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HIIT, Yay or Nay?

Moderator: Tonton

HIIT, Yay or Nay?

14 Jul 2016 20:10

So, I've been looking to start training more seriously. However, I don't really have the time (and patience) to put in all the hours to start with base training. I've been looking a bit into studies high intensity interval training and it actually seems to be a pretty good option, as the studies were done in untrained people.

My situation is that I'm a 22 year old student. I used to play sports up to 5 times a week, but now I'm largely inactive, and overweight. I do the odd 20-30km ride, but not regularly.

I'd like to know if anyone of you
- has experience with hiit
- know if you can start straightaway w/o stuff like endurance training
- which specific protocol to use
- how to combine it with other training (i.e. 'normal rides)
Kwibus wrote:So much quesions they have. Answers they will never get.
So why questions? If no answers?
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User avatar Red Rick
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14 Jul 2016 20:29

1) I use HIIT during weight-loss cycles (I completed the last one a week ago and have now started a bulking cycle)
2) You can start straight away unless you lead a completely sedentary lifestyle. However, the worse your current condition, the more the first sessions will "hurt".
3) It depends on what your objectives are (mass, strength, losing weight, gaining muscle, boosting explosiveness, improving your general health etc.). If your aim is to compete in amateur or pro races, I cannot stress enough that HIIT should be an addition to your endurance training, not a replacement.
4) Again, it depends on your objectives and how long you've been doing HIIT. Once it's become part of your training routine and your body can tolerate it, you should aim for HIIT constituting approximately one third of your training days (not counting rest days).

Give me more details on what your objectives are for 3) and 4) and I'll try to help.
Check 'em!
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14 Jul 2016 20:41

You haven't said what your goal is.
If it's weight loss, then combined with dietary discipline it's not a bad way to lose weight. You'll go on burning calories after stopping. I'd say it is better than hours and hours of boring 'fat burning zone' riding.

If it is building up speed, then yes, you will, but you won't be able to maintain it. For endurance, you need swift base miles.

Over and under threshold training really works for me. I'm getting quite old, but I'm surprised how effective it still is for me.
User avatar kwikki
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14 Jul 2016 21:41

My goal is basically to both improve condition, lose weight (~15-20kg), and get more healty. When riding at a decent pace (what I guess is zone 2) I start feeling it after like 40-50 minutes, in that higher intensity efforts get much harder. Ideally, I'd like to be able to ride for 2 hours, cause that would enable me to ride with some friend of mine more easily. There's also some hills in the area, so getting a bit better at efforts between 1 and 5 minutes wouldn't hurt.

I started training like last week, and I've done 2 sessions if hiit. Also did 2 normal rides. I tried to do 30 seconds all out, then 4 minutes rest, etc, but it really gets harder every time and I have trouble to get in the 4-6 intervals, though the first time I messed up and took too little time between intervals.

As for diet, I don't do anything really specific. I just try to not stuff myself during meals and cut back on snacking and soda.

The main reasons I'm interested in hiit, is because I think it's mentally easier for me then long rides (i.e. much more then an hour for me), and because I'd like to both get more endurance and ride faster straight away. Extra fat burn is a nice bonus for me. If it means that I can do 2 hiit sessions in a week, and 2 endurance rides, and just keep doing that for a month or 2, then I'd really like that.

I don't really plan on riding amateur races. I just want to get healthy first, and then I'll see how I can further improve.
Kwibus wrote:So much quesions they have. Answers they will never get.
So why questions? If no answers?
-Kwibus, one of the great philosophers of the 21st century
User avatar Red Rick
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Re:

15 Jul 2016 06:54

Red Rick wrote:My goal is basically to both improve condition, lose weight (~15-20kg), and get more healty.

Good.

Red Rick wrote:As for diet, I don't do anything really specific. I just try to not stuff myself during meals and cut back on snacking and soda.

Don't forget to eat enough protein or you won't recover properly.

Here's the routine I used when I started using HIIT during weight-loss cycles:

1) Ride for about 5 minutes at about 50 of your maximum pace (warm-up)
2) Sprint for 30 seconds at about 80-90% of MP (might be a bit less at the beginning), then spend a minute recovering at about 50% of MP
3) Sprint for 40 seconds at about 80-90% of MP (might be a bit less at the beginning), then spend a minute recovering at about 50% of MP
4) Sprint for 30 seconds at about 80-90% of MP (might be a bit less at the beginning), then spend a minute recovering at about 50% of MP

Steps 2, 3 and 4 are to be repeated four times each. Finally, instead of simply sprinting on the flat, I like to do climb sprints (often on a 200 m climb with an average gradient of 8%). It works wonders for your legs and makes your body produce more testosterone. Of course, you might not be able to do climb sprints from the very beginning, but you should eventually be doing them.
Check 'em!
User avatar CheckMyPecs
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15 Jul 2016 08:49

For weight loss, I'd be looking to go for a fast morning 1 mile swim, every morning, coupled with strict calorie intake. No snacking, no soda. The weight will fall off and you'll tone up everything, including abs.

Then just go out on your bike and enjoy yourself. To be honest if you are riding hills then the biggest performance gain will come from weight loss.
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Re:

18 Jul 2016 02:07

Red Rick wrote:My goal is basically to both improve condition, lose weight (~15-20kg), and get more healty. When riding at a decent pace (what I guess is zone 2) I start feeling it after like 40-50 minutes, in that higher intensity efforts get much harder. Ideally, I'd like to be able to ride for 2 hours, cause that would enable me to ride with some friend of mine more easily. There's also some hills in the area, so getting a bit better at efforts between 1 and 5 minutes wouldn't hurt.

I started training like last week, and I've done 2 sessions if hiit. Also did 2 normal rides. I tried to do 30 seconds all out, then 4 minutes rest, etc, but it really gets harder every time and I have trouble to get in the 4-6 intervals, though the first time I messed up and took too little time between intervals.

As for diet, I don't do anything really specific. I just try to not stuff myself during meals and cut back on snacking and soda.

The main reasons I'm interested in hiit, is because I think it's mentally easier for me then long rides (i.e. much more then an hour for me), and because I'd like to both get more endurance and ride faster straight away. Extra fat burn is a nice bonus for me. If it means that I can do 2 hiit sessions in a week, and 2 endurance rides, and just keep doing that for a month or 2, then I'd really like that.

I don't really plan on riding amateur races. I just want to get healthy first, and then I'll see how I can further improve.


Isn't crossfit an option?
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Re:

18 Jul 2016 14:02

Red Rick wrote:My goal is basically to both improve condition, lose weight (~15-20kg), and get more healty.
...

----------------------------------------
I'd start by doing more serious dieting for weight loss, and continue to do whatever amount of endurance riding (or other exercise) is reasonable.

You're probably already quite strong, but all that extra weight is hurting your power/weight ratio. Lose the weight and you'll get faster and have more endurance without any special training methods.

Treat your dieting as part of training - feeling hungry is good - that's the time when you're burning fat and losing weight!

Jay Kosta
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Re: Re:

18 Jul 2016 17:20

JayKosta wrote:
Red Rick wrote:My goal is basically to both improve condition, lose weight (~15-20kg), and get more healty.
...

I'd start by doing more serious dieting for weight loss, and continue to do whatever amount of endurance riding (or other exercise) is reasonable.

Better to eat more and burn more.
Check 'em!
User avatar CheckMyPecs
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Re: Re:

19 Jul 2016 08:18

lenric wrote:
Red Rick wrote:My goal is basically to both improve condition, lose weight (~15-20kg), and get more healty. When riding at a decent pace (what I guess is zone 2) I start feeling it after like 40-50 minutes, in that higher intensity efforts get much harder. Ideally, I'd like to be able to ride for 2 hours, cause that would enable me to ride with some friend of mine more easily. There's also some hills in the area, so getting a bit better at efforts between 1 and 5 minutes wouldn't hurt.

I started training like last week, and I've done 2 sessions if hiit. Also did 2 normal rides. I tried to do 30 seconds all out, then 4 minutes rest, etc, but it really gets harder every time and I have trouble to get in the 4-6 intervals, though the first time I messed up and took too little time between intervals.

As for diet, I don't do anything really specific. I just try to not stuff myself during meals and cut back on snacking and soda.

The main reasons I'm interested in hiit, is because I think it's mentally easier for me then long rides (i.e. much more then an hour for me), and because I'd like to both get more endurance and ride faster straight away. Extra fat burn is a nice bonus for me. If it means that I can do 2 hiit sessions in a week, and 2 endurance rides, and just keep doing that for a month or 2, then I'd really like that.

I don't really plan on riding amateur races. I just want to get healthy first, and then I'll see how I can further improve.


Isn't crossfit an option?


god, please no.

crossfit is a "sport" that encourages people to do complicated exercises with wrong form and as fast as possible. it's a recipe to disaster and getting hurt badly.
carolina
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Re: Re:

20 Jul 2016 19:17

carolina wrote:
lenric wrote:
Red Rick wrote:My goal is basically to both improve condition, lose weight (~15-20kg), and get more healty. When riding at a decent pace (what I guess is zone 2) I start feeling it after like 40-50 minutes, in that higher intensity efforts get much harder. Ideally, I'd like to be able to ride for 2 hours, cause that would enable me to ride with some friend of mine more easily. There's also some hills in the area, so getting a bit better at efforts between 1 and 5 minutes wouldn't hurt.

I started training like last week, and I've done 2 sessions if hiit. Also did 2 normal rides. I tried to do 30 seconds all out, then 4 minutes rest, etc, but it really gets harder every time and I have trouble to get in the 4-6 intervals, though the first time I messed up and took too little time between intervals.

As for diet, I don't do anything really specific. I just try to not stuff myself during meals and cut back on snacking and soda.

The main reasons I'm interested in hiit, is because I think it's mentally easier for me then long rides (i.e. much more then an hour for me), and because I'd like to both get more endurance and ride faster straight away. Extra fat burn is a nice bonus for me. If it means that I can do 2 hiit sessions in a week, and 2 endurance rides, and just keep doing that for a month or 2, then I'd really like that.

I don't really plan on riding amateur races. I just want to get healthy first, and then I'll see how I can further improve.


Isn't crossfit an option?


god, please no.

crossfit is a "sport" that encourages people to do complicated exercises with wrong form and as fast as possible. it's a recipe to disaster and getting hurt badly.


If you're a moron then yes, you'll screw yourself up. On the other hand, if you know how to do things properly and ignore the "faster the better, screw the technique" motto, then the chance of injury isn't any higher than any other sport.
Either way, I see as many people doing hypertrophy with inadequate technique as in crossfit.
User avatar lenric
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21 Jul 2016 12:08

One thing I don't think was clarified here by Red Rick - Are you you looking to do all of your HIIT training on the bike, on the road? Is any of this riding on an MTB? A trainer? Or are you seeking other sports in your training as well?

As to diet. I think you're probably off to an okay start and agree with CheckPecs that burning the calories should be a priority. I'd just make sure I eat enough veggies as parts of meals and snacks too. But don't kill yourself to do so. Just cutting back on the junk is the key, and it sounds like you're doing that.
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31 Jul 2016 13:17

Yeah, I'm doing all my training on a road bike or an MTB. Thanks for the tips guys
Kwibus wrote:So much quesions they have. Answers they will never get.
So why questions? If no answers?
-Kwibus, one of the great philosophers of the 21st century
User avatar Red Rick
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03 Aug 2016 17:19

My experience with such programs (not this specific) is you have to have an extreme amount of discipline to make it work 100%.

The best thing, if you want to get in the best shape as soon as possible, is to go down to the local club and ride with them. You'll be surprised to just how much you are able to kill yourself compared to doing exercises alone. Best training on a bike by a countrymile, IMO. All the other stuff gets too fancy for me.. ride in the wheels of a group thats better than you and when you can't follow anymore, you still follow until you puke.
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09 Aug 2016 12:26

Went for an HIIT ride this morning. Twelve 200-metre sprints up a 9% climb, with 1-minute pauses in between, my quads were burning at the end.
Check 'em!
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Re:

09 Aug 2016 20:26

CheckMyPecs wrote:Went for an HIIT ride this morning. Twelve 200-metre sprints up a 9% climb, with 1-minute pauses in between, my quads were burning at the end.


Try 15 seconds sprint and 30 seconds "jogging". For 10/15 minutes.
User avatar lenric
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17 Oct 2016 18:41

Hi Red Rick,

How have you been doing so far? Do you have any experiences to share? I think this thread will attract a fair amount of views as HIIT is quite popular amongst both the fitness crowd and cyclists that are limited by full-time jobs, family, and other time-consuming obligations. So, how are things going? Are you following a structured program or are you just playing around with the intensities?

I've actually been there and done something quite similar to what you're trying to do (getting back into shape).

This is what I did:
  • I alternated 10-12 weeks of training with ~4 weeks of low-intensity work
  • Each "cycle" I started with "sweetspot"-like training sessions, slowly increasing the number of HIIT-sessions
  • Each week I did 3-4 sessions of 1.5-2 hours each
  • At the start, the midway point and the end of the cycle I did 20-minute FTP tests to track progress
  • For diet, I took more than maintenance calories on training days and less than maintenance on off-days
  • I made sure I got enough protein on training days and the first day after training

The results were amazing (in my opinion). I lost ~15 kg over three cycles (a little under a year) and gained a decent amount of FTP. Now, this will probably not prepare you optimally for a 150km ride, but it will prepare you for 2-hour rides with a high-intensity. Now, I should add that I'm naturally predisposed to sprinting, anaerobic efforts (short ITTs), and seem to be able to build muscle mass quickly.
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User avatar WillemS
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11 Mar 2017 22:10

Can anyone recommend any informational resources on HIIT training? links, books, videos, etc
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