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Some HIIT For Life & Less LISS For More! How to Burn 27,300 Kcal Extra W/out Losing a Single Extra Pound of Fat!

Image 1: Yep, you are right, the SuppVersity is the place to be to make sure you don't embarrass yourself during one of those potentially fatefully flirticious one-on-ones in the gym - Remember: Strong and Smart is the Newest Sexy ;-)

In view of the fact that you all seem to be enjoy the high intensity interval news aka "On Short Notice" items at the SuppVersity, I decided to do another double-feature today, somewhat similar to the "Weight Loss Threesome" three weeks ago. This time however not on sleep, TV and supplements, but on cardiovascular exercise for fat loss. For that purpose I have lined up a unique study about thelongterm (!) beneficial effects of HIIT workouts on body composition, cardiometabolic risk factors, and conditioning of abdominally obese subjects (Gremeaux . 2012) and a study the results of which foster the surprising insight that 50% less can be 80% more when it comes to light intensity steady state (LISS) training for fat loss (Rosenkilde. 2012). So, let's get "without further delay" right to this sexually conservative, but contentwise highly experimentally one-on-one ;-)

Biggest Winners Combine Lifestyle Change With Optimized HIIT Workouts In what the authors claim (and my personal readings in this area confirm) was the first study to analyze "the effects of a combined lifestyle intervention and optimized HIIT [regimen] on body composition, cardiometabolic risk, and exercise capacity in subjects with abdominal obesity", Vincent Gremeaux from the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre (EiPIC) at the Montreal Heart Institutefound that their 9-months program which comprised of five individualized nutritional counseling by a trained dietician and 54-min (total) of supervised optimized high-intensity interval exercise andresistance training 2-3x times a week (+optional 2x continuous moderate-intensity sessions per week, such as walking and/or cycling) had profound effects on body composition, cardiometabolic risk, and exercise tolerance in the 62 of the 69 obese subjects (44 men, 22 women; BMI 35.8 +/- 5; age 53.3 +/- 9.7) from the babyboomer generation (Gremeaux. 2012).

Figure 1: Dietary and workout regimen, graphical overview (based on information from Gremeaux. 2012)

As my graphical summary in figure 1 goes to show, the workouts were a breeze compared to last week's Iranian HIIT Solution. And in view of the "guideline compliant" macronutrient composition it is actually quite astonishing, how pronounced the average and individual results of the subjects eventually were. If anything than the loss of lean mass ( figure 2, left) would be a thing to be slightly concerned about. On the other hand, this leaves much room for improvements, which would be easily achieved by really working out with weights you can only lift for 8-10 times and performing 3 circuits of free weight exercises with a focus on compound movements (if this is physically possible), using "all-out" sprints preferably also on the treadmill instead of the cycle ergometer for the HIIT workouts (as long as your conditioning allows for that) eating more protein and cutting back on carbs so that the total energy intake would keep about the same if you ate 1.5g protein/kg body weight per day and 20g+ of quality proteinwith every meal As long as you are still overweight that should suffice to get leaner, when you are already lean, though, you won't be able to make progress without a minor degree of temporary (2-6 weeks) caloric restriction in the ~20% range. Tipp: Don't count calories, just eat some rice less, just one instead of two bananas, etc.; try to get used to the notion of eating food, not calories! You see, the general rules apply to everyone, their practical realization, i.e. the number of workouts, the intensity and the duration will however be different and has, when all is said and done, to obey to one simple rule: You cannot expect your body to change, if the circumstances don't require change! This evolutionary-esque principle applies to anyone from the morbidly obese baby boomer to the ripped physique athlete in the prime of his twenties - regardless of who are and who you want to be, the only way to get there is to challenge yourself appropriately! [for implications see end of today's post]

Burning 300kcal/day W/ LISS Produces Greater Fat Loss Than Burning 600kcal/day!

Image 2: If this looks like you on one of your twice daily 2h cardio workouts in the "fat burning zone", this must be your first time, here at theSuppVersity. If not, you already know that 5min here at the SuppVersityeveryday will do more for your physique and overall health than with all the "cardio" you can possibly pack into your already overcrowded schedule!

Especially if you are a total beginner or someone who is already strength training intensely almost daily, you can run the risk of outtraining your regenerative capacities by adding in more than one longer HIIT workout. Moreover, my personal experience tells me that "mixing things

up" and doing some "regular" light intensity steady state cardio, especially rowing or outdoor activities can really give you an unexpected edge, in terms of fat loss without really taxing your system. Interestingly enough, the results of a soon-to-be-published study be Mads Rosenkilde and his colleagues from the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Copenhagenin Denmark do actually support my experience, as the 64 moderately overweight (BMI: 25-30 kg/m, fat percentage 25%), sedentary yet healthy men without a past history of useless dieting (and over-exercising) who participated in the 13 week trial (compare that to the above 9-months trial!) lost an astonishing amount of 4kg of pure body fat with nothing else than "classic" steady state cardio (Rosenkilde. 2012)! "Energy in energy out = fat loss" - fail!

Over the course of 13 weeks, the participants took part in three supervised exercise sessions per week, which had to be performed at an average heart rate of >70% of their predetermined maximal heart rate. On the other four days they were free to engage in whatever physical activity they wanted, but had to wear a heart rate monitor that would allow them to decide, when they had fulfilled their daily 300kcal/day (MEDIUM) or 600kcal/day (HIGH) exercise dept. The log-files of the heart rate monitors were deliberately analyzed by the scientists every on a weekly basis, missed sessions had to be made good for and repeated non-compliance was penalized with immediate exclusion from the trial. Effectively, the guys in the HIGH dose arm of the study simply exercised longer at the same ~66-67% of their VO2Max on the mean 6.2 "workout days" both groups had in common. Contrary to what the scientists, who totally relied on their (stupid) calories in vs. calories out calculations, had expected these longer workouts and the associated increase in exercise induced energy expenditure did not result in either greater weight or fat loss in the highly compliant participants of the HIGH dose exercise group (compliance: 96% vs. 99% in the HIGH and MODERATE arms, respectively; statistically this difference was not significant).

Figure 3: Changes in body weight and fat mass (left) and "real" (=calculated based on weight loss) energy deficit the subjects accumulated over the 13-week study period (data based on Rosenkilde. 2012)

If you take a closer look at the data in figure 3 you will even realize that the 30 subjects who had initially been randomized to the MODERATE dose arm of the study and should thus expended ~27,300kcal less than their peers in the HIGH dose arm when the final measurements were taken, had lost slightly more total and fat weight than their harder training counterparts. "Hey! Where are the weights, dude?"

Yet despite the fact that Rosenkilde et al. triumphantly report that the "energy balance was 83% more negative than expected in MOD, while it was 20% less negative than expected in HIGH" a closer look at the data in figure 3 will also reveal that the ratio of total to fat mass loss, i.e. 1.1 g of fat per 1g of total mass in the MODERATE dose group 1.4 g of fat per 1g of total mass in the HIGH dose group does still speak in favor of doing a little bit more, than what is necessary to lose weight (I almost forgot: During the study period, the energy intakes did not differ between the groups and there were no significant differences between the subjects on low carb and the subjects on high carb diets wrt to the study outcome). This is all the more true, because the +1kg increase in lean mass (compared to a third sedentary control group this was even statistically significant) in the HIGH dose group went hand in hand with a significant increase in resting energy expenditure (+205kcal/day in HIGH vs. +192kcal in MODERATE). However, I guess I don't really need to tell you the reason why I highly recommend that you still stick to short(er) and/or less frequent LISS (=light intensity steady state) workouts, do I? Yeah, right! Used more as a regenerative means, to play basketball or soccer with friends to take the dog for a walk or jog with your beautiful significant other through the park short(er) LISS workouts constitute an excellent counterpart to your obligatory weight lifting sessions and won't force you into the dreaded vicious circle of over-training (and under-eating), due to which the fat loss of so many trainees stalls, when the first couple of pounds have literally fallen off their hips. Implications: Collectively these two studies would support the notion that all physical activity has its merit. They also emphasize the under-appreciated simple truth that both, the combination of a high intensity strength and moderate intensity LISS regimen (+ the occasional short HIIT workout) and a moderate intensity strength and high intensity interval training program (+optional moderate intensity LISS training) constitute effective ways to reduce your body fat percentage! With the former being more geared to the advanced trainee who is also looking to build some quality muscle mass and the latter being the workout of choice for the beginner who "just wants to look good naked", there are more than a billion permutations you will have to experiment with in order to identify not the best routine, but your best routine at a given timepoint in your career as a beginning, advanced, or elite physical culturist(highly suggested read: The "Step By Step Guide to Your Own Workout Routine").

References: Gremeaux V, Drigny J, Nigam A, Juneau M, Guilbeault V, Latour E, Gayda M. Longterm Lifestyle Intervention with Optimized High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Body Composition, Cardiometabolic Risk, and Exercise Parameters in Patients with Abdominal Obesity. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jul 30. Rosenkilde M, Auerbach PL, Reichkendler MH, Ploug T, Stallknecht BM, Sjdin A. Body fat loss and compensatory mechanisms in response to different doses of aerobic exercise - a randomized controlled trial in overweight sedentary males. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2012 Aug 1.

The "20 / 30 Principle" Sheds 15% Body Fat in 6 Months, Boosts Testosterone & Sexual Performance in Overweight Men. Plus: Six Signs You're Doing Too Much, Already.

One out of four men with newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction is under 40 (more)

You will probably remember the post about the increasing prevalence of erectile dysfunction in young(er) men on Facebook, the other day (learn more)!? As of now, one out of four patients who are newly diagnosed with erectile dysfunction are 40 years or younger. That's an alarming trend that certainly cannot be reversed by the use of adulterated OTC libido boosters with high amounts of pharmacological PDE-5 inhibitors that are not listed on the label (read more on the SuppVersity Facebook Wall and listen live to today's installment of the Science Round Up starting at 12PM EST!). With 30-40% of the overweight men not being able to achieve an erection of maintain it long enough to engage in seual intercourse, it stands out of question that the root cause for the exploding numbers of impotent young men is diabesity. Against that background it is only logical that Joan Khoo and his colleagues from the Department of Endocrinology at the Changi General Hospital, the Departments of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitative Services at the Changi General Hospital assumed that diet and exercise should be more than an alternative to drug interventions. The latter has in fact been established in numerous previous studies, already. In obese Australian men who lost an average of 10% of baseline weight from caloric restriction alone using meal replacements or a low-fat diet and in men after 2 years of weight loss using Mediterranean diet and exercise, for example, the test scores in the International Index of Erectile Function 5-item (IIEF-5) improved by ~20% (Khoo 2011; Esposito. 2004). Exercise works, but how much exercise does it take?

What has been missing up to know is yet a study that would establish the amount of exercise that's necessary to boost the existing benefits of energy restriction. And guess what!? That's exactly what Khoo et al. set out to do - conduct a trial that would compare the effects of 24 weeks of ... low volume medium intensity exercise training (<150 minutes/week) and (relatively) high volume medium intensity exercise (>200m/w) training

on the body weight, waist circumference (WC), body composition, International Index of Erectile Function 5-item (IIEF-5), International Prostate Symptom Scale (IPSS) (for LUTS), and 36-item

Short Form Survey version 2 Instrument (SF-36) (for QoL) scores, plasma testosterone, sexhormone binding globulin, glucose, insulin and lipids, and endothelial function (by Reactive Hyperaemia Index [RHI] using finger plethysmography) of 90 abdominally obese Asian men (BMI >27.5 kg/m; WC>90 cm; mean age 43.6y), who ha not moved an inch all day long in the past years (average amount of "exercise" ~80 minutes/week). Freedom of choice: Exercise when and where you want

The aerobic only *sigh* exercise program could be performed on whatever equipment / sportive activity the subject like - stationary cycling, treadmill, elliptical crosstraining, brisk walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming, all were eligible for 90150 minutes/week - the subjects were free to chose and pick, but they had to record type and exercise duration and make sure that they would hit their target heart rates of 5570% of their individual maximal heart rate (HRmax=220-age) on whatever they did.

Figure 1: Absolute (body composition) and relative changes (lipids, sex hormones & erectile function); after 6 months on the diet + low vs. high volume exercise regiment;LUTS = lower urinary tract symptoms; IIEF-5 = International Index of Erectile Function 5-item questionnaire; IPSS = International Prostate Symptom Scale; SF-36 PCS and MCS = 36-item Short Form Survey version 2 Instrument Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary scores (Khoo. 2013)

In combination with the obligatory reduction in energy intake (-400kcal/day; ~15-20% of their baseline intake) both groups made significant progress. In comparison to the -4.7kg of body fat the guys in the "high volume" group (I use the quationmarks to emphasize that I would not consider ~30min of exercise/day exorbitantly high, considering the fact that the this was cycling, walking or swimming at a relatively moderate intensity) lost in the course of the 6-months intervention, the -1.1kg of total fat mass the guys in the low volume group dropped do yet look pretty pathetic.

"Doing more" for total & free testostosterone!?

What are signs that you are already doing too much ? constant fatigue that does not disappear, when you take a day off and get enough sleep (too much volume) inability to fall asleep (too much high intensity work) inability to sleep through (too much volume) getting up to pee every 1-2h (too much volume, too few carbs vs. too much protein) the 4am wake-up call = inability to sleep through (see above, fasting in the evening) no fat loss despite caloric deficit (eating too little + high training volume) losing muscle, not fat (too much volume, too much medium intensity cardio)

low sex hormones / drive, low thyroid function, high rT3 (too much volume, too much protein, too little fat & carbs, not eating enough)

If you want more insights, you can find them in the Athletes Triad Series.

If we take a look at a couple of other parameters the scientists evaluated, you will notice a clear dose-response relationship. Much contrary to the participants in the Rosenklide study, I wrote about in 2012, which had a much higher training volume and intensity, doing more did - within this narrow relatively low volume moderate intensity regimen - did thus really yield superior results. Even more, the dose-response relationship is almost linear: 2x more exercise, 2x more weight loss, 2x more fat loss, 2x greater reduction in insulin, 2x greater reduction in blood glucose. For testosterone (>2x more) and free testosterone (almost 5x more), the benefits were even more pronounced and the difference between the ratio of fat and lean mass lost 6.7 for the high vs. 5.5 for the low volume group are certainly not to be scoffed at, either. Still, we just have to go back to the counterproductive effects Rosenkilde et al. observed in their study (go back and learn more), to see that the 30 minutes of exercise per day are probably not the end of the flagpole, but a very happy medium beyond which previously untrained individuals, and experienced trainees who work out at a correspondingly higher intensity level, could hit a wall and spiral down into the abyss of chronic overtraining - especially when exercise habits like that are combined with a diet that does not only induce an energy deficit of 20% but does at the same time make it particularly hard for the body to use the energy it gets... yep, I am talking about the notorious high protein, low carb, low fat diets the scaremongerism on both sides of the low-carb vs. low-fat divide have made so popular (learn more).

Bottom line: Diabesity, erectile dysfunction and hypogonadism? The solution to this triad is there! It's not complicated, but it requires commitment, it requires discipline and it will cut your daily screen time by 30 min... if you or your overweight friends don't feel that this is worth it, let them waste their money and risk their health by jumping from one "quick fix" solution and diet (e-)book to the other. If not, write the numbers "20/30 x 6" on a DinA4 sheet and pin that to your or your friends' fridge to remind yourself or them that it takes a caloric reduction of 20% + 30min of moderate intensity exercise and the stubbornness to adhere to that protocol for 6 months day in day out (I guess 90% compliance would even be enough) to take a huge step on your way towards normalizing your body composition, glucose and lipid metabolism and endocrine and erectile function... and on a last note: I bet this works for overweight women with PCOs, as well. References: Esposito K, Giugliano F, Di Palo C, Giugliano G, Marfella R, DAndrea F, DArmiento M, Giugliano D. Effect of lifestyle changes on erectile dysfunction in obese men: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2004;291:297884. Khoo J, Piantadosi C, Duncan R, Worthley SG, Jenkins A, Noakes M, Worthley MI, Lange K, Wittert GA. Comparing effects of a low-energy diet and a high-protein low-fat diet on sexual and endothelial function, urinary tract symptoms, and inflammation in obese diabetic men. J Sex Med 2011;8:2868 75.