Why is Fasted Cardio Important??
“On good days,
On bad days,
WHAT IS IT
“Fasted cardio is cardio done in a fasted state.”
Fasted state meaning your body is no longer processing food and insulin levels are at a low.
**This can very depending on the size and composition of the meal.
I often do fasted cardio (well actually always) because I had a rare condition (I used the term 'had' because I do not want to put it out there that I still have it, I believe our words are very powerful and what I say comes true.) Anyways! What it is, it is called 'Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis' and why we think it happened to me was because of eating too soon then doing cardio. So basically for a couple years I had to wait 3 hours after eating before I could do any exercise. Recently I have been waiting one hour and been fine. (That’s usually for lifting) Most often I will try to do my exercise, (running or weights) first thing in the morning - so I am positive my body is in a fasted state.
Ok lets explain a bit about the body first:
The Phosphagen System
This is the energy system in your body that kicks in during the first 10 seconds of all movement.
Primarily used for high intensity
The body relies on stored ATM, creatine and phosphates to generate energy during the first 10 seconds
The Anaerobic System
Utilized for energy during short bouts of intense exercise lasting from 10 seconds to up to 2 minutes.
Used in HIIT
The Aerobic System
After 2 minutes, the body uses oxygen for energy inside the muscular system.
Eg. marathon training/ long distance
Used in LISS
There are lots of ways to get your cardio in!
HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)
This is what I prefer, it’s done so quickly and has amazing effects. I usually do it after my resistance training for about 10-15 minutes. Sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds. Sometimes I start to need 40-60s of rest in between because I literally make myself feel like puking when I sprint. I figure if you're doing it you may as well go all out.
One quote that keeps me motivated is from Will Smith "I would rather die on the treadmill than get off first. Either you're getting off first, or I'm gunna die." So I say this to myself when I'm running at the end of my workout (I'm not running with anyone, but your only competition is yourself right?) So basically I keep going until I'm about to puke. *I never puke though! But often I will look for the nearest garbage justttt incase.
should not be done every day, usually no more than 3x a week because your body needs time to recover
Afterburn Effect: when your body takes several hours post workout to return back to a state of homeostasis.
It has been said you lose fat faster with HIIT cardio.
For example, this study conducted by researchers at the University of Western Ontario found that people lost more fat doing 4 to 6 30-second sprints (with 4-minute rest periods) than 60 minutes of incline treadmill walking.
Increase your metabolic rate up to 24 hours
LOW-INTENSITY STEADY STATE (LISS)
I used to run for 30 minutes at the beginning of my workout then do my resistance training, but once I learnt a bit more about fitness I usually either run outside, or do intervals at the end of my workout. Or I used to go to the gym first thing in the morning during the winter and run for 30 minutes. I usually do at least 30 minutes. 30 minutes on the treadmill but if I'm outside I'll go anywhere from 30 minutes to an an hour and 30 minutes.
I really love running, when I run outdoors it’s not for fitness it's really just a moving meditation for me. That is why I do interval training (thats when I run to increase my fitness levels).
BENEFITS OF FASTED CARDIO
Increase lipolysis (breaking down of fat cells for energy.)
Increase fat oxidation rates (burning of this energy by cells)
Studies show that blood flow in the abdominal region is increased when you’re in a fasted state.
Important because problems with the “stubborn fat” is the reduced blood flow to the area
Increases muscle breakdown rates
Less energy/focused training
I suggest everyone should try HIIT. You don’t necessarily have to run, you can do it on the bike as well. Try whatever works best for you! But once I started to do sprinting intervals is when I really saw a change in my body composition.
ALSO KEEP IN MIND!! This is what has worked best for ME! Everyone is TOTALLY DIFFERENT! Don’t believe everything you read on the internet, try it out and experiment for yourself.
xo, Have fun with it!!