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Most People Do HIIT Cardio Wrong – How to Do HIIT

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Most People Do HIIT Cardio Wrong – How to Do HIIT – Thomas DeLauer

High intensity interval training is a whole different ball game than what most people think that it is, and in this video, I want to give you a breakdown of a) what high intensity interval training really is, but b) what kind of cardio you should be doing when you’re intermittent fasting, or what you need to know to at least make an informed decision. The first thing I want to talk about before I even get into anything that has to do with fasting is truly give you the breakdown of what high intensity interval training should truly look like and what you’re actually trying to accomplish. Most people look at high intensity interval training as just this way to get a crazy lung burner, just an awesome workout where you feel like you just torched a bunch of calories. That’s all fine and dandy but it doesn’t always elicit the best metabolic response and it doesn’t always elicit the best body composition response. You don’t always get the desired outcome. You may feel like you accomplished something, but that’s not because high intensity interval training is bad, it’s because most people are doing it wrong.

Here’s the thing. When we’re doing high intensity interval training, we are activating the anaerobic system of the body. So I want you to think of high intensity interval training cardio the same way that you would think of weight training. Weight training operates with the same metabolic business in your body that high intensity interval training does. It’s utilizing carbohydrates as a source of fuel. What that means is you’re in that rep range of maybe 6 reps all the way up to 15 reps in the weight room, well it’s the same kind of thing that you’re burning when you’re doing a high intensity interval training workout.

Let me give you an example of what most people think HIIT looks like. Most people will go ahead and they’ll do one minute of high intensity exercise and then one minute off, then they’ll go back and they’ll do one minute on and one minute off. This is great to [inaudible 00:01:45] a process, I understand that it makes it easy, but that’s not how the body works. The body doesn’t necessarily know what one minute is or what two minutes are. The body just knows when it’s fully fatigued or not. The whole idea with high intensity interval training is you need to, 100%, be pushing it to the max, and then recovering for however long it takes, whether it’s 30 seconds, one minute, two minutes, to be able to be fully recovered to give it 100% again.

So it varies from person to person on how long the rest period should be. It is absolutely not uniform. So for example, you should be doing your high intensity training all the way, pedal to the metal for like 15, 20 seconds, because quite honestly, that’s about how much energy you have stored up in your body to really perform at 90 to 100%. If you’re going longer than 20 or 25 seconds, then you’re not pushing it at 90 or 100%. Plain and simple, period. You should be going all the way, then recovering as much as you possibly need to to be able to afford to push it 100% again. If you’re going at one minute on, one minute off, you’re probably going something like 50, 60% of your maximum and then just recovering for however long it takes. That doesn’t really add up. We need to elicit the metabolic response that we get when we would normally weight train, where we’re going all the way to failure.

Now let’s talk about how this applies with fasting. When you are in a fasted state, your body is not utilizing carbohydrates as a source of fuel. When you are fasted, your body is using ketones. It’s using fat. It turns fats into ketones. When you are doing high intensity interval training, you’re utilizing carbs. Now I hear a lot of people talking about how high intensity interval training is going to help them get into a fasted state easier. Not really the case. You see, once you’re already fasting, your body just stores the glycogen and puts it away. It’s not like you have to burn through all your glycogen first before you start burning fat. It’s really just how long you are going without eating before your body starts using fat. So it’s not like you have to drain your tank and then start using fats. Doesn’t quite work all the way like that, although it does in some cases, but high intensity interval training isn’t gonna get you to the benefits of fasting any faster.


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  1. Hey man great video and it is motivating me. I need your help please? I need to start to loose weight and get back to being really fit again. I really need your help please if you don't mind? How can we tyalk to come up with a plan and diet and training programe. I do intermint fasting on a 20 hour fast and 4 hour eating window

  2. What if you're doing a carb cycle and just going low carb a few days a week and high carb on hiit days, but not fasting to get to ketosis?

  3. You are wrong Thomas…i'm not doing it at all!

  4. So you're saying that HIIT is not for keto people. We don't have carbs in keto you know.

  5. Says the guy who isn't a doctor (but thinks he is) or an expert in anything but injecting steroids.

  6. I don't know, your claims seem to be generalized. "If you do this, you're doing it wrong." I go 1 minute on, 1 off, by the end of each minute feel like puking and/or falling off the bike. How the hell is that only 50% of my effort, bud?

  7. One minute on one minute off shit you don’t know bullshit about high intensity training!

  8. What about HIIT and fasting and low carb and gaining weight ?

  9. I can't do fasting before running because I work out before the cardio….

  10. Au contraire! The whole point of HIIT is incomplete recovery forcing a mitochondrial adaptation.

  11. You forgot to mention that HIIT increases GROWTH-HORMONE (which is muscle-sparing and fat-burning) by 300 – 400%….for DAYS – MOST IMPORTANT reason for doing HIIT!

  12. at 3:12…. couldn't really decide which to look at… OHHH MYYY…. 😉

  13. jeez I thought this was athlean x smh…

  14. Thomas, how long do you recommend we do HIIT if we also do weight lifting? And is it okay to do HIIT on the same day we lift?

  15. Rest 15 sec not more , 45 sec burpees for example and 15 sec rest . Reach your needed calories (healthy food ).
    Breathing cycling does help and one of the most important things are resting. Don't eat 4 hours when you sleep. Water is okay

  16. Fascinating . But I still didnt get it. He says do it to the max , your own max. But do what to the max? It's not till you are out of breath , it's anaerobic like weight training, to failure of the muscles. So do you push it till the lactic acid burn is too painful or to when you literally fall over . How is it different to just doing weight reps till failure? You do it faster? Or you just keep your heart rate up to the max till your muscles fail? Can anyone help clarify this? How do I know if I'm maxing enough , the right way?

  17. this guy is the best advice ive seen on youtube its true lets say your sprinting 20 to 30 seconds and you feel like you dont need a break and you dont feel tired if u feel u can keep going but you dont you take a break your not giving it your 100% because lets say you take two people both doing sprinting and its high intensity training one person might get tired before the other so depending on your fitness level and what you eat will affect how much your giving into the workout.

  18. Liked.

    Edit: crap, but didn’t I just watch another video where you said do HIIT in a fasted State (not after consuming some carbs)? Or was that a Dr. Berg video, I’m not sure now. I’m confused lol

  19. I can tell you’re super educated on this subject, it actually helped me a lot just watching this video. Props to you dude, you just earned a sub. 🙂

  20. i did it running outside but itwas just too brutal on my body especially my knees and back, switched to stationary bike i warm up for coupe of minutes then plug in the maximum speed 20 mph and go absolutly ALL OUT for 20 secounds but i keep going till i cant peddle at all ,around 20 to 27 secounds by the 30 secounds time I am stopped Iower the speed to 2 mies an hour and get completey rested sometimes up to 5-6 minutes or longer and repeat I do 5 sets by the time Im done…. I AM DONE !!!!!!!!!

  21. I do sprint running in the morning daily. Should I start it doing with some carbs or is it fine to go empty stomach as I'm going right now. Please reply 🙂🙏

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