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Stubborn Fat Loss Protocol

Has anyone any recent experience of the so-called Stubborn Fat Loss Protocol touted by Lyle McDonald (and adapted by Nick Mitchell), or something akin to it. It goes something like this:

1.Warm up
2.HIIT - 15s on; 45 off for 5 mins
3.Rest - 5m
4.Steady state - 20-40m
5.HIIT - 30s on; 30 off for 5 mins

I’ve tried this in the distant past and have resurrected it again after losing more weight and regaining some conditioning. However, I still cannot get near the 2nd set of intervals. For example, last night I did prowler pushes for the intervals, felt pretty queasy afterwards but went onto a very slow jog for 30m. Don’t know what my HR was but I was blowing hard throughout the gentle jog (think grandad in the park with his matching wrist and headbands). Now on LISS days I can easily clock up 3-5 miles fasted without any issues, but post-HIIT is another story.

Is this level of conditioning realistically attainable for your average lifter? I’m assuming your average Crossfitter would laugh at the above but so far, for me, it seems a long way off. Any pointers appreciated.

Haven’t done that protocol but some things adjacent enough to offer this up: have you considered doing it using some other form of exercise that let’s you hit the target other than running?

Rowing ergo or bike is what I’ve been on. I’m familiar enough with my surroundings and the distances to find a good hill to bike up and down during the HIIT trading speed of movement for some added resistance. Ergo is simply a matter of effort.

Also jumped rope but not for much more than 20m as steady state.

Yes, I’m trying to do it twice a week. Looks like this:

Day 1 - straight prowler intervals
Day 2 - alternate battleropes and skipping, e.g. interval 1 = battleropes; interval 2 = skipping, etc.

I haven’t tried Day 2 yet set up with the 2nd round of HIIT (although have done it on its own followed by LISS). I suspect it may be easier because of the upper/lower split. Whereas the prowler is lower intensive. Great exercise though.

I saw this post last night and thought I’d try it out this morning as fasted cardio.

I did walked for 8 mins at 3.5 mph to warm up, immediately into 12mph sprints X 5 (15 secs 45 secs rest) into prescribed 5 mins rest post into 20 mins run/jog at 6.6mph 5 mins rest then the same intervals at the same speed.

All treadmill running so no inclines or uneven surfaces to worry about (plus it’s measurable so I can’t go easier subconsciously when it sucks).

I’m definitely an average lifter, but I’ve been pretty good with ss cardio recently (but that’s good for me - 30 mins max, mostly 20-25 Inc warm up I ran 3 mile the other day that’s a record I think haha) - so I’m by no means an athlete or even particularly good at cardio.

I found the first 5 sprints fairly comfortable, the 20 minute jog fine for the first 15 mins then a little tough at 16/17 mins (nearly had a stitch but wasn’t massively out of breath) the final sprints for pretty tough at 3rd set onwards but all fair doable.

I’d imagine if you hit 40 mins cardio it’d be a different experience. I’d say your biggest issue is picking something that is vomit inducing for the interval work both prowler and battle ropes would probably both seriously impact my ability to go back for a second round of intervals!

But to answer the question on is the level of conditioning realistic for the average lifter, this average lifter says yes, but depends on SS length and chosen implement for HIT (I’m sure the average lifter could work up to 10 X 15 sec prowler sprints plus 40 mins SS as well - it just depends if they want to/what they prioritise - I’d say you could fairly easily obtain that level without impacting lifting).

(Also various factors are going to come into play for individuals, age weight, body comp etc).

Nice session thanks for the post (hopefully I got the protocol right!).

HIIT isn’t really great at burning calories precisely because if you’re in a calorie deficit, you’re way worse at actually going hard enough for it to be HIIT. If you’re saving yourself for follow on work, it compounds, and the second interval workout isn’t going to high at all. If you’re lifting already, I would recommend pushing yourself doing the aerobic work instead. You’ll burn more calories from the aerobic work for the most part.

However, if you insist on doing this, don’t worry about not doing a good job at it - it’s meant to be really hard and most Crossfitters at a box couldn’t do it without struggling either. Be kind to yourself and push yourself harder than you did last time, not off some hypothetical person.

In the past and during this lockdown I’ve done it. I usually use a jump rope for the HIIT and a weighted vest walk for the LISS. Keep in mind if you’ve read the actual book, you don’t really need to do the second HIIT session.

I’ve been working on it and built up some stamina. Although the prowler runs are harder than jump rope and battle ropes. Glad you mentioned the book. No, I haven’t read it it, that I can remember. I got it from Nick Mitchell, who credited Lyle for it. Can you explain what Lyle says about the 2nd session?

Just that in theory it could help but the original protocol doesn’t call for it. Also the entire protocol is based on a theory he can’t prove but I can say anecdotally it helps.