Your alarm clock has gone off; you’re up and searching for a quick breakfast before heading to your workout. Well what if I suggest you skip breakfast, save yourself time and head straight for a fasted workout. And not just any workout; sprints! This article looks at the benefits of fasted sprinting with the aim of saving you busy people time, but also make your workouts more efficient and effective towards your fitness goals.
It would be important to consider what your goals are, what are you trying to achieve from your workouts. However, sprint training does help you burn fat, build muscle and improve your health overall, it also gives you back considerable more health benefits that the session itself lasts. Sprinting and speed training provide you with great options of achieving different goals, the benefits of such training boost the fat loss process, along with being able to build lean muscle which can be difficult to target through other training methods.
The benefits of sprint training are founded on the principles of high intensity interval training (HIIT). Studies have shown show that HIIT workouts, which take far less time to complete than slow and steady cardio workouts, lead to as much as twice the total fat lost. Even though the slow-and-steady cardio programs burned more total calories and fat during the actual workout, the HIIT programs led to greater total fat loss. This is because the HIIT sprint based workouts burned more calories and fat the rest of the day, which adds up to more calories and fat than you can burn during a single workout. Interesting huh?!
Surely you need energy to fuel your sprint training, and energy means food, right? However fasted training can help boost performance and help you achieve your workout goals quicker. This is not a fad, and certainly not a diet or method to skip meals and reduce calorie intake, this is a training method where your carbohydrate intake is utilised after your training session rather than before to enhance performance. Research does show when you do a fasted cardio session in the morning you burn more fat. A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that when subjects were fasted during morning cardio they burned 20 percent more fat than when they had a meal beforehand.
Here comes the science, the reasoning behind such benefits of fasted training is that it further enhances the mitochondrial adaptations that occur as a result of aerobic training. This improves the body’s ability to use fat as a fuel source during exercise, sparing muscle glycogen for when it is most needed, during the tough parts of a race or training. However, on longer training sessions, or even race day the body will require carbohydrate as a fuel source. It is imperative you choose short, sharp, sprint training to be completed fasted.
Fasted cardio in the morning before breakfast is effective because as you sleep and fast overnight your body conserves its carbohydrate stores and then works towards utilising body fat for fuel. Although these benefits do sound very appealing it would be important to remember that during this fasted sleep state your body also uses more amino acids for fuel, which is not necessarily good for those you who are looking to build muscle. However, this can simply combatted by eating a high protein, low fat meal immediately following your workout, such as homemade protein pancakes.
As discussed there are many benefits for fasted cardio, depending on your intended goals. At our Fresh Start boot camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand we offer many more opportunities to reach your health and fitness goals. By attending out boot camp holiday in Chiang Mai you will have unique access to many New Year workout tips and routines. We certainly do set the scene to set targets, achieve goals, rest and recuperate in one of the most beautiful regions in the world.
1.Buckley, AJ. et al. (2010). Adaptations to skeletal muscle with endurance exercise training in acutely fed versus overnight-fasted state. Journal of Science and Sports Medicine. Jul;13(4):465-9
2.Gonzalez, J. T., et al. Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males. Br J Nutr. 23:1-12, 2013.