Yes, HIIT will increase EPOC more than steady state. Hell even double what steady state does. Here's what you're not saying: EPOC will total about 20-25 calories for a half an hour of steady state, probably around 40-50 calories per half hour of intervals. It sounds sexy when you say HIIT burns twice the amount of calories after you're done working out, but a large percentage of a small number is still a small number, and it's irrelevant in terms of calorie expenditure. This is especially true when you see that 30 minutes of steady state burns about the same amount of calories as 30 minutes of HIIT. The calorie burn is the same except for the extra 25 calories or so from EPOC, but HIIT is much harder.

    Not only is it harder, but it can dramatically cut into your recovery, something that is far less of an issue with steady state. Continuing a normal volume for legs while doing HIIT results in way too much volume for legs, but steady state doesn't tax the legs in the same way. And remember also that all the studies looking at HIIT were done on people that were ONLY doing HIIT, not trying to lift weights or do any other kind of exercise. When coupled with lifting, HIIT can be too taxing. I'd rather save my recovery for another heavy lifting session, than to use it up on something like HIIT that doesn't provide much stimulus for growth or muscle maintenance and doesn't help burn many more calories.

    Then of course there is the issue of duration. I don't think anyone can continue HIIT for more than 30 minutes, but 60 minutes of steady state is much more plausible. Since they burn the same amount of calories during the actual workout, that's double the calories you are able to burn with steady state. And this is in the realm of 600 calories as opposed to 300, not 50 compared to 25. It's a much more significant number. As for the metabolic advantages, HIIT does increase metabolic capacity, but only for the first few weeks. Then it provides little additional increase.

    I'm not trying to slam you or HIIT in particular, I've just seen way to many people shun steady state for HIIT when there's no real logical reason to do so. HIIT may have some advantage in moderation, but it's not a replacement or improvement from steady state and is much worse at burning calories.

  4. #4
    Getting There... Irish Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    779
    I have to agree with the above poster on a few items. Not to say HIIT doesnt have its value and that it works wonders for some people, but the article almost seems to read that steady state cardio is a thing of the past and really doesnt work. While I know many people out there having success with HIIT, the handful of bodybuilders I know are all in contest prep at the moment and not a single one does intervals. They are all achieving their conditioning from diet and steady state cardio (many for the second or third show.) Not only that, but Im guessing a good percentage of them would cringe at the idea of sprinting in any fashion lol.

    My experience (though very little) has been that HIIT is great when bulking, but during serious cutting or contest prep (at present) there is just no way that I could handle that kind of cardio load no matter what the diet manipulation. Ive tried it and even with multiple day spacing and increased carbs and BCAA supplementation it drastically hindered my leg days and crimped my deads and squats. I certainly never slept better though 95% of my prep focus is on diet and attempted progression, and the remaining 5% is steady state cardio for the numbers game in deficit (cals in cals out., what have you)

    But, what the hell do I know. (serious).
    - Slave & Master At The Same Damn Time -
    Hoping To Compete Natty Early 2011

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    167
    Quote Originally Posted by Berzinator View Post
    Your arguments for using HIIT as opposed to steady state are somewhat flawed. Yes, HIIT will increase EPOC more than steady state. Hell even double what steady state does. Here's what you're not saying: EPOC will total about 20-25 calories for a half an hour of steady state, probably around 40-50 calories per half hour of intervals. It sounds sexy when you say HIIT burns twice the amount of calories after you're done working out, but a large percentage of a small number is still a small number, and it's irrelevant in terms of calorie expenditure. This is especially true when you see that 30 minutes of steady state burns about the same amount of calories as 30 minutes of HIIT. The calorie burn is the same except for the extra 25 calories or so from EPOC, but HIIT is much harder.

    Not only is it harder, but it can dramatically cut into your recovery, something that is far less of an issue with steady state. Continuing a normal volume for legs while doing HIIT results in way too much volume for legs, but steady state doesn't tax the legs in the same way. And remember also that all the studies looking at HIIT were done on people that were ONLY doing HIIT, not trying to lift weights or do any other kind of exercise. When coupled with lifting, HIIT can be too taxing. I'd rather save my recovery for another heavy lifting session, than to use it up on something like HIIT that doesn't provide much stimulus for growth or muscle maintenance and doesn't help burn many more calories.

    Then of course there is the issue of duration. I don't think anyone can continue HIIT for more than 30 minutes, but 60 minutes of steady state is much more plausible. Since they burn the same amount of calories during the actual workout, that's double the calories you are able to burn with steady state. And this is in the realm of 600 calories as opposed to 300, not 50 compared to 25. It's a much more significant number. As for the metabolic advantages, HIIT does increase metabolic capacity, but only for the first few weeks. Then it provides little additional increase.

    I'm not trying to slam you or HIIT in particular, I've just seen way to many people shun steady state for HIIT when there's no real logical reason to do so. HIIT may have some advantage in moderation, but it's not a replacement or improvement from steady state and is much worse at burning calories.
    got any links for this "25-50 from epoc number?

  6. #6
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Millville, DE
    Posts
    54
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17101527

    This is the abstract for a full review paper that looks at the current research.

    For example in one study exercisers worked at 70% VO2 Max (~80% MHR) for 80 minutes and burned only 80 extra calories in EPOC over the next 7 hours. And that was with 80 minutes of hard work.

    Steady state burns about 7% the total calories burned during the actual exercise, whereas HIIT can burn about 14% of the calories burned during the work period. It's simple math at this point:

    30 minutes steady state ~ 300 kcals burned, 21 calories EPOC
    30 minutes HIIT ~ 300 kcals burned, 42 calories EPOC

    If the recovery cost of HIIT is worth those extra 21 calories to you, you've got bigger problems. And as I said before, you can't do HIIT for as long as you can do steady state:

    60 minutes steady state ~ 600 kcals, 42 calories EPOC

    You can get 642 calories burned for a 60 minute steady state session, but probably the most you'll be able to burn with HIIT is 342, with a hit to your recovery. The actual numbers may change with body weight, but the percents still illustrate the small amount of calories that EPOC actually accounts for.

  7. #7
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    10,936
    I'm going to come at this from a totally non scientific angle.

    I have used HIIT, steady state and circuits through my fat loss phase and all were useful. I tended to find though that each one was suited to particular stages of my fat loss journey.

    For example, early on I used a mixture of HIIT (rower or stationary cycle) and steady state (rower, stationary cycle, cross-trainer). My calories were only starting to become restricted so I had the energy to really go at the HIIT.

    About the middle stages of my fat loss phaseI relied on circuits a lot. Not neccessarily metablic circuits, but 5 or 6 exercises performed for 30-45 sec with 30 sec rest in between each one for rounds of 5-6. This kicked my ass, but again I still had some med and high carb days in there to help get me through. The circuits allowed me to get some good cardio done and to be honest I was starting to get bored of sitting on a bike/rower and it kept me doing decent amounts of cardio and I hate to say it but I actually enjoyed these workouts

    Towards the end, my calories and carbs were very restricted and I switched most of my cardio to steady state. I just didn;t have the energy or recovery to be smashing big circuits/HIIT sessions.. Weights + daily steady state was the best way for me to go about things.

    Steady state is definately boring to me. I love the competitive nature of HIIT or circuits and it makes for a more interesting workout

    So as you can see, sometimes I think you have to look outside of what causes what and actually realize that DOING cardio (as Steve says in the article) is the most important thing. If you HATE steady state and love HIIT and circuits then do mostly that. If you don;t care and want to save your recovery, do mostly steady state.
    http://www.wannabebig.com/logo/alnlogo_black.gif

    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

    Can I have some lean muscle & strength please? – My Training Journal

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    171
    Why should steady state be boring? Ok, you're just walking, but nowadays every gym has a TV incorporated into almost every cardio machine, at least most gyms that i know of. You will start loving cardio the same way you started loving the squat, it's a love-hate relationship that you have to cherish.
    "When you promise yourself something, make a commitment, you can't give up. Because, when you're in the gym, you have to fulfill the promise you made to yourself. The people who can self motivate - in any field - are usually the ones who win. Regardless of talent." T. Platz

  9. #9
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Millville, DE
    Posts
    54
    I agree with Shemz, you can find fun ways to do steady state. It does seem like most people either just don't think of fun ways to do it, or feel that they need to torture themselves to get results.

    For example, I surf and this is an excellent form of cardio. I think it's more of medium intensity intervals combined with steady state because you're constantly balancing on the board with medium intensity bursts of paddling and riding waves. I can easily be out there for 2-3 hours and not feel like I'm working one bit because I'm just having fun. Then when you calculate the calorie burn of 2-3 hours of surfing, you realize it's quite high, possibly up to 1000.

    Basically any cardio-like hobby can be used for cardio, but most people get stuck in the mindset that because it's fun, it isn't work, and we all know we have to work to get results. Playing sports with friends, taking a walk with family, or even working a job that requires you are always on your feet (I bartend) can be used to help burn extra calories and are forms of cardio (albeit some are much lower intensities than others; I don't think I get the same cardio workout from bartending that I do playing sports with friends, but then again I can bartend for much longer with less fatigue, so I can still burn significant calories there). People could cut out all traditional forms of cardio if they wanted (jogging, rowing, biking) if they just used some other hobbies as cardio. Just my two cents from a practical / applicational point of view.

    I also agree with Daniel - do whatever form of cardio that you will actually do. If you plan the best routine for cardio and don't actually do it then it's useless. I just wanted to make sure people realize that if HIIT and complexes are the type of cardio you have to do to get it done, just be careful of your recovery, and don't think you're burning boatloads more calories than you would doing normal cardio.
    Last edited by Berzinator; 07-13-2010 at 07:44 AM.

  10. #10
    Guerrilla Journalist Steve Colescott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    179
    As the article states, the three different kinds should be applied to different situations. For someone trying for extreme leanness, they are probably going to need to do very low carbs and long, steady-state cardio. For the average person wanting to get a little leaner, I think that subtle increase in metabolism from HIIT makes a difference and if they are not on major carb restriction then its not going to crush their recovery (unless they are totally deconditioned).

    For an average guy, 18-20 minutes of cardio is more realistic than 90 minutes, since they have other time priorities (job, wife, food, kids, girlfriend, other girlfriend) that the keto-dieter going from 12-percent bodyfat down to five or six may not have to concern themselves with for that time period. All are tools in the toolbox to be applied to your specific situation.

  11. #11
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    4,564
    Yup, you definately gotta make time for the other girlfriend!

    Good article!
    How to Find Your Dream Job
    My personal blog/website dedicated to giving answers on the age old question - how to escape the "rat race". I now play guitar for a living!

  12. #12
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Millville, DE
    Posts
    54
    Steve, I agree completely. The article just seemed to read like you were bashing steady state as an out-of-date tool and one with little use in fat loss. I just think it should be the other way around, with steady state as a staple and the occasional HIIT or complex session to help.

    If someone has the recovery for HIIT I would maybe agree with you that if they have less time, then HIIT could help. But in the same regards, it really burns a very minimal amount of extra calories above steady state, and I think it'd be more effective of them to use that extra recovery for an extra lifting session.

  13. #13
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    10,936
    Shemz, I just got through 60min steady state just for you - my Rick Ross and Jay Z got me through it
    Last edited by Joe Black; 07-13-2010 at 01:46 PM.
    http://www.wannabebig.com/logo/alnlogo_black.gif

    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

    Can I have some lean muscle & strength please? – My Training Journal

  14. #14
    Guerrilla Journalist Steve Colescott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    179
    Quote Originally Posted by Berzinator View Post
    Steve, I agree completely. The article just seemed to read like you were bashing steady state as an out-of-date tool and one with little use in fat loss. I just think it should be the other way around, with steady state as a staple and the occasional HIIT or complex session to help.

    If someone has the recovery for HIIT I would maybe agree with you that if they have less time, then HIIT could help. But in the same regards, it really burns a very minimal amount of extra calories above steady state, and I think it'd be more effective of them to use that extra recovery for an extra lifting session.
    To be honest, this was originally written as a mini-article just about HIIT and we decided to flesh it out into a full-sized article so more info on the other cardio styles was added in. The article may have retained much of its original slant, probably based on my personal preferences.

    My personal opinion, which we probably will end up respectfully disagreeing upon, it that people really don't have that much trouble recovering from HIIT. People often speak of recovery ability as a frozen ceiling that must be feared. It can, and should, be developed. 90-minutes of cardio would mentally be more draining to me than twenty minutes of HIIT followed by a blissful nap with that extra time saved. But, like you said, slow steady-state cardio might be the way to go for those with low recovery ability or low carb intake.

  15. #15
    Getting There... Irish Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    779
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Colescott View Post
    ... My personal opinion, which we probably will end up respectfully disagreeing upon, it that people really don't have that much trouble recovering from HIIT...
    I think its a generous assumption that the majority of trainees can do something that requires repeated "all out" sprinting multiple times a week when they are in a caloric deficit and are likely exhausting themselves already with intense weight training. Dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Colescott View Post
    ...90-minutes of cardio would mentally be more draining to me than twenty minutes of HIIT followed by a blissful nap with that extra time saved...
    Hell...45 minutes of cardio is mentally more draining than 20 minutes of HIIT. No doubt. Unfortunately I dont have the convenience of napping during the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Colescott View Post
    But, like you said, slow steady-state cardio might be the way to go for those with low recovery ability or low carb intake.
    I guess my argument would be that people in the later stages of cutting or contest prep are really already pushing their luck in the recovery department...regardless of athletic eliteness. I would have to agree with the comment about low carb intake as well.

    Overall I dont disagree that HIIT is an awesome tool, I just think the article didnt give steady state cardio its due justice. While it may be boring and far more time consuming than intervals, it usually doesn't impair recovery, fosters a healthy sweat and cardiovascular boost, and can allow a trainee to beat the numbers game regarding calories without having to remove calories or manipulate carb intake.
    - Slave & Master At The Same Damn Time -
    Hoping To Compete Natty Early 2011

  16. #16
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Millville, DE
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Colescott View Post
    My personal opinion, which we probably will end up respectfully disagreeing upon, it that people really don't have that much trouble recovering from HIIT. People often speak of recovery ability as a frozen ceiling that must be feared. It can, and should, be developed. 90-minutes of cardio would mentally be more draining to me than twenty minutes of HIIT followed by a blissful nap with that extra time saved. But, like you said, slow steady-state cardio might be the way to go for those with low recovery ability or low carb intake.
    First, I definitely think there are many people out there who are getting suboptimal results because they are trying to push their recovery more than they can. Yes it is something that can be improved upon, but not by pushing your body past it's limit.

    Yes, no one is arguing 20 minutes of HIIT is less draining than 90 minutes of steady state. What you're implying is that those are equal activities when they're clearly not. 90 minutes of steady state will burn way more calories than 20 minutes of HIIT. In fact anyone with a BodyBugg or GoFitWear will tell you that the calories burned during a HIIT session are about the same for the equal duration steady state session. The bursts of sprinting burn lots of calories, but it's leveled out by the recovery between sprints so the end result is the same calories burned. So the real question would be, do you feel more drained after 20 minutes of HIIT or 20 minutes of steady state? I think we know the answer to that one.

    And if you want to use EPOC again, then compare 20 minutes of HIIT to 21 or 22 minutes of steady state, because those extra 1 or 2 minutes will make up for the calorie burn (seriously, it does. Do the math).

    Again, I'll say HIIT can be useful for certain training adaptations at certain times, and more importantly, whatever type of cardio you'll actually do is the best type, because cardio not done is useless.

  17. #17
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Millville, DE
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Colescott View Post
    For the average person wanting to get a little leaner, I think that subtle increase in metabolism from HIIT makes a difference and if they are not on major carb restriction then its not going to crush their recovery (unless they are totally deconditioned).
    Also I missed this one before. You're still stating that you think the increase in metabolism will have an effect. Either you think 21 calories really matters a bunch (it doesn't), you don't understand the research, or you're emotionally attached to HIIT because of some article that you read that misconstrued the data and you had a little success with it. Even if you can have some success with it, that doesn't mean it's optimal (for reasons argued in my previous posts).

  18. #18
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,156
    Everyone is focusing too much on calories burned, low carb diet, etc..... and not the bigger picture. All forms of cardio can be used as long as its applied properly and not abused. People, especially bodybuilders and figure competitiors do steady state cardio out of traditionalism because that is what has been done over the years. The problem is when you do 60 + minutes of steady state cardio a day on top of a low/no carb diet you are asking for trouble and I have seen it time and time again. After 1 or 2 times leaning down this way it gets harder and harder for you to loose fat.

    We are missing the point of working out which is to raise ones workload capacity and increase meatbolic output. If you just do hours of steady state cardio, yes you burn calories, but you do absolutely nothing to increase an individuals metabolism so when they stop doing cardio and start eating carbs again they rebound and change their metabolic set point and can cause metabolic damage.

    Now I'm not saying steady state doesn't have its place but only in moderation and no more than 45 min max at a time. I see males and females doing 90 min to 2 hours of steady stae 5-6 days per week, this is ridiculous and scary. First off don't you have a life, and second you are burning off metabolically active muscle at this point especially if you are doing Low/ no carb diets, which I'm not a fan of at all because carbs are way too important in bodily functions.

    Also we need to get away from trying to calculate every last calorie we burn because its impossible to do so as no ones body works in such a black and white format.

    I have used steady state, HITT, and metabolic complexes during contest prep as they have there place as long as they are implemented for a reason and not just done because that is what everyone else is doing. I have seen many soo called Gurus have clients do crazy amounts of cardio and diets just so they will represent them well with no regard at all to the clients health and well-being. Its not hard to starve off fat and put someone into such an absolute calorie deficit to burn off fat, but the effects are scary to say the least. I've been in this industry going on 16 years now and its not getting any better because all everyone is concerned about is winning a trophy. Life is too important.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    5,376
    My experience with cardio is hiit beats up my legs too much while having both squat and deadlift days in my training. Not to mention I use a lot of leg drive on my two benching days. I definitely feel like I get a better conditioning workout with the hiit. It just does not have a place in my program right now. I'm kind of pissed that circuts don't really fit in my program either.

    Rereading this before I post just shows me what an all or nothing guy I am. I am going to make sure to add 1 hiit session into my program and see how that goes.


    Supplements I currently take: Nitrean , BCAA , Creatine 500 , Multi-Plus , Fish Oil

    My Training Log , My Youtube Videos

    "The weak will never understand" - Vincent Dizenzo

  20. #20
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Millville, DE
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    Everyone is focusing too much on calories burned, low carb diet, etc..... and not the bigger picture. All forms of cardio can be used as long as its applied properly and not abused. People, especially bodybuilders and figure competitiors do steady state cardio out of traditionalism because that is what has been done over the years. The problem is when you do 60 + minutes of steady state cardio a day on top of a low/no carb diet you are asking for trouble and I have seen it time and time again. After 1 or 2 times leaning down this way it gets harder and harder for you to loose fat.

    We are missing the point of working out which is to raise ones workload capacity and increase meatbolic output. If you just do hours of steady state cardio, yes you burn calories, but you do absolutely nothing to increase an individuals metabolism so when they stop doing cardio and start eating carbs again they rebound and change their metabolic set point and can cause metabolic damage.

    Now I'm not saying steady state doesn't have its place but only in moderation and no more than 45 min max at a time. I see males and females doing 90 min to 2 hours of steady stae 5-6 days per week, this is ridiculous and scary. First off don't you have a life, and second you are burning off metabolically active muscle at this point especially if you are doing Low/ no carb diets, which I'm not a fan of at all because carbs are way too important in bodily functions.

    Also we need to get away from trying to calculate every last calorie we burn because its impossible to do so as no ones body works in such a black and white format.

    I have used steady state, HITT, and metabolic complexes during contest prep as they have there place as long as they are implemented for a reason and not just done because that is what everyone else is doing. I have seen many soo called Gurus have clients do crazy amounts of cardio and diets just so they will represent them well with no regard at all to the clients health and well-being. Its not hard to starve off fat and put someone into such an absolute calorie deficit to burn off fat, but the effects are scary to say the least. I've been in this industry going on 16 years now and its not getting any better because all everyone is concerned about is winning a trophy. Life is too important.
    I never said that it's impossible to burn out using steady state. You very well can especially if you're eating too little. Muscle loss can occur and yes you can run into trouble. However, you'll run into trouble much quicker with something like HIIT that really impacts your recovery. You're trying to make a case that steady state with low carb is a surefire way to lose muscle when dieting, making it sound like it wouldn't be the same with HIIT. Unfortunately for your argument, fuel type changes with intensity of exercise with carbs being burned more during higher intensity activities. In other words HIIT relies more on carbs than steady state does so people are more likely to burn out and lose muscle using HIIT combined with low carb than with steady state. And the hit to recovery that HIIT provides doesn't make things better. Bodybuilders and figure competitors don't only do steady state out of tradition, they do it because it works. If HIIT offered advantage over steady state, they would be doing HIIT more often, but we don't see that happening. I'm also not sure what you mean by it becoming harder and harder to lose fat when leaning down using steady state. Physiologically, there's no reason using HIIT instead would make it easier to lean down a second or third time.

    Your comments about steady state doing nothing to "change a person's metabolism" is not even applicable. A person's metabolism can't be changed by doing HIIT instead of steady state or anything like that. The only possible thing you can mean is EPOC which I've already dissected. Other than that metabolism is set by body weight and height, sex, physical activity (including NEAT), composition of diet, and hormones. You can't change someone's metabolism unless you change one of these things and HIIT will not significantly change any of these. It may change weight but so will steady state. And HIIT will not change any hormonal patterns enough to make a difference. What "metabolic damage" are you referring to? Extreme weight loss? Thyroid decline? It doesn't seem likely (or even feasible) that doing steady state cardio will cause metabolic damage when you stop doing it and eat carbs. That sounds like quackery.

    As far as increasing work capacity or "metabolic output" (I'm assuming you just mean calories expended, in which case see paragraph above), these are things that you shouldn't be trying to improve while in a caloric deficit. When dieting, the only goal is to hold onto the adaptations you've achieved while dropping body fat. It's very unwise and downright backwards to try to improve these parameters when putting your body in a state where it can't adapt (decreased calories). THAT is when you burn out. In a caloric surplus or maybe even maintenance, HIIT can be used to increase work capacity or other aspects of fitness, but nowhere in the above posts have I argued that it can't.

    Yes it is true you can't calculate down to the individual calorie, but you do need a general idea of the amount you burn throughout the day and in any specific activity in order to know how much to eat based on your goals. My calculations were simply to prove that HIIT hardly burns any more calories than steady state, which is important when dieting. Telling someone that HIIT burns far more than steady state and that EPOC is incredibly high will allow that person to eat far more than they should if they're dieting. We all know weight gain or loss depends on calories in vs. calories out, so yes it is wise to have an idea how many calories you are burning (and consuming for that matter).

    Bodybuilders used to and still do walk on a treadmill for hours on end to burn fat for a contest. This is steady state and their muscles don't just fall off. I'm not saying you can't do excessive amounts to the point where you lose muscle, just that you can't make a blanket statement that more than 45 minutes of steady state will cause muscle loss.

    Again, I'm also not saying that people can't lose weight with HIIT. They can and do, but that doesn't mean it's optimal. In fact the science supports that it isn't.
    Last edited by Berzinator; 07-14-2010 at 10:42 PM.

  21. #21
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,884
    Top notch thread guys. We are all learning a lot. Thanks.
    _________
    ______
    ___

    Off Road Journal

    http://www.wannabebig.com/logo/alnlogo_white.gif

    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

  22. #22
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cambridge, England
    Posts
    10,936
    What Off Road said - some great contributions guys, I am learning a lot.

    Allen, a quick question for you.

    Say, someone (me) is used to doing 5 hours steady state a week, low carb with the odd refeed - what would you suggest as an alternative? I'm not asking for a specific plan or anything, just curious to know how you would see HIIT replace steady state.

    Either way, I am gonna sack of my 60min steady state today and do 20min HIIT and a swim, just to do something different
    Last edited by Joe Black; 07-15-2010 at 01:36 AM.
    http://www.wannabebig.com/logo/alnlogo_black.gif

    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

    Can I have some lean muscle & strength please? – My Training Journal

  23. #23
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Clough View Post
    What Off Road said - some great contributions guys, I am learning a lot.

    Allen, a quick question for you.

    Say, someone (me) is used to doing 5 hours steady state a week, low carb with the odd refeed - what would you suggest as an alternative? I'm not asking for a specific plan or anything, just curious to know how you would see HIIT replace steady state.

    Either way, I am gonna sack of my 60min steady state today and do 20min HIIT and a swim, just to do something different
    Dainel, unless you are trying to get into contest condition then 60 min of steady state 5 days per week is not needed if your training program is designed according to your goals. I would not have you doing more than 45 min at a time and maybe only 2-3 dyas per week generally speaking of course. I would have to see your training protocol and diet to assess and go from there as there just isn't a general answer to this.

    Steady state has no real payoff other than buring calories. People can argue that they got lean by doing this and they may very well have but it doesn't make it more efficient especially in the long run. Bodybuilders will always do steady state more out of tradition than anything because they are afraid to step outside the box. Also when it comes to alot of bodybuilders they have great genetics and use "supplements" as well so we can't compare them to regular people, doing so is asking for trouble. Its like tellling someone to do Jay Cutlers so called program from Flex magagzine and expect same results. I get emails every week from competitors, mostly females but guys as well, that did a contest with a soo called Guru/trainer and they had them doing hours of cardio with low/ no carb dieting and the after effects were terrible.

    Each contest it was harder to get as lean so they had them do even more cardio. After a few contests they rebounded and gained 40-80 lbs and even with dieting could not loose weight, this is metabolic damage and shutdown because the body went into survival mode holding on to as much fat as possible.

    I am not trying to argue and say do one form of cardio over the other, especially HITT, I am trying to get the point out that it is abused in this industry and causing bad side effects for alot of individuals. Everyone has there opinion and I am basing mine off what I see and hear everyday over the last 15 years and conclusions I have drawn as well as my mentor Scott Abel who is going on his 4th decade in the industry.

    Also when i say increase ones metabolic output I do mean increasing their metabolism, but obviously not during say contest prep. You do this with training correctly during your non-dieting time and maintain it during times when trying to achieve a certain level of leaness. Where science is concerned it is needed to base things from but research is done in controlled environments with no outside factors coming into play and we shouldn't say its that black and white. Knowing how to read an individuals Bio-feedback and assess from there is the best way to progress because its is individualized. You can find research to support many things but science is only a small part.

  24. #24
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Millville, DE
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    Dainel, unless you are trying to get into contest condition then 60 min of steady state 5 days per week is not needed if your training program is designed according to your goals. I would not have you doing more than 45 min at a time and maybe only 2-3 dyas per week generally speaking of course. I would have to see your training protocol and diet to assess and go from there as there just isn't a general answer to this.
    I actually very much agree with this. At a certain point even steady state can become too much and start to dig into your recovery and cause muscle loss. Also 60 minutes 5-6 times a week is very mentally draining, so it's not the best route from a psychological aspect either. A caloric deficit is more easily created through diet than activity, and cardio is only meant to supplement this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    Steady state has no real payoff other than buring calories. People can argue that they got lean by doing this and they may very well have but it doesn't make it more efficient especially in the long run. Bodybuilders will always do steady state more out of tradition than anything because they are afraid to step outside the box. Also when it comes to alot of bodybuilders they have great genetics and use "supplements" as well so we can't compare them to regular people, doing so is asking for trouble. Its like tellling someone to do Jay Cutlers so called program from Flex magagzine and expect same results. I get emails every week from competitors, mostly females but guys as well, that did a contest with a soo called Guru/trainer and they had them doing hours of cardio with low/ no carb dieting and the after effects were terrible.
    Steady state obviously has many benefits other than burning calories. Heart health, blood lipids, and other health parameters are all effected, and you can improve oxygen delivery and capillarization to muscle with it. As far as just body composition goes, burning calories IS all that matters because that's the bottom line. Burn calories to lose fat, there's not other way around that.

    As far as comparing to bodybuilders, you're absolutely right. It isn't exactly fair to compare to them when they are probably on steroids. However bodybuilders have done long walks to get lean back before steroids were introduced and it obviously worked.

    In the same vein, people can argue that got lean with HIIT. Doesn't make it more efficient either. I also highly doubt that all bodybuilders "don't want to step out of the box". Especially if HIIT was better than steady state, someone would've caught on to it and would be getting superior results, but we just don't see that happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    Each contest it was harder to get as lean so they had them do even more cardio. After a few contests they rebounded and gained 40-80 lbs and even with dieting could not loose weight, this is metabolic damage and shutdown because the body went into survival mode holding on to as much fat as possible.
    Yes metabolism can decline when getting extremely lean and after weeks of dieting your body can go into starvation mode. So what? How does this support HIIT over steady state? The weight gain after is not because of metabolic damage, it's because their metabolisms had slowed from the dieting and they ate like pigs after the contest without any attempt to lower their set point and maintain a low level of body fat (this is possible with proper dietary manipulations). This is not metabolic damage and even if you wanted to call it that, it still makes no argument for HIIT over steady state. The same will happen if using either one when dieting to low body fat levels, and because HIIT will likely throw you past your recovery, you can bet it'll probably cause a further decline in metabolism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    I am not trying to argue and say do one form of cardio over the other, especially HITT, I am trying to get the point out that it is abused in this industry and causing bad side effects for alot of individuals. Everyone has there opinion and I am basing mine off what I see and hear everyday over the last 15 years and conclusions I have drawn as well as my mentor Scott Abel who is going on his 4th decade in the industry.
    You keep trying to use your experience to avoid the argument. You haven't actually disproven any of my points. You obviously are very experienced and in great shape with many successful clients. I see that and respect you for it, but that still doesn't make you right. What's happening in the industry is that people are pushing themselves too hard for results. When dieting, keeping recovery intact needs to be a primary focus and doing HIIT or tons of steady state will diminish it. However, my argument is that steady state allows you to burn more calories while keeping recovery intact, which will result in better fat loss with subsequent muscle retention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    Also when i say increase ones metabolic output I do mean increasing their metabolism, but obviously not during say contest prep. You do this with training correctly during your non-dieting time and maintain it during times when trying to achieve a certain level of leaness. Where science is concerned it is needed to base things from but research is done in controlled environments with no outside factors coming into play and we shouldn't say its that black and white. Knowing how to read an individuals Bio-feedback and assess from there is the best way to progress because its is individualized. You can find research to support many things but science is only a small part.
    Again, how exactly do you propose someone increase their metabolism? The only feasible way in non-dieting times to increase metabolism is by adding lean mass which is done in the weight room, not with HIIT.
    And I'll add that a pound of muscle only increases your caloric output by 6 calories a day, so it may make a difference from newbie to peak condition, but not much in individual seasons. Use any kind of device that will track caloric intake and if you control for activity, you'll find very easily that metabolism doesn't change unless you change one of the things I mentioned before.

    Yes we absolutely should take certain studies with scrutiny because you're right, they are controlled environments and don't account for some factors in real life, but that doesn't mean you can just ignore the results because "it's a study". Clearly these subjects had so and so results, so why is that? If you're trying to speak mostly of the studies regarding EPOC in HIIT, then it seems as if you're trying to close your eyes to something you don't want to see. There is no magic metabolism boosting effect to HIIT and seems like you're clinging to that.

    I agree in an individual setting that you have to use bio-feedback, etc. But your next comment is throwing out the baby with the bathwater, or using an excuse to ignore the data. Yes, some studies are flawed, but you can argue against them by stating their flaws. The paper mentioned is a meta-analysis of most of the research. In other words it's not based off of one study. If all the studies are finding the same thing, then you can't just deny the results and say, "science only plays a small part". The way the body adapts IS science, and these studies take a look to try to see how the body responds to situations. It's controlled so we can look at individual things without others effecting it.

    With that said I do agree anecdote does play a part in the overall scheme, but it too must be taken with scrutiny. People switch to 6 meals a day and lose weight. The logic goes: must be that eating more frequently helps you lose fat. But in reality they started eating less when they switched and that's what is causing the weight loss, not the meal frequency. People like to throw out their anecdotal experience as if it "disproves" science when in reality, they just didn't look at all the things effecting their results.

    The positive side to anecdote is that if everyone notices something that science hasn't recognized yet, then it's probably helpful. For example, science only now is catching up to increased protein intake being responsible for lean mass gains and retention during dieting. But it seems most people's experience with HIIT is that it burns them out on a diet. Now if they're being deluded to think that it's helping them burn boatloads of more calories or doing anything positive for their metabolism, then they'll keep doing it despite the negative burn out. That's where science can show you that HIIT does not burn anything substantially higher than steady state. If you really are afraid of trusting science so much, then get a Bodybugg or GoFitWear and see for yourself. HIIT will burn far less calories than you expect, and your metabolism will not be changed for the rest of the day after EPOC wears off. Again, even when EPOC hasn't worn off, it's still only minimal.

    I appreciate the arguments and am having a blast with this thread. I'm glad other are getting something out of it, too.
    Last edited by Berzinator; 07-15-2010 at 08:28 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by Berzinator View Post
    In the same vein, people can argue that got lean with HIIT. Doesn't make it more efficient either. I also highly doubt that all bodybuilders "don't want to step out of the box". Especially if HIIT was better than steady state, someone would've caught on to it and would be getting superior results, but we just don't see that happening.

    Yes metabolism can decline when getting extremely lean and after weeks of dieting your body can go into starvation mode. So what? How does this support HIIT over steady state? The weight gain after is not because of metabolic damage, it's because their metabolisms had slowed from the dieting and they ate like pigs after the contest without any attempt to lower their set point and maintain a low level of body fat (this is possible with proper dietary manipulations). This is not metabolic damage and even if you wanted to call it that, it still makes no argument for HIIT over steady state. The same will happen if using either one when dieting to low body fat levels, and because HIIT will likely throw you past your recovery, you can bet it'll probably cause a further decline in metabolism.

    You keep trying to use your experience to avoid the argument. You haven't actually disproven any of my points. You obviously are very experienced and in great shape with many successful clients. I see that and respect you for it, but that still doesn't make you right. What's happening in the industry is that people are pushing themselves too hard for results. When dieting, keeping recovery intact needs to be a primary focus and doing HIIT or tons of steady state will diminish it. However, my argument is that steady state allows you to burn more calories while keeping recovery intact, which will result in better fat loss with subsequent muscle retention.

    Again, how exactly do you propose someone increase their metabolism? The only feasible way in non-dieting times to increase metabolism is by adding lean mass which is done in the weight room, not with HIIT.
    And I'll add that a pound of muscle only increases your caloric output by 6 calories a day, so it may make a difference from newbie to peak condition, but not much in individual seasons. Use any kind of device that will track caloric intake and if you control for activity, you'll find very easily that metabolism doesn't change unless you change one of the things I mentioned before.

    Yes we absolutely should take certain studies with scrutiny because you're right, they are controlled environments and don't account for some factors in real life, but that doesn't mean you can just ignore the results because "it's a study". Clearly these subjects had so and so results, so why is that? If you're trying to speak mostly of the studies regarding EPOC in HIIT, then it seems as if you're trying to close your eyes to something you don't want to see. There is no magic metabolism boosting effect to HIIT and seems like you're clinging to that.

    I agree in an individual setting that you have to use bio-feedback, etc. But your next comment is throwing out the baby with the bathwater, or using an excuse to ignore the data. Yes, some studies are flawed, but you can argue against them by stating their flaws. The paper mentioned is a meta-analysis of most of the research. In other words it's not based off of one study. If all the studies are finding the same thing, then you can't just deny the results and say, "science only plays a small part". The way the body adapts IS science, and these studies take a look to try to see how the body responds to situations. It's controlled so we can look at individual things without others effecting it.

    I appreciate the arguments and am having a blast with this thread. I'm glad other are getting something out of it, too.
    When I say step out of the box I mean implemeting things such as sequential activation sequences, metabolic circuits, etc.. not HITT over steady state. You keep refering to HITT is not better than steady stae and I haven't said it is or what i was discussing. My prefered method is using complex sequences and metabolic circuits not HITT so no need to refer to that as I am not debating that at all.

    Metabolic damage does exist and have seen it in many individuals. When someone is on a diet and can't lose weight even with the right training program then they have damaged their metabolic rate (downregulated thyroid, decreased leptin sennsitivity, etc...) I'm not talking about typical rebounds like water retention but 2-3 months after and they keep gaining weight regardless of diet. I do agree people push themselves too hard in the sense that they basically try and starve off the fat and do way to much cardio of any form. If ones program is too intense or their bodyfat levels are very low then I agree steady state is less taxing and will not impose on recovery but I would never prescribe more than 45 min at a time for a max of 4-5 days per week.

    I'm not trying to disprove your points as they are valid, but at the same time experience is of great use. I read research and look at studies as much as the next coach but I only use it as a base and then adjust accordingly depending on the individual. Also I am trying to get individuals to not focus too much on numbers because they become too obsesive about them and it takes away from the training experience and their performance because the become overly concerned with every little detail and make it too complicated.

Similar Threads

  1. Utilizing Gym Complexes for Power & Conditioning by Tom Mutaffis
    By Joe Black in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 02-11-2013, 12:14 PM
  2. New Article: Complexes for Fat Loss (and win AtLarge Nutrition Fat Burners)
    By Joe Black in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 04-10-2012, 05:49 PM
  3. Complexes for cardio
    By Transformer in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-25-2009, 04:16 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •