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Old 04-17-2010, 06:59 AM   #1
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Default HIIT and Leg days - something interesting.

I have been hit by a sudden thought.

I read somewhere (I think Erik Ledin started it) that doing HIIT on lower body days during a cut was BETTER than doing it on off days/upper body days...here is why:

HIIT is basically like a leg workout in itself. Stressing on the CNS, and can be very taxing on the legs. So by combining HIIT with your leg days, you're actually giving your legs MORE rest and recovery throughout the week. Think about it. If you work legs on Monday and Friday (like I do) and do HIIT in between...it's almost like training your legs 4-5 times per week, without giving them much rest. But if you space the sessions, say, a good 6 hours apart (HIIT in the morning, leg training at night) you would actually get MORE recovery, and reduce the risk of over-training your legs.

What do you all think? Feedback on this would be great!
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:09 AM   #2
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i agree but for show prep i have to do more than 2 days of HIIT to continue to cut after a certain point. i have at least 20 mins of my 45 mins of minnimum cardio a day is HIIT just so i can get my sweat beads rollin properly.
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sneezingstardust View Post
I have been hit by a sudden thought.

I read somewhere (I think Erik Ledin started it) that doing HIIT on lower body days during a cut was BETTER than doing it on off days/upper body days...here is why:

HIIT is basically like a leg workout in itself. Stressing on the CNS, and can be very taxing on the legs.

What do you all think? Feedback on this would be great!
I've never really delved into the science of this, but one of the reasons I avoid hardcore cardio is because I don't want it interfering with leg day performance. With that said, a cut is about maintaining muscle mass, and the body is given the best incentive to do so by lifting heavy.

Personally I would wager that as long as you're able to lift heavy, most muscle mass will remain. But if you tax the CNS heavily and dip in weight, you could see some muscle loss.

But from a pure strength perspective, I see so many powerlifters doing GPP training on off days like sled dragging, etc. Stuff that taxes the legs. It would seem on a cursory level that the CNS is much more able to adapt to short bursts of low intensity work, even if this work does involve the use of some resistance.

Just thinking out loud...
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:57 AM   #4
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i agree but for show prep i have to do more than 2 days of HIIT to continue to cut after a certain point. i have at least 20 mins of my 45 mins of minnimum cardio a day is HIIT just so i can get my sweat beads rollin properly.
I have 3 days at the moment. Plus 2 days of SS cardio...so it's not too bad.

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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I've never really delved into the science of this, but one of the reasons I avoid hardcore cardio is because I don't want it interfering with leg day performance. With that said, a cut is about maintaining muscle mass, and the body is given the best incentive to do so by lifting heavy.

Personally I would wager that as long as you're able to lift heavy, most muscle mass will remain. But if you tax the CNS heavily and dip in weight, you could see some muscle loss.

But from a pure strength perspective, I see so many powerlifters doing GPP training on off days like sled dragging, etc. Stuff that taxes the legs. It would seem on a cursory level that the CNS is much more able to adapt to short bursts of low intensity work, even if this work does involve the use of some resistance.

Just thinking out loud...
Thing is, I usually don't weight train until about 8-9 hours after my HIIT session, so I have plenty of time to rest up/take a nap/drink some coffee, and my weights aren't really affected.

I could try experimenting, but for example yesterday I trained hamstrings pretty hard...and this morning I'm sore as an ulcer, and I can't imagine doing any HIIT today.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:05 AM   #5
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Thing is, I usually don't weight train until about 8-9 hours after my HIIT session, so I have plenty of time to rest up/take a nap/drink some coffee, and my weights aren't really affected.

I could try experimenting, but for example yesterday I trained hamstrings pretty hard...and this morning I'm sore as an ulcer, and I can't imagine doing any HIIT today.
Since weights aren't affected, I think muscle will remain unless you're on a crazy low-cal diet. But, you never know. Each of us is different.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:35 AM   #6
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...but for example yesterday I trained hamstrings pretty hard...and this morning I'm sore as an ulcer, and I can't imagine doing any HIIT today.
It could be that maybe some HIIT could at least temporarily alleviate soreness. It's been my experience (not from a competitive standpoint, mind you, but from practical everyday life) that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Meaning that if I keep moving, I experience diminished DOMS.

I just remembered though that you said you are also doing some SS cardio. I guess that makes my argument look foolish. I encourage you to experiment. I am concerned about overload/over training. Experiment though. Listen to your body. If it starts to shut down, either add some cals (probably not a good idea at this stage in contest prep) or change up the HIIT schedule.

Good luck.
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