HIIT – Cardio Acceleration
Want more of a challenge? What is wrong with you??
As it happens though, if you’re that sadistic, then I do just so happen to have something even worse up my sleeve and this is also a great choice if you’re someone who is interested in building muscle and creating a really ripped physique.
Say hello to ‘cardio acceleration’…
Essentially, cardio acceleration is a perversion of HIIT and of resistance training that combines a full gym workout with a cardio workout.
Normally, if you are working out in the gym in order to build muscle, you will do so by performing exercises as ‘reps and sets’. You perform a ‘set’ of 6, 8, 10 or 12 exercises and then you rest for a minute before going again.
What you are doing in this case is building up metabolites in the muscle that stimulate growth and creating microtears.
The heavy weight means that you’re using your fastest twitch muscle fiber, which means that you’ll be relying on glycogen and ATP stored in the muscle. You thus need to pause after performing those 10 reps in order to build up the strength to go again for the next round.
The most common protocol for the gym is to perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each exercise.
Cardio acceleration turns this into a monstrosity of a challenge though by removing the minute rest in between each exercise. You’re still going to give the muscle a rest but you’re no longer going to give your body a real rest because you’re going to perform some kind of cardio exercise such as tuck jumps, high knees, sprinting, step machine, skipping etc. And you’ll do this with high intensity.
What you’ll also do, is to target the muscles that you aren’t using. So if you just performed bench press, then you won’t use boxing as your cardio to pair it with because that will train the pecs and shoulders again. Likewise, if you just did squats, you’re not going to train with kettlebell swings or tuck jumps.
Cardio acceleration works absolute wonders for your body because it allows you to get all the benefits of a weightlifting workout and all the benefits of a cardio workout rolled into one. That means that you will build muscle, while at the same time burning fat.
What’s more, is that you’ll be able to keep your heartrate high for your entire weightlifting routine. This means that you’ll burn an incredible number of calories and specifically several hundred percent more.
Because you’re training the upper body and lower body intermittently, this also has the advantage of directing blood from top to bottom. In other words, you’ll need plenty of oxygen and nutrients in your biceps for those curls and then you’ll need them in your legs for that sprinting. Thus your heart is working even harder to send the blood up and down and up and down and you’ll burn even more calories.
The hormonal response to this kind of training is also massive.
1 – There are downsides too though of course. The first is that cardio acceleration is absolutely horrendous to go through. This is a serious challenge and should only be attempted once you’re very fit and very strong already. It’s also something you probably won’t want to do very regularly.
2 – The other downside is that you won’t build as much muscle as you would do from a regular weightlifting workout. That’s because you’ll be depleting your strength and thus won’t be able to perform your lifts with as much weight or as good technique.
If your aim is to become a massive bodybuilder-type, then you should stay away from cardio acceleration. However, if your aim is to become a lean machine who would look incredible on the cover of a fitness magazine, then you should think about it. Just be ready for a real challenge!