HIIT workouts and protein powder

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by SaintDomingo, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. SaintDomingo

    SaintDomingo Valued Member

    Hey guys,

    Hope everyone is doing well! I also hope this is in the right place, I'm not really sure where to put something like this so obviously if its the wrong place, please let me know and I'll create a new thread in the right section!

    I have a few questions that I hope you guys can help with but I'll give a bit of background first.

    I'm going on holiday with my girlfriend soon and she's really dedicated to getting down a few dress sizes and I'm trying to be helpful and do some exercise to be supportive. She's doing great! She's eating well and exercising every day but I'm kinda struggling with it all since I've never dieted or done much exercise but I've never put on weight or lost it, although I don't drive so I walk a lot. I'm about 6 foot and weigh around 12 stone, I don't want to lose or gain weight but I do want a bit of definition around my abs and bigger arm muscles and maybe bigger shoulder/traps.

    Recently I've been doing some high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts that some fella off facebook has recommended, 30 seconds exercise and 30 seconds rest, and my girlfriend has bought his book. Now, the book includes some of these HIIT workouts (cardio and resistance) and it also has meal plans which include non carb meals and post work out carb meals. I won't post the name of the book or name of the author in case it is against ToS.

    Now I'm doing okay with them but I'm hoping to get a bit more definition around my abs area and also hoping to get my arms a bit bigger and he recommends having some protein shakes or food that contains protein power after a workout.

    So my question is:
    - For my goal of more defined abs and bigger arms, shoulders and traps, are these HIIT workouts good enough? And if you could offer any suggestions, that would be great!

    - What type of protein powder should I be buying? I've seen whey, lean and more but I'm not sure where to start. I'm currently a student so I can't afford much when it comes to buying powder, I've seen some on the internet ranging from £14/kg (in sports direct) to £30 for 5kg online. I'm not looking for any specific flavour, but I am hoping it wouldn't have too much a distinct flavour as I would want to put it into a smoothie/milkshake.

    Cheers in advance if anyone can help!
  2. waterway

    waterway New Member

    I have a suggestion that you might not like... don't get exercise advice off social media and forums. Maybe you'll get lucky and find one of the 0.001% of people who know what they are talking about when it comes to strength training online, but even then they can't actually watch you train/correct your form etc....

    Also why are you buying protein powder? You can buy dozens of cans of baked beans and lots of wholemeal bread for £14, and theres about 15g of complete protein in half a tin of beans and 2 slices of wholemeal bread. And it tastes way better too.

    Eating clean should be your priority. Save your money, go to a budget supermarket and get lots of beans/lentils/eggs/milk/wholemeal bread and learn to get creative in the kitchen would be my advice.
  3. SaintDomingo

    SaintDomingo Valued Member

    No, I completely understand that suggestion! But I've always understood high intensity interval training to be good at burning fat as I'm trying to get my heart rate to 80% at least for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. It's been many years since my GCSE PE but HIIT always seemed to be a legit workout back then. And looking at his body, it seemed he was doing well from it.

    Well I do eat beans and I only eat brown rice, pasta and bread anyway but like I said I was trying to go off 'his' recipes which included protein smoothies for after a workout. Obviously, if this is counter productive, I'll ignore it!

    I eat pretty well anyway as that I don't put on/lose any weight but obviously if you have anymore suggestions that would be great!
  4. waterway

    waterway New Member

    Honestly? Go to an Olympic Weightlifting club or a powerlifting club and train under a qualified coach for 6 months. They are usually dirt cheap in the UK. My old gym ran an Olympic weightlifting class 3 times a week and it cost £20 a month.
  5. SaintDomingo

    SaintDomingo Valued Member

    Well, as great a suggestion that is, I'm only looking to do a bit of weights and workout myself at home to get a bit of definition around my abs. £20 a month is great but I have weights at home so I may as well make the the most of them.
  6. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    My completely anecdotal expereince is that I get more benefit from long cardio sessions than intervals found in typical HIIT programs. My addictions ATM are ballet and Zumba. :D
  7. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    How many times a week are you doing HIIT? There's an opinion in the endurance sport world that if you can do more than two sessions of HIIT a week...then you're not doing HIIT, it's not HI enough.

    HIIT is a little more than just running fast for 30 seconds then walking for 30, it's a pretty complex science. Hopefully someone (Icefield?) will come and explain it for ya.

    Also, it's worth remembering that HIIT work should be pretty full on, so your chance of injury is pretty high if you're doing nothing but HIIT sessions for very long periods of time.

    Mix up your sessions; some HIIT and some longer sessions of whatever cardio activity you're doing and don't jump on the HIIT bandwagon. It's a bit of a fad.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  8. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    No time to reply in full now, but I'll pass by and drop a wall of text later. If I haven't posted by tomorrow it's because I completely forgot, so feel free to remind me :p
  9. SaintDomingo

    SaintDomingo Valued Member

    Well the thing is, I'm not sure about cardio, intervals or any type of exercise! I don't really have a clue about any of it! Well funnily enough, my girlfriend LOVES zumba! She really can't get enough of it, she's asking me to try it with her but I'm not sure how I'll get on! :p Maybe I should just give it a go!

    Ta for the reply!
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  10. SaintDomingo

    SaintDomingo Valued Member

    Well I'm trying to do 3 days a week cardio HIIT and 2 days resistance (with weights) with 2 rest days at the weekend.
    Oh right okay, is that because the HIIT has to be so intense that it has to be hurting the next day (or 2 days)?

    Yeah I'm hoping someone can come and explain it for me :p

    Yeah, I've been doing squats and lunges (both with weight) and my legs have been hurting/stiff for 3 days now so I'm guessing I'm either not stretching properly, my body needs to get used to it or I might have injured myself :/

    Yeah, I guess it has become a fad but I do find it hard staying interested in workouts, and as HIIT tends to be quick, I thought it would be okay. This is one of the reasons I wanted to do a martial art as I can't find workouts that keep me interested! Hopefully once I have graduated I can concentrate on finding a MA that I enjoy.

    Cheers for the reply!
  11. SaintDomingo

    SaintDomingo Valued Member

    Oh cheers mate, I was hoping you would come to my rescue! Haha, nice one, I'll remind you tomorrow if you haven't posted!

    Cheers again!
  12. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    kinda. And also you won't be able to keep the intensity needed for weeks and months on end, and the quality of workouts will decrease.

    People (who know what they are doing) use HIIT in different ways. Some do it once every week or some will do it for one whole week every X weeks, some us it to get past plateaus. But either way...I wouldn't do it for every cardio session. Mix cardio up - HIIT and longer sessions.

    If you find it hard to stick with a workout and not get bored, it would definitely be advisable to mix your workouts up then. Not only doing a mix of HIIT and longer sessions, try and do different types of cardio activities; running, swimming, biking, skipping, rounds on the bag or pads, cross country skiing (if possible), rowing, kettlebells...whaaaaateeeever.

    Remember, you're trying to lose weight and bit fitter...not necessarily be "a runner", "a cyclist", a "a triathlete".
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  13. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    If you look for zumba workouts on youtube, that'll probably be what you can expect. I've done it at a club and at a community college. The only major difference is the atmosphere. The clubs feel more like a party. Cool stuff. :cool:
  14. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter


    O hai there. Infodump incoming (warning: this gets wordy; just ask directly if anything is too confusing, but I'll try to keep it simplified):

    Re: body recomposition and weight gain/loss:

    Weight is a rather meaningless number unless it goes WAAAAAAAAAAY out there into outlier territory (like being 6 foot and 9 stone, or 20 stone, to give extreme examples), since it only measures your body mass times gravity, without any consideration for context (eg body composition, anthropometry, bone density). Changes in weight, however, and always knowing that weight is inherently unstable and will fluctuate somewhat throughout the day, so measurements are best done under identical conditions, can be used to track the effects of a training and/or nutrition plan, combined with visual assessment (ie are the changes visible?) and maybe even some more accurate bodyfat determination method (callipers, bodpod, etc), if available.

    Body composition: This goes beyond weight and into what constitutes the body mass that you're weighing. For most people's purposes, this doesn't go beyond a general fat mass and lean mass estimate (lean mass is ususlly equated to muscle mass because that's where one tracks changes, but it technically also includes skin and hair, bone mass, and organs, ie "everything BUT body fat").

    Definition, ie how visible the outline of different muscles is, is mainly a combination of muscle size and shape and the amount of fat covering them and the spaces between them in different body parts, making them hard to visually differentiate. A bigger muscle will generally easier to define, as will be areas where you're genetically predisposed to carry less fat. On the other hand, a bigger muscle with plenty of fat over it may be likely to look even fatter, as the area will be bigger but will be visibly soft/fatty, even if just underneath the muscle is rock hard.

    Re: Eliciting changes is body composition:

    The body is deaf, dumb and blind, and only knows raw input and how physiology makes it respond to it. It knows nothing of context or the reasons for the things that one puts it through. This concerns recomp in that increases and decreases in body mass are overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, subject to caloric input (how much energy you take in via food) and caloric expenditure (how much you use up to stay alive, move, think, etc). Simultaneous increases and decreases, such as simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain, are hotly debated and generally considered inviable as a goal due to inefficiency (you get better overall results focusing on one thing at a time). How these changes in mass manifest is additionally affected by what you eat and do (protein, carbs, and fat all have different main functions, with minimal variable overlap, and different physical activities make the body adapt in different ways under different nutritional "environments").

    Re: Nutrition (Disclaimer, I am not a dietitian, and as such I cannot give anything that could be construed as medical advice, nor can I give out meal plans, merely share the information I have and personally use, which I encourage you to corroborate from other more qualified sources if you feel the need to):

    Macronutrients: The major chemical building blocks of food (and living beings, for that matter): Protein is mostly used to build stuff, carbohydrates are mostly short and medium term energy, fats are mostly medium and long term energy, and all influence hormonal function. Calories basically come from these as well. Protein is best kept at a respectable level (for people who lift, a number usually tossed around is a daily average of 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight, which if met gives you more than enough for optimal body recomposition, as you ensure that you build plenty of muscle on a caloric surplus, and avoid losing it in a deficit), while carbs and fats can be played around with more (stay away from trans fats, and err in favour of monounsaturated fats if possible, but otherwise variety is king).

    Micronutrients: Minerals, vitamins and other such components that are negligible in terms of Calorie count, but which have important health effects. Not much else to say here other than for health it's recommendable to have a varied diet, both in animal and vegetable foods.

    Calories: Capital C Calories, or kilocalories, are a measure of energy. Your body, as it is, requires a certain amount to stay alive in its current state, called the basal metabolic rate, or BMR. You add to this number based on your activity level to get your total daily energy expenditure, or TDEE. For reference, I am 5 feet not-tall and weight a hair over 9.4 stone, with an estimated BMR of around 1450 kcal and TDEE of 1850-ish, if memory serves. Of course your TDEE will vary slightly from day to day and is at best an average, particularly if you have days where you're significantly more or less active. If you average your TDEE in Calories ingested, you will tend to stay at the same weight. Average more, and you will tend to gain mass, less and you will tend to lose. Eating too far above TDEE will see you gain proportionately more and more fat, and too far below risks losing muscle mass (undesireable not just because you won't get any definition but because your muscles hold you up and carry you around; getting weaker generally makes life suck :p). Going below your BMR is generally a huge no-no as it risks altering your metabolism as your body decides it doesn't want to die and switches things around to accommodate the super low input.

    Re: Training: Body composition-wise, training does two things, it burns calories because you do harder stuff than usual, and it causes your body to adapt (in a way specifically to the training you did). For losing weight, you can do pretty much anything as long as you do enough of it AND can recover enough from it (which, paradoxically, is as much a function of Calories ingested as much as it is sleeping and generally not-exercising). For gaining muscle, you need sustained muscular effort against resistance. Doesn't have to be weights, strictly (although they're the most versatile method), and it doesn't need to be really heavy, but you do need to push yourself, eat enough, and rest enough for your muscles to adapt and grow, without eating so much that you get fat, and without training so much and/or eating and resting so little that you can't recover and adapt.

    Re: the HIIT: For fat loss, definitely, as long as your Calorie count is adequate. For muscle gain, possibly, as long as you're actually working the muscles in question hard with the workouts, and you eat and sleep enough for it, although a well designed weight training routine would likely be far more efficient for it.

    Re: Protein powder: It's protein, and you drink it, making it easy to get a fair amount of it pretty quickly wiithout getting too full. Some brands are better than others due to how they manage the aminoacid content (aminoacids are what protein is made from, the human body uses 20 of them, 8 of which must be obtained from food, and a handful of which are really not that useful to obtain from food), but it's still just protein. Check the prices and see if you can't get more protein with a decent amount of other foods such as different meats, eggs, dairy, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, lentils, etc at the same rough price. If so, regular food is generally preferable, particularly if you're not a hardcore lifter right now, and especially health-wise, due to generally not being only protein with a handful of carbs, but rather the whole package. If getting enough protein via regular food is an issue (unlikely if you eat animal products at all), or you simply like protein powders (some are damn tasty), then by all means go for it! :D

  15. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    Without the hair, he weighs 1.5 stone! :D

    If you decide to go down the protein powder route, don't bother with expensive branded ones, get an unflavoured whey from somewhere like My Protein. It comes without all sorts of added rubbish and you can add your own flavours e.g. coffee powder, Nesquik, pineapple juice, add it to smoothies etc: http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/impact-whey-protein/10530943.html
  16. SaintDomingo

    SaintDomingo Valued Member

    Sorry for the very late reply! Thanks so much for taking the time to explain all that! It was very well explained and I think I got it all!
    I might just carry on with this HIIT then as see any of the effects. Obviously I can always change it up if its not working for me!
    To be honest, regarding the protein, I eat most of those foods anyway, especially the meat products so maybe I won't bother. Although yeah, some of the protein powder recipes do look tasty!

    Cheers again for the reply!!
  17. SaintDomingo

    SaintDomingo Valued Member

    Not sure I'm brave enough to laugh at that! :p

    Oh thank you, I was looking for something exactly like that. I might just buy a bag of it and see how I get on, I was hoping to start drinking more smoothies anyway!

    Thank you for the reply!
  18. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    Anytime, dude! Protein powder is mostly a matter of convenience and finances, depending on food prices in your area and how easy or hard it is to get a lot of protein in with proper foods (where you can just chuck two or three scoops in a bunch of milk and that's probably more than half your daily protein taken care of).
  19. Shiga

    Shiga New Member

    I am very very conservative on supplement s(used to be a brainwashed GNC fanboy, glad I learned better) but I now use bobs red mill protein, it's cheap and has absolutely no other ingredients in it.

    As far as HIIT training goes, don't add weights to it. That's just asking for injury(don't get me started on cross fit). I've always just kicked a stand up heavy bag in various intervals, it's worked fine.

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