T Nation

ealy morning cardio & nutrition


#1

My goal is to loose fat while putting on muscle, which I've been told isn't a good idea as I should be doing one or the other, but as I haven't been lifting for a while I'm assuming my body will react to the training like a beginners would.
I'm doing HIIT on the treadmill after my workouts in the evenings 4 times a week and am thinking about adding early morning cardio to increase the fat loss. I know it is reccommended to do this on an empty stomach with a bit of caffiene pre workout, but what should my meal consist or post workout? Should it just be protien and fat, or protein and carbs????


#2

Jay, since I've been working through some of the same issues, I'll throw out what I'm doing for your consideration.

  1. Never do HIIT fasted state (FS).

  2. FS cardio should be low to moderate intensity (65-75% of MHR), longer duration (45 minutes).

  3. FS cardio lends itself towards the use of supplements that preserve LBM; prohormones, Methoxy, Hot Rox and BCAA + Glutamine.

  4. I've tried both P+F and P+C after FS cardio. P+F keeps you in a fat burning mode a little longer; my first choice. But I've used P+C meals when I needed to pick up/improve energy levels if energy starts to become a problem.

  5. HIIT is pretty intense, properly done, and to get the biggest metabolic bang for the buck, I like to save it for evenings I don't lift. I do 5 minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of intervals (30 seconds high, 90 seconds low), and another 20 minutes of low-intensity cardio (60-65% of MHR) to burn fatty acids that have been mobilized as a result of HIIT.

Just my quick thoughts!


#3

TT,

My understanding was that HIIT was best done in the morning, to maximize post-workout calorie expenditure the rest of the day. Is your recommendation of doing it in the evening just for high-energy / quality of workout purposes?

Having done HIIT, I can understand that logic, but also, how do you do 20 min. of low-intensity cardio after HIIT? I am on the ground for 20 min. afterwards trying to recover!

From most of what I remember reading from Joel's HIIT recommendations, it was to take BCAA's before HIIT in the morning (while cutting). Not that he's THE authority, but from what I remember reading on the boards, most seemed to agree with morning HIIT. Just wanted to hear your opinion / logic since it seems to differ.

Also, Jay:
How do you do HIIT on a treadmill? Isn't it too cumbersome / dangerous to do an all-out sprint, then try to hit the dials on the treadmill to lower the speed? Is it for convenience reasons? I'd recommend doing sprints outdoors, or even on an indoor court somewhere. I do sprints either on a track (400m), in a parking lot (for timed sprints), or on an indoor basketball court (17's).


#4

I've been doing outdoor sprints/fasted state/AM. This was recommended in Marion's RR&D, but TT's post inspired me to look for more information. I've seen threads for and against, and the only fasted studies I've sean looked at cardio, not intervals. Would a few veterans or contributors weigh in on the question?


#5

I've done HIIT on a treadmill before. I can't go all out sprinting, but I can get up to 12mph or 5 minute mile. I'll do that for 30 sec, then jog at 6mph for 30 sec. Since it can't be an all out sprint, sometimes I'll sprint for 1 minute, and jog for 30 sec. It works the same way as HIIT.

I would never do HIIT on a fasted state. I usually do it immediately after my workouts, but not legs. On off days, I do slow cardio to increase recuperation and blood flow to the muscles.


#6

Hi, QTip. Well, let's see. For one thing, I use a heart rate monitor, so that allows me to get very precise with my heart rate. 60 or 65% of MHR is really coasting, low/minimal effort. If you're wearing something that displays your HR, you're able to do what I call a walk-run, obviously walking more than running, but it does allow for recovery and the burning of fatty acids that have been mobilized during HIIT.

HIIT can be done on a track or on just about any piece of cardiovascular equipment you choose. Personally, I love doing HIIT on a StairMaster.

How do I do it? Once again, my HR monitor allows me to set highs and lows on HR; emphasis here is HR. Some people do HIIT for given periods of time; emphasis here is time. The reason I use a HR monitor is that there are times I've caught myself doing HIIT at ABOVE my maximum heart rate.

Absolutely, positively, you can do HIIT in the morning. I just would not recommend that you do it fasted state. HIIT challenges the anaerobic system more than the aerobic system. And like lifting weights (anaerobic), it's not a good idea to do FS; just a bit too catabolic for my liking.

My reason for recommending it in the evening (on non-lifting days) has more to do with separating it from lifting sessions and getting a second metabolic boost/kick in the butt. But I guess that would assume FS cardio, which personally I do 7 days a week.

What's most important, QTip is to structure things in a way that promotes anabolism, minimizes catabolism and works with YOUR schedule. That means that different people will be doing different things.

Re the BCAAs, I take 5g before I work out, and another 10g divided between two 1-quart water bottles that I drink during my cardio. And, yes, I really do drink a half gallon of water per 45-minute cardio session. (grin)


#7

TT, I'm going to have to disagree with a couple of your points here. HIIT should be done at MAXIMAL effort, regardless of heartrate. That's where the effectiveness of it lies. You're just doing aerobics if you're allowing your effort to be limited by a false ceiling that "maximal heartrate" allows.

As you can tell by the quotes, I have a problem with the concept of a "maximal heartrate" in the first place. It's an artificial, THEORETICAL number. How can you have your heartrate go above your maximal heartrate?

I also realize a lot of people do HIIT on machines, but I think you're better off sprinting it it's possible. Believe me, I've done it both ways, and there is most certainly a difference.

Just my two cents.


#8

DocT I see where you are coming from and I see where TT is going w/ the heart rate monitor.

I think its more of a saftey issue w/ the heart rate montior. I do believe I do think there is more of a risk in getting injured in older people going above and beyond the recommend maximum heart rate level. Then someone that is young.

Old meaning over 50 and young meaning 18-35.

In Health,

Silas C.


#9

Fitone, I don't buy that for a second. Sure I've heard the "common wisdom" that tells us that older people shouldn't get over some magical number as a percentage of their "maximal heartrate" (which I've already told you I think is bullshit).

Has anybody ever given a reason for this statement? What is it about older people that makes them more prone to adverse affects from a high heartrate? Of course they have less cardiovascular reserve, but that will simply limit the amount of exertion that they'll be able to perform. If they have no preexisting cardiac disease, there is no apparent reason that they can't exercise at a similarly high intensity as younger people.

Until I'm given a valid reason otherwise, that is my opinion.


#10

DocT, your two cents are always appreciated and welcome. And you're free to disagree with me at any time. It adds to the depth and value of the discussions.

Thank you.


#11

Oh, dear, Fitone, I guess since I'm 45, I'm creeping up on "old," there! Maybe I had better park my HR monitor next to my cane. (wink)

Actually, I can exercise above MHR for 45 minutes, so I guess I'm cardiovascularly fit. But max effort HIIT seems to break me down when I'm cutting (which I have been since I started on T-Mag last year (sigh)).

The way I do HIIT may be a compromised version of HIIT, but doing intervals that go back and forth between, say, 65% and 95% of MHR might be a way to condition the unconditioned (or "aged" as the case may be) and ease them into the all-out type of HIIT.

Bottom line, I'm happy to see people doing cardio, however they choose to do it. I had the privilege last week of doing my cardio next to an 80 year old lady on a Precor eliptical trainer. She told me she had been a member of the club for 24 years, that she lifted weights and did yoga, too. When she was done, she zoomed out of there faster than any of the younger folk.

That's what I want to be when I'm 80!!!


#12

DocT, so your saying a heart rate monitor is useless?

I beg to differ on that. A year ago while I was working in NYC at Plus One we heard some passed out and died on a treadmill over at Equinox 2 blocks down from us.

This was a healthy 30-35 year old guy, slighltly over weight but, otherwise realitively healthy. Ephidrene was found in his gym bag and also a couple of empty Red Bull was also found. (I am not saying Ephidrene or red bull was the cause of this guys death).

What, caused his death he was going above and beyond his recommend heart rate training zone. If he keep his heart rate at a recommend range or a even a little above that range but I think he was working his heart way to hard and not realizing it. By the way I am not disagreeing w/ you DocT. As far as the maxiamal number is "Theorital" which it is.

What, I am saying is that its a saftey issue wearing those heart rate monitor.

By, the way TT I did mean for your age to leak out and I think you will one day be that old lady who's 80 and is still doing H.I.T.T on treadmill;)

In Health,

Silas C.


#13

I have several times had my heart rate device showing numbers above 200 during HIIT...my personal best i 206. I`m 23, so my theoretical max-pulse is 197.


#14

Fitone, the guy didn't die because he was exercising "above his maximal heartrate". That's a ridiculous statement as you have NO IDEA why the guy died.

Again, give me one good reason why a perfectly healthy person cannot exercise above this "magic number". Just one good reason.


#15

I'm with DocT on this one.

Fitone - Think about it - if they found ephedrine AND Red Bull, which contains caffeine, don't you think the combination of these two stimulants plus exercising too strenuously probably caused his death?

From what I've read, those heart rate tables were orignally designed to give guidance for safe training for persons with heart problems or who had recently suffered a heart attack. They were never designed for healthy people. The heart is like any other muscle - strengthen it, and it can work harder without injury.

Hell, I'm 35 and pretty damn fat. I'm sure I regularly go over my "maximum" heart rate and I'm still alive!


#16

Hey All,
I thought I'd chime in for a bit. I personally use the perceived effort concept for % of max.
As for the max heart rate idea, that from my understanding is some BASIC guidelines.
I work in the ER and see people young and old come in with heart arrhythmias and heart rates 180's - 200's,(by rights an elderly person of 80 should not let their heart rate get above140 bpm) with out dying ...yeah they feel like complete garbage and they are anxious, but they don't automatically die. Some even had the symptoms for hours before they came to the ER.
Young people who have these symptoms tend to have congenital problems or have taken some drug or combination of drugs that caused the problem.
Also no matter how "fit" a person appears or feels, doesn't mean they don't have serious health issues...Jim Fixx comes to mind.
Just some thoughts.
Peace,
T-Ren


#17

Only a medical examiner- will know why he died. He almost certainly had some underlying conditions that contributed to his demise. In other words a healthy individuaL will not drop dead by going too far above their max heart rate on the T-mill. As Doc T said MHR is a theoretical number -something devised to quantify a level of work such as RPE, etc. and to use for safety in special populations.


#18

If your goal is simultaneous muscle gain and fat loss and you dont mind performing a shitload of cardio, check out the Cheater's Diet EDT program- should be perfect for you.


#19

DocT- I didn't say I had "No Idea" on why the guy died. It was probably due to the combination of being out of shape and intaking ephidrene and Red bull. Anyways this topic is dead. I see where you are coming from DocT. And agian people that did have do have a heart condition. should were a "heart rate" montior (saftey issue).

And people that don't well thats your choice.

In Health,

Silas C.
PS DocT you are so going down in Fantasy Football. The WATERBOYS are going to RULE!!!


#20

Joel-
Can i incorporate the Cheaters Diet ideas w/ T Dawg diet i.e. 3 days of low calorie, low carb before the refeed/carb-up and then back to the T-Dawg?