7.1.16 Tip No. 4 – Fasted or Non Fasted Cardio – Which is best?
For many, many years exercise professionals have advised their clients to get up early, do their cardio, THEN have breakfast. It has always been assumed that fasted cardio will burn more fat as your glycogen stores are depleted. So is this true?
A recent study put this theory to the test. In an article reviewed by: Paoli, A., Marcolin, G., Zonin, F. Neri, M. Sivieri, A., and Pacelli, Q.F. (2011), they investigated exercising fasting or fed to enhance fat loss. The study used 8 men (average age, weight, height was 27 yrs, 207 lbs, 70 inches, respectfully).
Testing: The testing for this study was completed over a period of 2 weeks. Each of the male subjects did a fasting (FST) and a food-fed breakfast (FED) test, with one week separating tests. Subjects did a 36-minute cardiovascular workout at 65% of their heart rate reserve on a treadmill. A graded maximal cycling ergometer test was initially completed to determine their actual maximum heart rate. This ensured that the subjects did the exercise sessions at the same workout intensity. Calorie expenditure data (via oxygen and carbon dioxide gas analysis) was collected 12 and 24 hours after each test condition. In the FST condition, the subjects performed the morning workout without food consumption for the previous 12 hours.
Subjects had a normal breakfast after the workout. In the FED condition, the subjects did their training after first having a normal breakfast. Pre-exercise gas analysis was collected in the morning in both the FST and FED to establish base-line data. With gas analysis the authors additionally assessed the respiratory exchange ratio (RER) data. The RER is a meaningful scientific method to measure the contribution of fat and carbohydrate of calories being utilized during any particular period of time (i.e., pre-exercise, during exercise, and post-exercise). RER is determined by collecting the volume of carbohydrate expired per minute (VCO2) in relation to the volume of oxygen consumed per minute (VO2). The subjects were instructed to eat the same diet the day prior to the study and during the entire day of each test session. Thus, food intake in both conditions (FST and FED) was the same, with the timing of breakfast being the only difference (FST condition ate breakfast after the morning workout). The researchers evaluated the dietary intake of subjects using well-established dietary software to ensure subjects complied with the diet instructions.
FST Condition: After completing the pre-exercise (or baseline) data collection, the subjects completed the 36-minute treadmill exercise and then had their breakfast after the workout. During the rest of the day the subjects consumed a standard lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and breakfast the next day. The researchers collected calorie expenditure data at 12 hours and 24 hours post the workout.
FED Condition: In this condition, the subjects did precisely the same schedule as the FST condition, however they had their breakfast prior to the workout. The breakfast was a standard Mediterranean breakfast (25% protein, 22% carbohydrate, 53% fat). This study was conducted in Italy where this diet is considered normal for a large segment of the population.
Oxygen Consumption and Caloric Expenditure
At both data collection times the oxygen consumption was significantly (from the statistical analysis) higher in the FED state. Oxygen consumption is a measure of energy expenditure. The more oxygen being consumed the greater the macronutrients that are being used, and thus the higher the caloric expenditure. In the FED state the subjects were burning slightly more calories at 12 hours and 24 hours after the same 36-minute treadmill workout.
If a client seeks to burn more calories and more calories from a fat source, it is recommended to eat a light breakfast prior to the morning workout. There is an increase in metabolism (all chemical reactions in the body to liberate energy that is measured by oxygen consumption) and reduction in RER (thus burning more fat as fuel) after the training session. Encourage clients to eat or drink something easily digestible at least 20 to 30 minutes (or up to one hour) before the morning workout. Because glucose is the preferred energy source for most exercise, a pre-exercise morning snack should comprise foods that are high in carbohydrates, which are easy to digest for the client. This includes foods such as fruits, breads, energy bars and energy drinks. Make sure the client also drinks some water prior to the workout so that she/he is properly hydrated. Fed vs. Fast-a controversy ‘busted’ and resolved.
21.12.15 Tip No. 3 – Weights VS Cardio – Which burns most calories?
One of the most time-efficient training methods for clients in completing their aerobic and resistance exercise training sessions is to combine them in the same workout session, a training technique referred to as concurrent training. Perhaps one of the longest lasting and engaging debates for fitness professionals and personal trainers has been the topic of which sequence is better when in combining the two modalities.
But first let’s understand how our exercise burns calories and how each of these activities affects us.
What is the Exercise After-burn or EPOC?
The exercise after-burn, or the calories expended (above resting values) after an exercise bout, is referred to as ‘excess post-exercise oxygen consumption’ or EPOC. This represents the oxygen consumption above resting level that the body is utilizing to return itself to its pre-exercise state. It generally takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 48 hours for the body to fully recover to a resting state. Other factors influencing EPOC include training status and gender in studies contribute to the wide variance in time length of EPOC.
Resistance Training VS Circuit Training VS Aerobic Training EPOC
Research findings suggest that resistance training also elicits a valuable EPOC response for weight loss and/or weight management. Although it is difficult to equalize resistance training and aerobic exercise, Elliot et al. (1988) investigated the difference in EPOC between aerobic cycling (40 minutes at 80% heart rate max), circuit training (4 sets, 8 exercises, 15 reps at 50% 1RM) and heavy resistance training (3 sets, 8 exercises, 3-8 reps at 80-90% 1RM). Heavy resistance training produced the greatest EPOC (10.6 liters, 53 calories) compared with circuit training (10.2 liters, 51 calories) and cycling (6.7 liters, 33.5 calories).
Does cardio before weights affect our strength?
When aerobic exercise precedes strength training, any muscle strength impairments are limited to the muscle groups used in the prior aerobic training. For instance, when cycle ergometry (a lower body cardiovascular modality) was performed first in the concurrent sequence, it was shown to noticeably impair the lower body resistance training workout performance (as measured by submaximal incline leg-press performance). However, this initial cycle ergometry workout (whether performed at a high-intensity or moderate intensity) had no limiting affect upon upper body strength performance (as measured by the bench press).
So which do we do first, weights or cardio?
An investigation compared the combined effect of resistance and aerobic exercise as well as the different sequences of these two modalities on EPOC. Also investigated was whether weights alone or cardio alone was better than combining the two.
The Four Testing Combinations
Resistance Only: The volunteers completed 3 sets of 10 repetitions at 70% of their 1RM with a 105-second rest between sets and exercises.
Run Only Session: For the treadmill run exercise session, each subject ran for 25 minutes at a stride pace of 70% of their VO2max. Five minutes after completing the treadmill run EPOC was measured as described above.
Run-Resistance: The subjects performed the 25-minute run at 70% of their VO2max. Five minutes after completing the treadmill run, the subjects performed the exact same resistance training bout, at the same intensity and in the same order as they did for the resistance only session.
Resistance-Run: In this testing condition the resistance training session was completed first and then, following a five-minute break, the 25-minute cardiovascular run on the treadmill was performed.
What was the Result?
The EPOC levels returned to pre-exercise values within 40 minutes of all 4 exercise sessions, thus confirming previous research which shows that the prominent effect of the exercise after-burn is within the first 2 hours of exercise. Perhaps the first 10 minutes of EPOC reveal the most meaningful data from this well-designed study. It is interesting to note that the resistance only and run-resistance were significantly higher than the resistance-run and the run only sessions. At the 10-minute mark that the EPOC was 66% above the RMR for the resistance only and the run-resistance sessions as compared to 45% and 34% above the RMR for the resistance-run and run only sessions, respectively. At 20 minutes post-exercise the resistance only session was 28% above resting RMR as compared to the run only session, which was lowest at 17% above resting RMR.
If your goal is to become better at running, then perform running as the main part of your workout. If you want to combine weights, combine weights after cardio. If wanting to manage weight/body fat, then cardio is not necessarily required. If combining weights and cardio,make sure that the cardio selected does not utilise the muscle groups trained in the weights workout portion as they will be weakened.
Aerobic and resistance exercise sequence affects excess postexercise oxygen consumption. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19(2), 332-337.Drummond, M.J., Vehrs, P.R., Schaalje, G.B., and Parcell, A.C. (2005).
Exercise After-Burn: Research Update – Chantal A. Vella, Ph.D. & Len Kravitz, Ph.D.
13.12.15 Tip No. 2 – Does your bloodtype determine your food choices?
As humans we tend to eat foods that we enjoy the taste of. But have you got a food that you enjoy eating, and afterwards you feel bloated or uncomfortable?
From personal experience I have always felt bloated after eating either pork or chicken, a nightmare if you live in China lol. Once I started eating the foods based around my bloodtype, my health changed. So I introduced it to my clients and was surprised how their bodies reacted. People who had lactose intolerance or a discomfort when drinking milk, turned out be O type. People who felt heavy and bloated after steak, turned out be A type.
According to Dr. Peter DÁdamo, author of Eat Right For Your Type, a chemical reaction occurs between your blood and the foods you eat. This reaction is part of your genetic inheritance. This reaction is caused by a factor called Lectins. Lectins, abundant and diverse proteins found in foods, have agglutinating properties that affect your blood. So when you eat a food containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins target an organ or bodily system and begin to agglutinate blood cells in that area.
Fortunately, most lectins found in the diet are not quite so life threatening, although they can cause a variety of other problems, especially if they are specific to a particular blood type. For the most part your immune systems protect you from lectins. Ninety-five percent of the lectins you absorb from your typical diets are sloughed off by the body. But at least five percent of the lectins you eat are filtered into the bloodstream and different reactions in different organs.
If you’d like a personalised diet with your blood type considered please contact me. I have had tremendous success with it and know it can help you too.
6.12.15 Tip No. 1 – How long should we train?
Controlling cortisol will help keep your body healthy and may keep the Dr away. While we often think more is more when it comes to hitting the gym, keeping workouts short is one of the best ways to control cortisol. Cortisol is released by the body in response to stress, and strength training sessions shorter than 45 – 60 minutes have been demonstrated to minimize this. Similarly, cortisol is best controlled by cardio sessions shorter than 30 – 45 minutes. Going to the gym should be part of your day, but keep it productive.