T Nation

Working the Energy Systems

Looking for anyone’s feedback about the proposed weekly routine, especially if anyone has tried anything similar.

Had been around 190 lbs, having gone on an all out bulk for a year and put on a little excess fat. Since then, I just want to trim off and reveal the fruits of my labour. Although it gets a lot of bad press for ‘muscle wasting’ and making you ‘skiny fat’ , cardio has always been important to me and I’ve always felt much better with it in my routine- more energised, athletic and ‘fit’.

The plan is to follow an article from John Berardi’s homepage about how he trains off-season anaerobic athletes. The program involves a weights split of push/pull/legs and 3 separate days of HIIT cardio (row,cycle and run), i.e.

http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/training/gettinginshape.htm

Day 1 - Resistance Training (Upper Body - Pushing Type Exercises)
Day 2 - 30 minutes of Anaerobic Interval Training (Rowing)
Day 3 - Resistance Training (Lower Body)
Day 4 - 30 minutes of Anaerobic Interval Training (Cycling)
Day 5 - Resistance Training (Upper Body - Pulling Type Execises)
Day 6 - 30 minutes of Anaerobic Interval Training (Running)
Day 7 - Rest

I’ve been on this for about 10 weeks now, and have cut down about 10 lbs, happy with the results. But reading around this website (admittedly the bodybuilding forum mainly) and others I’ve gotten the fear of cardio, as if it’s going to turn me skinny-fat. Does this look like a sensible way to approach trimming down into single figures body fat to you, whilst retaining muscle mass?

A) I think a bit more details on the weight days is needed to give an evaluation

B) A little more detail would also be helpful about the anaerobic days. Rowing in open water for example is vastly different than sitting on a rowing machine.

C) I don’t follow how the program calls for 3 seperate days of HIIT but then you’re doing regular IT instead.

D) Trimming and losing fat is largely related to diet. If there’s one thing I did learn from all the articles and forums and stuff I’ve read its that 1 universal truth, “You can’t out train a shitty diet.” So without information about your diet its impossible to tell.

[quote]Enders Drift wrote:
A) I think a bit more details on the weight days is needed to give an evaluation[/quote]

OK, something like this, working in a 3x12 or 4x8 rep range:
Push- Bench, OHP, Incline bench, lateral raises, pushups.
Pull- Pullups, DB BOR, Lat. pulldown, cable row, biceps curls.
Legs- Squats, SLDL, extensions, hamstring curls.

Working at 30 second phases of ‘‘sprint’’ speed, at a higher resistance level (bike), speed (treadmill) or just going balls to the wall (rower), followed by 90 secs of ‘recovery’ or reduced speed, for 15 rounds (30 mins). So for example on the treadmill- 30 seconds at 18.5kph : 90 secs at 11kph.

I don’t understand what you don’t understand :stuck_out_tongue: 3 weights days, 3 (different modality) cardio HIIT days.

I make sure to get a minimum of bodyweight (lbs) of protein a day, from sources like chicken, fish, beef, beans, nuts and seeds, and my carbs are limited to low-GI (porridge etc) and mornings and post-workout. Split it up into 5-6 meals throughout the day, with a whey+fast carbs shake immediately PWO. Around 2300-2400 cals a day.

Looks very similar to the training that I’ve been doing over the last couple of months to drop some unwanted lard and significantly increase my fitness.

Consider doing Wendler’s 5/3/1 on the weight days and then plugging in the Berardi HIIT. Personally I would do Hill Sprints twice a week and treadmill once a week (would use a concept II if I had one!)

As for a fear of cardio turning you into a skinny wench I wouldn’t worry about it doing this type of training, LS cardio maybe but not this style of training.

Your program sounds pretty spot on. Your calories aren’t too low for your bodyweight and activity levels. The only thing I’d recommend is decreasing the volume and increasing the load for your weights. Lifting heavy and with serious intensity is required to maintain LBM when you’re eating at a hypocaloric level.

I’m currently doing pretty much the same thing as you are except all of my HIIT sessions are on the treadmill. 45 sec at 12.5 mph and 90 sec at 3.7 mph. It’s a bitch on my calves so I might try out your alternatives. I honestly can see changes in the first week and my diet changes are very minimal (thank god).

Edit: Try some 5X5 or 3X10 routines for your large, compound lifts (bench,squat,DL). It’s fun and challenging throwing around big weights and is also an excellent way to preserve/increase strength and LBM on a cut.

If you can do 30 minutes of “anaerobic interval training” your not pushing that hard and its likely just barely in the anaerobic zone. If you make your anaerobic work full body, fast and hard you’ll get the heart rate way up there and get better fitness from it with less time (since you cant do it as long). Timed Circuits (30 seconds burpees, 30 seconds this, 30 seconds that) for rounds (3-5 minutes) will kick your ass hard and you wont be able to do 30 minutes of it if you push hard and dont just coast through it.

[quote]Myspacebarbroke wrote:
If you can do 30 minutes of “anaerobic interval training” your not pushing that hard and its likely just barely in the anaerobic zone. If you make your anaerobic work full body, fast and hard you’ll get the heart rate way up there and get better fitness from it with less time (since you cant do it as long). Timed Circuits (30 seconds burpees, 30 seconds this, 30 seconds that) for rounds (3-5 minutes) will kick your ass hard and you wont be able to do 30 minutes of it if you push hard and dont just coast through it.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing… If you can do 30 minutes of interval training, you aren’t trying hard enough.