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Brian Wilson 01-17-2007 11:37 AM

Hi all, first let me say thanks in advance for all the knowledgeable posters out there that have been helping anonymous Crossfitters like myself.

My question has to do with adding or substituting HIIT or Tabata workouts for the WOD in order to accomplish loss of body fat.

I've been doing Crossfit for 4 months now, and have seen a dramatic increase in strength, a significant increase in muscle mass, and just about no decrease in body fat (using tape measure and calipers).

I've looked around for some info on this and found Mark Mahler's High Octane Cardio (HOC) Articles:



And am excited to start. My plan right now is to do a WOD/WOD/HOC/active rest cycle.

My question is do I need to substitute HOC for a WOD? I don't think I could gut these out on an active rest day without suffering from overtraining.

The other option I'm looking at is WOD-Tabata sprints/WOD/WOD-tabata sprints/active rest.

Just wanted peoples thoughts on this plan. My diet is pretty good, a paleo/metabolic combo. I lost several pounds and bf% when I initially went on metabolic, but have gained a few pounds back as well as bf%.

Current stats:
male 28 yo
weight 220
bf 22%

Jason Steele 01-17-2007 11:44 AM


Although you say that your diet is paleo/metabolic, provide some examples from your diet journal. When I went into a paleo diet hardcore I lost bodyfat rather rapidly while still gaining muscle and strength. Do you want to just look lean or actually have functional strength? I have done some of Mike's HOC, they look tame on paper...

Craig Van De Walker 01-17-2007 11:58 AM

FYI - Word to the wise, protocol on this site, whenever posting we need to state something about what the post is about which you did, but especially

Whether or not it is work and family friendly!


Brian Wilson 01-17-2007 01:11 PM

Craig: roger, sorry.

Jason: my goal at this point is looking leaner. As strong as I may be, having 22% bf that resides mainly in my gut does not make me look strong or lean.

20070116 Nutrition Journal
0730 - 4 eggs w/ veggies, 1 med sausage
1100 - 6 oz buffalo, 5 oz braised kale/collards
1400 - 6 oz salmon, 5 oz braised kale
1800 - 6 oz elk, 5 oz green beans
2100 - 8 olives, 4 oz brie
-handful of mixed raw nuts with middle three meals

This is pretty much a standard day, I'll have some carbs on the weekend (a very few beers/wine, some potato, very little bread).

Thanks in advance.


Jason Steele 01-17-2007 06:06 PM

Keep doing the WOD, believe it or not you will begin to see a difference. Your comment on wanting to look lean will attract some negative views, but to each their own.
It almost seems as if you aren't getting enough fat with your meals. I just finished Protein Power Lifeplan (excellent read BTW), it lays out something similar to what you are trying to do. How many grams of protein is your first meal (usually, not just the one you posted)?

Jason Steele 01-17-2007 06:08 PM

btw tabata sprints will melt some of that butter:biggrinthumb:

George Brothers 01-17-2007 10:46 PM


what is your height? always an important measurement to place things in perspective.

second, my suggestions to you for fat loss solely is that there is no such thing. your body will use stored fat and muscle along with glycogen stores to power its metabolic engine. you can try to spare that muscle as much as possible but you will always be struggling with your genetic makeup and what your body likes to burn for fuel.

but i am not discouraging you from your goal. some things that have worked for me are the following:

caffeine esp green tea
intervals, hiit or tabata sprints or whatever you want to call them
long walks on rest days
intermittent fasting, look under the nutrition topic and also google it
just plain staying active
move faster ie hurry everywhere
twice a day workouts usually scaled wods so i dont flame out
plenty of sleep
more vegetables
more time
work with a trainer who can objectively observe you and point out your weight loss errors
this summer take a real camping/backpacking trip with a pack on your back along with your food and water for about a week or 2. i guarantee you will come back lighter
try 30 straight days of eating lean, ie lean meats, eggs, veggies, nuts, an apple or two with plenty of water. no weekend anythings. if it does not fall in the above category then you dont get to eat it unless it is a tablespoon of olive oil on your salad or veggies.

if you still struggle there are a few medical conditions that can lead to difficult wt loss along with any medications you may be on, so seeing your dr should be a consideration at some point if you are still failing.

good luck

Gorm Laursen 01-18-2007 04:24 AM

I'd go for the WOD and if it lasts less than 30 min. I'd throw a tabata cycle of some sort on top. E.g. tabata db or barbell thrusters, tabata rowing, tabata running, tabata push ups, tabata db snatches, tabata db swing, tabata WHATEVER! A different one for every workout.

On top of that use this little morning combo that I treat myself with just about every morning: Put the coffe on the stove, do 10-12 pull ups, do max rep of fingertip push ups (about 5), do max knuckle push ups (about 15), do 50 squats. Repeat until your coffee's done. It wont take more than a few minutes, but you metabolism will kickstart. If you don't have a pull up bar, do whatever instead. The main idea is doing 3 different exercises within a reasonable rep-range so you don't burn out, but doing them 1-2-3 so you get the pulse up – and nothing more. It's not meant as a workout, merely a little SWOOSH for the organism.

And when you get sick of the tabatas (which you eventually very soon will!!!), shift to HOC. At that point you'll be in super shape from the tabatas, so you can do HOC with greater intensity and thereby attain greater results.

Eat only when you are hungry. Don't listen to your momma. Skip breakfast, replace with espresso, eat an apple if you have to. You'll first eat when you fell a genuine hunger that doesn't go away after a few minutes. It's the way!

Adam Morden 01-18-2007 04:48 AM

Hi Everyone,

Gorm: I would have to respectfully disagree on the topic of skipping breakfast. If you need/want/are not hungry skipping other meals during the day is OK (although I would suggest eating smaller meals such tat you are hungry in a few hours is more effective overall in my experience) However, skipping breakfast often depresses your body's metabolism for the day. Overnight your body uses glycogen stores from the liver (primarily) and muscle (small amounts) to provide fuel for your brain/essential functions i.e. breathing, pumping blood, etc. By morning, your body is set on "conserve fuel" mode as it has had the longest break between meals in a 24 hour period. By eating breakfast, you do 2 main things, 1) provide fuel to recharge liver glycogen stores, and 2) tell your body that it's going to get more food and can turn back to "active" mode from "conserve fuel" mode. That said, you do not need to eat a massive breakfast, but you do need to eat something, for example if you are not hungry in the morning you could cut down your current breakfast by half, and then eat the other half when you feel hungry again (often, if portion sizes are appropriate to fat loss, in about 2 hours). Also Gorm and George have a point in recommending caffeine, it does stimulate the metabolism, especially at high doses and when combined with other stimulants (i.e. ephedrine) However, if you are not currently a coffee/other caffeine source drinker, I am not sure I would recommend it as it is a stimulant (read drug). That said, keep in mind I'm a bit of a freak as far as coffee goes in that I hate the stuff and it makes me twitchy :msn-wink:


Larry Lindenman 01-18-2007 05:45 AM

Nutrition looks good. Try this. After 3 WODs (during a week) row a maximum of 10-15 minutes of intervals. You could start with 30 seconds hard, followed by a minute or a minute and a half slow. Drop rest times as you go on. The WOD will liberate fatty acids, the rowing will burn them.

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