Question: Fasted cardio...worth it? If your schedule permitted and your main goal at the time was fat loss, would you do some of your prowler work/hill sprints in the morning on an empty stomach?
Answer: I think it's a nice gimmick - if you are so fat and awful that you need to resort to that to make you burn fat, you might want to reassess your training. Having said that, training in the morning is a necessity for a lot of people and I couldn't do hill sprints or prowler work with food in my stomach. THUS - it would be fasted but not because of the Fat Guru Voodoo that they do. I always prefer to have some protein in my system. Real food is first choice but shakes when that's not possible or it's too close to training time.
People don't lose fat because they do fasted cardio - they do it because they are dedicated enough to wake up every morning and do something. If they do that, chances are they are making other life decisions that are healthy. Like the study that says people who drink 2 or more cups of green tea/day are less likely to get cancer or heart disease. If you are drinking green tea twice/day, you probably aren't the kind of person that eats a pound of Sausalito's and Bugle's at every meal. So in short - run when you can. If that be when the sun is rising so be it. At the end of the day, or more precisely the end of a lifetime, what matters is the total work you put in, not what time you do it. At some point, I hope that people use more common sense in regards to training than trying to turn to gimmicks for the answer.
Reader comment on fat loss, 5/3/1 and fasted cardio:
I read an article on Alwyn Cosgrove’s site that stated that in fact doing cardio fasted resulted in LESS calorie burn, both 12 and 24 hours after exercising. ( A link was provided but it has since expired.)
Like you, I can’t run on a full stomach. Not distance, anyway. As an ex fat kid (410lb. into my mid 20s, 180lb. now at 35) who lost 200lb.+ in a little over 30 months through both diet and cardio (walking, then running), I can confirm your thoughts about the types of people up at the crack of dawn hitting the pavement, a grassy hill or even a treadmill. It takes dedication, maybe even a little touch of crazy, but those of us who get up day in and day out to pay our dues, we’re not stressing over do I run fasted? Do I eat? We just get it done.
On a side note, I have to thank you for 5/3/1, especially the full body version I came across recently. Look, I lost a lot of weight, and that was a big accomplishment. I got into ultra distances, basically just kicked some ass on the road. But I was weak. I looked sickly. Then I got cancer, struggled for a time, but recovered, and decided I wanted to do things a little differently. I started with Starting Strength, but graduated into the body-weight version of 5/3/1. I kicked the distance running, started hill sprinting, and got strong for the first time in my life. It’s been under 1 year and my squat went from under 200lb. to 445lb., my deadlift, right behind that, and a bench and military press coming in at 265lb. and 175lb. respectively. Not bad for a guy who last year (post-cancer) weighed in at about 150lb. at 6’. Right now I’m using your full body template along with 100m sprint training. I couldn’t shake the running bug. I love it too much, but I love being strong. 100m sprinters are badasses on the track and in the weight room, and even though I seemed geared more for distance, I had gained the confidence to man the f- up and just do it.
I may never be a great sprinter, but damn, I feel good, look better, and I’m strong. Period. I owe a lot of that to getting your ebook, embracing your no-nonsense, N.O.V. attitude towards training, hell, life, and apart from that, the vast network of support offered by the strength training community I found through your work. So again, thanks.
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