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HIIT training for building strength & muscle


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In your experience, is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) effective for strength and muscle gain?

 

This article says:

 

Those engaging in HIIT sessions are known to reach higher levels of fitness faster, build their immune systems stronger, build muscle up and burn fat.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Build-Muscle-Up-Fast-With-High-Intensity-Interval-Training&id=1591278

 

Does HIIT make YOU more fit, healthy and strong? I tried HIIT just once, sprinting a lap around the track and walking another, and after a couple of sets I felt extremely faint and exhausted. I don't know if it was that I was feeling weird that day, but I felt like passing out and it kind of turned me off of doing it again.

 

Do you have any experience with HIIT to share, or any tips on doing it effectively? I don't feel like I have any fat to burn, so do you think it is still worth trying for other reasons?

 

Thanks!

 

Chris

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You should feel exhausted after a good work out, especially if you've never done HIIT before. Personally I would take this as a positive sign rather than a bad sign, and start measuring the success of the routine after a few weeks when you notice that you're no longer so exhausted. That's the best feeling in the world.

 

Personally I love HIIT and Tabata. It's taken my fitness to a new level, although I still also do low-intensity (jogging) and regular weight lifting a couple times a week.

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I have found this to be so true-this kind of working out is phenomenal for fat loss and over all cardio/endurance conditioning. Also its been shown to increase growth hormone and literally reverse cellular aging.

 

I never heard of tabata before, I checked it out and can't wait to try it! thanks for posting that! Also, its so amazing you can get a really good workout in under 15 min...I mean-come on! I might add it to the dvds I already use just cause I like 'em.

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HIIT is a great tool for losing fat, increasing cardiovascular fitness, immune system, etc. And yes, it IS supposed to be horrendously tough Doing HIIT decreases insulin, increases fat-mobilizing catecholamine (adrenaline and noradrenaline) output (much more so than steady-state cardio), rapidly raises your VO2 max (how much oxygen your body can possibly use in a minute), improves insulin sensitivity, builds muscle (not much) and so on. Before engaging in HIIT, it would be a good idea to first improve your cardio fitness, though, because it's a really difficult training method. Also, getting fit cardio-wise builds capillary density around "stubborn" fat cells (among all places) and increases numbers of mitochondria, both of which, combined with HIIT are of significance when trying to lean out. A good approach (when you're fit enough for HIIT) would be to at first do some HIIT and the some steady-state cardio - the former mobilizes free fattty acids from the fat cells (but doesn't burn much because of lactic acid build-up in the bloodstream), while the latter effectively burns FFAs (but isn't very good at mobilizing them). If you have any more questions re HIIT - don't hesitate to ask

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Hi

 

I would like to know more....

 

I currently train a five day split routine. My diet is very clean 6 days a week (one cheat day), and I get 150g protein a day over 6 meals. How would I incorporate this successfully into my sessions? I have read some more and decided to put 3 HIIT sessions a week: one at the end of 3 of my sessions.

 

I would usually do this sort of thing:

 

3 meals in the day and then...

 

4pm: protein shake + snack (banana etc...)

 

5.30 pm: train

 

7.00 pm: eat a high protein low carb meal

 

9.30pm protein shake

 

Does this sound about right? Should I be able to gain mass and lose fat at the same time?

 

Thanks

 

Ben

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Hi

 

I would like to know more....

 

I currently train a five day split routine. My diet is very clean 6 days a week (one cheat day), and I get 150g protein a day over 6 meals. How would I incorporate this successfully into my sessions? I have read some more and decided to put 3 HIIT sessions a week: one at the end of 3 of my sessions.

 

I would usually do this sort of thing:

 

3 meals in the day and then...

 

4pm: protein shake + snack (banana etc...)

 

5.30 pm: train

 

7.00 pm: eat a high protein low carb meal

 

9.30pm protein shake

 

Does this sound about right? Should I be able to gain mass and lose fat at the same time?

 

Thanks

 

Ben

 

5 lifting sessions and 3 HIIT sessions per week would definitely be an overload. Especially if you're on a calorie-restricted diet. If I were you, I'd decrease the volume of your lifting (but not intensity - without it staying roughly the same you will not be able to eliminate, or at least minimize, muscle loss while dieting), add 1 weekly HIIT session and do 30-60 mins. of steady-state cardio on other days (leave at least one day when you don't do any exercise, for recovery). Start off more conservatively and track your progress. If you're absolutely positive that you're recovering well, losing fat and preserving muslce - you can add some more cardio (of any kind) or decrease your calories even lower, if desired. All the same, personally I wouldn't change anything if things were working fine, since there's always a point surpassing which you start to get diminishing results.

 

As for gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time, it's extremely rare. It only happens, for a limited amount of time, in untrained individuals, those coming back from a lay-off and athletes with superior genetics. Us, mere mortals, cannot be in a calorie-surplus (needed for muscle gain) and calorie-deficit (needed for fat loss) at the same. "Calorie partitioning" capabilities of an average gym-rat simply do not allow for that to happen. One approach to consider, though (but only if you're already down to approx. 12-15% bodyfat), is calorie-cycling. I.e., you vary your caloric intake throughout the week. That way, you could - at least theoreticaly - be anabolic on some days and catabolic on others. But just winging it isn't really a viable option - it's a rather tricky regimen, which requires proper knowledge and precision. If, for whatever reason (an upcoming special event, photo shoot), you ever decide that you absolutely need to lose some flab while simultaneously gaining muscle, I'd recommend reading Lyle McDonald's "The Ultimate Diet 2.0", which, in my opinion, does a fairly good job at explaining how to train and eat to achieve just that (but, again, only if you're fairly lean to begin with).

 

However, all complicated stuff aside, in most cases it's probably better to focus on one goal at a time: it's more efficient and less of a hassle

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Here are my two cents...

 

1) As mentioned above HIIT is a great tool for increasing fitness and fat loss.

 

2) If you do HIIT properly, you need to treat it as a workout and not a cardio session. If you're training hard with weights and decided to add in HIIT sessions on off days, you will hinder recovery.

 

3) In that case, either lower the intensity and/or frequency of your workout to make way for your HIIT sessions -or-

 

simply do very low intensity cardio (walking) on off days. It will give you some cardio benefits, help recovery and burn a few more calories. Like the advice above stated, you're better off focusing on one goal at a time.

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