Drew Baye Wins Over 50

[quote=“doddfrank, post:101, topic:284806, full:true”]
Has anyone managed to get their heart rate in the 120-140 range - the classic zone 2-zone 3 aerobic range, using HIT or any other form of strength training ? And keep it there for 20-30 mins.
Without taking any particular position on this I

Weight training, even lifting as fast as possible causes muscle contractions which occlude blood flow until the muscles relax. A contracted muscle with limited blood flow has consequences on the cardio-vascular system, resulting in acidosis and decreased oxygen delivery to tissues, causing the heart to pump harder leading to ventricular hypertrophy. This is a vicious circle and is not ideal for cardiovascular conditioning as a different kind of stimulus is needed. What is needed for a HiT neophyte to understand about cardiovascular conditioning is there must be at least 50 % of the musculature involved in a rapid rhythmical contraction-relaxation of agonist and antagonist muscles so as not to impede blood flow and delivery of oxygenated blood to the muscles, or hinder venous blood flow back to the right atrium of the heart.

As you can surmise, circuit weight training would increase the heart rate, but is certainly not ideal for the delivery and drainage of blood from the tissues. Also, less than 50% of muscular structures is involved in each circuit weight station which limits cardiovascular conditioning stimulus.

This does not even touch the energy cycles such as the aerobic system which houses the Kreb’s cycle which provides the majority of ATP.


Clearly you didn’t read my post properly from earlier in this thread, or your comprehension skills are a bit on the weak side…
I stated that my views on cardio are the same as yours. I do more cardio than strength work. However I ( and maybe you can call this experience…as I’m in my mid 50’s) do not feel the need to constantly bash others over the head with my point of view. There is no benefit from beating that dead horse.
Why constantly bang that drum here? Those that agree with you are already doing it…and those that aren’t…are you really going to change their minds? Honestly? If anything they are just going to dig further down into their “approach”, especially in the onslaught of the manner in which you present your case.
I’ve learnt this through experience. Let it go…
Heck…if “we” are right, and cardio is SO important…then what has happened? A handful of people, who you have never met, and never will, simply aren’t getting the benefit of an important training modality. You aren’t changing the world on here my friend.
In fact any benefits you gain from cardio, are probably lost from the stress you incur from ranting about it on here and the social connections you have missed in the real world, from spending too much time on here, preaching the gospel of cardio…


Well said SGG


@atp_4_me Read my question. I am looking for a strength based modality that provides aerobic benefits in a trackable (HR) way.
I was hoping for a reply along the lines of HIT, or HIT with long eccentrics, or super slow, or olympic weightlifting, or its not possible with weights so do body weight circuit training… etc etc
A reply from anyone explaining persononal experience pointing to any of these would be useful.

So let me explain the reason for my question. I sometimes get an IT band niggle. This requires a notable reduction in steady state running, bike, xtrainer. So I am looking for an alternative.

@sgg and @fitafter40 any recommendations you can make for strength based cardio. BTW I am 60+.

Depending on your preferences and circumstances, have you thought of looking into the past slightly and considering the work of DrLeonard Schwartz and his Heavyhands and Panaerobics protocols.
Not for everyone I know, and for even less people if done outdoors ( due to the embarrassment factor), but might be worth a look if you are a home / garage gym trainee.

Depends on your goal…are you looking to run a marathon or competing in some type cardio based activity…then i think you need to practice that skill specific activity along with Darden’s method of strength training

IMHO…if general fitness, weight loss with a little bit of activity like tennis, golf, pickle ball or a leisure bike ride…then follow Darden’s latest book

and just note…i am not a trainer, just a follower of Darden’s and Jones methods of strength training so take whatever i say with a grain of salt

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@sgg and @fitafter40. Thanks for your suggestions I will research the possibilities you suggest.

I do some Masters sprinting and some competitive ball sports. Not a long distance runner anymore. So my focus is on speed/strength/power methods with steady state cardio as recovery + general health. Plus it develops work capacity for sports.

Cardio = approx 3 sessions per week of 25-40 mins zone 2/3.

Strength work is general strength development with whole body push/pull/hinge type work (Dan John type of pgm) or light power work - think kettlebells + med ball + body weight rather than olympic lifts (its an age and injury protection thing). None of this strength work gets my heart rate much above 100. Probably because the required rest periods are of the order of 1 minute, meaning it is not sufficiently steady state to be aerobically challenging. I raised this point once before on another thread and could not get any particular direction. Hence my interruption of a thread on HIT to see if that is an option.

HIT is generally not widely used by sprinters, games players etc. I have nothing against it per se its just the way it is. If I could get HIT to work for cardio I would replace my current weight training with HIT for specific periods. Eg with an injury or when doing high intensity sprinting when I need to take time off my feet.

On the subject of cardiac development/efficiency/damage. I cant see how doing a form of HIT for say 2 or 3 x30 mins per week is going to be that damaging. Especially if it is only for part of the year. There are also reports suggesting that long term high volumes of cardio may lead to heart irregularities. And that weight training and isometrics reduce blood pressure. So you pay your money and takes your choice.

If you want to do HIT “aerobically” with one set per exercise, reduce your rest period between the exercises to 30 seconds in lieu of one minute rest and eventually work your way towards 15 to 20 seconds rest in between

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My apologies Sir!
I will not make this mistake again
I don’t feel that I reply all that much
And I plan on a significant reduction of posting
I purchased several of DeSimone’s books and I am reading carefully. Note: he is a proponent of cardio



Bottom line:

To maximize training effects for VO2max:

  1. long-interval (≥2min)
  2. high-volume (≥15min)
  3. moderate to long-term (≥4-12weeks)
  4. HIIT is recommended

I can spike my heart above 120 with high rep sets of squats or deadlifts, but I wouldn’t want to try to do that for 20 or 30 minutes.

I’m guessing, based on that experience, that if you took any repetitive lifting movement and backed down the weight enough, you could eventually find a sweet spot of cadence and weight that could turn it into a cardio-like activity that you could do for an extended period of time. But it would then lose a lot of it’s value as strength training.

You can find a variety of “complexes” or circuits done with kettlebells or barbells that sort of fall into this category. Or just do a shit load of kettlebell swings for 20 minutes.

Lately, I’ve been doing some workouts where I continuously do kettlebell snatches and weighted club swings. I think my heart rate levels out at 110-120 bpm, more than a brisk walk, sort of like an easy cardio session on an elliptical machine.

Nautilus once ran something called the West Point Experiment, where they ran the cadets through a series of weight machines with little to no rest. I’m thinking 10+ machines with less than 30 seconds between machines. They monitored heart rate and were able to keep average heart rates quite high. But you would need a dedicated line of machines set aside for your circuit to avoid setup time and interruptions from other people. I’m sure it was quite brutal and not something many would want to do routinely.

If you are doing this because of an IT band issue, your best bet is probably to find a traditional cardio exercise that doesn’t specifically irritate the IT band. It can be kind of tough to turn an upper body exercise into a true cardio exercise, just because you are limited in the amount of muscle mass that you can involve. Maybe swimming or rowing machine?

At your age, what is your primary goal? Your sprint times, your ball games, or your overall health and longevity?
I ask as the training for one, might be counterproductive towards the other.
Tony Holler founder of the “Feed the Cats” protocol of sprint training for younger athletes, doesn’t hold much stock in aerobic work for aiding with sprint speed. His approach is definitely influenced by the short to long approach to sprint training. If your primary goal is sprinting, take a look at his stuff.
He even has an Atomic Workout that can be utilised for speed development for ball game players and longer distance athletes, this can be found on YouTube. Just search for Atomic workout.

@fitafter40 I will use short recovery HIT as the basis of my approach. Thanks.

@atp_4_me I dont have access to a Fulcrumator but thanks for reminding me about KB swings. It is the one exercise that gets my HR above 100bpm so I will add this to a list of say 7 HIT exercises. It may not be a correct HIT approach but who cares.

@average_al I suspect that HIT will give me a slightly greater strength stimulus than complexes, and I accept this is still likely to be less than a dedicated HIT or pure strength approach.
I find the repetetive and high volume nature of complexes, with a small number of exercises over a prolonged duration a mental challenge and an injury risk. HIT is more varied.
My IT band issue is irritated by volume (of run, bike, xtrainer, row) not load. So I can do sets of lower body strength exercises without an issue. Rowing machine has the same repetetive knee flexion movement, and I am a crap swimmer.
HIT logistics are a challenge. My approach is to use the combined chest and shoulder press machine. Combined pull down and triceps machine or cables. Leg press and leg extension machines are next to each other. I can use KB/DB moves for say a goblet squat.

@SGG my primary goal is sprinting. You can be pretty rubbish at my age. Speed and explosiveness is a key element of ball games so they are mutually inclusive.
I actually started using some feed the cats principles recently. So I do the sprints. I dont bother with the atomic/x factor workouts I replace them with weights. TH does not seem a great user of weights, but he trains mainly school athletes who do weights with their Fooball, basketball anyway. Along with some cardio in those other sports. So in reality he is not such a purist.
I accept that cardio may have an interference affect on speed development but is necessary for health. So its not an either/or its an “and” with compromises. If I can get my cardio through some non running and even better combine it with strength work I cover 2 bases. I also reduce my IT band risk.
In terms of programming I am aiming for 2xFeed the cats per week, 2xstrength with cardio. Some sessions of pure traditional cardio if possible.

My typical average HR for a 30 minute strength workout is 90bpm. Lets see how much I can raise this.
Once again thx for the help.

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Like you said who cares, HIT is not as strict as some want to claim

I have no problem maintaining 140 bpm for 10 mins. by performing 3 flights of 1) standing db curls, 2)push ups and 3) Rowing Torso, 50-60 second sets each, no rest between.

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If you say that your IT issues are more volume rather than load triggered…have you looked into extensive tempo work as used by the athletes of the late Charlie Francis?
Check out his “Big Circuit”. About 2200 metres of both 100 and 200 metre reps, done at 70%, or less, of your top speed.
If you don’t want to run, I think Charlie did suggest an exercise bike could be used. And if I’m not mistaken he might have had a circuit training option also.
I’m now quite keen to know what your speed sessions consist of. Can you give us an example please?

@sgg Yes I am familiar with CF training principles. Overall the best I have found and I partially used it for a few years.
My hesitation is the S>L principles and progressions are a bit difficult and time consuming for non elite athletes to follow. You need a properly planned progression through GPP, SPP and competition. With phases of Speed, SE, Intensive tempo, special endurance etc.
His big and small circuits and bike tempo are sensible. The tempo work is again running based. Bike work can also irritate the IT band. Cyclists suffer like runners.
I dont want to labour the IT band issue, its not that bad, but there are other reasons for slightly limiting running work.

I decided to try the Tony H approach as it is highly focussed on increasing Max V and Acceleration. My SE has always been good but I have lacked the speed reserve which is fundamental. It is also very easy adhere to.
The sessions below are not based on any of his actual pgms, I have`nt paid for the materials he sells. My attempts at applying his principles.

  1. Acceleration work out to 30m. eg 5-8 x 20m-30m.
  2. Max V. eg. 5 x 40m-50m. Accelerate for say 20m and then hold max v for say 20m.
  3. Combine the above. 4-5 x 40m-50m aim for improving fast times.

These are seperate sessions of course. Most pure speed based pgms aim for a max of 200-300m of speed work.
If you want to combine them I would do half of #1 plus half of either #2 or #3. But not combine a subset of #2 and #3.


@Zonetrainer Yes that looks like a practical example. I have used complexes as a lighter refresher type of session. But as I said above I am going to try modified HIT (for want of a better description) due to the variety of exercises and the longer overall duration.
At my age I need most bang for my bucks from say 4 sessions per week.
My fill in sessions are push up, abs, squats at home.


what sport or activity are you engaged in where you seem to be very focused on speed especially since you indicated you are in your 60s

just curious, don’t answer if you don’t want to

Just another thought: About 10 years ago, when Metabolic Conditioning was a hot topic due to the surging popularity of CrossFit, Drew Baye did some posts about using HIT training methods to create “MetCon” style workouts. If you look at his site, those posts are still available. He ended up calling them 3x3 workouts. That might give you a different template for how to combine some “to failure” sets for conditioning purposes. Just google “Drew Baye”, “3x3”, and “metcon”