Part I: Cardio

On Empty Stomach Cardio:

Layne, here is my question. Normally we drink whey, post-workout, and when we do cardio afterwards, it would be cool because we drink whey protein. But what about morning cardio? How long should we do it ? Is there a max. i mean cardio on an empty stomach, after waking up. I don’t want to lose muscle so..

Empty stomach cardio is nonsense, it does not burn fat any better than high intensity cardio. read the cardio section of my article here http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/layne36.htm i think it will answer your question


On doing HIIT and low intensity cardio

Layne: I noticed on a recent thread you mentioned that you do a mixture of HIIT and lower intensity cardio. With all that HIIT has going for it, why do you keep the lower intensity stuff in there as well?

Answer: well simply because it’s very taxing to do HIIT on a leg day or after a leg day


On performing cardio right after weight training:

My current goal is to lose fat, while retaining as much muscle as possible. i want to plan out my cardio accordingly. to best fit my schedule. usually it is easiest for me to do my cardio immediately following my weight training. with work and everything it is hard to get to the gym for 2 seperate sessions. How much of a disadvantage am i putting myself at, as far as losing muscle goes, by doing my weights and cardio at the same time? is it worth making drastic schedule changes to seperate the two, or can this way be effective? and finally if i continue to do cardio immediately following weights, should i use hit style, or stick with a longer low intensity? post workout shake after weights, before cardio, or after the entire workout?

You are fine with what you are doing; cardio is not nearly as catabolic as people make it out to be. I think you are doing just fine. I would do it after weights; just have your post workout shake before cardio


On the “Fat burning Zone”

If we keep our cardio at the fat burning zone(130) for 30 minutes, is there an average amount of calories we should be looking to burn?I do cardio after my workout… should I drink my post-workout shake right after weights and before cardio or after both weights and cardio?

first off, ditch that ‘fat burning zone’ nonesense. If you are going to do cardio… then work hard at it. 30 minutes is a good time period; hit it hard make sure you burn about 300-400 kcals

On that note. I constantly see people going so slow on cardio trying to maintain ‘the fat burning zone’ b.s. Hell they’re not even working working up a sweat. By the way most those people are over weight.

At a higher heart rate you do infact burn some carbs for fuel, but you also burn fat. If you look at the amount of calories burned at a higher heart rate, you’ll see that you burn more fat calories in a shorter amount of time than strolling along. Also part of doing cardio is to stimulate your cardiovascular and central nervous systems. This happens at a much greater capacity at higher heart rates. Plus you get the added benefit of having your metabolism of overdrive for up to 24 hours (according to a study I read in Runners World Magazine).


On Cardio being catabolic:

when doing cardio is there a way to not burn muscle doing it slower using aminos or at when does it begin or is it not a serous concern sould i do it first thing in the morning or time meals

cardio is not catabolic, that is mythical nonesense. In fact, we find that in diet studies just walking 1 hour per day dramatically improves muscle retention. Now obviously these people dont’ train with weights but still, it’s obvious that cardio is NOT catabolic like these cardio phobic trainers would have you believe.

DON’T DO FASTED CARDIO! Please see the cardio section of my article here http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/layne36.htm


On Performing Cardio to reduce bodyfat during a cut:

My main goal (currently), as I mentioned before, is to cut bodyfat.

Should cardio be performed at low intensity or high intensity? I see Dave Palumbo’s recommendations for long duration (45-90 mins), low intensity cardio on these boards a lot. However, if I read the fitness magazines (vice the bb’ing ones), they recommend doing short duration intervals (1 minute 90-95% max HR with 1-2 minutes rest between intervals, and 5-10 intervals).

I am also curious how you recommend calculating max HR? The most common method is to subtract your age from 220 and take a percentage of that number. I have a friend who is a triathlete who swears that finding your resting HR and using Karvonen’s Methodis more accurate since it takes into account individual variances and heart health rather than just a generic one size fits all calculation?

check out the cardio section of my article http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/layne36.htm

HIIT is really the way to go, high intensity cardio causes long term metabolic adaptations that enable you to increase your capacity to burn fat even when you are just resting


HIIT vs Low intensity cardio

So I far I understand High intensity interval training is good, and use it on non weight lifting days. (Is that part at least right? Sorry, I’m kind of new to even considering nutrition important. I always just thought calories in – calories out = deficit = fat loss)

that’s absolutely correct. Essentially high intensity exercise does 3 things that low intensity does not

1) it keeps your metabolic rate elevated for a longer period post cardio
2) it increases your mitochondrial production (mitochondria are the organelles in the cell where fat oxidation occurs)
3) it increases the activity of the enzymes in the mitochondria.

So because of 2 & 3 you actually increase your CAPACITY to burn fat, as well as the rate at which you burn fat; even at rest.


On Whether or not HIIT “burns muscle” or not:

Hey, I read somewhere that you argue that HIIT is better for higher carb diets. I’m a big fan of HIIT for fat loss and heart health–lots of literature support. But, a lot of people argue it burns muscle. If I’ve got this right, I would like to hear your rational. Include brief refs to citations if appropriate...

Quite simple. Aneorobic/glycolytic exercise like sprinting that you can only maintain for 10-20 seconds causes you to make very very fast rapid contractions. Now normally most people think stimulating muscle is just about the load you are using, however speed plays a very big part. Hell ask most powerlifters… most of them do a TON of speed work with light weights. That’s because even though load is important, speed is also critically important. You can actually stimulate muscle fiber growth through speed contractions. Scientifically I hate analogies, but honestly the real life proof is in the pudding. Look at an endurance runner and look at a sprinter, even before steroids become prominent in sprinting sprinters were still pretty well built with big legs. That is not by accident


On an Effective HIIT Protocols:

What sorts of HIIT training time periods would you suggest if you were going to supplant the standard cardio for weight loss? How many?

I typically do spinning classes (40 min) that have several periods of max output. Also, I like to roll (wrestle/jiu jitsu). 3-5 min intervals.

here is my favorite protocol

I would do sprinting intervals

5 minute warmup

50 secs light jog/ 10 seconds sprint
48 secs light jog/12 sec sprint
46/14
44/16
42/18
40/20
40/20
42/18
44/16
46/14
48/12
50/10

5 minute cool down
you can do that protocol with anything that you can get your heart rate up high with wheter it is on a treadmill, outside track or swimming pool


On Incorporating HIIT with a specific Weight lifting routine:

I want to incorporate the HIIT into my Upper/Lower routine: which day do you think it would be beneficial and not hinder recovery? My current routine is:

Day 1: Upper A (4 x 6-8)
A1: DB Chest Press
A2: Hammer Pull Down
B1: Incline Bench Press
B2: Seated Cable Row
C1: Pressdown
C2: Cable Cur
D1: Standing Military Press
D2: Swiss Ball Crunch

Day 2: Lower A (3 x 10-12)
A1: Back Squats
B1: SLDL
B2: DB Lunges
C1: Leg Press
D1: Calf Raises
D2: Leg Raises

Day 3: OFf

Day 4: Upper B (3 x 10-12)
A1: DB Decline Press
A2: Chin Ups
B1: Wide Grip Dips
B2: BB Row
C1: Close Grip Bench
C2: Hammer Curls
D1: Lateral Raise
D2: Cable Crunch

Day 5: Lower B (4 x 6-8)
A1: Front Squats
B1: Deadlifts
C1: Step Ups
C2: Glute Ham Raise/Leg Curl
D1: Oblique Ab exercise

Day 6 & 7: Off

I might place Lower B on day 6 depending on recovery rate.I have also seen you do the “Power Clean” cardio of 10 x 3 with little rest…..do you suggest that?

I did a split like that and i put HIIT on my offdays and it never hurt me. If i was sore i just stretched and warmed up really well


On Post HIIT Nutrition

what would you advise eating after HIIT? Same as weights or different?

same as weights IMO


On HIIT during a precontest cut:

Precontest – do you do HIT cardio ONLY on your off days and then lower intensity cardio on training days and after leg day?

That’s pretty much it


On performing HIIT on a bike:

Is HIT ok to do on a bike? Also, is there anywhere that shows a decent protocolfor HIT cardio? I was thinking like 1min sprint/30sec rest, that okay?

Yea it’s ok on a bike. But you cannot sprint for 1 minute. A sprint should be ALL OUT, you cannot go all out for one minute. 20 seconds is probably around a max. I’m not talking simply about going faster than usually, i’m talking about going as hard as you possibly can; not looking at the clock, i’m talking about moving like your f**king life depends on it. Try starting out at 45 sec low intensity followed by 15 seconds of sprinting. If you go absolutely all out for those 15 seconds i garuntee after 10-15 intervals you will be toast.


On drinking a shake when doing HIIT:

By the way, while you do your HIT cardio, do you bring the shake and like sip it during the low intensity periods?

na bro, it’s only 15 minutes long & 20 at max; you aren’t going catabolic during that time, just have it afterwards


On the Effect of WMS after workout

Ok, I’ve been doing the cardio post workout in order to try to stay leaner this offseason, will the WMS complex interfere with this due to the insulin spike before cardio… or will it not matter?

Won’t matter


On Max-OT cardio Inteval training / Post Cardio nutrition

What do you think of max-ot cardio? 16 minutes overall a session, 1 minute intervals going all out for 1 minute and easing up for a minute always working to beat your previous time? It’s very intense.

Also post cardio nutrition, should you eat right after completing cardio? I always think that eating right after cardio might be cutting into an residual fat burning that might be taking place after a cardio session-sorry, I guess that’s 2 questions.

Intervals are good, but you can’t go ‘all out’ for one minute. You will pace yourself with that long. You are better off sprinting for 10-15 secs then resting for 45-50 secs then doing it again. A sprint by definition is ABSOLUTELY ALL OUT EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT and you can’t do that for 1 minute. Also, eat after cardio.

okay so i will train in the morning a Layne huge question for you. I started the max OT training progam if you are familiar with it, it calls for cardio at 16mins at a high intensity. They say to do this cardio 3-5 times a week. I was planning on doing this first thing in the morning before eating on my treadmill. Im planning on starting at 6.0mph then working on increasing my speed each session. Do you think this is effective for fat burning?

i think fasted state cardio is a terrible idea and one of the biggest myths out there. Please read the cardio section of my article here http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/layne36.htm

and then do max ot cardio in the nights 3-5 times per week at 16mins. do u think that will get the job done? Or do u tink it should be 30min sessions?

if it is true high intensity intervals 16 minutes should cut it

can u give me a example of what a 16min high intensity cardio session on a treadmill would look like for yourself? such as mph intervals, inclines, etc.

i would warmup for about 5 minutes then do 16 one minute intervals. the first 45 seconds of the minute go easy then for the last 15 seconds of each minute go as hard as you can absolutely all out


On other forms of Cardio

I read somewhere that you sometimes do hill sprints for HIIT. What are some of the other types of cardio that you enjoy for HIIT? Just trying to get some more options to shake up cardio for my HIIT sessions. Also, how long do you usually go? I was thinking 15-20 minutes for around 1 min intervals (or as long as I can go at 100%, maybe only 15 seconds)!

-pushing a car in neutral
-sled pulling
-steep hill climbing (bend over and use your hands like a bear crawl)

those are some of my more unorthodox methods


Jog/sprint/jog for your cardio HIIT

Do you ever do jog/sprint/jog for your cardio HIIT? Myself, I like it, but just make sure I distance it from my direct leg training to maximize recovery. Would be interested to see if you incorporate it into your cardio.

Yup, I do a lot of sprints


On HIIT on a track

Would 10, 100yard sprints on a track (running straights and walking corners) be good HIIT? and do you consume bcaa’s when doing hiit?

Definitely, try to work up over time. BCAAs during or after


General HIIT questions

How do you plan your eating around h.i.i.t.? how many times a week do you recommend h.i.i.t cardio for bulking/cutting? would you perform weights and h.i.i.t cardio in the same day or on separate days?

I do it on my offdays during bulking; I may increase it for cutting if need be. If I do it on the same day as weight training I try to seperate them by a few hours if I can. In the offseason I treat HIIT just like a workout & eat accordingly.


On HIIT soreness

Ever since I switched my cardio sessions to the day after my leg sessions (2x per week), I’ve noticed a pronounced difference in soreness (much less sore). Even with H.I.I.T.

repeated bout effect, it’s great.


On regulating carbs/calories on cardio when bulking

Hey layne, how much do u drop calories on cardio only days when bulking?  If I lift 5 days a week and do cardio ( 30min LI walking at a incline) on 2 days, how much lower should calories/carbs be?

I would lower carbs by 10%


Opinion on the G-Flux from Berardi:

What is your opinion on the G-flux from Berardi – simplify: very high cals 3.500-5.000/day and weekly 10+ hours activity (3 weights, 2-3 HIIT, 2-3 low int. cardio etc.) the “secret formula” to be lean all year… I proved it but after 1-1,5 week I was very tired on the afternoons (I train in the early morning) and my weight went up with 2-2,5 kgs (and not all was muscle…) so I stopped.
Thanks

I think high activity is a good idea but I think low intensity cardio is a very bad idea. Low intensity cardio has no metabolic benefit. High intensity cardio does. It increases mitochondrial density and activity giving you a greater capacity to burn fat at rest and thus keeping you leaner even when calories are higher.


On Substrate Utilization during cardio

Talking with a guy at my gym, he told me about the way his trainer has him doing cardio at the moment. I’ve done it before, not for any specific reason but just to mix things up. I was wondering if you had a scientific opinion of it.

-slight warm up
-10 or so minutes of very intense interval training (supposedly to free up and “mobilize” fat stores)
-then continue on with 20-30 minutes of low intensity steady cardio (typically referred to as fat burning (roughly 60-65%), to burn off what you freed up during the intervals)

Seems to make some sense, except that, at high intensities, the preferred source of fuel would be glycogen, no? Curious on what you think.

As much as people would like to have you believe that glycogen is the only fuel you use during high intensity that is non-sense. This is the problem with ‘gurus’ who know a little bit, they know just enough to be dangerous.

1) you only need oxygen to oxidize fat, you don’t need it to liberate (lipolysis) from fat tissue. High intensity cardio causes a LARGE dumping of free fatty acids into the bloodstream

You see, for the brief part of the interval where you are oxygen depraved you will use glucose… but during the 40-50 seconds of low intensity of the interval where you are ‘resting’ your body will initiate a large scale oxidation of fatty acids in order to spare glucose. Your body is VERY stingy with glycogen and WILL NOT use muscle glycogen unless it absolutely has to. So you are burning glycogen yes, but you are also burning a ton of fat. The idea that you only burn one or the other is idiocy spewed by morons. (sorry guess i’m in a pissy mood today lol)

I actually have many clients who’s legs have trouble getting lean do something similar to what you talked about (high intensity followed by low/moderate intensity)


BCAA’s around low intensity cardio

When “bulking” how important is it to take in bcaas around cardio 30minutes of low intensity

That is not taxing. It won’t really do jack


On Cardio during the 4 week Bulk/ 2 week Cut protocol

When doing the 4 week bulk, 2 week cut diet, is cardio performed just during the cut or throughout? |What is some good HIT to perform? Also, how often do you do perform it and for how long?

I perform High intensity throughout. My current favorite high intensity is doing sprints with my sprint parachute. It really depends, but I do 2 days per week for 10-15 minutes of intervals.


On the Wind/Parachute sprint:

Is this your protocol for wind/parachute sprints as well?

5 minute warmup
50 secs light jog/ 10 seconds sprint
48 secs light jog/12 sec sprint
46/14
44/16
42/18
40/20
40/20
42/18
44/16
46/14
48/12
50/10
5 minute cool down

No, I just do straight 50 meter uphill sprints for that


On carb intake according to different forms of Cardio

With respect to cardio and carbs Layne. would it differ depending on type of cardio? ie. high intensity would require more carbs compared to ss low intensity not really requiring carbs for the fuel? or is this a bb myth too??

That is true

I know you advocate quick switches between bulks and cuts, going from (for example) 2500kcals to 3500kcals one day to the next….but you advocate a very slow upward taper post contest, going up less than 500kcals a week…. why the different strategy?

Note: Answer Provided by Sporto:

Because there’s a HUGE difference (metabolically, hormonally, etc…) between dieting for months and being 3-5% (not to mention way below setpoint) and dieting for 2 weeks and being at or over setpoint.