Trying to make LeanGains more endurance-centric
Having recently gotten interested in LeanGains for breaking through a fat loss plateau, I began to think that the side benefit of gaining muscle would be good as well, especially since more muscle means a faster metabolism, thereby allowing even more fat loss. I realized, though, that LeanGains is aimed at bulking people up and improving their strength only. This is what it seems, at least. Going into the military soon means I need to focus just as much if not more on endurance. Since traditional endurance training is typically not a muscle builder, I was afraid that the high carb diet on the workout days would be too much, but at the same time, was afraid to lower the carbs in case it was too little. I began reading about strength-endurance, which is sort of a compromise of the two. The article I read likened the goals to what MMA fighters want. While MMA fighters don't necessarily train like this, the routine was something like the following: 10-20 sets x 1-4 reps with rest periods typically being 20-40 seconds, but never more than 60 seconds.
As I understand it, normal strength training like what is found in LeanGains is more reps with less sets (though both still use heavy weights).
Before I go on with any specific questions, I would like to hear some opinions on this routine and how well it fits in with the LeanGains protocols.
Tabata's research showed that every benefit you gain from "endurance" training, you also get from HIIT. In addition, HIIT also improves fast-twitch muscle.
I've been in the military for just shy of 12 years, and made the most improvements on my fitness test this past year, while focusing on strength and speed. I'm stronger and faster than I have been since I was 20 years old. Endurance training never did this for me. Build muscle. Get stronger. Get faster. You won't regret it.
Would you please describe some exercises that fall under the HIIT category. I'm well aware of HIIT in the context of sprinting (which I already do), but from what little I've read of HIIT in the context of lifting, it involves lifting as fast as possible in short "sprints." While I'm probably not doing it according to the formula of HIIT, I'm already doing pushups in a similar fashion (Max reps in 30 seconds with 4 sets). Having done pushups this way for several weeks, I changed it up once and made my sets 1 minute long. I only made it to 63 reps on the first set and was already tiring out. It was at this point I concluded that endurance training was no longer working.
However, you seem to be saying that even this strength-endurance training I originally mentioned is too endurance focused, are you not? I thought it was implied, but the routine I mentioned (10-20 sets x 1-4 reps with short rest periods) involves using the maximum amount of weight possible while still getting those 1-4 reps. Those weights already make this strength training to some degree. Admittedly, it's lacking the speed you mentioned, but speed is going to be impossible for me on two exercises that I really want to improve: pullups and dips. I don't have the ability to do many of these slowly, let alone quickly and in Tabata-style.
The way I see it (so correct me if I'm wrong), the routine I described is similar to HIIT. It involves an all out effort (lifting heavy weights to failure) for a short period of time (1-4 reps) and a short period of rest in between sets (Tabata sprint sessions are also short rest periods).
I normally would have no problem just taking your advice and scrapping my idea, except I'm already deep enough in the LeanGains program that I can't just turn around. The whole point of trying it was to lose fat, so I figure, in the spirit of LeanGains, I might as well try lifting weights too. Before, I was intimidated by weights and never went near them. I'm just trying to figure out a way to incorporate this strength training while still maintaining or improving the fitness that matters in the military.
By the way, is there I way to automatically subscribe to any thread I start or post to? This is the third thread I've started, and I'm still being surprised not finding notifications in my email.