HIIT and Low Carb - Horrible fucking combo.
"I have an idea, I'll starve my muscle of fuel, then ask them to do anaerobic training. I love catabolism!"
Doing sprints and hills and sledge hammer work and all sorts of shit like that works great for burning fat, but the point of it is to actually jack the metabolism so that your BMR in increased for the day. In other words, you burn more calories doing nothing for the rest of the day than you usually do, because of the interval work. The problem is with guys who lump in HIIT with low carb. This is a terribly combination. If you notice, even low carb guys replenish glycogen with a post workout drink or meal. But you're supposed to do similar work with sprinting and stuff, on low carbs? Dumb. Enjoy losing hard earned lean mass.
If you're going low carb, do steady state cardio. It's not very taxing and since you are probably already in a calorie deficit from going low carb, you don't need a ton of it. 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week at a solid pace will work fantastically.
Geared style training for raw guys -
With training geared to mimic shirts and suits, you end up training to top portion of each lift. Box squats unload the quads, board presses train the lock out, too much tricep work, too much hamstring work, too much assistance and not enough emphasis on quads, shoulders, back, and the bottom portion of the lifts.
Yes I know that some guys have benefited from geared style training but I won't waiver from the fact that they would be much better off training the big 3, and focusing on the strengthening the bottom portion of the lifts rather than doing shit like reverse band work.
Getting big and lean -
You can't. One requires a calorie surplus, the other a calorie deficit. Some novice types can pull this off at first for a little while, but that's about it. Make up your mind which one you are doing and just go after that. When you're done, go after the other one. Again, you can't serve two masters.
Getting strong and building endurance -
This one isn't happening either. The more cardio and conditioning you add in, the more strength you're going to lose, unless you balance your strength training down in such a way that you are just trying to maintain what you had. I've seen guys recommend that a guy train just as much to maintain strength during a hard conditioning phase, as when he was training just for strength alone. This is full retard. And if someone tells you this ignore them.
When I am in a conditioning phase or trying to drop fat I narrow down lifting to twice a week. And there are times I've matched PR's doing this. This means strength levels are still doing really good. I have never been able to train 3+ times a week while also doing tons of conditioning, and been able to maintain strength. After a while the body is just going to decide what energy source gets precedence. During a lot of hard conditioning, it will be that. So the smart choice is to trim training down to bare minimum levels, and focus on just keeping what you can. Doing a shit ton of lifting during these times makes no sense.
This goes the same for guys who are in a sport. Trim lifting down to twice a week and practice that sport.
Using powerlifting to gain mass -
I had a dope tell me once that "I don't want to do bodybuilding style training for mass, I gain mass on powerlifting training." This asshat hadn't gained any quality weight in years he would later tell me. He just did not like bodybuilding style training. He said he did not feel "athletic" when he did it (WTF does that mean?).
Lower reps will build some mass, but not like medium to high reps as heavy as you can go. It's not even close. Yes, if you are eating a shit ton the scale will move but is it quality? No. I know, I've done it. I've talked to a shit load of guys who have done and we all said the same thing. It's not a good route to go. If you want quality mass you have to eat good and train in a bodybuilding style manner. Go as heavy as you can, with medium to high reps. The guys I find that complain about this the most, are the fat lazy guys that only want to do singles and doubles. There is no real mass to be had there in comparison to what heavy high rep work will do for you.