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Thinking About Adding HIIT to Reduce Fat

I have a few questions, most of which are regarding HIIT training. I have gone through a lot of forums and a few articles, but I am looking to get a little more specific advice. I don’t know if this is the best place to post, so if there is a better forum let me know.

I’m 23 years old, 6’3", 235-240lbs, Iv never done a BF% but it must be a little over 10% i would guess. 12 or 13 maybe. My upper abs are usually slightly visible, if I flew the shit out of my stomach after a workout all abs are somewhat visible.

My main goals are to continue to increase muscle mass and continue to increase strength.
My 1RM are:
Bench Press- 360
Squat- 425
Deadlift- 525

I lift 5 days a week, my split is as follows:
Monday-Chest, abs
Tuesday- Back
Wednesday- Shoulders
Thursday- Legs
Friday- Arms
My workouts usually take right around 90 minutes, and I do them in the afternoon. I have become more interested in powerlifting and increasing those numbers, but I also want cut some fat to get a little leaner.

I currently do virtually no cardio work. I have been thinking about adding HIIT work for about 30 minutes in the moring on about 3 days per week. The only reason I want to do this is just to get rid of the ring of fat the hides my lower abbs and travels all the way around my lower back(basically just to look good with no shirt). I do not want to sacrifice any ability to continue to make quality gains in muscle mass and strength numbers.

Should I do HIIT training? How many times per week would be recomended? What training days would be best to perform HIIT on? Should I do it in the morning? Will this negatively effect my strength gains? Is there a better alternative? What should I or shouldnt I consume pre, and post HIIT training as far as protein, BCAA, or meals? Should I just say F**K the cardio and focus all my energy on continuing to grow? any opinions would be appreciated

If you can do HIIT for 30 minutes, it’s not HIIT. Real high-intensity interval training will make you feel like death when performed correctly. Ten to 15 minutes would be the absolute most time you’d need to spend on it.

The only way to determine how it will effect YOU, is to experiment with it.

Question:
Why would you “say F**K the cardio and focus all my energy on continuing to grow…”, if you want to “get rid of the ring of fat the hides my lower abbs and travels all the way around my lower back”? To reach your goal(s) you need a targeted approach. HIIT would be a good choice. Just know that muscle loss will largely be dependent on A) the number of cals you cut from your diet (and the deficit created by the additional exercise) and to a lesser extent B) your supplementation (BCAAs, nutrient timing, fat burners, etc.), and also C) if you do too many HIIT sessions per week, in addition to other exercise activity, you certainly are unlikely to progress and may regress in your lifting #s.

Background on HIIT:

  1. HIIT should last no more than 20 minutes IMO as you will likely start to burn muscle after that point if you are doing it right. And you can do a good workout in 10-15 like HK said.
  2. It’s best to find an exercise that allows for easy change of intensity.
  3. Intensity on the sprints is very important. In fact even the active rest periods should feel somewhat uncomfortable.
  4. Is it really that simple?

Specifics:

  1. I’d say start out with 3X a week and see how you respond. I’d personally do the HIIT separate from lifting and base it around whole food meals and take some BCAAs before the workout. Alternatively you could take a whey shake, or something like Anaconda shake (Casein hydrolysate plus the other goodies). You can use this for reference material: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_five_principles_of_radical_fat_loss
  2. Pay attention to the principles I laid out above:
  • “A) the number of cals you cut from your diet” Be careful with this. Don’t cut too much but DO cut out the junk (if any) from your diet and try to just focus on nutrient timing a little more.

  • “B) your supplementation” Be sure to get some BCAAs or fast protein around your session. Fat burners can’t hurt either. Also avoid carbs after the HIIT session for up to 2 hours. Also consider a targeted ketogenic diet (carbs only before your weight lifting) and or carb cycling.

  • “C) if you do too many HIIT sessions per week” Start off slow and see where 3 15 minute sessions gets you after doing it for a few weeks. 3X15 minute sessions is only 45 minutes a week by the way!

I hope this helps.