Guest Blogger: Roni Davis tackles FASTED CARDIO!

Guest Blogger Roni Davis on RunningKatTalesSo, Kat asked me how beneficial and safe it was to do fasted cardio. I laughed because it’s SUCH a controversial subject. I’ve read some fairly heated debates from some of the top pros in the industry arguing both sides with points that are all really compelling. Below, I’ll provide a link to one of my favorites but if you’re not interested in reading a lot about the science behind it, the two basic schools of thought are as follows:

Pros: Proponents say that you will burn more fat than if you eat beforehand.

Your body stores glycogen to use as its preferred source of fuel during exercise. The idea behind fasted cardio is that your glycogen stores would be somewhat depleted first thing in the morning after fasting overnight. Having less glycogen available to use as fuel, it would switch and use fat stores as its next source of fuel, allowing for a greater amount of actual fat being burned.

The key to this being successful seems to be that the intensity level of the exercise stays in the low to moderate range. When your body exercises at a low intensity, it uses more fat than carbohydrate.

Cons: Opponents say you’re burning less calories and that it’s a recipe for muscle wasting.

Because the work is easier, you’re not burning as many overall calories so you’d have to work for a longer period of time than if you were training hard. You shouldn’t run sprints or do some other high-intensity exercise as the lack of glycogen in your system wouldn’t allow for it. This makes it a definite no-no if you’re training for a race, endurance event, etc. It’s also said that all fasted cardio manages to do is burn off muscle, rather than fat.

My take is that like most things, there are no absolutes. If you spend some time looking, there are studies to support both theories.

The bottom line for me? I train with a team of the most perfect bodies in the world and most do some form of fasted cardio or another first thing in morning. That’s good enough to convince me …when done properly and depending on your goals, of course!

How’s that for a clear as mud answer?

Click to read more on this subject!

Is it beneficial (or safe) to workout on an empty stomach?

Watch this.

Would fasting before a workout help Fat Bastard?So, for as long as I can remember, I have always been advised that in order to have a good workout, you must eat before and after. However, this morning when I accidentally caught some of the Marilyn Denis Show (usually boring; don’t really like it), I happened to catch this segment that focused on not gaining weight during the holidays.

First, it annoyed me given my post the other day about enjoying the holidays and not stressing about it. Seriously? 17% more fat? Who cares. And besides, I already know how miserable I feel if I haven’t had enough before a long run or workout – HEADACHE city! But second, it contradicted everything I knew to be true on fuelling up before a workout. So obviously, it prompted me to start the research from both perspectives. I checked out the Livestrong site because they usually have pretty good info. Here is what they said:

“Exercising on an empty stomach may not appeal to everyone, but it seems to have some positive effects on fat burning. If you don’t load up on carbohydrates for quick energy before a workout, it makes sense that you would be pulling energy from your fat stores. Still, the approach is a little controversial and the jury is still out on whether it actually benefits athletic performance.” That’s good enough for me and I could have stopped there but I thought I might as well keep going to see ALL sides.

The site also touched on training low, competing high, which refers to the idea of doing some workouts in a carbohydrate-depleted state, then racing or competing with a full supply of carbohydrates. Initial research claims that this technique enhances fat-burning and other metabolic responses. 

Here are the advantages and disadvantages as I’ve found online:

ADVANTAGES:

  • It can prevent weight gain
  • It can maintain insulin sensitivity
  • A study published in the November 2010 “Journal of Physiology” found that exercising before breakfast has a protective effect on a bad diet.

DISADVANTAGES:

  • You can’t train as hard or fast without having more fuel to rely on.
  • It’s possible that you could increase your risk of illness or injury by exercising in a depleted state.
  • Exercise on an empty stomach can increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue.
  • If you don’t have enough energy to make it through the work out, what’s the point?

Finally, after consulting the crazy body building forums to see what the real muscly people have to say, it seems that they’ve tried both and haven’t seen much of a difference in either.

What do you think?

YES – This is a great idea! Fast, fast, fast and feel the burn. vs. NO! Are you high? This is a terrible idea!

Personally, I’d be willing to try it but I feel confident in saying that since running is a real mental game for me, I’d probably convince myself that I don’t have enough fuel to run, and then quit – which would defeat the purpose!

Day 94: cross training… and TRX… @TricoCentre

Precor Elliptical at the Trico Centre - beauty! Today was technically a rest day, however, since I didn’t have a super successful training week last week, I decided that I should head over to the gym and give the new equipment a test run. All I that I really need to say is, AMAZING.

But you know me and my love for rambling. So here I go. I felt like I was transported to the future. EVERY piece of cardio equipment had it’s own TV! No more fighting with the old people for the remote. No more watching frickin’ soaps. No more watching the news, on repeat. There were so many treadmills and ellipticals – I felt like walking by each one with my arms out. Touching them to make sure they were real. And when I finally got to my machine I almost forgot I was exercising because I was staring at all the new stuff in awe.

I did make one suggestion and left it in the comment box. The cardio equipment is now facing a Studio and a gigantic wall (with a super weird paint job). My thoughts were that they should paint some inspirational quotes on the wall to compliment the new, fantastic equipment. Seriously. All you need are some good stencils and someone who isn’t afraid of heights, and without shaky hands. Heck, I’d even do it, if they went through with it.

Think about it: you’re having a particularly crappy day. The last thing you want to do is exercise. You do not want to be at the gym. But you sign up for your machine. Walk on over to it (without even looking around). Punch a few buttons. Start moving. But then you look up… and this is what you see:

Trico Centre Inspiration Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C’mon. Isn’t that brilliant? There is a ton of wall space. They could find motivational quotes from every which way. I know it would keep me motivated. They could even have a contest. Or do some research and get some local athletes up there. Maybe have some kids quotes? I was sort of thinking how the Markin MacPhail Centre has things laid out – I mean, they’ve got pictures of athletes but it would be much better (in my opinion) to have words. Or maybe a combination.

Anyway, okay, some times I over think things. Back to the workout. I did about 15 minutes on the elliptical and about 15 minutes or so of TRX. I don’t know how sore I’ll be tomorrow (I went pretty easy on myself). I did make a mental note to get together a really good TRX work out that I can do on my own. Have to do some research tonight!

Anyway, hope everyone is happy and healthy out there.

Again, HUGE kudos to the Trico Centre for getting 45 beautiful new pieces of equipment in there – we’re lucky to have such a superb facility almost literally on our doorstep 🙂 Thank you!