…dem’s fighten’ words to bros!

In the red corner weighing in at 156 lbs looking like an eel shaped rake, posting on forums as “KingDingling78” and suffering unconsciously with a mad case of DunningKrugeritis, is Bro #1.

In the blue corner weighing in at 230 lbs at an internet-professed 8% body fat and benching 400 lbs for dem reps and posting on the forums as “BigBadBench89” working part-time as a pubmed ninja from your mom’s basement, is Bro #2.

Bro #1 and #2 spar in an epic battle of monstrous proportions about fasted cardio.

Bro #1 believes it is the be-all-end-all to getting ripped as you only need 17 or 23 sessions of fasted cardio to get uber lean. It appears being a prime number is key.

Bro #2 believes fasted cardio is worthless and cites a picture of his abZ and a single study from pubmed – which has bonus points for surprisingly being conducted in humans.

The epic bro-down begins and rages on for 217 posts where other forum members pile on to each side.

In the end, everyone is confused, mad, and pissed off. Nobody does any cardio.

Sound familiar?

Reason #47 why I don’t engage in online debates.

Despite all the craziness online where both sides are nuttier then squirrel $hit, should you do fasted cardio?

My biased but accurate answer is…

….yes, although it won’t get you ripped in 17 sessions.

Before you tune out, I have some brand-spanking-new data for you!

In a study (1) of 12 healthy young men, they looked at 3 groups:

  • 1) breakfast of oats and milk (431 kcal; 65 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat, 19 g protein) followed by rest
  • 2) breakfast before exercise of 60 min cycling at 50 % peak power output
  • 3)overnight fasting before exercise

Next, they measured how much they ate over 24 hours along with other nerdy stuff.

The researchers stated:

“This suggests that for healthy young men a short- term energy deficit may be more easily attained if breakfast is omitted before exercise.”

Based on this short-term study, fasted cardio along with dropping calories via skipping breakfast may be an effective method to create a caloric deficit that is sneaky (e.g. not compensated for later).

While fasted cardio may not rip fat off you at such a blistering rate to leave burn marks, it does appear to make it easier to stay in a caloric deficit – which is the number 1 key to fat loss.

And teaching your body to use body fat has other health benefits too.

Let the internetZ battle continue while you do your AM fasted cardio to drop fat and increase your health.

Dr Mike

  1. Edinburgh RM, Hengist A, Smith HA, et al. Skipping Breakfast Before Exercise Creates a More Negative 24-hour Energy Balance: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Healthy Physically Active Young Men. J Nutr. 2019;149(8):1326‐1334. doi:10.1093/jn/nxz018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31321428

PS- if you want to learn how to teach your body to use more fat for fuel, check out the Flex Diet Cert at www.flexdiet.com

Mike T Nelson CISSN, CSCS, MSME, PhD
Adjunct Faculty, Carrick Institute
Owner, Extreme Human Performance, LLC
Editorial Board Member, STRONG Fitness Mag