HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and as the name suggests, it is a form of cardiovascular exercise where the participant alternates short bursts of fierce anaerobic exercise with a less intense exercise such as walking. HIIT is very popular with athletes, fitness, models and bodybuilders looking to lower their body fat percentage without loosing muscle mass. HIIT is often performed for 20-40 minutes max and not as frequently as other forms of cardio such as LISS (Low Intensity Steady State), this is because HIIT has a much higher impact on joints, muscles and recovery.

Examples of HIIT Cardio:

  • Cycle at a casual pace for 60 seconds then flat out for 30 seconds, repeat 25 times.
  • Jog for 60 seconds then sprint for 30 seconds, repeat 20 times
  • Swim for 2 laps then flat out for 1 lap, repeat 15 times.

man sprinting for HIIT

HIIT is often seen as a more effective method of cardiovascular training and more mentally stimulating. However, it’s also more mentally challenging and has a much higher impact on body. Anyone looking to add cardiovascular training to already intense training schedules may want to increase their calories and stick to lower intensity and lower impact exercises or else they may risk burning out.

Benedikt Magnusson currently holds the world record of 1015lb (460kg) for a raw deadlift. The deadlift was set at the Ronnie Coleman Classic in 2011 with a conventional stance using true Olympic plates.

Interestingly, the lift also currently higher than the equipped world record held by Andy Bolton who lifted 457.5 kg (kilograms) / 1,009 lb (pounds). With raw deadlifting world records you can only use a weightlifting belt. No wraps, hooks, straps, suit etc. However, most people do not deadlift with weightlifting suits as even when fully equipped with a weightlifting suit it may only add around 20-30lb Max (approximately 12.5kg) which when lifting 1000lb is a couple of percent.

Some men have lifted heavier, however these world record breaking lifts are discounted based the fact they are merely lockouts using specialized strongman equipment and the bar moves a couple of inches at best. Mark Felix for example, an experienced Strongman lifted 1128 pounds at the 2013 Arnold Strongman using the tire deadlift equipment.

There are currently a number of very heavy raw deadlifters who may look to set a new all time powerlifting raw deadlift record before the end of 2013 such as Brian Shaw. However, only time can tell and its extremely hit or miss when it comes to peaking 1000lb deadlifts in heavy strength cycles.

LISS cardio stands for Low Intensity Steady State cardio. As the name implies, it is a steady cardiovascular form of exercise where you where you keep your intensity low but your effort consistent. LISS takes on many different forms such as slow jogs and is excellent for losing weight. LISS is used by bodybuilders, fitness models, athletes and people looking to lower their body fat percentage. By keeping your your intensity low (approximately 65%) for long periods of time your body is encouraged to use fat stores. LISS is often performed for 30-60 minutes, twice or more a week.

Examples of LISS Cardio:

  • fast walks or slow jogging
  • hill walks or incline on a treadmill
  • moderate swimming in a pool or the sea
  • walking up large sets of stairs or stair stepper machines
  • using a cross trainer or elliptical machine
  • steady rowing or rowing machines
  • steady cycling or using an exercise bike

man jogging

However, low intensity steady state cardio is sometimes criticized as it may cause higher muscle wastage compared to other forms of cardiovascular exercise used for weight loss. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for example is also know to be very effective and can help to increase muscle retention. However, LISS can be carried out much more frequently than HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio and is much less likely to have an impact on other training. For example, a weightlifter could use an exercise bike 5 times a week for 30-60 minutes with very little impact on their tendons, joints, muscles, and energy levels that would usually be impacted by weightlifting. Unlike weightlifting, low intensity exercises are also much less likely to cause injury.

Some people may find LISS training easier as it’s less physiologically intense and is not as physically demanding. Anyone older who is exercising or fears repeated injury, should start with a low intensity form of exercise and allow the body to strengthen before moving onto more intense forms of cardiovascular exercise. However, one of the biggest complaints about low intensity training is that it can be extremely boring and for busy people it takes a significant amount of time to complete.


Brian Shaw has just successfully deadlifted 985lb / 448kg whilst training for the 2013 Worlds Strongest Man (WSM) competition. Brian was focusing on single rep deadlifts during the WMS workout and after warming up he started his first single at 725lb / 330kg. Admittedly I was surprised he managed 985lb given his height (6ft 8) and the speed he got from his earlier lifts in the clip. Brian Shaw is edging ever so close to the overall world record raw deadlift of 1015lbs / 461kg currently held by Benedikt Magnusson. It certainly looks like he has potential to take the world record deadlift, but in order to qualify he would need to lose the straps and ensure he doesn’t hitch at the top of the lift (easier said than done.)

Is Rob Riches a natural bodybuilder? The UKBFF (UK Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation) says no. In April 2013, Rob Riches entered the under 178cm Men’s Physique National Championship competition held in Leamington Spa, England. A clear favorite to win on the day, Rob was announced as the 1st place winner. Unfortunately for ‘Natty Riches’ it was later found he failed the drugs tests after testing positive for a mystery substance, this led to the title being stripped from him and awarded to Ryan Terry who previously placed second in the UKBFF Men’s Physique Championship.

Rob Richard and Ryan Terry on stage

Rob Richard and Ryan Terry on stage at the 2013 UKBFF Mens Fitness Competition (under 178cm)

An entire year later and UKBFF have not released any further information of why Rob Riches failed and I can only assume that this is most likely to minimize the damage to their federation, Robs reputation and whats left of natural bodybuilding.

When the bodybuilding and fitness community found out, many claimed Rob Riches was found to test positive for an anabolic oral steroid substance known as oxandrolone, but much better known as anavar. Oxandrolone like most other orals is 17-alkylated to avoid ingestion at the first pass of the liver. It is quite a weak compound and often used when cutting and to help ‘hardern’ muscles. One of anavars most notable features is that very little water weight is gained unlike some other orals such dbol. It should also be noted that like many other orals, it has a short half-life in the body (around 8-9 hours), which means within less than 24 hours of consumption it would have cleared your system. There are numerous other WADA banned compounds and unnatural compounds that either enter and leave your body within as little as 3-4 hours or simply can’t be tested for. Many bodybuilders and fitness athletes believe that Rob has never been natural and has always used oral steroids in low dosages and possibly human growth hormone (HGH).

Rob Riches came out publicly on his personal blog and attempted to explain about why he was disqualified from the UKBFF competition. He claimed that it was because he took a pre-workout supplement known as ‘Craze’ that contains an unlisted methamphetamine analog known as N-alpha-diethyl-benzeneethanamine. Then in an attempt to validate his claim, he links to Patrick Arnolds blog post ‘craziness over craze‘ and states it MUST have been the Craze. (Funnily enough a brand he is not associated with or sponsored by.) Worse still the packaging states clearly that if you are a drugs tested athlete you not take the supplement as it may cause false positives. What tested athlete wouldn’t check the packaging of supplements and medicine they are about to take?

The media later picked up the ‘methamphetamine’ containing Craze and the company who make the supplement, Driven Sports have since released a number of blog posts defending the supplement including laboratory reports showing proof that the supplement did not contain amphetamines. View part 3 here.

However, by around October 2013 it was ‘banned’ in the US and UK and the manufacturer Driven Sports stopped selling it. Driven Sports have since replaced Craze with a new squeal known as Frenzy.

If you would like to view Rob Riches appearance and commentary surrounding the competition, its been posted on YouTube and I’ve embedded it below:

There is also an ironic video of one of the biggest ‘natural’ bodybuilding frauds ‘Alon Gabbay’ calling out Rob Riches for failing a drugs test. http://www.youtube.com/embed/EH4n9Vo6kyI