T Nation

Periworkout for HIIT?

hello coach,

i am training 5 times a week (using your 35 minutes to muscle template. its those 3 workouts plus one neural recovery workout and one lactate inducing workout a week). so far those workouts are AWESROME.

i am eating a lowish carb diet where i only have carbs periworkout (for the 3 weight workouts i have the full protocol but instead of FINiBARs i use two scoops of Surge Workout Fuel), and i started to throw in 20 minutes of HIIT (15 seconds max effort/ 45 seconds low intesity/rest) on some mornings. i know you do not recommend this on a lowish carbs diet, but 10 minutes before each HIIT session i have a scoop of MAG-10 with one scoop of Surge Workout Fuel.

i am wondering if this could possibly help maintain my performance during my weight workouts. for some reason, ever since i started the HIIT i feel so much better during the day, and i feel that all my other workouts are much more productive… am i fooling myself, or could this plan be possibly working. my calories a day are anywhere from 15-16 x bodyweight.

any advice would be much appreciated coach.

What’s your goal with this current approach??

well in all honesty i am just wanting to see what happens. for the past week i have been doing this and my energy is way up during strength sessions and HIIT. only carbs are during workout or HIIT, and so far my strength has gone up a little from last week, and i can notice more definition. i am predicting that because i am not eating TOO low in calories, that i will probably end up with a slight body recomp, gaining a bit of muscle and maybe losing a few % of bodyfat. so all in all i am doing 4 20 minute HIIT sessions plus training 5 times a week so far. I just started this plan but so far so good. i am just tired of not training as much as i can, or being in better shape overall so i want to really push myself to the limit (within reason).

If what you’ve been doing is producing the desired results you seek, then you can keep doing it. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to maintain that many high intensity sessions per week (this includes both weights and energy systems work) for very long. If I were to use this approach, I’d be maxed out after about 2 weeks, maybe 3.

The amount of energy systems work I include in my program depends heavily on 3 factors:

  1. My strength training split/program…how many days per week I"m hitting the weights and what those workouts consist of
  2. Nutriton overall…total calories, carb levels, and peri-workout nutrition
  3. A specific deadline…I strategically map out the energy systems work I’m going to do in accordance to the deadline I set for myself…if I have to meet a certain deadline 12 weeks from now, I won’t be doing 4 HIT sessions per week initially…I’d start with MAYBE 1 session per week (do it after one of the weight training sessions), and then do 15-20 minutes of moderate work after 3-4 of my other workouts. This could add up to be 90 minutes of cardio per week. If I’m already lifting 5 hours per week, and you add this on top of that, it’s about 6.5 hours per week, which in my experience is enough to make some nice body comp changes initially. Of course, once your body starts to adapt, and fat loss slows, then you need to increase the overall amount of exercise you do, which COULD include increasing the HIT sessions.

What does your “lifting 5 days per week” consist of?? I’d look at this, and then adjust your cardio work accordingly.

If my goal were to train as much as I can, and get in better overall shape, I’d make adjustments to my strength training routine, before adding in any cardio work.

I’ve found that increasing the density of my weight training workouts alone to be very effective at achieving all the goals you’ve stated.

thanks for all the information you replied with! the advice is much appreciated. when i say i lift 5 days a week, its really only 3 times if you are talking about ACTUAL strength workouts. its a split of chest/back, legs/shoulders, and biceps/triceps. the workouts are based on the recent article put out by Nate Green “Thibs 35 minutes to muscle”. These workouts are proving to be VERY effective, for me atleast. the other two workouts a week are a nueral recovery workout, (which i figured would serve a good purpose with all the HIIT im putting my CNS through) and a lactate inducing curcuit workout lasting around 35-40 minutes. ive found a good medium i think with calories and carbs. even though i only have carbs periworkout, some days im in a SLIGHT caloric excess (two out of the three strength training days). other days im in a slight caloric deficit. depending on what results im getting, im planning on following the plan until i feel im satisfied on the fatloss part, then im just going to slowly start adding calories for some growth. I know some people will say doing HIIT alot trying to gain strength and size is a bad idea, but the truth is i personally just love HIIT workouts. cant get enough of them (if only i had a prowler haha).

also,

my Peri-workout nutrition is as follows:

-20 min HIIT- 1 scoop MAG-10 + 1 scoop workout fuel - 10 minutes before each session

-Lactate workout (each session lasts 30-40 minutes)- 3 scoops Anaconda + 2 scoops MAG-10

-Nueral Recovery workout (each session lasts 30 minutes)- 2 scoops Anaconda + 2 scoops MAG-10 + 1 scoop workout fuel

-Strength Sessions (each last from 35-45 minutes)- 3 scoops Anaconda + 2 scoops MAG-10 + 2 scoops workout fuel

You should really consider adding in some carbs (i.e. SWF) during your lactate sessions. It just doesn’t make sense to have carbs with your HIIT sessions but not during what I’m assuming are your circuit training sessions. Those are just as taxing if not more so than HIIT and even though they’re designed to burn fat, they’re still high intensity. Was that a typo?

yeah typo, sorry. a scoop of Surge Workout Fuel as well for lactate sessions.