As much detail as possible would be appreciated.
High intensity: For our purposes, this means sustained power output somewhere above at VO2max, generally significantly above.
When you add the two together, you get a family of protocols that consist of alternating fixed-length periods of sustained >100% VO2max power output and rest. The specific programs vary by number of sets, work duration, rest duration, and power targets. Two of the more popular examples:
"HIIT": 4 sets of 30 seconds work/240 seconds rest at maximum instantaneous effort (go as hard as you can possibly go at all times)
"Tabata"*: 8 sets of 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest at/above a specific target power output - usually starting at about 170% of VO2max for the first workout, and increasing incrementally each workout.
Initially, I would recommend doing the former, because it's less complicated and a lot less taxing psychologically.
Regardless of the protocol, warm up before you do your first work set.
There is an "Intervals: Time" option on Concept2 rowers that will get the rower to time your work/rest periods for you.
As far as fitting interval training together with StrongLifts 5x5, it really depends on:
-how much time/effort each trip to and from the gym takes
-how badly and how long each activity screws you up for the other
I'd hesitate to do the intervals immediately before the lifting, because if you have trouble during an interval, you perform a slower interval, but if you have trouble during squats, you might lose form and hurt yourself.
If you aren't trashed so badly from 5x5 that you can't bear to get on the rower, I'd say that you should try to hit a round of intervals after each weight training session. See how it goes.
Russ, curious as to why you recommend intervals when the goal is to burn more calories? My understanding is they are good for rapid gains in cardio fitness but calories is calories. Furthermore if the OP's cardio fitness isn't great some steady-state work is in order before tackling HIIT or something like that.
For every calorie expended during HIIT, there was a nine fold loss of subcutaneous body fat, as compared to the ET group.
The effect of regular aerobic exercise on body fat is negligible; however, other forms of exercise may have a greater impact on body composition. For example, emerging research examining high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) indicates that it may be more effective at reducing subcutaneous and abdominal body fat than other types of exercise
Spoke to my coach. In simplest terms it went "Meh.. do some cardio"
Pretty much lifting heavy will give you fat burning gains because of metabolism but may increase mass. hence scale weight issues.
Cardio will drive some of that fat off. run, ride. whatever. Stay off the Mcdonalds.
Interesting Russ. But I'm always curious as to how these sorts of studies draw conclusions from such a small sample size.
There is a TON of hype around HIIT. I just got back from a long weekend or I'd hunt down some of the research reviews showing how it's not any sort of magic bullet for fat loss, nor is it much better than steady state cardio. Names to look up there are Mark Young and Lyle McDonald off the top of my head.
What HIIT does do that steady state/low intensity doesn't is it makes people challenge their bodies. People who exclusively do lower intensity forms of exercise almost never actually work hard enough to not be able to talk. HIIT also allows for equal caloric burn in a shorter time frame, which is pretty great. It's likely that if you had to pick just one to do for conditioning purposes HIIT is the way to go, but thankfully you don't have to get married to ideas.
Certainly not knocking HIIT or any sort of interval training either. It's just another tool in the big bag of tricks. I'd go with whatever you enjoy the most, hate the least, or fits into your schedule best.
Overall, my cardio isn't bad. I'm rowing at 31-33 spm for a 14 minute session, immediately following a 5x5 session. I've been adding two minutes per session, with a goal of 30 minutes, at 31-33 spm.
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