Today in August 26, 2013 and today marks 2 months to my 2nd ever fitness competition or just under 9 weeks out.
It also marks the introduction of steady state cardio into my plan.
If you read this post you’ll understand that I really was trying to avoid lots of low intensity steady state cardio or LISS because 1) I find it boring and somewhat painful and 2) it can be just as damaging to your metabolism as decreasing your calories.
Unfortunately I am not losing weight, so the planned 1 LISS cardio session a week has been upped to 2. HIITs will still be performed 3 times per week though!
This morning I decided to do some fasted cardio, which in case you don’t know, is all the rage amongst bodybuilders. Unfortunately many people get prescribed this but don’t really know why they are doing it. So being me with the Eat Clean, Train Dirty, Think Nerdy mindset, I did the research.
There are mixed views on fasted cardio, but the reason for doing it are:
- Exercising in a fasted state means that your glucose stores are at there lowest point in the day, therefore it is easier to burn through those stores and start burning fat stores sooner than if you had to burn though 40 grams worth or carbs from breakfast.
- Being in a fasted state also means that your insulin levels are low which will improve your bodies ability to process fat for energy. Insulin is the enzyme that stores fat, and it is also anabolic. It’s pretty hard to access fat stores directly when there is a lot of insulin present.
The main draw backs of fasted cardio are that it can break down your lean muscle mass and you can lose some of those hard earned muscles! Obviously that is not what we want. Thankfully, you can take steps to minimize the muscle loss while still reaping the rewards of the fat loss. Taking 5-10 grams of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) will allow your body to use the BCAAs from your supplement instead of from your muscles while you work out and minimize the muscle damage. You should also only workout at a moderate intensity for not longer than 1 hour for the best results. High intensity training while fasted can do a lot of damage to the muscles AND can be dangerous with the potential to make you feel nauseous or faint.
Hopefully with the extra cardio my body will finally drop some weight. I am making some visible progress, but I’d like it to come a little faster. If you want to follow my progress you can check out my instagram @otgfitness