Thoughts on fasted or non-fasted cardio sessions in the mornings. It’s a debate with many. – Sarah Miller and Multiple Facebook Fans
This question actually saddens me… but due to its popularity, I thought I would answer it…
But I mean really, why are you doing cardio anyway? Training for a marathon or something? My Dad completed a marathon once. I have fond memories of him eating cream cakes after it too (true story).
When you come into Enterprise, you might notice something… There is not one single piece of traditional ‘cardio equipment’. No treadmill, stair climber, bike or cross trainer.
BUT WAIT- Don’t you guys prep those shredded people who compete and win titles and stuff?! I don’t understand.
If cardio got the results people were after I would have opened a center with nothing but cardio machines. Hang on, wait, they have those… What’s that place called again… Fitness Fir..ths?
But seriously, go to your favourite health and fitness center (notice I didn’t call it a gym), whip out your iPhone and take a photo. Save that photo with a date. Then, in approximately 365 days, come back to the same place and take a photo. Apart from the same machines still being out of order, you might notice that the people using those machines also look the same.
Cardio machines are great to entertain people at big chain commercial gyms. They are a hell of a lot safer than weights, and you need an I.Q. of 10 to operate the machine. Its adult baby sitting at its finest.
If cardio was one of the most important things for body composition, the question you’re asking might be important. But its not, hence it carries little relevance fasted Vs non-fasted.
It saddens me to think people are waking up early, going to the gym HUNGRY because they think “if I do this ill get better results” or that it will even make a difference. I’m not convinced. We have trained countless competitors and coached countless body transformations, our results speak for themselves.
So the first thing you need to consider before even speaking about cardio is ‘for what purpose am I doing cardio?’
If you say, ‘to be a better runner’– that’s absolutely merited!
If you say, ‘the sport I play requires me to run or ride a bike’- again, absolutely merited!
If you say, ‘because it clears my head and I enjoy it!’- that’s also absolutely merited!
But if you say, to lose weight or get leaner, we’ve got problems….
The reality is, no matter how hard you try, you will never out exercise a bad diet. So you may (may) burn more body fat fasted. But at the end of the day, does it really matter if your not eating right? (No.) And don’t say I need to live. For goodness sakes, McDonalds Marketing is aimed at 3 year olds and your still eating their junk. Grow up and eat adult food. No more happy meals for you.
We have trained countless competitors who did no cardio (yes zero- as in no cardio) and won or placed. Whilst there are some competitors who need to do some cardio to get the condition they’re after, its always after the fact of a great nutrition and supplement plan coupled with an excellence training regime written by yours truly or one of my outstanding team members – and never more than 8 weeks at a time.
Cardio (unless you do it for other purposes apart from body composition) is not something you need to make apart of your lifestyle. Bang for buck, you get so-so much more from doing weight training- and yes, that is backed by research.
Cardio is a great thing to do for people who don’t know how to weight train. If you know how to lift, do twice a day sessions instead of wasting your time doing boring arse cardio. Work on your squat, bench or deadlift. Get strong. Hell, learn gymnastics, do anything other than cardio (unless of course you enjoy it). And if you do enjoy it – ENJOY IT! Never let me hear you mutter the words, (insert whining voice) “I have to do my cardio today” otherwise I will hunt you down and make you listen and re-listen to all my podcasts.
To answer your question direct. The best time of the day is the one that suits your lifestyle. Research is great- however, in this case there is research proving and disproving for and against on both sides (burn more muscle, burn more fat, raises cortisol, lowers insulin response).
As I am well aware of the placebo effect, if I ever decided to do cardio (not sure why I would), you could read the research to support which ever time of the day suited your lifestyle best. Maybe its not actually the time of day you do cardio, but the intensity you do it in and the belief you have in the process of getting the body you want.
One more thing, this kinda thing really only matters for competitors who are at the top of their game. Its not something the average weight loss or gym junkie (or even most competitors) really need to worry about.
By Mark Ottobre
Owner and Director
(Part time funny man)
P.S. Funny story…
When I use to work at the commercial gym Genesis, a man approached me to train him, starting in a couple of weeks. Over those weeks I observed the countless hours he was doing on the treadmill until I finally asked, why do you do so much cardio?
He said, “I want to be slim and toned like you.”
So why are you doing cardio?
He said because he “needed to get to 50 kilos” before he started training with me.
I laughed and said, “how much do you think I weigh?!”
He said, “50 kilos.” I was a little insulted, at the time I was weighing 94 kilos thinking, shit, do I really look that small?!
Since that day I have had musclerexia.
True story! Well everything except the musclerexia!