T Nation

HIIT Fat Loss + Gain

Is it possible to gain muscle mass while trying to lose fat with HIIT?

or any other cardio exercise for that matter?

Absolutely!

So how does that work? I thought in order to gain muscle there had to a caloric excess and to lose you had to have a calorie deficient?

[quote]ziggies wrote:
So how does that work? I thought in order to gain muscle there had to a caloric excess and to lose you had to have a calorie deficient? [/quote]

Heres the deal based on what I know:

It IS possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Its BS to claim anything other wise as there are uncountable people who have done it. Hell, Kevin Lavrone gets ready for a contest this way!

While nothing is set in stone, here are the circumstances under which is appears to happen most often:

1 - Newbie to training - Generally will see very impressive results for about 3 or 4 months including muscle gain AND fat loss… Diet is not even really important here.

2 - Very controlled diet - This is a complex one… This is the one where you are carb/calorie cycling based on activity and going over and under your maintence

3 - High “Calorie Turnover” - I’m not sure if you’ve heard of G-Flux before, but this is the basic concept. The MORE you exercise and eat, the better your results will be. Meaning the body you acheive on a 500 calorie surplus will be different if you are burning 4000 and eating 4500 than if you are eating 2500 and burning 2000… Get it?

This concept can be seen in athletes all over the place. Berardi likes to see minimum 5 hours of “exercise” a week and said he saw these same types of results when he kicked his up from 5 hours to 8 hours very recently (and he is definitely no newb).

If any kind of cardio is going to favor a positive body composition change you can bet its going to be HIIT. Maybe 30 minutes total a week if weight GAIN is the goal though.