Is Fasted Cardio Right For You?
What if there was a version of that gets fuel straight from your fat sources? Too good to be true? Well, it is true!
There are obviously pros and cons to every style of working out, but for me, weam sold.
What is fasted cardio?
The idea of fasted cardio starts by waking up and going straight to the gym. You do not consume any food before exercising but you are allowed to drink water. we actually encourage you to drink a lot of water while performing fasted cardio.
The whole idea behind not eating before exercising is that your body will utilize its own fat storage since there is no glucose for your body to breakdown and use as energy. You might be thinking how on earth you will have enough energy to workout on an empty stomach but we have found it quite easy. We actually prefer to do cardio right when we wake up. We have the most energy and positive outlook on the day, as well as we feel light from having an empty tummy.
There is no set time limit for fasted cardio but we suggest at least doing 20 minutes to really get into that fat burning zone. Going too long can negatively affect you as well. So staying under an hour is recommended.
Although targeting specific fat storages is not very possible, fasted cardio gives you a better chance of targeting those stubborn fat areas like your thighs, abs, back, and butt. We know personally that fasted cardio in the morning helped me jumpstart burning extra fat though competition prep. Even in the off season we utilize this to help keep off a little bit of extra fat that our body is trying to hold onto.
Now you are probably thinking, well after all the benefits why would we not do fasted cardio instead of regular cardio?
The main problem with fasted cardio is that you run into the risk of burning lean muscle mass. This can easily be avoided by not overdoing the amount of fasted cardio each week and also by keeping a moderate to low intensity.
Let's say that your in the situation where your coach is insisting high intensity fasted cardio 5x a week, an easy remedy would be drinking some BCAA’s and/ or a low carb protein shake. ALWAYS drink BCAA’s before doing fasted cardio. we always use 6AMRun.com BCAA with energy Marathon. If y'all need some, use the code iRun for $5 off your entire order.
The other issue arises when people don’t understand that if you eat the 200 calories you just burned through your day then the net total calories you burned throughout the day are negated. So unless you are using this tool on a strict diet or along with a lifting regimen, it won’t do much good and the weight won’t come off.
Lastly, this is not a quick fix. Adding in extra cardio will always result in weight loss as long as your are in a calorie deficit, but you need to understand this takes weeks of work and patience.
Is fasted cardio right for you?
Fasted cardio is a beneficial tool to utilize especially if you are short for time, but will it specifically help you? You have to look at you fitness goals. Are you trying to build muscle and bulk up or maybe you are trying to lose fat or even tame those thunder thighs.
If you are like me, trying to increase muscle mass while trying to stay at a low body fat %, then this style of cardio helps out. weam able to eat more to fuel my workouts and have higher energy through the day but the 300 calories we burn 5x/ week results in keeping off that sneaky .4lb of fat/ week that would result from cutting out those morning fasted sessions.
For those whom are trying to strictly build muscle mass, fasted cardio will still stress the body but is not necessary. If you feel the need or want to slowly slim down, starting with 20 minutes a few times a week should be beneficial.
Lastly, for those who WANT to get rid of fat my advice to you is to add in fasted cardio in time. Start with a low frequency and maybe add it to one of you off training days. This way you are adding in extra cardio and increasing your overall net calorie expenditure. But as we stated before, DIET trumps all and this needs to be assessed and addressed before trying to cut more calories from adding in extra cardio.
There is no right or wrong as long as you remember what we discussed above about supplementing before working out and gearing it towards your goals. Feel free to use any sort of cardio machine at your own pace for x amount if time!