What is your goal?
Before we start anything, you have sit down and figure out what your overall fitness goal is. Are you trying to get lean, or put on size? Are you training for an actual sport? Figuring out what your goal or purpose for training is important because every individual may need to approach it in a different way. When it comes to fat loss, since it is a fact that you can target the body fat stores easier when doing fasted cardio. It would make sense to attack it this way.
Even thought this makes sense and has even been proven work, we have to keep in mind that when it comes to fat loss, diet is the most important thing. If you burn off 500 calories during a fasted cardio session and all 500 calories come from stored fat, but you decide to go and eat 500 more calories that day than what you’ve burned off over the entire 24-hour period, guess what?
I hate to tell you but you’re right back in the same spot. Yes, are burning more fat during your fasted cardio sessions. That doesn’t mean you will see an automatic net fat loss through out the day. It always comes down to what your meal or diet plan consists of. Some people who are looking to build lean muscle mass will also use fasted cardio because they figure by doing so they are increasing their chances of staying lean as they go about the muscle building process.
Anything that may slow your recovery is going to have an affect on your ability to build muscle. Since you are reading this your main goal is probably building and maintaining muscle. With saying that, you’re most likely going to be putting in extremely hard workouts throughout the week to reach the goal of building muscle, if you aren’t recovering from your workout then you aren’t going to be able to make any progress.
Cardio training is still in the category of exercise and will stress your body, especially when being done in a fasted state. When your main goal is to build muscle, in my humble opinion fasted cardio isn’t needed.
The Loss of Muscle
With this topic one question that is normally asked is will fasted cardio cause the loss of muscle mass. If you’re taking the time out to research on whether you should incorporate fasted cardio into your regimen, mostly likely you go pretty hard in the gym. With saying that, the last thing that you want to do is see your hard work go to waste.
The main thing to know is that if you’re keeping the cardio low to medium intensity there shouldn’t be in any issues with muscle lost. The issues come into play when the intensity of your cardio in a fasted state is dramatically increased. Fasted cardio that is intense is typically a very bad idea anyway, so you’re really best just staying away. If you are worried about lean muscle mass loss while doing fasted cardio, a good idea would be to supplement with 5-10 grams of branched chain amino acids beforehand or during that cardio session.
Understanding The Benefits Of Fasted Cardio
There may actually be more benefits to fasted cardio than you may realize. A majority of people only see the primary benefit which would be the fat burning effect. Even though this is the most benefit, it’s definitely not the only one.
Fasted cardio isn’t just beneficial when it comes to burning body fat but body fat especially in stubborn areas. Especially in women, which includes the hips and thighs. As well as the lower back and abs for men. For some reason these areas of the body are normally resistant to giving up their fat stores. These body parts are normally the very last places that fat will come from.
With that, supplementing with caffeine and yohimbe before doing your low to moderate intensity fasted cardio will boost the levels of catecholamines in the body. This stimulates fat burning enzymes to make fatty acids more available to be burned off.