T Nation

Fitting Sprints In?


Long story short, I've been on an endless cut that has kinda turned stalled into a maintenance, leaving me feeling de-motivated, thin and tired, so I'm trying to 'reset my metabolism' for a bit by eating around maintenance.

On the 'cut', I've been focusing mainly on intense cardio (treadmill, bag work) with only 1-2 full-body weights workouts a week, but now I'm keen to really turn my attention to the weights as I feel like I'm slowly becoming the dreaded ''skinny-fat''.

At present I've been trying a 3 day cycle of push-legs-pull (then a rest day), but I've got that nagging concern in the back of my mind that as the weights workouts dont leave me dripping with sweat like the cardio ones used to, I'm not working 'enough' and am slowly going to gain fat.

Bringing me to my question, to satisfy the worries, would it be advisable to fit in one cardio day in the cycle, say at the end of the 3-day cycle? Would this help me keep lean, recover, etc, or is it really wasted time seeing as I'm in the gym 5-6 days a week with weights, including 10 mins cardio at the end of each workout anyway?


Push/Legs/Pull/REST (repeat)

Push: (all with some light ab work supersetted in)

Incline bench (4x8)
OHP (3x10-12)
Dips (3x10)
Lateral DB raises (3x12-15)
Triceps rope extensions (3x12-15)
(finish with 10 mins on the X-trainer)

Legs: (all supersetted with some light abs work)

Squats (4x8)
SLDL (3x10-12)
Seated machine extensions (4x8)
Lying hamstring/glute curls (4x8)
(finish with 10 mins on X-trainer)

Pull: (all supersetted with light abs work)

Chins (4x8)
DB BOR (3x10-12 each side)
T-bar row (3x10-12)
Cable row (3x12-15)
DB biceps curls (3x10)
(finish with 10 mins X-trainer)

Thanks for your feedback!


I always do my cardio (interval sessions) on days I don't hit the weights (every third day in a six day rotation). As long as your weight sessions are intense enough to stimulate (maintain) LBM, and your cardio sessions are intense enough to stimulate your metabolism (and your diet;s in check of course!), everything should work out just fine.



Thanks for the reply Stu- always listen up when I see your posts.

Is this workout structure the same when you're bulking, cutting, maintaining etc? What reasons in particular do you have for including this dedicated cardio, and why intervals?

Edit- also, while you're here, what kind of interval cardio do you favour? I've tried treadmill sprints in the past but found I could never get up to speed and it was a health hazard. Stationary bike intervals were pretty effective, but all the talk these days seems to be about sprints (100m, hills, whatever)?


I really only do cardio when I'm cutting, hence the 6 day rotation (2 days weights, 1 day intervals, 2 days weights, 1 day intervals). Normally (offseason), I make use of a 4 day rotation (Chest/Calves, Back/Bis, Delts/Traps/Tris, Legs), but will occasionally (like now) double up on legs and chest (2 muscle groups I feel need a little more work).

My rationale behind keeping cardio on separate days is:
1- Daily Nutrient intake should balance nutrient needs,.. meaning I eat less on days I do my cardio
2- After weight sessions, I feel (and have read a lot of other prep guys who agree with me) that adding cardio will just push you beyond the point of recuperation (Aceto has written how it will actually drop your T-Levels by doing 'too much'). Remember, you're only MAINTAINING muscle on a cut, and doing too much can be counterproductive!
3- Interval work is taxing as all hell, and I know that personally, I have nothing left in the tank after destroying the weights

My rationale behind Interval work is:
1- Results in more caloric 'burn' over 24 hours than steady state work
2- Spares more LBM (the reason why every single top natty competitor I know favors them -lol)
3- Only requires a short duration (I usually only do about 20 mins 2x a week)

I like to do bike spints. I've tried the treadmill (hurt my joints), as well as the eliptical (felt like it was gonna topple over), but eventually settled on the bike.

[If anyone disagrees with me, please don't turn this thread into an argument, I specifically listed these reason as 'MY' rationales. I'm not really interested in hearing what your favorite online 'guru' thinks]



Yeah what Stu said. You need to lift instense/heavy enough to hold on to the muscle you've built.