Have you been working out for a while and yet feel like you’re in a rut with your weight loss? Adding a little fasted cardio to your routine each week may help you reach your goals a bit faster. What is fasted cardio though? Here are 3 things you should know before starting a fasted cardio routine.
1. Timing and Frequency Fasted cardio should be performed on an empty stomach first thing in the morning before eating breakfast. If you are fairly new at this, I would recommend starting this regimen 1-2 times per week for 15-20 minutes per session. This is a great place to start and build a good foundation. As you become more accustom to this, you can increase frequency to 3-4 days per week up to 45 minutes per session.
2. Heart Rate and Intensity When preforming fasted cardio, it is imperative to keep your heart rate in a moderate zone (130-140 bpm). This is important because when doing fasted cardio, you don’t have any food in your system (hence the word fasted) and if your heart rate goes above this range, you start to go in to a catabolic state meaning you burn muscle instead of fat. I recommend you get a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate since I have found not many cardio machines are accurate on detecting heart rate.
I personally use the Polar Loop and Polar M400 with the heart rate monitor strap. You can find those HERE .
3. Amino Acids (BCAAs) Taking aminos acids is also very important with fasted cardio. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; they help build, maintain, and repair all muscle. There are two types – pill and powder. If you decide to take the pill form, you should take it about thirty minutes before beginning. If you are taking the powdered aminos (as I do), you should start drinking it right before and during fasted cardio. These amino acids will help keep your body in an anabolic state (preserving your hard earned muscle) and are very important in performing proper fasted cardio. When you take these aminos, after you deplete your glycogen stores, you will dip in to your fat cells instead of muscle – and that’s our goal, right?!
A nice way to ease in to fasted cardio is on the treadmill for 20 minutes. When I first started out, typically I would do 11 incline at 3.3 speed. Remember when you are starting off, your heart rate will spike faster – so watch this. If you are already in good cardio shape, you can increase speed and intensity to get your heart rate in the moderate zone.
I know that fasted cardio is hard. The last thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning is go do cardio --- but I promise, that if you are dedicated, you will start seeing the results you want. You CAN change your body if you first change your mind.
Written by: Jenny Mire & Sarah Hagar (supersetsarah)
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