I was sitting around and asked some friends their opinion on what I should write about. One of their responses was fasted cardio. Not a bad idea, I thought. I am a fan of food and making sure the body is fueled for what it is that it needs to do. I am also of the mindset from my military days that your body should be able to perform in a less than optimally fueled state.
We prepared for this type of training in the Army daily. Waking up to run anywhere from 2-6 miles 3 times a week. Or, marching 12 miles 2-3 times/yr with limited food and little sleep. We were ready for amything and for the most part a lot of us were very lean.
The body is a system of patterns. It likes to stick with what works. It needs to be forced to change from it’s set patterns but once it learns a new pattern it will adjust the system so that is it’s new normal.
So what is fasted cardio?
It’s a fat loss training method in which you fast at least 4 hours some time during the day then you go workout. This decreases the glycogen stores in you liver(note: glycogen can also be stored in your muscle fibers and kidneys) so that you are not utilizing glucose for your primary source of energy during exercise. This forces your body to utilize fat as the energy source to carry you through the workout. Fat is a longer energy store than glucose which is accessed quicker but also burns faster than fat.
Pros of fasted cardio.
- You burn fat quickly
- Commonly a quick result to fat loss goals
- Anybody can do it
Cons of fasted cardio:
- Intensity may suffer
- May not be necessary for people with higher body fat percentage
- If your looking to gain strength and size may not be for you
These are just a few of each and you could potentially name more. However, overall if you are looking to lose fat in a relatively quick manner. This is a good way to make that happen. If you are thinking of starting using this as a part of your program here are a few things for you to consider:
- Do you eat enough? While fasting at the beginning of the day before a workout accomplishes the goal of fat loss. You still need to fuel yourself throughout the rest of the day.
- Do you lack the energy during the session? If so, maybe you need to eat a little prior to exercise to get you going. This is fine, you will still burn fat, you just require the energy to get through the session so your intensity doesn’t suffer(Intensity is going to help with your fat loss goal).
- Consistency. As with anything consistency is key, this doesn’t mean everyday but on a consistent basis. As stated earlier, the body is a system of patterns.
Fasted cardio is of benefit for fat loss and if it’s something your interested in. I always say you can do anything for 30 days. Give a try and see how you feel. If you like it, keep it. If not, take it away. The biggest point is that you are moving. If you start there then eventually you will get where you need to be.
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