hiit after workout

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by imported_ephman, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. hi,

    time has really been hard to come by. i've been entertaining the idea of adding some hiit running after my workout because i've read and heard that for various reasons it might help with further fatloss (cardio afterwards, and hiit). how would that effect my growth if i do it right after my lifting, and let my off days be a real day for recovery? or should i do my cardio before? i'll plan on cutting down my leg work to only one set from two.

    thanks for the bandwidth,
  2. micmic

    micmic New Member

    HIIT is great. If your priority is fat loss do it before workouts, if you mainly want muscle hypertrophy do it after workouts. It would be better to do it on training days and leave some days completely free. Low intensity cardio and HIIT on the same day would be too much though. I don't think you need to cut down your leg sets.
  3. thank you micmic for the response... what's your reasoning that hiit performed before a workout will cause fatloss, but after will induce hypertrophy? curious?

    thanks for the bandwidth,
  4. micmic

    micmic New Member

    HIIT will promote fat loss and spare muscle in both cases, it's just a general principle to give priority to what matters to you the most. After HIIT you won't be able to give 100% in your squats and vice versa. Just important for mannerists, I guess :)
  5. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    I would have to disagree here. In a way, a HST workout is a form of interval training - or HIIT - so you would have a lot of fatty acids mobilized post-workout. A low-moderate cardio session would then allow you to burn these fatty acids off - much like the 'stubborn fat-loss plan' by Lyle McDonald.

    There is an increased potential for muscle loss as you delay the ingestion of post-workout protein, though, so you have to decide if the trade-off is worth it. I personally prefer cardio on off-days.

    Also, HIIT has the tendency to increase the conditioning of the affected muscles, and would potentially interfere with the HST increments. So if you've decided to use HIIT, don't add it in until you reach 5s and negatives - use regular medium intensity cardio during the 15s and 10s.
  6. micmic

    micmic New Member

    This comes from a Lyle McDonald article:

    "If you are a bodybuilder incorporating aerobics, either to burn fat or improve cardiovascular capacity, do bodybuilding first as that is your main focus. I do remember reading the suggestion to do aerobics after weight training as the depleted glycogen would cause the body to shift into fat burning mode faster. I doubt that this is true but don't have any data one way or the other to back it up. However, it does appear that the old idea of doing weights and aerobics on alternating days may not be the best way to combine the two. At least in one study, training both three days per week did not result in interference."

    Also, the results of low to moderate intensity cardio for fat loss seem to be unanimously doubted. HIIT seems a much better alternative:

    Impact of Exercise Intensity on Body Fatness and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism

    It is clear that someone who targets fat loss should include some kind of "aerobics" in his training. It is also clear that any kind of aerobics will interfere with muscle growth, more or less. While HIIT may interfere with HST increments, moderate intensity cardio will be more catabolic. In fact, HIIT is anabolic (increases testosterone & HGH *). So we have to choose between something "less anabolic" and something "more catabolic". From my experience, moderate intensity has always interfered with my growth, while HIIT hasn't.

  7. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    In the end what matters is calories burned. There are endless discussions on HIIT vs. moderate intensity cardio on every BB related discussion board on the internet, and there are good arguments for both sides. I just prefer to not overcomplicate things, and seeing as how HST can increase caloric expenditure like you wouldn't believe, I feel one is better off in minimizing interference both in the RBE and CNS pathways.

    You can read one interesting article with discussion here:

  8. Pauly

    Pauly New Member

    My feel for HIIT is that although research says its good at sparing muscle, it must interfere with recovery somewhat. Ive never actually tried it, mainly because I cant see how sprinting several times wont affect my leg workout the next day, and like it was mentioned above, my main aim is bodybuilding so this must come first.

    I agree with Blade that the main thing at the end of the day is calories burned.

    Ive yet to hear of a competitive BBer that uses HIIT for fat loss pre contest. Now there may be several reasons for this, but generally if it works, it sticks and if it doesnt, it doesnt.

    By that I mean that BBers only use what works - if it doesnt work then it gets binned for the next contest prep - a kind of evolution or survival of the fittest. Every top level competing BBer out there does moderate-intensity long-duration aerobics precontest.

    All the studies Ive seen on HIIT use subjects that wouldnt be classed as 'massive' to start with (more like 'athletes' ). If its good enough for every competing BBer out there then itll do for me.

    Theres a lot to be said for anecdotal evidence, and theres a lot of anecdotal evidence saying long duration is pretty good at getting ripped!
  9. micmic

    micmic New Member

    I won't go into the moderate intensity/ HIIT debate per se, as this can be a really long one. I'll just point out how notorious bodybuilders are for practicing suboptimal (at the least) methods. Just the other day Bryan was talking about the cherished myth of "high reps - lower weights" in the pre-contest period. Not to mention protein amounts that exceed 3-4gr per lb of bodyweight...
  10. Pauly

    Pauly New Member

    True, micmic. But at the top level, I think that myth of low weights/high reps precontest is dyng out (Ronnie and Dorian both train/ed as heavy as possible right up to the show). My thought was that if HIIT was so much better, then someone would have tried it and done well at their show, and slowly it would cotton on amongst the competition. Maybe this is a bit too simplistic a view?!?
  11. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    anecodtally, i respond better to HIIT for fat loss and it doesn't really affect my recovery at all. i've squatted my heaviest even while doing multiple HIIT sessions per week. it obviously gives you more bang for your buck (there's going to be increased caloric expenditure in the least per unit time), and if it does represent an increased utilization of free fatty acids for energy, one would think we'd be running into a partitioning issue here. i've also heard that adaptations surrounding HIIT allow you to more freely mobilize stored fat.
  12. micmic

    micmic New Member

    It's true that finally bodybuilders begin to adapt to what science dictates and don't rely so much on folk tales. That's why we have so many massive physiques lately that each one of them could have easily won the Mr. Olympia 20 years ago but now they don't even make it to the stage.

    And I believe many of them have already started to use HIIT. Even old myths like Dave Draper accept it in principle. When you live from bb however, you don't like to experiment with your career. HIIT has emerged only lately, think about how many years it took them to stop high reps for cutting :D
  13. Concerning HIIT and recovery:

    I think by making the right choice in your cardio equipment, you can minimize any negative effects on recovery while doing HIIT.

    Recently, I tried HIIT sprints (haven't seen a running track for a decade) and I was crippled for half a week. Of course, I would have gotten better used to it if I had done it more often, but I feel that the strain on the legs is much greater when doing maximum speed sprints than working out on a stationary piece of cardio equipment.

    However, by selecting a cross trainer or a spinning bike which allows you to increase the resistance so much that speed is not an issue and you still get winded in less than a minute, I'm pretty confident that you can avoid any soreness after the first HIIT workouts, or even from the very beginning. Of course I know from HST that soreness is no reliable indicator of muscle damage, but I have never felt any performance-decreasing effects from treadmill HIIT, not even the day after. Maybe I'm just not pushing myself hard enough ;)

    What's your favorite piece of HIIT equipment? Just curious!
  14. micmic

    micmic New Member

    I'd like to see a treadmill where I would be able to set the duration and level both for the high intensity and the breaks. Until then, I'll be manually alternating between the two.

    A track is also fine, sprinting on straights and slowing down on curves. One can understand there how brutal 400m races can be.
  15. Pauly

    Pauly New Member

    How about swimming for HIIT? The whole body nature of the exercise would allow you to work very hard, very briefly, but not excessively tire out any one muscle group in the way that sprinting would hamper your leg recovery?

    Has anyone tried this? Theres a pool at my gym so I could maybe be tempted to give it a go post workout...
  16. With some crosstrainers, you don't have to change the difficulty level for HIIT: You just select a fairly high resistance and change your pace according to intervall or rest period. However, the crosstrainers at my current gym suck: they force your arms in strange and abducted pathways that make it close to impossible to work out with some serious resistance.

    An alternative are spinning bikes: the resistance is set manually without electronical interference, so you can change fairly quickly. Also, you can change your position for the sprints by pedalling standing.

    I would also like to try some HIIT swimming. By theory, it could be very good. Unfortunately my gym doesn't have a pool - lucky you, Pauly.

    Another thing about swimming: several times, I have encountered the rumor that swimming is not effective for fat-loss because water temperatures below body temperature promote the build-up of a protective fat layer. As "evidence" the physiques of competitive swimmers are compared to world class sprinters. I think this might contain a kernel of truth for long-distance swimming in lakes, but certainly not for a short bout in the heated gym pool - am I wrong?!

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