Is fasted cardio right for you? Here’s what you should know!

The past week I have implemented fasted cardio into my morning routine. Fasted cardio is still pretty new to me which is why I wanted to research and write a small article about it. As with any kind of fitness and exercise what works for one person might not work for another. You won’t know if it works for you unless you try, right?

So, what is fasted cardio?

Fasted cardio is simply cardio that is performed in the morning right after you wake up on an empty stomach. The goal here is for your body to use its fat stores as energy instead of food as energy just like f you were to perform cardio after a meal.

Studies have shown that fasted cardio can promote greater fat loss when performed properly.

What you should know:

  • Fasted cardio is proven to target stubborn body fat stores.
  • Fasted cardio is heavily dependent on your diet.
  • This form of cardio should be kept to a moderate intensity to avoid the loss of lean muscle mass.
    • If you are concerned about losing lean muscle mass, supplement with 5 – 10 grams of branched chain amino acids or a scoop of whey protein before your cardio session.
  • Supplementing with yohimbe or caffeine will improve your overall results during fasted cardio.
  • Fasted cardio, when performed at a low – moderate intensity, is safe to perform daily.
  • When deciding if you should or shouldn’t incorporate fasted cardio into your fitness regimen, assess what your overall fitness goals are. Before starting fasted cardio, make sure that your diet is in check. If you start fasted cardio and your diet is off … you more than likely won’t get the results you’re looking for.

Hopefully this information will help you decide whether or not fasted cardio is right for you. If you don’t think this type of cardio is for you check out my other blog post on other types of cardio!

http://fitlifemk.com/2015/06/17/5-types-of-fat-shredding-cardio/

Has anyone ever performed fasted cardio?

If you have, please share what you think about it!

Does it work for you? What do you like or dislike about it?

-mk

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Why you should incorporate weight-training into your fitness regimen!

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There are many reasons why you should incorporate weight lifting into your fitness regimen. Weight lifting is not only beneficial when it comes to aesthetics but it also helps ward off disease, relieve stress, and blast away belly fat! You don’t have to hit the gym hard like the hulk to gain the benefits of weight lifting. By incorporating as little as 30 minutes of weight training a day you will be able to lose the weight and keep the muscle! (Something a treadmill can’t offer).

Below is a list of a few of the benefits of incorporating weight training into your fitness regimen!

  1. Constant calorie burn following training
    • For up to 36 hours after your weight training session, your metabolism remains high allowing your body to keep burning calories.

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  1. Long – term metabolic increase
    • Weight training allows for the growth of lean muscle mass. Lean muscle is what serves as a fire to burn calories and fat in the body.
    • Naturally for women it is more difficult to gain muscle where men can easily gain lean muscle mass allowing them to consume more food.
    • Lean muscle boosts your basal metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories when lying or sitting still). In other words, the more lean muscle you have on your body the higher this rate will be, resulting in a higher amount of calories to be burned over a 24 hour period.

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  1. Body Re-shaping
    • Unlike cardio training, weight training allows you to change the overall look of your body.
    • Cardio will help you lose weight but it will be a combo of a loss in fat AND muscle. You will lose weight but you will also lose the natural curves of your body.
    • Weight training allows you to melt away fat AND build upon these natural curves
    • Ladies, there is a common misconception that lifting weights, especially heavier weights, will cause you to look bulky or too muscular. This is simply not accurate because women do NOT produce enough testosterone naturally to support a large amount of muscularity.

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Conclusion:       

The health benefits differ between cardio and weight lifting. Cardio provides great cardiovascular training resulting in warding off high blood pressure, heart and cardiovascular disease. Weight lifting not only strengthens bones but allows your body to continue burning fat even after your training session. I believe a fitness regimen that makes room for both weight lifting AND cardio is the perfect plan of action.

-mk

5 Types of Fat Shredding Cardio

First let me say that I am not one of those religious cardio bunnies you see sweating their life away for an hour on the treadmill. Unless you’re main goal is to shred tons of fat, and even then it’s questionable, I don’t feel like steady state cardio is as much of a necessity as weight lifting; but everyone is different. However, I do believe that various types of cardio or cardiovascular training are extremely important about 5 days a week. Cardio keeps your heart strong and healthy and also keeps your body fat down.

Below is a list of five different types of cardio and what they can do for your body!

  1. Steady State Training

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  • Involves training at the same workload OR the same speed & level for an extended period of time ranging from about 20 minutes to 60 minutes.
  • Steady state cardio is constant; there are no moments of rest.
  • Steady state cardio will burn fat AND muscle. Those of you more focused on building muscle might want to avoid steady state training.
  • An example would be jogging at speed level 7 for 30 minutes on a treadmill or using the Stairmaster at level 4 for 30 minutes.
  • This type of cardio training is great for all fitness levels especially beginners.
  1. HIIT: High Intensity Interval training (my favorite!)hiit
  • HIIT requires you to train at a high level for a short period of time followed by a relaxed recovery period.
  • The switch from a higher intensity to a lower intensity really heats things up and confuses the body.
  • This type of training is great for all fitness levels.
  • For those of you who are focused on burning fat without eating away at the muscle you have worked so hard to build, I would recommend utilizing HIIT. It allows the body to burn fat while holding on to muscle.
  • An example would be training on theStairmaster beginning at level 4 for the first 4 minutes. Bump it up 2 levels to level 6 for 2 minutes. Bump it up 2 more levels to level 8 for 2 minutes then bump it up to level 9 for the last-minute. Repeat this process 1 – 2 more times to complete the training sequence.
    • You can adjust levels/speeds to your fitness level. Beginners may start at level 3 instead of 4.
  1. Fartlek Training – My brother introduced me to this type of cardio training after he received his PT certification.

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  • Fartlek training is very similar to HIIT.
  • Traditional Fartlek training is unstructured and is performed by surging from one landmark to another.
  • It can also be structured. What I mean by that is you can train by determining what speed and time to perform at; basically creating a routine.
  • This type of training is very demanding, therefore is recommended for people who are experienced with running and fitness.
  • For more information on Fartlek training and sample Fartlek training workouts click the link below.

http://running.competitor.com/2012/03/training/workout-of-the-week-fartlek-session_49932

  1. Circuit Training or Super Circuit Trainingdeadlift
  • Traditional circuit training involves rotating through pre-determined exercises for a certain amount of time or rounds.
  • Super Circuit Training is aerobic training that involves a combination of anaerobic exercises like resistance training with short periods of cardio.
  • An example of this would be to perform 3 minutes on the treadmill followed by 1 minute of squats then immediately performing 3 minutes on the elliptical followed by 1 minute of leg presses, so on and so forth.
  • This type of training is perfect for those of you trying to squeeze maximum training into a short period of time.
  • Super Circuit training is also great for those of you competing in anesthetic competitions like body building. It allows you to burn the fat without wasting precious muscle mass.
  1. Cross Trainingcrosstraining
  • When I do decide to train cardio, I am a huge fan of cross training. I get bored easily so I like to switch it up to keep my motivation high.
  • Cross training is simply switching from different cardio machines remaining on one machine for a certain amount of time and then switching to another for a certain amount of time.
  • An example of this type of training would be performing 10 minutes on the treadmill, switch to 10 minutes on the arc trainer, and then 10 minutes on the stationary bike.
  • You can also choose to switch machines each day: stationary bike one day, treadmill the next day, etc.

Frequency, Duration, & Intensity

  • 3 – 5 sessions a week is recommended
  • 20 – 60 minute sessions
  • 55% – 90% of your max heart rate

These numbers can change. We aren’t robots therefore we are not all the same and do not require the same times, intensities, and frequencies. Consult with your doctor or personal trainer to determine what your body needs.

Not one type of cardio is better than the other though each one yields very different results. When determining which type of cardio training is best for you I recommend utilizing one that you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy cardio at all HIIT or Super Circuit Training might be right up your ally. If you are a book-worm and don’t mind reading while doing steady state cardio then by all means give it a whirl!

You need to find the type of physical activity you enjoy doing to keep your body and mind as healthy as possible. If you don’t enjoy it, do you think you’ll be motivated to do it 3 – 5 times a week? My guess is probably not; I wouldn’t.

Be healthy. Be happy.

-mk