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Tag Archives: high intensity cardio

  • Will high intensity cardio break down muscle if you don't have carbohydrates available? I just read your fat burning zone article - a great read!

    Thanks for the feedback on my fat burning zone article.

    It’s true if you are carbohydrate deficient that you will begin to metabolise muscle tissue. If you are depleted in carbs and are performing a high intensity cardio session working aerobically, fat is not able to supply a sustainable energy source, simply because fat is metabolised quite slowly. Muscle tissue on the other hand is utilised far more effectively than adipose (or fat) tissue.

    The key with high intensity cardio is to ensure that you do obtain adequate carbohydrates prior to your training session. A big mistake is to perform this cardio on an empty stomach first thing in the morning for this very reason – you will be carbohydrate deficient. It is also unwise to perform high intensity training when you are following a particularly low carbohydrate diet – you will most likely lose significant amounts of muscle tissue.

    Hope this helps mate. Carbs are so very important when losing weight. They have received a very negative “stigma” in the past decade, but this is really due to fad dieting myths rather than sound scientific research.

  • I've been doing a similar routine to what you have done, I do high intensity cardio on a stationary bike, as well as heavy duty weights.I would like to know what are the KEY elements and supplements to use to make sure I build muscle while I strip unwanted fat?

    The absolute key supplements I took were:

    - dextrose
    - WPI powder
    - WPI/WPC powder
    - Creatine Monohydrate
    - Glutamine
    - Vitamin C
    - Vitamin E
    - Flax seed oil/LSA Mix
    - Multivitamin

    These are what I classify as my staple supplements.  Pre and post workout I would consume a shake containing dextrose, WPI, creatine and glutamine.  After each intense workout I would also have a vitamin C and a vitamin E tablet as these are both powerful antioxidants.

    The WPI/WPC mix I would consume during the day as a couple of my meals.  Generally I would alternate between a meal of lean meat, veggies etc and the next meal would be WPI/WPC, oats and a bit of skim milk.  This provides a great source of protein that's convenient and tasty :)

    I also highly recommend a good fat source like flax seed oil or LSA mix.  During my 12 weeks I used flax oil as my primary fat source.  I have recently also incorporated LSA mix into my diet for variety.

    Other supplements I took (which I classify as extras, not requirements) are as follows:

    - GABA
    - Chondroiton/Glucosamine
    - Casein based protein powder
    - CLA
    - NAC

    I found GABA has really improved my sleeping patterns and hence enhanced the intensity of my workouts.  There's a bit of research on this supplement suggesting that it boosts HGH levels and increases fat synthesis too.

    For the joints I use a Chondroiton/Glucosamine tablet.  This is just for the long term - lifting so heavy is sure to speed up the aging process of your joints.

    The casein based protein powder I have handy in case I wake up in the middle of the night.  I'll get up and down the shake next to my bed as to minimize the amount of time my body is starving (and hence reduce muscle catabolism).  This definitely isn't a requirement - you could always substitute this with the WPI/WPC mix.

    CLA has a bit of research to suggest positive effects on protein synthesis and also fat metabolism.  I'm not convinced it has aided my training significantly though.  There are also many health benefits to this so I take this supplement regularly.

    NAC is an amino acid that has been shown to increase fat metabolism and increase protein synthesis.  Again I'm not convinced that this supplement has worked for me - there's relatively little scientific evidence to back up these claims too.

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