T Nation

Is HIIT Catabolic?


#1

I'm sure this questions been answered but i couldnt find it, but i was wondering why professional athletes like football players and basketball players are able to tons of cardio and HIIT workouts for hours, but yet still hold on to lots of LBM and have low body fat percentage?

I just dont understand because I thought that to much of the cardio and things like that would just be to catabolic.


#2

nutrition. any physical activity will turn catabolic fast without proper nutrient intake.


#3

Rizza had the biggest factor - nutrition. Athletes will fuel themselves before a game in order to perform at their best and to get a head start on recovery.

The other factor worth noting is that an athlete during a game isn't necessarily going balls-out for the entire 60 or 90 minutes. There are breaks and rest periods (frequent, depending on the sport) so it a sporting match isn't comparable to a cardio training session.

And also..."

"

What exactly are you referring to? Offseason training or what happens during actual games?

"Too much" cardio can be catabolic, but "too much" cardio is relevant to the person depending on their conditioning, nutrition, and overall ability.

Could you walk around your neighborhood, with occasional sprints throughout, for 90 minutes? Probably, yeah. Could an 75-year old guy? Probably no.

Could you jog around a soccer field, with occasional sprints throughout, for 90 minutes while maneuvering around 9 other guys? Probably not. Could Beckham? Yeah.


#4

Also, don't forget genetics. Many elite pro athletes are predisposed to be able to do things that the average person cannot.


#5

Most intense exercise is catabolic, lifting is catabolic...it's the body's response via adaptation where anabolism comes into play, permitting rest and nutrition are in order.


#6

All training is catabolic while you are training. Catabolism is simply the breaking down of molecules. You need energy to train so glycogen and fat must be broken down.