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Starting Strength &HIIT Too Much?

I’m 35, 170 lbs and have been training for about 5 months. After 3 months of kind of fooling around (not knowing what to do) I began Starting Strength. My squat is at 225lbs, my deadlift 250lbs, my bench 135lbs (I know, it’s weak), press 95lbs (even worse)…

Anyways, I still have about 10lbs of ‘problem areas’ in the form of love handles and back fat. I’d like to get strong, and I’d like to get rid of that fat (my number one goal). I’m on John Berardi’s Metabolism Advantage diet (the 7 essential rules).

That’s my background.

What I’m finding, however, is that I can’t do Starting Strength, or I can do HIIT. I can’t do both. Starting Strength kicks my ass so badly, that I NEED that day of recovery. I can’t immediately go back to HIIT the next day (At a high, ‘nearly puke’ intensity level that coaches here prescribe).

What I’m getting at – I’d like to know others experience (or advice) with Starting Strength and interval training. Even cutting out the interval training, I’m having to claw and kick my way to make gains on SS (takes several tries, usually, when I increase the weight…never as easy as the progression tables online).

Anytime I try to start up interval training I get totally fried unless I work it in very slowly. In fact - I haven’t yet worked it in consistently successfully.

I think that if you are getting your ass handed to you on SS, then stick with it and forget about interval training for the time being. If you can hold to the diet, those problem areas should be taken care of naturally.

If or When you switch to a less demanding program, then maybe bring in the HIIT all at once. Otherwise just do two intervals and work your way up.

Just my opinion.

edit:

OR…instead of lifting weights one day, do intervals instead. You might actually benefit from the extra day off weight lifting.

I’m 54 years old but 5’9 like you-right know my weight is around 205-210. A few years back I got down to 163 lbs an ego boost to fit into 31 jeans but still had a flabby lower chest alongwith love handles.

In my case the additional muscle resulting from compound full body exercises has tapered and reduced the love handles. I’ve been 260 lbs and looked bad-being at my present weight with some muscle feels great.

If I knew at 35 what I know now I would be looking to put on mass. I do sprints on off days they are effective,just use caution not to interfer with recovery

[quote]luthar28 wrote:
I’m 35, 170 lbs and have been training for about 5 months. …

Anyways, I still have about 10lbs of ‘problem areas’ … I’d like to get strong, and I’d like to get rid of that fat (my number one goal). …

… I’d like to know others experience (or advice) with Starting Strength and interval training.
[/quote]

While unfortunately unable to respond to the specific point (which will nonetheless not keep me from responding), I would in large just want to encourage you by noting that 10 lbs or so is not a lot to get rid of, if you are thinking in terms of a few months, not a few weeks.

This is so especially because it sounds like you are working SS in dedicated fashion and have a diet in place. Manipulating the latter, if you stick to it, should allow you to find out what you need to keep training hard while gradually burning the fat off just through your regular weight training.

Trying to gain or even maintain strength and lose fat rapidly, however, (whether it is more or less than your goal) is usually a path of frustration on both fronts (that I would say from limited experience).

[quote]1Geech wrote:
While unfortunately unable to respond to the specific point (which will nonetheless not keep me from responding), I would in large just want to encourage you by noting that 10 lbs or so is not a lot to get rid of, if you are thinking in terms of a few months, not a few weeks. [/quote]

So you’re saying to be patient with the fat loss? That it will take months, not weeks? Really? Well, if that’s the reality, then that I can live with.

The diet is bizarre. I’m not used to eating this much. I went from 1800 calories to around 2600 (and I’m full all the time). But from what I read here, I have to eat more to gain muscle, which in turn, will allow me to burn fat. Which is a weird cycle, when you think about it (eat more to lose fat).

Sorry if I am missing any intended irony, or to the contrary implying there is any in its absence, but I do think that’s the way it is. You are in the process of changing your body and the way it works, too, inside out. And if you are following the rules you mentioned (I think these are the ones), you are not just eating more, you are eating better in order to fuel that change (and obligated to give it your best in training):

“1) Eat every two to three hours, no matter what. You should eat between five and eight meals per day.
2) Eat complete (containing all the essential amino acids) lean protein with each meal.
3) Eat fruits and/or vegetables with each food meal.
4) Ensure that most of your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals.
5) Ensure that 25 to 35% of your energy intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (animal fat), monounsaturates (olive oil), and polyunsaturates (flax oil, salmon oil).
6) Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choices being water and green tea.
7) Eat mostly whole foods (except workout and post-workout drinks).”

The only one I don’t agree with is 6, cause I like milk.

But don’t just take my word for it, check out some of the logs here from fellows who walk the walk.

Those are the rules I’m trying to follow. I’m actually on a diet plan from one of his books. But it’s a LOT of food, as opposed to the stuff I used to eat before (which was low protein, high carb).

And I’ve had these love handles my whole life…but if it’s reasonable that it will take months to get rid of them, then that’s fine.

Of course, I’m going in circles. The reason I was doing HIIT was to get rid of the love handles. But found that I couldn’t do Starting Strength and HIIT.

Someone in another forum said to do Starting Strength to gain strength, and HIIT to lose the love handles. But that was the problem – I couldn’t do both effectively.

[quote]luthar28 wrote:
… it’s a LOT of food, as opposed to the stuff I used to eat before (which was low protein, high carb).
[/quote]

If you get this switch down, you are on your way.

[quote]


Someone in another forum said to do Starting Strength to gain strength, and HIIT to lose the love handles. But that was the problem – I couldn’t do both effectively.[/quote]

The good news is you don’t need to occupy yourself with both. It will come off if you stick to your diet and go at it in the gym; but like Skidmark said, you can always put substitute a tabata session if you really want to.

Don’t do both, at least not now.

Progression is the key. There is no need to go from sedentary to HIIT. Assuming you were not exercising at all until 5 months ago, begin with low-intensity cardio, like incline walking or on a bike, for 30 minutes every AM and 30 minutes immediately after your lifting routine. Do this for at least several months. This does not impair recovery from weight training at all (as intervals do); it even enhances it. It also improves circulation, strengthens your heart, and helps burn some fat.

Later, when you are in better shape, you MAY want to include intervals IF they fit into the schedule of your lifting and recovery.

[quote]andersons wrote:
Don’t do both, at least not now.

Progression is the key. There is no need to go from sedentary to HIIT. Assuming you were not exercising at all until 5 months ago, begin with low-intensity cardio, like incline walking or on a bike, for 30 minutes every AM and 30 minutes immediately after your lifting routine. Do this for at least several months. This does not impair recovery from weight training at all (as intervals do); it even enhances it. It also improves circulation, strengthens your heart, and helps burn some fat.

Later, when you are in better shape, you MAY want to include intervals IF they fit into the schedule of your lifting and recovery.[/quote]

No kidding.

There is no need to do both. Do the starting program. Then, after you’ve got the groove down on it, then you can consider changing.

One real problem people have is trying to do too many different things at the same time.

[quote]Elaikases wrote:
andersons wrote:
Don’t do both, at least not now.

Progression is the key. There is no need to go from sedentary to HIIT. Assuming you were not exercising at all until 5 months ago, begin with low-intensity cardio, like incline walking or on a bike, for 30 minutes every AM and 30 minutes immediately after your lifting routine. Do this for at least several months. This does not impair recovery from weight training at all (as intervals do); it even enhances it. It also improves circulation, strengthens your heart, and helps burn some fat.

Later, when you are in better shape, you MAY want to include intervals IF they fit into the schedule of your lifting and recovery.

No kidding.

There is no need to do both. Do the starting program. Then, after you’ve got the groove down on it, then you can consider changing.

One real problem people have is trying to do too many different things at the same time.

[/quote]

Hey! I resemble…er…resent that remark

I wasn’t sedentary. I biked…a lot. I used it as my main form of transportation to and from work …so about 16K a day.

The thing was…I wasn’t getting leaner, or stronger…I was still squishy (which, after this site, I now know why).

But HIIT is so different than steady-state cardio – it kicks my ass.

I’m going to cut out the HIIT for now and focus on the SS. As for the diet – as stupid as it sounds – it’s very difficult to eat this much food and not feel guilty about it after being on a diet for the last 10 years (yes, 10 years of not getting anywhere).

Tonight for instance, I had a taco salad (from John Berardi’s cookbook Gourmet Nutrition). 3 cups spinach, 1 tomato, 6 oz lean ground sirloin, salsa, onion, a crumbling of tortillas, corn…that’s a LOT of food. And I’m supposed to do that FIVE TIMES A DAY.

[quote]luthar28 wrote:
I wasn’t sedentary. I biked…a lot. I used it as my main form of transportation to and from work …so about 16K a day.

The thing was…I wasn’t getting leaner, or stronger…I was still squishy (which, after this site, I now know why).

But HIIT is so different than steady-state cardio – it kicks my ass.

I’m going to cut out the HIIT for now and focus on the SS. As for the diet – as stupid as it sounds – it’s very difficult to eat this much food and not feel guilty about it after being on a diet for the last 10 years (yes, 10 years of not getting anywhere).

Tonight for instance, I had a taco salad (from John Berardi’s cookbook Gourmet Nutrition). 3 cups spinach, 1 tomato, 6 oz lean ground sirloin, salsa, onion, a crumbling of tortillas, corn…that’s a LOT of food. And I’m supposed to do that FIVE TIMES A DAY. [/quote]

Good decision to stick with just SS. You will find you will build a good solid base and some conditioning as well. In a couple of months you can ramp things up and use HIIT as a change up for some plateau busting. Or continue on the SS and use HIIT to cut at some time in the future.

Being able to eat heaps is one of the best parts about training!

Keep working hard, enjoying your log.

Burnesy

[quote]luthar28 wrote:

Tonight for instance, I had a taco salad (from John Berardi’s cookbook Gourmet Nutrition). 3 cups spinach, 1 tomato, 6 oz lean ground sirloin, salsa, onion, a crumbling of tortillas, corn…that’s a LOT of food. And I’m supposed to do that FIVE TIMES A DAY.
[/quote]

Sigh

Every time I read a post like this, I can’t help but get jealous. I wish I had this problem. My appetite is screaming at me 24/7. To me, there is no such thing as too much food.

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:

Sigh

Every time I read a post like this, I can’t help but get jealous. I wish I had this problem. My appetite is screaming at me 24/7. To me, there is no such thing as too much food.
[/quote]

You know, that’s the weird thing…but I’m never hungry anymore. Since I’ve cut out processed carbs…I actually have to set reminders to eat. I remember eating platefuls of pasta and being hungry in an hour. I use to LIVE being hungry. I remember eating a meal, then immediately wanting to eat another (seriously)…which is why I battled my weight nonstop. Now…that never happens.

I’m sure someone could explain why, but since I’ve gone to a high(er) protein diet (my old diet had next to no protein…seemed too high in calories) with lots of veggies there are never cravings.

One of the things I have found is that by dropping processed carbs, I dropped a lot of unsatisfying calories from my diet. To fill those missing calories with veggies…well, that’s a lot of broccoli, and tomatoes, and chicken, and egg whites…

So while I miss some of ease of processed carbs (it sure was easy to eat a sandwich!), I don’t miss the hunger.

I’m sure my body will adapt, but for now, I’m loving the constant satiated feeling.

Before SLD I’d eat five thousand calories in a day and I’d still be hungry. That constant hunger, buy a couple dozen donuts for the office and a dozen for myself sort of hunger, eat half a pizza and wait until everyone else finished so I could have another pizza for myself kind of hunger.

I’m so glad to be free of it.

[quote]Elaikases wrote:
Before SLD I’d eat five thousand calories in a day and I’d still be hungry. That constant hunger, buy a couple dozen donuts for the office and a dozen for myself sort of hunger, eat half a pizza and wait until everyone else finished so I could have another pizza for myself kind of hunger.

I’m so glad to be free of it.
[/quote]

OMG! That is so true! The feeling that it’s burning a hole right in your brain. Donut. Donut. Eat me. Donut. Eat me.

At the same time…WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE KNOW THIS? I would’ve done this years ago. I’m happier, healthier, stronger…

What is SLD? I know I should know it…but, well, I don’t.

I haven’t eaten processed carbs since Reagan was in the White House, and I was never a junk food junkie, either. While I do eat a carb up “cheat” meal on Sunday, my choice of carbs is always beer. I was raised on steak and eggs for breakfast, never cereal. I don’t crave carbs, I crave fat. I can eat a big jar of peanut butter in one sitting, and later finish off an entire chunk of cheddar cheese, and still be looking for something to eat.

Of course, I don’t do this, otherwise I’d weigh 300 pounds, but I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t hungry. (Except if I have one of those non-stop vomit stomach viruses!)
I eat twice my weight in grams of protein every day, chug water like it’s my job, and eat through a couple pounds of raw veggies, just to stave off hunger until I can eat another meal.

Sorry for the hijack, this is just a major frustration because I eat clean, I eat often, but I can never fill the bottomless pit.

Well another day in the gym…and I’m still fighting on the squats. Listening to my body – 3 days a week is simply too much. Even without the HIIT, my legs are simply tired ALL THE TIME.

And looking through my log, my gains all seem to come on Mondays – with Sat and Sun as rest days. So what do you guys think about Monday and Friday squats…and instead of squats on Wednesday, I’m going to substitute HIIT after my regular workout (omitting the squats).

You can just change the parameters on the squats for Wednesdays. You don’t have to go balls to the wall heavy each session. Drop the weight by 10-20% and do an extra set.

You can actually do that for all exercises and still make gains since it gives your body a breather within which to recover.

The substitute idea is good too. See how it feels. You might start slowly. I find that ballistic stuff (plyos) diminish my abilities on the subsequent training session.