I currently do Crossfit 2x a week fasted with BCAA's and My macros will be less fat/more carbs on those days. EDITED: Someone asked what my CF workout is like usually and I would say 10-15 minute warm up, stretching, and a 12-15 minute or so WOD.
Now on Rest days, I planned to lower my carbs and do higher fat...
I know that Martin and true Leangainers followers are not a huge fan of HIIT, but my homeopathic DR wants me to do a fasted 20 minutes of "peak 8" style cardio interval which takes 20 minutes on a recumbent bike, on some of the mornings that I don't do Crossfit for added fat loss... I plan on doing this about 2x times a week. So 4 workouts/ per week total.
*My question is, on these HIIT days, should I treat them as a rest day (lower carb)? Or treat them as a Lifting day? Also.... would you do the BCAA's before and after the cardio or just on the lifting days??*
I am not asking advice on whether its OK to combine Crossfit with HIIT a few times week, It works fine for me... =)
John Welbourn has a pretty good rant on this: don't mix-and-match programs! There's a reason the programs are designed the way they are. If you want to do Leangains, do Leangains. If you want to do HIIT, then do HIIT. If you want MEBB, do MEBB. If you want Starting Strength, do Starting Strength. Mixing them WON'T give you the sum of them, it'll end up being worthless.
Pick what you want as a goal, and go for it. (You can't have it all at once.)
This doesn't mean you do one program for the rest of your life, you just do big cycles. For example, in the spring, I do lots of light metcon work because that the crossfit games season and most of those workouts are light and fast. In the summer I do heavy metcon plus traditional strength training because the extra sun exposure triggers lots of growth hormones and I can get real strong. Fall is rock climbing and indoor rowing. And Winter is snowboarding. So over the course of a year I hit a lot of things, but during one season, I'm focus on a single program.
Sounds like you're describing two-three days Crossfit, with rest days in between, per week. I personally would literally rest on those "rest days" because Crossfit challenges the central nervous system quite — well, exhaustively. My response is based on my own experience with Leangains. I attribute that success to accepting the notion that rest days should, in fact, be rest days. So the central nervous system can recover from, and integrate the Crossfit workouts.
You raise a good question: If you do HIIT on "rest days" as prescribed, that ceases to make them rest days. They become workout days. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because HIIT is short (in duration) it's not demanding. It is.
I used to run marathons, and believed that when in doubt, I should go for a run. Over time, I gave the benefit of the doubt to rest days. By alternating intense (fast and/or long) running days, with days off the following day, my times improved and my sense of well-being skyrocketed.
The point is: you want to burn fat. Elevated cortisol can slow fat loss. Intense exercise per se is not cortisol producing; it's the intensity with lack of sufficient rest between training bouts.
Is your homeopathic MD wearing his homeopathy hat in prescribing HIIT, or is he speaking as a trainer who has used HIIT successfully as he recommends?
Martin recommends you lift weights 3x week and walk, not run, the other days for fat burning. HIIT will burn up muscle glycogen, and severely decrees recovery ability, which you will need lifting weights. Walking will help with burning fat. If regular walking is just too easy, put on a backpack and start loading it up and walking with that on. If you must, do one day of sprints HIIT style.
"My question is, on these HIIT days, should I treat them as a rest day (lower carb)? Or treat them as a Lifting day? Also.... would you do the BCAA's before and after the cardio or just on the lifting days??
IMO, you should select three workout days for the higher calorie days (higher carb days) and the other days do low carb lower calories. Of course, you can switch that and do 4 and 3 instead. Use BCAA supps prior to fasted training.
Amanda, I am going to join the chorus of people who seem like we are picking on you. Every beginner tries to pick and choose programs so please do not think anyone is not responding. Everyone serious about fitness beats themselves up with a "super secret squirrel program" before reaching out.
I do not know anyone who when they starting out did not combine.The lean gains diet was not designed around metcon style workouts. What are you goals? (saying "I want to maintain strength and lose fat as fast as I can. Critique my diet and exercise plan" would be easy to respond to.)
Its difficult to lose fat and put on muscle at the same time. If you want to follow leangains type diet, you should be lifting like Martin suggests. The diet and and the exercise are symbiotic.
here is one of the referenced rants: http://talktomejohnnie.com/crossfit-football/from-cffb-to-pln
Edit: what do you consider crossfit workouts? You got the reaction that you did because IF and long chippers are really not compatible.
HIIT is most certainly not rest.
It is also certainly not compatible with leangains.
And unless you are very lean fasted HIIT is overkill. Hell, fasted cardio or even HIIT is overkill for most peoples' fat loss goals.
I have already commented on Amanda'a query, and am chiming in a second time because I find myself wanting to respond to some of the interesting and intelligent responses.
miked quotes John Welbourn: don't mix paradigms. "If you're going to do Leangains do it consistently and exclusively." This is powerful advice when paradigms (models, plans, strategies) are well defined. Not so powerful given that some schools paradigms are not as well established as their founders sometimes insist.
I have had success with Leangains, such that I could declare it "effective." But in fact I have no basis for such a global claim. In fact, I tweaked Leangains to meet my interests. I am a long-time runner and, while I am no longer into "chronic cardio," I recoil when told: "Don't do cardio because Martin (Berkhan) doesn't do cardio." Sorry, I added cardio to my Leangains plan because I love running and am not going to put some abstract "body recomposition" goal above overall well-being of the kind that cardio fosters.
"Everybody who does Leangains succeeds." There's no reason to assume that's true. More likely: many people succeed on Martin's protocol, and they announce their success proudly and with justified satisfaction. Who do we not hear from? Those who follow Martin's protocol but do not achieve his amazing results. Surely many of those people quit, fade away, and most importantly, they don't post their failures.
So, I respectfully decline to join the "choose one, and only one, paradigm" mindset, when, in fact, there's not a compelling body of evidence that Leangains can demonstrate a magnificent success rate following the dogmatic "Do this but don't do that" precepts of a remarkable European prodigy.
Due respect to Martin Berkhan: He's figured out a plan that works for him. It seems to work for others. Does it work for "everyone"? No evidence for such a claim. When those who don't succeed are factored into the sample, let's talk again.
Guys, crossfit 2x a week and some HIIT 2x a week is not that much. I get that everyone is all worried about cortisol and "adrenal fatigue" and that kind of thing but if you eat and rest enough, that's fine. Those are 4 intense workouts but the volume is low in the scheme of things.
Amanda, if you feel like you should eat low-carb on rest days then do that. But if you're doing HIIT then obviously that's not a rest day. So eat more carbs. If it feels like a rest day you need to make the intensity higher (hence High Intensity). If you're half-assing HIIT then there's no point in doing it anyway, and you might as well just do nothing or do some longer slow cardio for recovery.
In conclusion, everyone chill and Amanda, eat carbs on those days.
The purpose of the leangains scheme is nutrient partitioning and timing. Martin recommends doing 3 days a week for most people of heavy lifting, and doing higher carb on those days while doing lower carb on rest days. This lower carb is definitely relative to the person however, and going sub 50g is not required.
To answer your question: Your soonest meal after any workout should be higher in carbs than any other meals in that day in order to fit with the leangains style of fasting and eating. If on your non-crossfit days (when you're doing HIIT) you want to eat lower carb than crossfit days that is fine. Just make sure that your post-HIIT meal has the majority of that day's carbs.
M/W/F are crossfit days and you eat at noon and 7pm, with 100 and 50g of carbs respectively
T/Th are HIIT days and you want to go lower carb so you eat 60 and 20g respectively with only green veggies in the second meal for carbs.
Sat/Sun are true Rest Days and you eat 50g of carbs from all vegetables.
Of course this is an example and not a recommendation. You'd want to modify this to suit your needs.
TLDR: Yes you can eat lower carb. Make sure your first meal after your workout has enough carbs to keep your performance optimal. On Crossfit days (assuming they are harder than your HIIT days) eat more carbs.
I box and I do a lot of high intensity training (plyometrics, running, sprinting etc) mixed with cross fit and a lot of flexibility training. To do Leangains I'm going to add two "power" lifting days where I do heavy weights low sets low reps to gain power more so than just mass. I box so I don't want useless muscle mass and one day of exclusive HIIT on my high carb day post training. the rest days I either swim or do pilates or yoga. Sunday is my day off. Leangains is a template but a template does not need to be a carbon copy for everyone. People, including myself have thrived on defying tradition or basic studies. And what works for many doesn't work for all and adaptability and flexibility make plans like this work. Leangains itself flies in the face of traditional rules and methodology. the 5-6 smalls meals and no late night carbs and calories that we thought were forbidden. I know that I do not lose muscle mass with lots of cardio, I don't need my carbs coming from whole grains and I don't need high amounts of protein and I'm a vegan and have seen great lean gains before starting it. Amanda the only way you're going to know is to apply it. We can talk all night about what could or should happen but the only way to know for sure is to be the guinea pig. I would say you should be ok as long as you are adequately fueled but I will say rest is just as important as training and make sure you are at least stretching and sleeping enough. My template is similar to yours and I think it will work if your body doesn't comply with what normal circumstances call for.
HEAVEN FORBID that a person do crossfit 2x week, and 20 minutes of High intensity cardio 2x a week too and combine it with BCAA's..... WOW u would think I murdered someone or something from the comments I am getting...
PLEASE if you want to respond to my question, please JUST stick to my ACTUAL question.... which is: DO you do low carb and do you still use BCAA's on the days that you PERSONALLY do HIIT.