Fasted Aerobic Exercise:
Years ago, fasted exercise was the ultimate fat loss “Hack”. But recent findings show it doesn’t seem to be any superior than performing aerobic exercise in an unfasted state.
The paper pointed out that it is NOT ideal to fast prior to aerobic exercise that’s longer than 60 minutes due to the potential loss of fat free mass.
**An interesting note, the paper also speculated that consuming protein alone prior to cardio may provide additional thermogenic benefits and reduce the possibility of losing fat free mass.**
This type of training involves using a cuff to safely restrict venous blood flow (blood going TO the muscle) from a working muscle while allowing arterial blood flow (blood coming FROM the muscle). The benefits come from the inability of that blood to escape which increased metabolic stress and cellular swelling.
BFR training seems to have pretty positive results on muscle hypertrophy.
Moreover BFR training requires using far less weight than traditional training which means it is PERFECT to implement at home where weights are often limited.
This is the FIRST bodybuilding research done on ‘nonlinear’ fatloss to date. The results seem to align with many individual’s anecdotes.
The study compared a group of continuous dieters (no refeeds) with a group of dieters who had 2 refeed days per week (Calories were held constant between both groups):
While both groups lost weight, post-test outcomes were superior in the refeed group, who retained significantly more dry fat-free mass and had a slightly better maintenance of resting metabolic rate (RMR).
The maintenance of RMR is likely related to the retention of fat-free mass, since fat-free mass is a large contributor to RMR.
- Don’t feel like you need to perform your cardio in a fasted state as it’s no better than performing it in an unfasted state
- BFR training is a relatively new yet highly researched topic which seems to warrant attention if your goal is maximum muscle hypertrophy
- Implementing refeeds (1-2 per week) where you bring your calories up to maintenence seems to be superior if you care to maintain your fat free mass (which you probably should)