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Thread: Low Intensity Cardio

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  1. #1
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    Low Intensity Cardio

    I know a lot of people here like HIIT and I have researched a lot about Low intensity cardio and I have come to like it. For a couple of reasons. First of all, any cardio is good for health benefits etc. Also cardio will help open up capalaries or blood vessels (I could be wrong on these terms) which helps with getting your body more nutrients. This is especially usefull on non lifting days. Due to the increased blood flow and oxygen to the muscles and your body you tend to recover much quicker from your strength training. Also from what I've heard you burn much less calories from low intensity, but a less % of the cals burned comes from muscle. The reason is because low intensity cardio tends to oxidize and mobilize fats rather than actually burn away the muscle and fat.

    I know most people here advocate HIIT, but to me HIIT is almost as intense as a real strength workout, and requires you to have more time for recovery. So I figure that it's kinda useless if your hitting your legs enough in your workout splits. Also HIIT really depleates your glycogen and is very catabolic. Your body really starts pumping that cortisol, which decrases test, gh along with many other hormones. Cortisol also eats away at your amino acids during training.

    Im sure there might be some errors in my reasoning but I'm wondering what they are. Just trying to start a nice dicussion.

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    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Overall, HIIT burns less calories than steady state, but 3x more fat.

    HIIT is no more catabolic than weight training. Feed yourself properly and both are more than capable of building/maintaining muscle.

    Steady state / low instensity IS good for active recovery. That's about the only benefit I can think of.
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    http://www.grappling.com russianwol's Avatar
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    I just had my cardio zones tested again through VO2 Max test.

    Turns out that I burn more fat in Zone 3 - heart rate between 140 and 154 than in Zone 2 - HR between 120 and 140. This is a change from 6 months ago testing where I'd burn more fat in Zone 2. Now Zone 2 is where I would reach with SS - like walking on a treadmill up 15 incline at 2.8 speed. If I do HIIT I would be crossing into Zone 5 a lot which is good because it produces training effect.

    But I believe that through intensive weight training, I've made the change as shown on the test. My trainer recommended to train in Zone 3 and 4 for the most part to teach the body to burn more fat at higher heart rate. She says SS should be done as a cooldown.

    I also don't think you can talk about intensity without knowing what your heart rate is at a particular level of intensity as well as knowing your AB, AT and VO2 max.
    Last edited by russianwol; 03-31-2006 at 07:23 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Overall, HIIT burns less calories than steady state, but 3x more fat.
    I would really love something that backs that statement up.

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    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gator
    I would really love something that backs that statement up.
    Ask and you shall receive. Even though we discussed this not too long ago, I won't rake you over the coals for not searching.


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...mp;query_hl=13

    http://www.exrx.net/FatLoss/HIITvsET.html (same study, but puts it in a nice table for ya)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Ask and you shall receive. Even though we discussed this not too long ago, I won't rake you over the coals for not searching.


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...mp;query_hl=13

    http://www.exrx.net/FatLoss/HIITvsET.html (same study, but puts it in a nice table for ya)
    Interesting stuff. But isnt HIIT usually only done in 20 min intervals and low intensity usually between 45-1 hour. I've said all along HIIT burns more fat, I'm just wondering if anyone knows of any stuides that show if HIIT or Low intensity cardio has benefits in terms of muscle loss.

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    Here are some things I've read

    "ity mode you're body "thinks" you are running for your life. The use of fat will become secondary because it takes too long to metabolize. Your body will start to burn sugar because it's readily available. You have enough to get you through about 30 minutes of HIGH HIGH intensity ...then your body will move to fat...but after 30 minutes of that HIGH intensity you will HAVE to slow down...cuz you're tired right? No, because you ran out of energy fool....when the fat energy starts to get released you will want to go again.

    ON the other hand.

    If you keep your heart rate low doing something like walking up an incline. Then you're body will assume you ARE NOT running for your life and save the sugar for when you ARE. It will then start to immediately metabolize fat from the get go.....you still won't feel very energetic for a while maybe the first 15-20 min you will have to sludge through....because the fat energy isn't bio available yet.

    There you go....oh yeah, you will have to go at least an hour also, but you will burn fat. if you need to show some definition and vascularity then do some high intensity to purge the sugar and release some of the water you're holding."

    "Exercise intensity affects nutrient consumption. The lower the intensity, the more fat is used as fuel, the higher the intensity, the more it shifts to glycogen. Going too high(HIIT) crosses into the ATP/CP pathway.

    However, this is a double edged sword. Although low intensity work burns a higher percentage of fat for fuel, the total amount of fat burned is much smaller. So the duration of cardio must be longer. The optimal balance of intensity and duration is @65% of max, for 30-60 mins.

    Of course, the more often you do cardio, the more efficient your body will become at doing it. Therefore, the frequency and duration must be increased over time to compensate."

  9. #9
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Overall, HIIT burns less calories than steady state, but 3x more fat.

    HIIT is no more catabolic than weight training. Feed yourself properly and both are more than capable of building/maintaining muscle.

    Steady state / low instensity IS good for active recovery. That's about the only benefit I can think of.
    O anthony. If you were a girl i would make sweet sweet love to you....

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  10. #10
    Iron4Life
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    I use to also believe that slow couldn't hurt.. and was still beneficial... but then I just started reading more articles on HIIT increasing your testosterone... and where longer endurance (non-HIIT) activities causes the breakdown of muscle tissue.

    So even though I use to enjoy just a 30 minute jog - slow - 2.5 to 3.0 miles... I no longer do it. But I do interval/farklet/HIIT running - changing between Sprinting, running, jogging and fast walking. Amazingly, it usually averages more distance then before. 2.6 to 3.4 miles in 30 minutes. Unless there are a lot of hills... and then that reduces the distance, but increases the strength building.

    My personal benefits.. a lower resting heart rate, higher metabolism, and I have been able to increase/keep strength in most lifts while losing body weight and fat. I was NOT able to do that before with just the longer, slower jogs...

    Good luck..
    <Edit - forgot the NOT in the last sentence>
    Last edited by Bob; 03-31-2006 at 11:00 AM.

  11. #11
    Iron4Life
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    FYI..
    Anthony also has a lot of great links on HIIT in the following thread:
    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...t=75212&page=2

  12. #12
    Iron4Life
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    Or... try this...
    Buy a copy of runner's world magazine...
    You will see that majority of the "new" programs they recommend are based upon HIIT.. and you will see that in the history of running, the biggest leaps ahead in performance were based upon some types of intense interval training. The nordic runners of the 60's and 70's advanced using Farklet training... the Kenyans of the 90's and 2000's use speed and mountain training. Yes, they still do distance training, long endurance runs, but to advance they do HIIT type. Plus, they have done a few studies on how HIIT training for endurance athletics can help to "maintain" their abilities when they go into low cycles.

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