T Nation

Maybe NEVER Do SS-Cardio?

I had a thought and I would like some more knowledgeable people with stronger theoretical background to correct me on this.

Facts (please correct me if these are wrong):

  1. Tabata and HIIT cardio. They burn carbs DURING the exercise. But raise the metabolism and you burn much fat AFTER the exercise.

  2. Heavy lifting. It burns carbs DURING the exercise. But raises the metabolism and you burn much fat AFTER the exercise. It also tells the body that the muscles are necessary to complete a difficult task. So the body preserves or builds more muscle.

  3. 30-60 minutes SS-cardio is the most efficient way to burn fat DURING the exercise. It does not help you burn fat AFTER the exercise. We know that it is not good for the muscles.

So I am thinking. Could it be that whenever we exercise, we signal the body what kind of nutrients (carbs, fat, protein) we need the most? So the body will alter the metabolism. During rest it will try to store the needed nutrient and it will prefer to burn the others?

Let?s see how this would apply to the 3 previous cases:
Tabata and HIIT cardio. They signal the body that CARBS are needed the most. So the body will alter the metabolism. During rest it will try to store carbs and it will prefer to burn fat. (In this case I am not sure what happens with protein. Are Tabata and HIIT dangerous for the muscles? Or the high intensity tells the body to keep the muscles?)

Heavy lifting. It signals the body that CARBS and PROTEIN are needed the most. So the body will alter the metabolism. During rest it will try to store protein and carbs and it will prefer to burn fat.

30-60 minutes SS-cardio. It signals the body that FAT is needed the most. So the body will alter the metabolism. During rest it will try to store fat and it will prefer to burn carbs and protein.

So can we conclude that if we want to build muscle and make our body burn more fat, we should lift weights, do HIIT or Tabata cardio and NEVER do SS-cardio.

Never doing steady state cardio is a bit extreme. Personally I think for optimal body comp a short jog of 20-40 mins does no harm (and definitely does provoke after-burn, all be it not a much as HIIT)

Diet is the most important thing for achieving a great body, but in terms of training you would achieve the best results in the shortest time if you did HIIT and Weight training spread across the week.

ShadoW

SS cardio’s good for burning calories. Also, it makes it harder to gain muscle because of the calorie expenditure (eat more). You won’t burn muscle unless you do extremely long sessions because it takes a long time to get through your glycogen stores (unless you do fasted morning cardio).

[quote]BobPit wrote:
I had a thought and I would like some more knowledgeable people with stronger theoretical background to correct me on this.

Facts (please correct me if these are wrong):

  1. Tabata and HIIT cardio. They burn carbs DURING the exercise. But raise the metabolism and you burn much fat AFTER the exercise.

  2. Heavy lifting. It burns carbs DURING the exercise. But raises the metabolism and you burn much fat AFTER the exercise. It also tells the body that the muscles are necessary to complete a difficult task. So the body preserves or builds more muscle.

  3. 30-60 minutes SS-cardio is the most efficient way to burn fat DURING the exercise. It does not help you burn fat AFTER the exercise. We know that it is not good for the muscles.

So I am thinking. Could it be that whenever we exercise, we signal the body what kind of nutrients (carbs, fat, protein) we need the most? So the body will alter the metabolism. During rest it will try to store the needed nutrient and it will prefer to burn the others?

Let?s see how this would apply to the 3 previous cases:
Tabata and HIIT cardio. They signal the body that CARBS are needed the most. So the body will alter the metabolism. During rest it will try to store carbs and it will prefer to burn fat. (In this case I am not sure what happens with protein. Are Tabata and HIIT dangerous for the muscles? Or the high intensity tells the body to keep the muscles?)

Heavy lifting. It signals the body that CARBS and PROTEIN are needed the most. So the body will alter the metabolism. During rest it will try to store protein and carbs and it will prefer to burn fat.

30-60 minutes SS-cardio. It signals the body that FAT is needed the most. So the body will alter the metabolism. During rest it will try to store fat and it will prefer to burn carbs and protein.

So can we conclude that if we want to build muscle and make our body burn more fat, we should lift weights, do HIIT or Tabata cardio and NEVER do SS-cardio. [/quote]

Just to clarify, if you’re going to do HIIT training, you have to make sure you have adequate nutrition. With HIIT being so fast-paced, the energy must come from glycogen. Of course, the body then must refill its glycogen stores, and that is where the calorie expenditure comes into play.

If you’re doing HIIT, make sure that you get some carbohydrates or healthy fats (alon with protein) immediately after a workout. HIIT saves you more time than regular cardio.

Also, depending on one’s genetics, HIIT plus heavy lifting could cause someone to overtrain.

This is just a take based on personal experience…

I started lifting when I was 31, nineteen years ago. I went at it with a fervor, going from 200 lbs to 235 in about 5 years. After that, I just maintained. Not on purpose, but I just maintained.

Though I had added muscular size, I never achieved an asthetic appearance that could be called anything other than “smooth”. Looking back I was, of course, reading the wrong mags and applying false information. I certainly overtrained, and though I ate clean, I ate way, way too much.

All that said, I decided that I needed to do more cardio in order to get rid of the fat. So, I began running. Being the obsessive that I am, I went way too far with it and was running 70-80 miles/week. I achieved excellent cardiovasular health and got myself to the point that I could run 14 miles at around 6 min/mile.

I ran the Houston Marathon in 1997 at around 190 lbs. And i was STILL smooth (yes, I continued lifting while I was running distance). Being a larger guy, I naturally incurred injuries, enough so that I had to quit distance running. I was pretty discouraged anyway; if you can’t marathon your way into being cut, what would work?

I floated along for about 5 years, still lifting, but not with the passion I once had. Out of boredom more than anything else, I began playing basketball. Usually a couple of hours 4x per week. No thought of getting in shape, just bored with my regular routing. And BOOM!

There it was - after about 6 months, I had dropped considerable bodyfat. No real suprise there, but, after I had been playing about a year. I noticed that I was developing cuts and definition I had not seen before. Basketball being a stop/start high intensity/rest/high intensity/rest sort of thing, was the type of cardio I always needed.

My body seemed to adjust to my need for bursts of energy, and burnt fat wildly either during or after the basketball, and burnt it much more efficiently than the long runs ever had. And, i didn’t lose all the muscle I had lost with the distance running.

Great post “JesusReagan”

At the moment I am experimenting with cardio, I am trying to emulate playing a sport while I go running. My routine looks a bit like this:

-Jog at a steady pace for 30-40 mins
-Throw in 5-10 sprints (100m)
-Every 10 minutes drop and do 20 press-ups

This is the closest I am going to get to playing a sport while doing cardio. I am experimenting doing this twice a week on non lifting days. A session burns around 500 calories. hopefully in time with good nutrition it will help develop my body composition positively…

ShadoW

The purpose of my post was to establish if ss-cardio makes it harder to burn fat AFTER the exercise. Only JesusReagan seems to have an experience that might suggest this.

Speaking of nutrition and calories around HIIT or Tabata. I want to control gaining fat during a bulk. Maybe I want to lift-bulk one day, then HIIT-burn some calories the next day. So what I do is take a smaller (than the weight lifting session) pre and post wo drink with HIIT. I want to train and save my muscles during cardio. I want to burn calories AFTER the exercise. Is this correct? The problem is that the drink feels very uncomfortable in my stomach when I do intensity cardio. What is the correct way to do it?

Tabata will cut you up. It always works for me and is effective. I’ll second the Basketball advice. I play in the winter and love it. It’s the leanest I get all year. It’s also one of the least boring methods of cardio I can think of.

This is a pretty good article on the subject. It recommends HIIT during a bulk and goes into the hormonal effects even a couple weekly sessions can provide.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/satter2.htm

Part two
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/satter3.htm

Great article abcd1234.

The EAS-Body for Life system does exactly this. 1 day weights, 1 day intense cardio.

[quote]BobPit wrote:
Great article abcd1234.

The EAS-Body for Life system does exactly this. 1 day weights, 1 day intense cardio.
[/quote]

I think I would actually like HIIT much more while bulking.

I know when I do 2-3 sessions per week on top of leg training, reduced calories and carbs, my legs feel dead on a daily basis. While bulking, the excess calories could greatly improve recovery from HIIT and offset overtraining.

[quote]shadowmoses wrote:
in terms of training you would achieve the best results in the shortest time if you did HIIT and Weight training spread across the week.[/quote]

For cutting purposes, this is obvious I think. What I am interested in is bulking. Will HIIT help, like the article says in bodybuilding.com/fun/satter2.htm ?

shadowmoses, with your current cardio rutine, do you continue to lift? Do you think you will gain any muscle?

[quote]Fulmen wrote:
Also, depending on one’s genetics, HIIT plus heavy lifting could cause someone to overtrain. [/quote]

Yes. I think Tabata will strain CNS too much. Lower intensity (and increase duration), like 15 minutes of HIIT, might be better.

JesusReagan, with basketball + weight lifting, did you loose muscle at all? Did you gain muscle?

abcd1234, this article is theory. Although it agrees to my initial thought, do we have anybody that really gained muscle doing it?

No doubt I am gaining muscle (My lifts are progressing well), I just add adequate calories in after those cardio sessions. Possibly if I didn’t do them I would gain faster but would probably end up with more fat.

As I try to emulate playing a sport with these cardio sessions there is no reason I shouldn’t add muscle like NFL, RUgby players etc do while doing a lot of cardio in terms of training for there sport. Its all about the nutrition, just got to eat enough of the good stuff…

Also I will quote John Berardi for steady state “Do your cardio. This helps increase insulin sensitivity and improve carbohydrate tolerance. Do 30-minute cardio sessions, four times per week.”
“John believes in doing cardio for getting leaner and for getting bigger. Since cardio can increase glucose and amino acid uptake in muscle and liver cells, then it can be anabolic from a nutrient partitioning viewpoint. Cardio also leads to increased muscular uptake of nutrients for hours after exercise.”

ShadoW

One thing to keep in mind is that doing HIIT and other high intensity stuff does burn mainly carbs, but if you are short on carbs (as you probably will be on a diet) then there is a better chance of burning muscle for fuel which most people don’t want.

In the effort to get lean a lot of people don’t care if they lose a few pounds of muscle, but some people (bodybuilders, hardgainers, etc) might really care. Steady state, assuming a relatively low intensity, has very little chance of burning significant muscle.

The point of the body storing what is needed is an interesting one. I will think more about that. I do believe that the body readily burns off what it has the most of, meaning for most people they have extra fat so when they exercise they burn more fat, but for some people who are quite lean they actually have more muscle than fat so the body is more likely to burn some muscle than fat, thus making it harder to drop that last percent of fat.

[quote]Tim Henriques wrote:
The point of the body storing what is needed is an interesting one.
[/quote]
This is oversimplified. It may be only one of the factors affecting what is burned. The body knows that if fat or carbs drop to zero, the body will die. So it will resist lowering the level of carbs or fat too much, like you said.

It would be best if we could find research supporting that ss-cardio encourages the body to store fat, after the exercise. That would be very funny though.

I decided to do some cutting and I had good results without the SS-cardio:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1628710&pageNo=0#1628710

If you are lifting heavy for bulking I am not sure how you could effectively do HIIT unless you have incredible recovery.

I can lift heavy and half ass sprint and call it HIIT or sprint hard and not push myself under the iron but I have never been able to do both at the same time without burning out.