The amount of effort we put in daily to improve our physiques far supersedes what most in the general public could even comprehend. The daily thrashing in the weight room, the countless meals we prepare and eat and all of the therapies we utilize to keep our muscles and structure strong is extremely time consuming to say the least. The other factor that plays a huge role in our progress and can also eat up a tremendous amount of time is cardio. This necessary evil should be an extremely important part of any great training program, regardless of the time of year you’re in, and when utilized correctly and at the right time, will help keep you lean, mean and above all else, healthy. For the purposes of body fat loss, the preferred method is what’s known as fasted cardio. This means it is performed on an empty stomach, prior to consuming any food or drink (other than water) and could be the catalyst for improving your body composition. If you aren’t already doing this, here are 3 great reasons you should consider including it into your program.
You Feel Lighter when Performing It
No one wants to feel heavy and sluggish when performing cardio or struggle with digesting food and an unsettled stomach when employing the necessary level of intensity on a treadmill. When you go about your cardio in a fasted state, you will feel much lighter, more agile and more willing to go harder and for a longer period of time. Sure, you might feel some hunger but this will quickly subside as you get deeper into your session. The other thing you’ll notice, and this could be purely psychological, is that you actually feel like what you’re doing is so much better than anything else you could be doing simply due to the fact that in the absence of feeling lethargic, your movements feel easy and incredibly efficient. The outcome of that thought is motivation to see the session through to its end because you know it’s working.
Burns Fat at an Incredible Rate
The best time to burn fat, and this has been proven time and time again, is first thing in the morning after you have been fasting all night while sleeping. The amount of time it takes to start pulling from fat stores in the body to burn as energy is significantly cut down and at the same time, you’re taking advantage of heightened natural growth hormone levels in the body, which can play a tremendous role in the fat burning process. This strategy, coupled with proper nutrition and training, will be the key to expediting fat loss more so than any other cardio work that you could employ. Second to this, would be performing your cardio directly after weight training. Your workout will have used up the calories you’ve consumed to fuel your weight training, leaving you in a depleted state, which then would be an optimal time to burn fat once again. You may only have to use one of these strategies, or both, to get you to your desired level of body fat. Either way, both strategies work very well.
If you’ve ever engaged in a true contest prep bodybuilding type of diet, you know how quickly your body can digest the food you’re eating leaving you feeling like you’re starved a half hour after you’ve eaten. When changes need to be made in the process, the last thing anyone wants to do is decrease food consumption, which is why my preference is to be able to keep eating the same or more the deeper into prep, and let the cardio take care of the fat loss. When you perform fasted cardio, this ramps up your metabolism, which will allow you to consume more calories without the worry of getting into a surplus that will halt your progress. If you want to avoid the hunger pangs commonly associated with a contest diet, keep your food intake the same and just do more fasted cardio.
Here's the things guys, fasted cardio is your best bet for fat loss yet so many of us don’t have the time to do it first thing in the morning because of other commitments. If this is the case, do it after your workout, like mentioned above, so you can still get similar benefits as when performed in the morning. If fat loss is a priority, it has to be done and should be completed in a pair of Heyday Footwear Super Freaks. Science has shown a 56% increase in fat loss when fasted cardio is performed in this shoe so why wait, get yours now!
*all scientific claims have no actual basis to them and are purely for entertainment value only
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.