T Nation

Berardi turn around

Wow, did you see this weeks ‘the winning formula’ Berardi included anaerobic interval training and made it sound as if it was usefull for fat loss and muscle gain. That is nearly the exact opposite to what he said on this forum a while ago (where he stated that it was not particurly good for either). HE in the past has also criticized H.I.I.T. for being overrated in terms of post exercise energy consumption yet talked it up in this article. He also said that aerobic training was better done seperately to other weight training when in his past articles and forum posts hes said that it was better when done immediately after weight training. Why the turn around?

I don’t specifically remember him saying anything to that effect, but I do know that Berardi never hesitates to modify his views based on new research. (remember how he adjusted his views on pre/post workout nutrition when the studies on pre-workout nutrition came out)

Hi Crawford. I think you need to read my words more carefully and quit making assumptions and looking for contradictions.

Although it may SEEM like a contradiction of my previous comments, it’s not (and I’ll tell you why). In all of the universe there are very few “truths” that apply in all situations. Therefore when I make a statement, it often applies only to the situation in question and cannot always be extrapolated to other situations.

The purpose of my current article was clearly stated in the intro ("However, in this article, I'd like to present an interesting model for how to optimize your exercise and nutritional intake for fat loss. This model has been particularly effective in many of my athletes as well as my clients interested in a fat loss program that enhances muscle definition.").

Therefore this program is designed for fat loss in athletes and certain clients primarily interested in fat loss (muscle definition is a result of fat loss, not of muscle gain). What this means is that it's not the program for someone wanting to be HYYOOGE and ripped!

While I did state in the anaerobic section that ("Anaerobic intervals can lead to increased muscle size in the working muscles."), what exactly does this mean? It means that on a maintenance or hypercaloric diet, the legs may grow from anaerobic cycling. But even in the hypercaloric situation, this can often come at the expense of other body parts (just look at speed skaters). People dont often consider the fact that some body parts may grow at the expense of others! So if Im slamming my legs, they may grow but my upper body may shrink.

But what about in a hypocaloric diet, like the one prescribed in the article? The legs probably wont grow very much and if they do it may come at the expense of the upper body. Now, with the upper body weights, this will be minimized. However, if you want to have a huge upper body while dieting, this is certainly not the ideal scenario for you.

Now, the older comments you refer to can be summarized as follows 1) Anaerobic intervals arent necessarily better that aerobics for total daily caloric expenditure 2) Anaerobic intervals will not make you look like a bodybuilder (minimal body fat with maximal muscle fullness all over). Therefore, for many bodybuilders, I maintain that low intensity aerobic exercise is better than anaerobic exercise when dieting.

Basically, my older comments were speaking to the fact that if youre a bodybuilder interested in maximizing the growth or at least maintenance of ALL muscle groups during a fat loss phase, lower intensity cardio is best.

So, in the end, we have two different situations: 1) Individual or athlete interested in fat loss and fitness without worrying much about keeping muscle “fullness”. - This person gets the “Winning Formula”. 2) Individual interested in aesthetics only and muscle fullness. - This person gets more weights and low intensity cardio.

The article states that this is ONE MODEL that I've used successfully. No one can honestly think that I use the same model for all individuals and all sets of goals. And just because I use different tactics in different situations, doesnt mean that Im contradicting myself. So, in the end, there isnt a "turn around". It's simply an additional weapon in the arsenal.

While I agree that this is a different recommendation than whay Berardi has seemed to prefer in the past, he is allowed to let his thoughts evolve and we are all the better for it.

As I learn from new articles, books, forum posts, emails, and whatever other sources, my understanding and approach to bodybuilding evolves. I think this is the case for most of us. Are you doing the same thing that you did a year ago?

It's not that the older stuff does not work. It still works great, but the new stuff may work better.

We are all better off if the top strength coaches of the world present us with their evolving thoughts rather than being stubborn and sticking to their original thoughts.


Since you ideas for training during a cut have evolved slightly, how about during a slow bulk? What type of cardio recomendations would you now recomend? Same as the old Appetite column? Thank you!

When did John ever proclaim that these were “slightly evolved” ideas of his? He certainly didn’t in his retort to the original poster. If you read his reply a little more carefully you’ll actually realize his beliefs have not changed (with this particular matter) but rather the circumstance. This last article was not a reiteration of his appetite or massive eating columns. It was providing advice to those that wished to attain what was outlined in the intro (as John has since dictated again on this thread).

Coming to the conclusion that his ideas on this matter have "evolved" could certainly be an intelligent inference. However, when he clearly states that this is not the case and that he is simply applying different tactics, one should listen.

I apologize for jumping in your ass like that but posts like this that ignore what was already explained are one of the reasons for John's long hiatus from the board.