Fasted cardio is one of the many methods used when it comes to weight loss and is often employed by many professional bodybuilders and physique competitors when it’s time to get their body show ready. Even when Arnold was in his prime he did fasted cardio every morning especially when he needed to get to low body fat percentages for the Mr Olympia. The thinking behind this set up is that if you go straight to the gym before you consume any calories and get your normal cardio routine in like you would normally do after your workout, the energy needed for that cardio will be the fat on your body instead of utilising the glucose in your system since you have none because you didn’t eat anything.
Does It Actually Burn Fat ?
The short answer is yes, but there is a whole lot more to it… You see fasted cardio is effective because as you sleep your body stops using the carbohydrate stores for fuel and starts assembling fat for fuel. Furthermore it doesn’t only use more fats, but also more amino acids because your body breaks down amino acids into glucose overnight. So if your goal is to build muscle fasted cardio isn’t really ideal since it will use fat and potentially amino acids as fuel.
Fasted Cardio And Muscle Loss
One question that always seems to come up is that if fasted cardio uses amino acids as fuel will it lead to muscle loss ? well yes and no, yes only for when you do higher intensity forms of cardio such as HIIT cardio and no for any kind of cardio that is low to moderate intensity.
Benefits Of Fasted Cardio
- Fasted cardio doesn’t only have the benefit of helping you burn more fat, but it also targets the areas where most of your fat is stored like your belly/love handles for men and hips/thighs for women. If you have ever tried to lose weight you should know that these areas of the body tend to be the very last place your fat will come off from.
- Furthermore, fasted training can also boost you levels of Vo2. V02 is “the maximum or optimum rate at which the heart, lungs and muscles can effectively use oxygen during exercise, it is used as a way of measuring a person’s individual aerobic capacity”.
- Another benefit is that the leaner you are the more effective fasted cardio will be for you. When men have a body fat percentage of anything lower than 7% and for females anything lower than 15%, fasted cardio will be more effective and you will burn even more fat. If you have a higher body fat than of those just listed then you should probably try HIIT cardio instead after your workout.
To sum up fasted cardio definitely helps you burn more fat among many other benefits, but if your goal is to build max muscle then it is best for you to eat something light with high protein and moderate carbs (e.g. protein shake and some fruit) before the workout. If you’ve ever tried fasted cardio before, let us know how effective it was for you and if you have anymore questions about fasted cardio leave a comment below.