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Before leaving my old gym a few months ago (see my rant) the owner (a former Mr Europe) and I had a disagreement about cardio.

I do fasted cardio and he pretends that it's useless and not burning more fat than regular cardio before or after your workout while I read years ago that cardio first thing in the morning turns your body into a fat burning machine by increasing the metabolism.

What's your input?

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As far as I remember it, research suggests fasted cardio is good for the short term but is not recommended for long term. But research could have come out since suggesting differently for all I know  

Me personally I don’t do fasted cardio. Not cause I don’t think it doesn’t work, but it’s just my personal preference. I hate empty stomach activity. I’ve never had a problem with losing fat when I’m cutting either, just keep the diet in check and everything works according to plan. 

 

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Sorry for the late reply just saw this...

I have always done fasted cardio and I find it is more effective.  The idea is you want to do cardio (for fat burning not VO2 improvement) when your glycogen stores are lowest.  Why? Because when your glycogen stores are low the cardio will force the body to dip into fat stores much quicker and thus increase efficiency. The two best times for fasted cardio are early morning before breakfast and immediately post workout.  

T

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I do regular cardio and i make fasted cardio in part of my regular. Is that ok? My point is not to burn fat, I do it just for sport and health.

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I'm kind of surprised to the answers in this thread - while I do perform fasted cardio myself, its more for a convenience factor than anything. While the science isn't absolutely amazing (limited number of studies) they have shown that there is virtually no difference between cardio performed in a fasted state vs a fed state. What matters overall in fat loss is energy balance.

See:
Effect of Overnight Fasted Exercise on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
https://www.mdpi.com/2411-5142/2/4/43

 

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5 hours ago, Corey5150 said:

I'm kind of surprised to the answers in this thread - while I do perform fasted cardio myself, its more for a convenience factor than anything. While the science isn't absolutely amazing (limited number of studies) they have shown that there is virtually no difference between cardio performed in a fasted state vs a fed state. What matters overall in fat loss is energy balance.

See:
Effect of Overnight Fasted Exercise on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
https://www.mdpi.com/2411-5142/2/4/43

 

I wonder though, if you throw peptides into the mix, especially those that require a basically sugar/glucose free environment in order to offer max benefit, if that doesn't change the whole playing field.

I'm no expert on them but part of the  protocol for weight loss involving certain peptides involves specifically fasted cardio in order to get the max weight loss benefit, fasting at the very minimum even if not doing the cardio, for 30-45 minutes after injecting the peptides.. And then once you break the fast, say your breakfast for example, focusing on proteins vs carbs/sugars/etc.

 

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Seems over complicated. I mix up my cardio to keep the body guessing. Sometimes its 45mins fasted in the am other times 30mins cardio post workout or 20mins hiit post workout or 45mins pre bed at night. Always different 

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Fasted cardio is extremely efficient and effective however the definition of fasted here is not clearly articulated.  The entire point of fasted cardio is performing cardio in a very low to no glycogen state.  In order for this to occur the subject must already be on a low carb diet and a caloric deficit.  The above study completely misses this point.  Why is fasted cardio more effective? Because if done in the correct context ie the state mentioned above than fat is mobilized as an energy source due to a lack of glycogen.  Fasted cardio done with full glycogen stores or partial glycogen stored is much less effective. Hence the term fasted cardio requires a clear definitions and context. 

 

T

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5 hours ago, tedtrushbodyathletica said:

Fasted cardio is extremely efficient and effective however the definition of fasted here is not clearly articulated.  The entire point of fasted cardio is performing cardio in a very low to no glycogen state.  In order for this to occur the subject must already be on a low carb diet and a caloric deficit.  The above study completely misses this point.  Why is fasted cardio more effective? Because if done in the correct context ie the state mentioned above than fat is mobilized as an energy source due to a lack of glycogen.  Fasted cardio done with full glycogen stores or partial glycogen stored is much less effective. Hence the term fasted cardio requires a clear definitions and context. 

 

T

Here is another that perhaps will delve in a bit deeper to what you mention, Brad Schoenfeld has also discussed this in-depth on many podcasts. 

Body composition changes associated with fasted versus non-fasted aerobic exercise
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4242477/

and in regards to the higher fatty acid mobilization:

"The theoretical basis behind a fat-burning advantage to fasted exercise is predicated on increasing lipid oxidation during training bout. However, this ignores the dynamic nature of the human body, which continually adjusts its use of substrate for fuel. There is evidence that a greater utilization of fat for fuel during a given time period is compensated by a greater carbohydrate utilization later in the day [28]. Hence, fat burning must be considered over the course of days — not on an hour to hour basis — to meaningfully assess its impact on body composition [29]. In support of this contention, Paoli et al. [30] compared differences in 24-hour fat metabolism associated with performance of moderate-intensity cardiovascular treadmill exercise in the fasted versus fed state. Food quantity and quality was identical between conditions over the ensuing 24-hour recovery period. Consumption of breakfast for the fed condition resulted in a significant increase in respiratory exchange ratio (RER) compared to fasting (0.96 vs. 0.84, respectively). However, at 12 hours post-exercise RER was significantly lower in the fed versus fasting condition and the difference remained significant after 24 hours.

Any potential increases in fat oxidation from fasted exercise might be neutralized by an increase in the thermic effect of exercise from eating pre-exercise. Lee et al. [31] compared the acute thermogenic effects of an exercise bout performed in either a fasted state or following ingestion of a glucose/milk (GM) beverage. Employing a within-subject design, 10 male college students performed four experimental conditions in randomized order: low intensity, long duration exercise with GM; low intensity, long duration exercise without GM; high intensity, short duration exercise with GM, and; high intensity, short duration exercise without GM. Results showed that consumption of the GM beverage increased excess post-exercise oxygen consumption to a significantly greater extent than exercise performed while fasted in both high and low intensity conditions. Similar findings have been reported in other controlled trials [32,33]."

Fasted cardio is a very old idea that some people love - and that's cool, because it'll aid in your calorie deficit. But I challenge anyone to add it in at any other time of day and note the difference. All things being equal, results will be the same. 

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Well, here's my .002. 

Science isn't perfect, because everybody is different and responds to training differently.

I do cardio and weightlifting fasted. Started a few years ago, won't ever go back to working out with food in my gut . I respond very well to it. And that's bulking as well. I find that I get a much leaner bulk when working out fasted, and when cutting I find my definition much more defined. 

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1 hour ago, Corey5150 said:

Here is another that perhaps will delve in a bit deeper to what you mention, Brad Schoenfeld has also discussed this in-depth on many podcasts. 

Body composition changes associated with fasted versus non-fasted aerobic exercise
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4242477/

and in regards to the higher fatty acid mobilization:

"The theoretical basis behind a fat-burning advantage to fasted exercise is predicated on increasing lipid oxidation during training bout. However, this ignores the dynamic nature of the human body, which continually adjusts its use of substrate for fuel. There is evidence that a greater utilization of fat for fuel during a given time period is compensated by a greater carbohydrate utilization later in the day [28]. Hence, fat burning must be considered over the course of days — not on an hour to hour basis — to meaningfully assess its impact on body composition [29]. In support of this contention, Paoli et al. [30] compared differences in 24-hour fat metabolism associated with performance of moderate-intensity cardiovascular treadmill exercise in the fasted versus fed state. Food quantity and quality was identical between conditions over the ensuing 24-hour recovery period. Consumption of breakfast for the fed condition resulted in a significant increase in respiratory exchange ratio (RER) compared to fasting (0.96 vs. 0.84, respectively). However, at 12 hours post-exercise RER was significantly lower in the fed versus fasting condition and the difference remained significant after 24 hours.

Any potential increases in fat oxidation from fasted exercise might be neutralized by an increase in the thermic effect of exercise from eating pre-exercise. Lee et al. [31] compared the acute thermogenic effects of an exercise bout performed in either a fasted state or following ingestion of a glucose/milk (GM) beverage. Employing a within-subject design, 10 male college students performed four experimental conditions in randomized order: low intensity, long duration exercise with GM; low intensity, long duration exercise without GM; high intensity, short duration exercise with GM, and; high intensity, short duration exercise without GM. Results showed that consumption of the GM beverage increased excess post-exercise oxygen consumption to a significantly greater extent than exercise performed while fasted in both high and low intensity conditions. Similar findings have been reported in other controlled trials [32,33]."

Fasted cardio is a very old idea that some people love - and that's cool, because it'll aid in your calorie deficit. But I challenge anyone to add it in at any other time of day and note the difference. All things being equal, results will be the same. 

Same issue with this study, fasted isn't defined as low or no glycogen.

 

T

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On 8/31/2019 at 6:49 PM, tedtrushbodyathletica said:

Same issue with this study, fasted isn't defined as low or no glycogen.

 

T

Wouldn't that have been implied being on a diet thats a calorie deficit and also being fasted? Unless you're implying everyone who does fasted cardio, or at least those who are doing so effectively are testing BG levels prior? Because I can 100% guarantee thats not the case. 

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On 8/30/2019 at 3:22 PM, Francis "Frank" Castle said:

I wonder though, if you throw peptides into the mix, especially those that require a basically sugar/glucose free environment in order to offer max benefit, if that doesn't change the whole playing field.

I'm no expert on them but part of the  protocol for weight loss involving certain peptides involves specifically fasted cardio in order to get the max weight loss benefit, fasting at the very minimum even if not doing the cardio, for 30-45 minutes after injecting the peptides.. And then once you break the fast, say your breakfast for example, focusing on proteins vs carbs/sugars/etc.

 

This being an exception to the rule, I believe yes - BUT I wouldn't say its the fasted cardio doing the extra work, its the drugs you've added with specific timing. 

I went through many preps believing fasted cardio was the be all end all - my original coach had a very old school approach, and this was a fundamental aspect for him. And its not to say it doesn't work - because I was lean and placed well in my shows. BUT what most people don't think about is the detrimental effect that sacrificing sleep can have on your recovering ability. Working with larger name coaches where they stress much more on recovery and training performance - you'll not only retain more strength and muscle throughout a prep... but you'll find the change in cardio won't make a difference. Because you'll still be in a calorie deficit. 

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6 hours ago, Corey5150 said:

This being an exception to the rule, I believe yes - BUT I wouldn't say its the fasted cardio doing the extra work, its the drugs you've added with specific timing. 

I went through many preps believing fasted cardio was the be all end all - my original coach had a very old school approach, and this was a fundamental aspect for him. And its not to say it doesn't work - because I was lean and placed well in my shows. BUT what most people don't think about is the detrimental effect that sacrificing sleep can have on your recovering ability. Working with larger name coaches where they stress much more on recovery and training performance - you'll not only retain more strength and muscle throughout a prep... but you'll find the change in cardio won't make a difference. Because you'll still be in a calorie deficit. 

Interesting.

I know all about the effects of the lack of sleep and even more importantly the right kind of sleep, as I suffer from a lack of restorative sleep. My wife is still on the peptides we started on but I've bailed already and even though I did see positive effect, at 3 weeks in I was already having to start jacking the doses to maintain the effect, one of which was a much better nights sleep. My wife started on a lower dose and it has helped her start losing weight again after being stuck for about 3 months with no loss so she's happy and I'll let her finish out the cycle/product we have remaining.

I'm thinking that I am going to move to straight up GH (dunno how the F I'll swing the $$) or MK-677 to try and get the HGH boost that was improving my sleep. My weight is 100% a factor of my activity level so if I can get better sleep, then more energy, then more work-out, then more endurance, then the activty level is up up up and the weight comes down down down. Always been that way for me. Even just in the 3 weeks since we started the peptides I have dropped more weight in addition that that that was dumped after getting back on Test. I avoid the scale like the plague as I know that I am losing but also putting on muscle and I don't want to be discouraged by the appearace of having lost less weight from the muscle adding it on. The wife got me on the scale a while ago though after a thorough brow beating session lol, and before the peptides, just after 6 weeks back on the Test, I had dumped 35 pounds which I was pretty happy about as I know it realistically was more given the muscle I have put on.

@Corey5150 Really appreciate your insight here...thanks much!

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On 9/3/2019 at 9:07 AM, Corey5150 said:

Wouldn't that have been implied being on a diet thats a calorie deficit and also being fasted? Unless you're implying everyone who does fasted cardio, or at least those who are doing so effectively are testing BG levels prior? Because I can 100% guarantee thats not the case. 

No it would not be implied because one could be dieting via carb cycling and thus could potentially be in a state with moderate to higher glycogen stores.  On the other hand someone running a ketogenic diet would definitely be very low glycogen and thus led to greater usage of fat for fuel in the absence of glycogen.  The study does not specify which type of diet was being used or the level of glycogen depletion.

T

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6 hours ago, tedtrushbodyathletica said:

No it would not be implied because one could be dieting via carb cycling and thus could potentially be in a state with moderate to higher glycogen stores.  On the other hand someone running a ketogenic diet would definitely be very low glycogen and thus led to greater usage of fat for fuel in the absence of glycogen.  The study does not specify which type of diet was being used or the level of glycogen depletion.

T

The study did lay out the diet - the macro percentage were as follows: P/C/F - 24/49/27... did you even look at it? Clearly not keto and no mention of carb cycling. And I'm sorry, for a trained person I don't think 150g of carbs daily is putting anyone into a state of higher glycogen stores. 

I understand you're clearly passionate about your viewpoint, but you also haven't given anything to back it up other than anecdotal evidence. 

Anyway, I hope anyone reading this thread does something I promote to ANYONE interested in the sport of bodybuilding and that is to do your research. Don't listen to any one persons viewpoint, collect data and formulate your own. There's a million ways to get there, and whether you enjoy fasted cardio or do it before bed - just get it done. And most importantly enjoy the journey.

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49 minutes ago, Corey5150 said:

The study did lay out the diet - the macro percentage were as follows: P/C/F - 24/49/27... did you even look at it? Clearly not keto and no mention of carb cycling. And I'm sorry, for a trained person I don't think 150g of carbs daily is putting anyone into a state of higher glycogen stores. 

I understand you're clearly passionate about your viewpoint, but you also haven't given anything to back it up other than anecdotal evidence. 

Anyway, I hope anyone reading this thread does something I promote to ANYONE interested in the sport of bodybuilding and that is to do your research. Don't listen to any one persons viewpoint, collect data and formulate your own. There's a million ways to get there, and whether you enjoy fasted cardio or do it before bed - just get it done. And most importantly enjoy the journey.

Thank you for pointing out the generalized macros used as they completely reinforce my point. My suggestions of diet type ie carb cycling or keto were suggestions of examples that could alter the outcome not directed at what the study actually instituted,  150g of carbs daily for a woman is definitely in the moderate range and depending on the individual would generally lead to plenty of glycogen storage.  In no way would any of the subjects be in a low glycogen state.  So i will repeat myself that the study does not address the point of fasted cardio being more efficient due to very low glycogen levels.  AND the study clearly states that all subjects were not employing resistance training so if you are going to apply this to bodybuilding than it would be more accurate to have the subjects employ resistance training as this would alter glycogen levels. 

My point from the start was that fasted cardio is presumably more effective due to the increased use of fat as fuel when in a very low state of glycogen storage. If you want to talk bodybuilding application than again this study fails as all subjects were untrained so not very applicable.  I am sure you can dig up many less than applicable studies however I would love to see one done on resistance trained individuals comparing fasted and non fasted cardio performed on a state of moderate glycogen storage vs extremely low glycogen storage.  If you want I will back up my passionate view point with 25+ years of training hundreds of clients using a variety of diet plans from keto to carb cycling and cardio being performed in both fasted and non fasted states with both extremely low glycogen levels and moderate glycogen levels.  That being said I can definitely say that in the individuals I worked with fasted cardio performed with very low glycogen levels was more effective then fasted cardio performed with moderate glycogen levels. 

However my original point was and still remains that the study does not address the point of doing fasted cardio from a BB perspective.

 

T

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On 9/3/2019 at 8:59 AM, Lionsfan4 said:

I got the leanest I ever was while doing fasted cardio.  

Same here. That and I feel more comfortable doing my AM cardio fasted. 

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On 8/30/2019 at 5:49 AM, Corey5150 said:

I'm kind of surprised to the answers in this thread - while I do perform fasted cardio myself, its more for a convenience factor than anything. While the science isn't absolutely amazing (limited number of studies) they have shown that there is virtually no difference between cardio performed in a fasted state vs a fed state. What matters overall in fat loss is energy balance.

 

This 100%

Many of these 'fads' take a microscopic view of specific processes while ignoring the overall (macroscopic) picture. If youre interested in the latter, look up 'law of conservation of energy' and go from there.

When energy balance is on point fasted cardio will work and non-fasted cardio will work - whatever you prefer. What also works is cutting back the 300-500 calories from your diet in the first place and skipping the agonizing hour of low intensity wanting-to-stick-a-fork-in-your-eye cardio and doing something useful with your life. 😃

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