I’m a fan of fasted training, not because I believe in any scientific basis to it, but because when I’m fasted I’m focused. I want to get stuff done, and nothing is as productive as training.
On a cut it’s not sustainable to lift every day, the resources to recover from that simply aren’t there. But cardio? Well you can treat it as easy as you like, and burn a few extra calories without being incapable of recovering from it. That’s nice.
Anecdotally, any kind of exercise murders my appetite, also. I don’t really have any explanation for this. I think it could be psychological: I feel punished for getting fat, so I don’t want to eat. I’m not sure, but it’s a genuine lack of desire to eat.
When I was a teenager I used to use Yohimbine HCL to help me lose stubborn fat and retain lean mass, on my cardio days. On a full rest day I would use an ECA stack (Epherine/Caffine/Aspirin) to help me avoid “boredom eating,” which is probably the biggest reason I’ve ever gotten fat. Boredom.
I bought a lot of Yohimbine, and I’m probably too fat to really need it at this point, but since I’ve got those shitty skinny-fat proportions from continually gaining fat on my gut and then only cutting long enough to have defined arms, why not?
The Yohimbine Stack
- 7 x 2.5mg Yohimbine HCL
- 3 x 500mg L-Tyrosine
- 1 x 100mg Caffeine (200mg sliced in half)
I take this all at once, no more than an hour before performing cardio. For me, Yohimbine “kicks in” slow, and then drops off fast. After a 15-minute ride to the gym, I still feel like I have to sit around and wait for it. I’ve accidentally completed cardio sessions before I started to feel its effects.
I’ve heard of splitting up the dose to counteract its half-life and benefit from it all day. I have not tried this yet, but I might on the weekend soon. I have 12-hour shifts of security work in which I go for a 20 minute walk every hour. Might be a useful time to be constantly Yohimbine ‘d up.
As far as the caffeine is concerned: I drink a lot of Diet Coke. Too much. I am probably humming along with 100mg of caffeine in my blood at all times after about 7AM.
For ease of use and to retard my caffeine-dependence incline a little bit, I sliced the 200mg tab in half. 50mg would have just been a tall glass of Coke anyway, but I didn’t feel like burping all session.
L-Tyrosine is a new addition to my life. It seems to help me with maximum-output events, meaning it’s been helpful with my lifting. I’m including it in this experiment because I’m going to do intervals, but if I were doing LISS cardio (like I would be doing at my job) I wouldn’t likely bother with this at all.
The Interval Plan
- 5-10 minutes of warm-up
- 5 sets of intervals: 10 second high / 50 second low
- Full 5 minutes of nothing.
- 20-40 minutes of low-intensity, steady-state cardio.
- 130-140bpm Heart Rate, or an RPE of 3-4
- 5 sets of intervals: 30 seconds @ RPE 7-8 / 30 seconds recovery
- 3-5 minutes of cooldown
- 20-40 minutes of low-intensity, steady-state cardio.
- I don’t usually use it.
- There’s lots of bikes at my gym.
- I’m not likely to fall off of it if I’m doing maximum-effort intervals
- Some of them are pretty close to the elliptical and idle areas.
- I would usually use it if I wanted to do cardio work.
- Full-body involvement, because I do use the swingy handles and not the stationary ones.
- Convenient place to put my phone so I can see my Heart Rate app.
- Low-impact, less likely to negatively impact my lifting.
- This is also true for the bike, but I use the elliptical for a much longer period of time.
Results and Response
- I needed more time to warm-up than I thought I would, but as I haven’t been doing any cardio training, I wasn’t alarmed.
- The bike I chose to do the intervals on seemed like it was for really casual, elderly, or injured people. I could not ratchet up the resistance enough to avoid rocking the entire apparatus back and forth on the floor. Will try a different bike next time.
- I don’t know how/whether I should progress on the bike intervals. Should I add an interval, or change the blend of goesfast/slow?
- Latter: if I can’t find a better-anchored bike.
- Former: seems to be the better way to ensure sufficient intensity in the faster part of the interval.
- I’ve been at this gym for two years and it took me three minutes to figure out there were places to sit and do nothing without being in someone’s way.
- It occurred to me during the last two minutes that I could have just sat on the bike. Nobody was waiting for it. I was alone.
- The first elliptical I set foot on was broken. I couldn’t change the intensity.
- Elliptical incline set to, I think, 6. I wanted the whole body lit up (on the display, not in some meme meaning.) From there I adjusted resistance as my HR adapted.
- I can’t pause the display on the elliptical for a photo. This means I either have to take a photo in motion, or “fuck it” and not bother. I chose the latter.
- I need to take some time next session to see if I can just program my intervals instead of having to fumble with the flapper paddles.
- This is the first cardio workout I had where I felt like I genuinely needed the cooldown. That sudden spike in my heart rate and dropping down suddenly just worried me for some reason. I don’t know if that’s why people do cooldowns, I’ve just never bothered before.
- I think I’m going to reprogram my Heart Rate Zones on my app to reflect where I want to be for given parts of this workout. This session I was “riding the line” between yellow and green and I’d rather just have a border on the top and bottom of the range.
Took a brief shower waiting for the rain to piss off, because I didn’t want to smell terrible in the stylist chair getting my dang’ol eyebrows and hair did.
Honestly if I wasn’t concerned with my lifting stats and just wanted to drop weight as fast as possible, I’d do some kind of protein-sparing fast and do this cardio every day. It felt pretty good, managed to keep me interested by bracketing the LISS with some intervals, and as I’m writing this the day after I want to go do it again.