T Nation

Low Calorie HIIT

No, not HIIT lite.

We all know that HIIT on REALLY low calories is catabolic. Hence, on the V-diet, calories around 1500-1800, it’s lifting and walking.

So what’s the lower limit on calories before HIIT starts to catabolize muscle tissue?

I ask because I’m trying to plan out the kcals for a 16 week cut with planned progressions (slowly decreasing the amount of calories I consume) and I need a rough floor (for the calories).

[quote]Otep wrote:
No, not HIIT lite.

We all know that HIIT on REALLY low calories is catabolic. Hence, on the V-Diet, calories around 1500-1800, it’s lifting and walking.

So what’s the lower limit on calories before HIIT starts to catabolize muscle tissue?

I ask because I’m trying to plan out the kcals for a 16 week cut with planned progressions (slowly decreasing the amount of calories I consume) and I need a rough floor (for the calories). [/quote]

Impossible to give a general statement as it depends on too many factors (sex, age, weight/height (FFM), etc).

I would never go below basal metabolic rate when trying to minimize loss of muscle tissue (BMR should be around 2000-2500)

Why post that in the beginner forum? That’s a question for bodybuilders. Beginners have no business playing around with very low calorie diets and you should know better. You’ve been around here long enough.

I’m gonna bump this, because I don’t think it got enough attention on the first page, and because it makes for a better topic than ‘5 hr workouts’.

I’ll play. Are you asking so you can stay above a certain range so you can still do HIIT during your cut? Or do you want a number that when you get there you switch from HIIT to steady state?

cueball

More the former than the latter, although I imagine they’d be pretty much the same (i.e. the threshhold for catabolizing muscle is the same threshhold where you’d want to switch from HIIT to steady state.

For the record, I figure it’s about 2000-2200 kcals for a normal, weight-training, 200lb-ish man. I also figured it wouldn’t hurt to get some feedback.

[quote]Otep wrote:
More the former than the latter, although I imagine they’d be pretty much the same (i.e. the threshhold for catabolizing muscle is the same threshhold where you’d want to switch from HIIT to steady state.

For the record, I figure it’s about 2000-2200 kcals for a normal, weight-training, 200lb-ish man. I also figured it wouldn’t hurt to get some feedback.[/quote]

This would be MY suggestion based soley on my gut and a little knowledge. I would do HIIT during maintenence cals or higher to reduce or maintain BF. If you drop below maintenece, I think steady state is the way to go.

You may get more EPOC with the HIIT, but under maintenence, I don’t know if your recovery will be adequate, hence the catabolism. Steady state is proven to burn fat during with not a lot of glycogen being burnt. Plus, not a lot of recovery needed.

Take that for what it’s worth but as always, personal experimentation is always the best. Good luck!

cueball