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Why and How I Use Fasted Cardio to Lose Fat as Quickly as Possible

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Why and How I Use Fasted Cardio to Lose Fat as Quickly as Possible

Some people swear by fasted cardio whereas others say it’s not only ineffective but harmful as well. Well, both are right–it’s effective if you do it right and harmful if you do it wrong.

 

Like flexible dieting, fasted cardio has been around for quite some time and is now gaining popularity again as an effective way to accelerate fat loss.

And like most everything in the health and fitness space, it has its proponents and detractors. Proponents have their laundry list of reason why they like it and detractors have theirs as to why they don’t.

Well, I thought it time to weigh in on the matter because while I do have a good scientific understanding of the matter, I also have practical experience and know what it takes to get to 5 to 6% body fat without drugs and without burning up all your muscle. And fasted cardio has been an important part of my overall fat loss routine.

So, in this article we’re going to first review the science of fasted cardio, and then look at how to properly use it to make fat loss easier and faster. Let’s begin.

What is Fasted Cardio?

what is fasted cardio

Many people think fasted cardio is simply training on an “empty stomach,” which they usually think is simply a stomach that “feels empty.”

Well, they’re wrong.

Fasted cardio is cardio done while in a “fasted” state, wherein your stomach is empty, but it’s a bit more than that. It has to do with how your body processes and absorbs the food you eat.

When you eat food, it gets broken down into various molecules that your cells can use, and these molecules are released into your blood. Insulin is released as well, and its job is to shuttle these molecules into cells. Depending on how much food you eat in a meal, your insulin levels can remain elevated for several hours (anywhere from 3 – 6+).

When your body is digesting and absorbing what you’ve eaten, your body is in a “fed” or “postprandial” state (prandial means “having to do with a meal”). Once it has finished processing and absorbing the nutrients, insulin levels drop to a “minimum” low (or “baseline” level), and your body enters a “fasted” or “postabsorptive” state. Every day your body moves between “fed” and “fasted’ (or “postprandial” and “postabsorptive”) states.

So, to recap:

  • Exercise done during periods where insulin levels are elevated and food is still being processed and absorbed is “fed” training.
  • Exercise done during periods where insulin is at a low, baseline level and food is no longer being processed and absorbed is “fasted” training.

Alright, now we know what fasted cardio is. Let’s now look at how fed and fasted states relate to fat burning and storage.

Your Body Doesn’t Burn Fat When It’s Fed–It Stores It

fasted cardio definition

Insulin does more than just shuttle nutrients into cells–it also impairs the breakdown of fatty acids. That is, the higher your insulin levels are, the less your body is going to use fat for energy (both body fat and dietary fat).

This makes sense physiologically. Why burn fat when there’s a surplus of energy readily available via the food we just ate? Thus, when you eat food, your body basically shuts down its fat-burning mechanisms and lives off the energy provided by the meal, and it also stores a portion of the excess energy as body fat for later use.

As your body processes and absorbs the food, insulin levels decline, which tells the body to start going to fat for energy as the “fuel” from the meal is running out. Finally, when the absorption is complete, your body is fully running off its own fat stores for energy.

Here’s a simple graph from Weightology that shows this visually:

insulin-facts

As you can see, if the amount of fat stored and fat lost remains balanced over time, our weight doesn’t change. If we burn more fat than we store, we lose weight. And if we store more fat than we burn, we gain weight.

So, that’s how “fed” and “fasted” states work without considering exercise. What happens when we throw that into the mix?

The Science of Fasted Cardio and Weight Loss

fasted hiit cardio

Fasted cardio is often recommended as a way to speed up fat loss, but usually without an in-depth explanation of how this might actually work, and how it fits into the bigger picture of weight loss.

Hence my “inspiration” for this article, because just telling someone to train fasted with no other advice almost certainly won’t make a difference in terms of losing weight.

The first thing you should know about fasted cardio is it won’t help you lose fat faster if you don’t also follow a proper diet

Fasted cardio does not let you somehow cheat the laws of energy balance. At the end of the day, fat loss requires an energy (or calorie) deficit, and that means you have to burn more energy than you eat.

That said, fasted cardio does offer some unique fat loss benefits when done properly. Let me explain.

As you would expect, if your insulin levels are elevated before exercise due to a pre-workout meal, your body will break down less fat cells during that workout (lipolysis will be blunted). Research has proven this true both with trained and untrained individuals.

That said, lipolysis is only one part of fat loss. The other part is fat oxidation, which is the actual use (“burning”) of the fatty acids by cells.

Your body could break down every fat cell it has into usable fatty acids, but most would go unused (your body only burns so much energy) and wind up reconverted back into body fat.

And this is where some people criticize fasted cardio as worthless. They say that while it’s true that exercising in a fed state means less lipolysis during the workout, fat oxidation rates aren’t affected so all that happens is your body mobilizes many more fat cells than it can actually oxidize (burn).

This is wrong for several reasons.

1. Research has shown that the total amount of fatty acids available regulates fat oxidation rates.

While your body may not be able to burn all of the fatty acids mobilized during fasted cardio, the more it has available, the more it burns. Thus, it’s not surprising that…

2. Research has also shown that ingestion of carbohydrate reduces fat oxidation while at rest and when ingested before exercise.

I’ve scoured the literature and based on what I’ve found, it’s very clear: total fat oxidation is just higher with fasted cardio than fed. The following graph from this study shows this nicely:

F5.large

CC had carbs 30 minutes before and during exercise; PC had a placebo drink 30 minutes before and carbs during exercise; CP had carbs 30 minutes before and a placebo drink during exercise; and PP received a placebo drink both before and during exercise (this was the fasted group).

And as you can see, PP burned the most fat throughout the entire workout.

Now, ingested before exercise is a key phrase here because the study most commonly cited as “proof” that fasted cardio is a waste of time showed that when carbohydrates are ingested after exercise has begun (30 minutes after, in this case), then fat oxidation rates aren’t changed until after 80 to 90 minutes of exercise.

Researchers noted that this effect is likely due to the fact that the insulin response to carbohydrate ingestion during moderate-intensity exercise is almost completely suppressed. Thus, insulin levels remain more or less unchanged from their pre-workout (fasted) levels and fat oxidation rates stay the same.

 

 

 

 

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That’s interesting, but who starts their workouts fasted and then eats carbs 30 minutes into them? Nobody. We eat our carbs anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before we exercise, and as you now know, this reduces both lipolysis and fat oxidations rates and thus reduces the total amount of fat we lose in the workouts.

So, the bottom line is when we consider all the available research, it’s clear that fasted cardio results in a bit more fat loss than “fed” cardio, and thus is worthwhile.

Total fat loss isn’t the only reason I like fasted cardio, though. It also helps eliminate “stubborn” fat in particular.

How Fasted Cardio Helps Get Rid of “Stubborn” Fat

fasted cardio results

If you’re a woman, your hips, thighs, and butt are probably the last to really tighten up when you’re losing weight. If you’re a guy, it’s almost certainly your lower abs, obliques, and lower back.

This isn’t a genetic curse–it’s simply a physiological mechanism.

You see, your body uses chemicals known as “catecholamines” to break fat cells down into usable energy. Catecholamines travel through your blood and “attach” to receptors on fat cells, which then trigger the release of the energy stored within the cells so it can be burned off.

Fat cells have two types of receptors for catecholamines, however: alpha- and beta-receptors. To keep this simple, beta-receptors speed up fat mobilization, whereas alpha receptors hinder it.

The more alpha-receptors a fat cell has, the more “resistant” it is to being mobilized by catecholamines. On the other hand, the more beta-receptors a fat cell has, the more “receptive” it is to the fat-mobilizing molecules.

As you’ve probably guessed, the areas that get lean quickly have a lot of fat cells with more beta-receptors than alpha, and the areas that don’t have a large amount of fat cells with more alpha-recepors than beta.

Another problem with these “stubborn fat” areas relates to blood flow.

You may have noticed that fat in areas like the lower back and thighs are slightly colder to the touch than fat in other areas of your body like the arms or chest. This is simply because there’s less blood flowing through the areas.

Less blood flow = fewer catecholamines reach the stubborn fat cells = even slower fat loss.

So we have a double-whammy of fat loss hindrance here: large amounts of fat cells that don’t respond well to catecholamines and reduced blood flow to keep the catecholamines away.

Now, how does fasted cardio help?

Well, blood flow in the abdominal region is increased when you’re in a fasted state, which means the catecholamines can reach this stubborn fat easier, resulting in more mobilization of it.

This is where I’ve personally really noticed a difference in cutting with and without fasted training. When I include fasted training (both cardio and weightlifting), the journey from about 9% to 6%, where the majority of the fat you’re losing is the “stubborn” stuff, is noticeably faster than when I don’t.

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What Type of Fasted Cardio is Best?

fasted cardio good or bad

If you’re familiar with my work, you know that when it comes to cardio, I’m a big fan of high-intensity interval training.

Studies such as those conducted by Laval UniversityEast Tennessee State UniversityBaylor College of Medicine, and the University of New South Wales have conclusively proven that shorter sessions of high-intensity cardio result in greater fat loss over time than longer, low-intensity sessions.

In fact, a study conducted by The University of Western Ontario showed that doing just 4 – 6 30-second sprints burns more fat over time than 60 minutes of incline treadmill walking (one of the staples of “bodybuilding cardio”).

Furthermore, keeping your cardio sessions shorter helps you preserve muscle and strength.

This is especially relevant to fasted cardio as it accelerates muscle degradation, and the longer you train in a fated state, the more muscle you lose (we’ll talk more about how to combat this in a minute).

All that said, some people say HIIT performed in a fasted state is silly because fat oxidation rates are much lower during HIIT exercise.

Well, while it’s true that fat oxidation rates decline as cardio intensity increases (as glycogen then becomes the fuel of choice), there’s more to consider.

This latter point is particularly relevant to fasted training as, over time, high-intensity interval training increases the total amount of fatty acids your body is able to metabolize during workouts.

  • Research has shown that the post-exercise “afterburn” effect (EPOC) is greater with high-intensity interval training than with low-intensity steady-state cardio (about double, actually–13% vs. 7%).

The actual amount of additional calories burned due to HIIT’s greater “afterburn” effect will probably never be more than 50 to 80, but hey, that adds up over time.

Given all the above, I think it’s just a no-brainer to choose high-intensity interval cardio over low-intensity steady state. 

Some people say doing so puts too much strain on your body and will cause overtraining, but I’ve yet to run into that problem with my own body or the thousands of people I’ve worked with. (Seriously–I’ve never had one person write me complaining about feeling overtrained soon after incorporating fasted HIIT into their workout routines).

That’s probably because I recommend a very moderate amount of high-intensity interval cardio when dieting for fat loss–no more than 4 sessions per week, and no more than 25 to 30 minutes per session.

What About Fasted Weightlifting?

fasted cardio muscle loss

Weightlifting causes a dramatic spike in plasma catecholamine levels and as catecholamines are better able to mobilize fat when you’re in a fasted state, fasted weightlifting is also worthwhile.

I do all my exercise–both weightlifting and cardio–fasted when I’m dieting for weight loss and as I said earlier, the stubborn fat disappears faster than when I exercise in a fed state.

A caveat, though: don’t be surprised if you’re noticeably weaker during your first couple of weeks of switching from fed weightlifting to fasted.

You will lose some reps on your big lifts, if not across the board. This isn’t because you’re losing muscle, it’s simply because eating a significant amount of carbohydrate before you work out dramatically improves your performance in the gym. Take the carbs away and you lose the “boost.” Add them back and it returns.

That said, as I noted earlier, your body slowly adapts to training in the fasted state, learning to preserve glycogen stores and thus preserve performance. Nevertheless, I’ve found that my lifts while fasted are just never as good as my lifts while fed.

How to Maximize the Effectiveness of Fasted Training

fasted cardio routine

If you’re going to train fasted, you should seriously consider using the following supplements to squeeze as much fat loss as possible out of it and negate its one big downside (which you’ll read about below).

The following supplements are what I use when dieting for fat loss and, like fasted training, they make the fat loss even noticeably faster with no unwanted side effects. There’s really no reason not to add them to your routine.

So, let’s go over each supplement I recommend and why.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I want you to know that the supplements I recommend in this article are not just what I personally use but they are from my supplement line, LEGION.

As you probably know, the supplement industry is notorious for its lies and shenanigans. The truth is the majority of the supplements you see in the magazines and on the shelves aren’t going to help you reach your goals faster.

That’s why I decided to create the products I myself have always wanted: science-based formulations, clinically effective dosages of all ingredients, no fillers or unnecessary junk, and natural sweetening and flavoring.

You can learn more about LEGION and my goal to change the supplement industry for the better here.

And if you like what you see and decide to support my work…you’re awesome. 🙂 It’s because of people like you that I get to spend my time writing articles like this that help others get into the best shape of their lives.

β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB)

There is a downside to fasted training that you should know about: muscle breakdown is dramatically increased.

This is bad simply because too much muscle breakdown impairs total muscle growth over time. Preventing this is simple, though.

β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (also known as HMB) is a substance formed when your body metabolizes the amino acid leucine, which is an amino acid that directly stimulates protein synthesis.

HMB is often sold as a muscle-building aid but the research purported to demonstrate these benefits is shaky at best, hindered most by design flaws. Thus, I’m not comfortable making any claims about muscle growth.

There is one benefit of HMB that’s well established, however: it’s an extremely effective anti-catabolic agent.

That is, it’s very good at preventing muscle breakdown, which means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness (and the free acid form shows the most promise in this regard).

It also has no effect whatsoever on insulin levels, which means it can’t break your fasted state.

This makes HMB perfect for use with fasted training. Its powerful anti-catabolic effects and non-existent insulin effects means you reap all the fat loss benefits of training fasted without any of the problems relating to muscle loss or insulin secretion.

It’s also worth noting that HMB is superior to leucine in suppressing muscle breakdown because it’s more anti-catabolic than its “parent” amino acid.

This means it’s also more effective than branched-chain amino acid supplements because they rely on leucine for their anti-catabolic effects (isoleucine and valine are very weak in this regard).

In terms of which specific HMB supplement I recommend, I’ve included a clinically effective dosage in every serving of my pre-workout fat burner FORGE.

FORGE is a fat burner made specifically for use with fasted training and it contains clinically effective dosages of…

  • HMB. As you now know, HMB is very good at preventing muscle breakdown, and this means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness.
  • Yohimbine. Research shows that yohimbine enables your body to reduce fat stores faster, and it’s particularly useful as you get leaner and are battling with stubborn fat holdouts.
  • Citicoline. CDP-choline (also known as citicoline) is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain that increases levels of another chemical called phosphatidylcholine, which is vital for brain function.

Research shows that supplementation with CDP-choline improves attentional focus, and I included this in FORGE because most people find fasted training more mentally draining than fed training and CDP-choline can help counteract this.

The bottom line is FORGE helps you lose fat–and “stubborn” fat in particular–faster, preserve muscle, and maintain training intensity and mental sharpness.

forge-bottle1

Caffeine

As weight loss boils down to energy consumed vs. energy expended, caffeine helps you lose fat by increasing your body’s daily energy expenditure.

Caffeine also improves strengthmuscle endurance, and anaerobic performance, and also reverses the “morning weakness” experienced by many weightlifters.

Part of maximizing the fat loss benefits of caffeine is preventing your body from building up too much of a tolerance, however. The best way to do this is to limit intake, of course.

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Before training, supplement with 3 – 6 mg caffeine per kg of body weight. If you’re not sure of your caffeine sensitivity, start with 3 mg/kg and work up from there.
  2. Keep your daily. intake at or below 6 mg per kg of body weight. Don’t have 6 mg/kg before training and then drink a couple of coffees throughout the day.
  3. Do 1 – 2 low-caffeine days per week, and 1 no-caffeine day per week. A low day should be half your normal intake, and a no day means less than 50 mg of caffeine (you can have a cup or two of tea, but no coffee, caffeine pills, etc.).

Personally I get my caffeine from my pre-workout PULSE, which contains a dehydrated and concentrated form of caffeine (caffeine anhydrous) shown to be more effective for improving performance than what is naturally found in beverages like coffee.

PULSE also contains clinically effective dosages of 4 other ingredients scientifically proven to improve workout performance:

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The bottom line is if you want to know what a pre-workout is supposed to feel like…if you want to experience the type of energy rush and performance boost that only clinically effective dosages of scientifically validated ingredients can deliver…then you want to try PULSE.legion-pulse

Yohimbine

Yohimbine is made from the Pausinystalia yohimbe plant, and it helps the body “tap into” fat stores.

(Not a very technical explanation, I know–if you want to know exactly how it works, check out this article of mine on how to lose stubborn fat.)

Yohimbine accelerates weight loss, but only works if you’re training in a fasted state. Elevated insulin levels negate yohimbine’s effects.

I’ve cut both with and without fasted training and yohimbine and I can say with absolutely certainty that with is noticeably faster. So much so that I think the biggest benefits of fasted training are that it lets you use yohimbine and it makes the other supplements discussed in this article more effective.

By itself, fasted training will make a slight difference in how quickly you lose fat. Combined with these supplements, however, it’s quite dramatic.

In terms of dosages, research has shown that .2 mg/kg of body weight is sufficient for fat loss purposes, and that ingesting it prior to exercise is particularly effective.

Some people get overly jittery from yohimbine, so I recommend you start with .1 mg/kg of body weight to assess tolerance. If you feel fine, then increase to the clinically effective dosage of .2 mg/kg.

Furthermore, yohimbine can raise blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, I don’t recommend you use it.

In terms of which specific yohimbine supplement I recommend, you’re probably not surprised that I’ve included a clinically effective dosage in every serving of my pre-workout fat burner FORGE.

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PHOENIX Fat Burner

PHOENIX’s caffeine-free formulation is quite a bit different than FORGE’s and is actually made to be “stacked” with it (taken together).

PHOENIX helps you burn fat in three different ways:

  • It dramatically increases metabolic speed.
  • It amplifies the power of fat-burning chemicals produced by your body.
  • It increases the feeling of fullness from food.

It accomplishes this through clinically effective dosages of several ingredients, including…

Through these mechanisms, naringin also works synergistically with synephrine and hesperidin to further accelerate the basal metabolic rate.

Research has show that supplementation with forskolin accelerates fat loss and increases testosterone levels.

  • And more…

The bottom line is if you want to lose fat faster without pumping yourself full of stimulants or other potentially harmful chemicals…then you want to try PHOENIX.phoenix-bottle

How to Use These Supplements Properly

Here’s what I take before my fasted training sessions:

(NOTE: Taking green tea extract, which is in PHOENIX, on an empty stomach can make some people nauseous. If that happens to you, take it with food and you’ll be fine.)

When I’m dieting for fat loss, I lift weights in a fasted state 5 days per week and do 25 to 30 minutes of HIIT cardio in a fasted state 3 to 4 times per week.

On the days where I’m doing both weightlifting and cardio, I take the above before both training sessions and have no issues.

The Bottom Line on Fasted Training

morning fasted cardio

You don’t have to train fasted to lose fat and get lean, but it’s a valuable strategy that you should consider trying.

This is especially true if you’re lean and wanting to get really lean because you’re going to be dealing mainly with stubborn fat stores that can be very slow to disappear with just diet and exercise alone.

I’ve also found that proper supplementation, as laid out in this article, is particularly effective when combined with fasted training. The hormones and mechanisms involved in fat lipolysis and oxidation work best in the low-insulin fasted state and thus so do supplements that help your body burn more fat.

 

What do you think about fasted cardio? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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You see, depending on how you eat, train, rest, and supplement, building muscle and losing fat can be incredibly simple or seemingly impossible. I've learned this the hard way, making every mistake you can imagine.

I've also learned a lot about what DOES work, and I wrote Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger to teach you EVERYTHING you need to know to build the body you've always wanted.

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  • Sean Hynes

    Great article as usual Michael! In it, you recommend 1 scoop LEGION Pulse prior to fasted workout. Would 2 scoops be too much? Also, if one is in a fasted state, does having a scoop of carb drink totally negate the planned effects of being in a fasted state? Or is that still ok?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks!

      2 scoops is fine in terms of caffeine and such BUT the sheer amount of amino acids may cause too large of an insulin response and “break” the fasted state. I can’t say for sure until I have enough money to pay to have a study done on it, haha. But I do just 1 scoop to stay “safe” in this regard, as it most definitely won’t elevate insulin levels much.

      Carbs and protein will break the fasted state.

      • That’s great to know as I’ve been getting about 30g of simple carbs right before working out, thinking I was still fasted. Thanks again!!

        • Michael Matthews

          Ah yeah, that’s definitely breaking the fasted state. 🙂

          • I think I’ve got it now, pre-workout…
            Just to be clear, can standard reload routine can begin immediately after working out? (e.g. some simple carbs right away w/BCAAs+Glutamine, followed with more carbs+protein w/leucine after 15-20 minutes).
            Also, If I’m going to do a 20min abs routine after working out, should I stay fasted until after abs or does it not matter?

          • Michael Matthews

            Why not just do a meal after training?

          • I was concerned that a meal would take longer to provide the nutrients that my muscles need after fasted training.

          • Michael Matthews

            Ah no that’s not an issue.

          • I’ll def. take your word for it — you da man!
            When I was bulking, I was getting 3,700 calories so this also provided some of that easily. I could do it real quick, and then take a shower, and then eat a big meal… It can be hard to get 3,700 calories while eating right!

          • Michael Matthews

            Thanks! Haha yeah what I like to do is focus on eating a bunch of calorie-dense foods. Here are my favorites:

            Red meat

            Grains like brown rice and quinoa

            Oils like coconut oil and olive oil

            Avocado

            Whole-fat dairy

            Multi-grain pasta and bread

            Almonds and almond butter

            Bananas

            White and sweet potatoes

  • Brandon Sproat

    Great article. My go-to HIIT is kettle bell class at the gym. I feel a huge difference when fasted, tried it for a month, but went back to having some oatmeal before. I can swing heavier weight longer. My feeling is that the additional weight and effort contributes to muscle gains that are more beneficial than the fat burn of the fasted. Plus I hate feeling tired in class. 🙂 I know KBs are more of a hybrid in terms of HIIT vs weights, so maybe I’ll add in more traditional HIIT on the treadmill fasted.

    I was worried I had invented the effect just because of comfort around pre-training carbs, but glad to hear a similar experience. Maybe over a really long period my body would adapt.

    Will try the supps you recommend. Thanks for the great, detailed info.

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah your performance will definitely suffer there. That said, you’re not going to build much muscle doing that type of KB workout anyway…

      Pre-workout carbs definitely give a big boost.

  • Fernando

    would running a long distance also help me reach the fasted state or does that cause me to lose more muscle mass than body fat?

    • Michael Matthews

      Long cardio sessions in a fasted state is a bad idea.

      • Fernando

        Thanks for the information, I love reading your articles, it gives a lot of information I didn’t know about.

        • Michael Matthews

          Thanks! 🙂

  • Gonzalo

    Hi Mike,

    If I’m doing fasted HIIT cycling without supplementing, would I be losing muscle from my legs or from the whole body? Similar question about doing cardio after weight lifting… Does it only interfere with muscle growth if you train legs and then do some cycling? Or if you train biceps and then do cardio immediately it could also be an issue?

    Thanks!

  • Fabrice

    thanks for this article Mike!
    Could you please clarify the following:
    – 0,2mg yohimbine/kg bodyweight? 1pill (daily recommandation on the bottle) contains 0,25mg yohimbine, so I have to take 7pills/day!??!?
    – what about protein pre-workout for HIIT? recommended or not? I do that before weightlifting, 1 hour before workout, then pre-workout 15min before.

    Cheers, Fabrice

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yes, that’s right.

      I would lift and then do your cardio.

  • Interesting, I’ve always found I lift better fasted than fed.

    • Michael Matthews

      Really? That’s odd.

    • Sam Sabrosa

      Your Fed state is a proper meal an hour or 1.5 hour before you workout? If that’s the case then try fast acting carbs instead. BIG difference.

  • Ana

    Hello Michael, if I want to do both, cardio (HIIT) and weightlifting in a fasted state, which one would you recommend doing first?

    I want to make sure I got this right. Should I supplement right after I wake up, do weightlifting, HIIT and then have my post workout meal?

    Another question.. I have been training really hard and following a proper diet for 4 months. I am trying to lose the abdominal lower fat but I am having a really hard time. I am also trying to tone my body, do you think it is better to do cardio in a fasted state and then do my weightlifting later on the day?

    Thank you very much, great article!

    • Michael Matthews

      Lift first for sure.

      Yes that’s right.

      Are you losing weight/inches or staying the same?

  • Lamaine

    Great article mike…I have been wondering for a while how to lift while fasting…good idea for the branch chain amino. What your fasting window? I started doing 6 hours…I was going yo try 8.didnt know if that was too much…and I do cardio in the morning…should I still have that after workout meal in the morn?or just a protein shake?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I stop eating around 930 PM these days and lift at 730 AM the next day, and eat breakfast around 9 AM.

      • Serge

        So, 8 hours gap between last meal and workout can be considered as “fasted” state, right? I usually have my last meal around 8-9 PM and start my workout at 5-5:30AM. I take 2 pills of GTE, 4 pills of yohimbine, 10 g BCAA and 1 scoop of Pulse before workout.

        • Michael Matthews

          Yes, exactly. You’re doing it right.

          • Serge

            Thanks, Mike! Are there some conditions for Yohimbine – for example, since it targets a “stubborn fat”, should I be below some BF % (like below 10%)? Currently, my BF is 17% and I’m taking Yohimbine.

          • Michael Matthews

            YW. Nope, it speeds up fat loss so you might as well use it.

  • Gian

    Thanks Mike! Great post! I want to try fasted weight-lifting, but want to prevent muscle breakdown as much as possible. You suggest taking BCAA’s to do this, but I’m wondering… can’t you accomplish the same thing by just taking some Whey protein pre-workout? Or would doing this break your fasted-state?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Whey causes too much of an insulin response.

  • sj

    hi mike

    say for arguments sake you could lose one pound a week when cutting in a fed state. in your experience and from training others, what could that fat loss look like if done in the fasted conditions you mention?

    all the best

    • Michael Matthews

      Good question.

      A real ballpark, not-scientific guess based on my experience with my own body and working with others is if you train fasted and use the supplements, you can speed it up by about 20-25%..

      • Eugene

        Hi Mike,

        I am in week 5 of my cut and have been training (lifting & cardio) in a fed state and have been able to lose 5-6 pounds! I’ve also been making some newbie gains since I’ve been doing hi rep lifting before starting your program. Right now, there is noticeable fat loss in my arms, but my belly still has that stubborn fat!

        Going into week 6, I would like to try doing HIIT in a fasted state to get rid of the stubborn fat, but would like to continue lifting in a fed state. With the newbie gains, it is great motivation for me to keep increasing weights week after week while in a cut. With that being said, how fast would it speed up fat loss if you’re just doing HIIT in a fasted state and lifting in a fed state? For comparisons sake, how fast would it speed up fat loss if you’re just doing lifting in a fasted state and HIIT in a fed state? I know from your comments, if you had to choose one over the other, you recommend fasted lifting over fasted HIIT.

        Thanks,

        Eugene

        • Michael Matthews

          Great job! That rocks.

          I like your plan. The fasted HIIT will probably make a minor difference. You might as well do it that way as there’s no real reason to be fed for cardio, you know?

  • sBaro

    Hi Mike,

    You said that you can take only Leucine to avoid muscle breakdown when I train fasted instead of common BCAA product (wich contains iso-leucine & Valine), so is it better take a 4:1:1 ratio of bcaa than 2:1:1. Plus, are the 2 others very unnecessary?

    I’m asking this question because since I read BLS, I realize that I really like training fasted first thing in the morning (and that doesn’t hurt my gains) but since then I consume a lot of BCAA. (like 15gr/day (5 days lifting & 2 days cardio))

    Also, like this morning, I’ve done my HIIT cardio (30 min of swimming), is it necessary to eat simple sugar just after my cardio? Knowing that I fast from 7 pm to 10 am (10gr bcaa before cardio & 5gr during) and taking a scoop of whey after the cardio?

    Thx!

    • Michael Matthews

      Personally I use leucine because iso-leucine and valine don’t really do anything in the way of stimulating mTOR, but leucine DOES taste like shit. Some people hate it.

      You’ll want the BCAAs or leucine before the fasted training.

      You don’t have to eat carbs after, no. Some protein is a good idea though.

      • sBaro

        Okay thx! And since I stop eating at 7pm and go to bed like 5 or 6 hours later does my body will tap into my muscle store during the night?

        We read everywhere that it’s better to eat a little amount of protein before sleeping but does that has a real impact since i eat the right amount of food (macros) during the day?

        And for the bcaa during the work-out? Is it unnecessary (when you take it before)?

        Thx again to clarify my mind 🙂

        • Michael Matthews

          I do generally recommend some protein about 30 minutes before going to bed because research has shown it helps with muscle recovery. That said, NOT doing it doesn’t cause muscle LOSS–you just don’t get the boost in recovery.

          Unnecessary if you take before.

          • sBaro

            Okay thx a lot Mike!

            Another thing you said in an other comment that :”I don’t recommend fasting LIFTING while bulking or maintaining because the pre-workout carbs are great for boosting strength.” But since I can only train first thing in the morning, even during my bulk, do you think it’s more efficient to take a protein shake with a banana or something (with some fats to slow down the digestion?) than training fasted?

            Thx again 🙂

          • Michael Matthews

            Yup that’s what I do when I’m not cutting–1 scoop protein in 1 cup rice milk with 1 banana. Huge energy boost.

    • cefr

      Hi, sBaro!
      I would like to know the HIIT workout in swimming that you do.
      Thanks

      • sBaro

        Hello cefr,

        Actually I alternate one length of the pool (breaststroke = chill time) and the other one I crawl but not that simple : for the second one you start slowly and increasing the speed till you arrive to the half of the length, and there you give all that you have, burst all your energy during this little part trying to beat the water! Might sounds easy but I swim for many years now and this the most efficient way to do it even if sometimes people don’t really understand what you’re doing, but I don’t give a …. 🙂

        I do this for 25 to 30 minutes max (trust me if you do it correctly you will not last longer) for one of my cardio session of the week. I like alternate different kind of cardio but always HIIT style, it’s far more efficient than my previous 60 min endurance cardio.

        PS: I’m doing all kind of gains training smarter thanks to this kind of website/person you can read one the web.

        Thx Mike & others 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      The more leucine the better and for muscle preservation purposes, isoleucine and valine aren’t important. Many people really hate the taste of leucine though. That said, it saves money if you’re training fasted every day.

      You don’t have to eat carbs after cardio. I just have some protein.

  • Chris

    Mike, why use Yohimbine with BCAAs? BCAAs raise insuline, negating the effects of Yohimbine. At least to a certain degree.

    • Michael Matthews

      The insulin response to BCAAs is pretty negligible.

  • CeCe

    Is there a specific window when it’s best to workout in a fasted state? I do 24 hour fasts on Monday & Thursday with last meal at 6pm. Is it best to do hiit running the next morning or my gym routine that night when I’m well into the fast?

    • Michael Matthews

      Ideally you will work out and break the fast after with a meal. You can extend this by having more BCAAs or leucine, but you don’t want to fast, work out, and then fast another 8+ hours before eating.

      • Derrek

        Do you fast and do cardio and weight lifting? How do you do this if you are supposed to separate them by like 4 hours? Do cardio in morning fasted and then wait several hours to workout?

        • Michael Matthews

          I lift first thing in the morning (fasted) and do my cardio around 6 PM. My lunch is smallish and around noon and my afternoon (3 PM) snack is one scoop of whey, which takes about 2 to 2.5 hours to process. I then eat dinner after.

  • Hey great stuff as always. I will use your links and get the supplements…I eat last meal around 5 or six at night and workout 4 in the morning…having a hard time getting cardio in…can I lift then cardio afterwords….right now I need to lose 20% body fat…so muscle loss is not a worry for me…I follow the book and getting better at hitting my eating goals…faithful to the five day workout…but want to speed up the weight loss…but im really enjoying the ride…plus adding weight to my lifts everyweek….good stuff

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks!

      Yes you can do your cardio after. Personally I would do leucine before lifting, leucine after, cardio, and then eat.

      That plus a proper meal plan will do it:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      What do you think?

      Yes those products would be fine as well.

      • Ok so take leucine before and after morning workout…tks

        • Michael Matthews

          Yup you got it.

      • what about creatine?

        • Michael Matthews

          Creatine with your first meal.

  • nadine

    Is drinking black coffee breaking the fasted state? I remember reading in low carb articles that drinking coffee can create an insulin spike so I’m wondering wether I should workout before my coffees or if it’s ok to have coffee(s) first? Thank you!

    • Michael Matthews

      Nope, totally fine. You can even add a little cream (less than 30 cals’ worth) and be okay.

  • Ian

    Mike!
    Would you recommend fasted cardio when trying to bulk up to keep the fat gains low? Or something different? This article was super informative! Thanks as always!

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah, you can. Why not. Thanks!

  • Gabe

    Everything I’ve read about training in a fasted state seems to boil down to the result of burning fat FASTER then a more traditional training diet. I would like to know however if training in a fasted state burns fat more EFFICIENTLY than a traditional diet, all else being equal. Meaning that you end up losing less muscle after cutting and/or gain less fat while bulking.

    I’m mostly after the question of whether fasted training results in a better net gain of muscle to fat compared to non fasted training [in respect to a bulk/cut cycle]. And let’s say for arguments sake that I don’t care which produces the FASTEST fat loss or muscle gain. I just want to know which produces the better muscle to fat RATIOS over X amount of time. Is it more or less equal and up to personal preference?

    I saw in another comment that you endorse fasted training while bulking. Do you also recommend fasted training for maintenance over non fasted?

    Sorry, I don’t mean to be one of those “which is better!!?” people.

    Thanks Mike! I loved BLS!

    • Michael Matthews

      Well the less time you spend in a deficit the better in terms of retaining muscle, so yes, it makes the whole process more efficient in that way.

      I don’t recommend fasting LIFTING while bulking or maintaining because the pre-workout carbs are great for boosting strength. But I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t do your cardio fasted.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon! Thanks brother!

      • David Ngeow

        Mike, you mean no fasted lifting during bulking process but fasted cardio is still ok during bulking period?

        If so, then we can do fasted cardio in morning (2 – 3 times a week) and weight lift in evening?

        with some help from supplement to fasten fat burn and preserve muscle?

        Am i getting the correct info?

        • Michael Matthews

          Yes, that’s right.

          Don’t bother with fat burner type of supplements while bulking.

  • AlexM

    I do not agree that HIIT is more efective for fatburn:
    You can sustain low/medium cardio for more than one hour that the ratio of fat burn versus glycogen/blood glucose changes drasticly.
    that means that if you have time and can do low cardio for about 1 and 1/2 hour or two hours it burns mutch more fat and the chances of burning the stuborn fat also increases a lot 😉

    I also do HIIT training but with other objective, and follow similar diet patterns that you do and agreed with them except of the cardio for better fat burn part.

    Sincerely,
    AM from Portugal

  • martin gonzalez

    Great article keep it up love your site frequent it evry week.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks!

  • startingout

    Hi, Michael! I’ve been following your posts and podcasts for almost half a year now.

    I had a quick question regarding fasted workouts: would Optimum’s essential amino preworkout blend create a large insulin spike and cancel out the fasting undertaken before a workout?

    I typically fast for 10 hours before lifting, three times a week, and under your advice try to get some caffeine and amino acids in an hour before working out. I typically use Optimum’s essential amino preworkout blend for this. (http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/opt/essential-amino-energy.html?mcid=GGL_US_Products-Products_Optimum_Essential_AmiNO_Energy&bbkwid=21762232570)

    Thanks for any advice on this!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks!

      Hmm that product has a lot of aminos so yes there will be an insulin response. How much I can’t say but IMO go with pure leucine if you want to be the “safest” in this regard.

  • Julia Irmis

    Hi Mike 🙂 Thank you so much for the post. I’ve been doing IF for about a year now, and really enjoy it. Quick question if you don’t mind? I’m following the TLS program and am currently cutting. I always work out in the mornings, so those work-outs will be in a fasted state, but on days when I’m doing both lifting and HIIT (one sess in the morning, one in the evening) which should I do in a fasted state? Obviously in a perfect ideal world I’d do both, but that’s unfortunately not always an option… Thanks again 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      YW! Cool on the IF.

      I would keep the lifting fasted.

      Hope this helps! Let me know how the cut goes!

  • Shawn Freeman

    Hey Mike, 2 questions for you:

    1.) I was just wondering if doing HIIT throughout the week has had a negative impact on your strength gain/retention during a cut? Due to the constant taxing of the CNS from very intense cardio + heavy weight lifting.

    2.) You say in another post that you like to do higher carbs on training days to improve your performance in the gym when getting below 10% body fat. If you are training fasted, how are those carbs helping your peformance? Thanks Mike

    • Michael Matthews

      1. Nope, not at all. Remember, though, that my HIIT sessions are short (never long than 30 min) and I only do 3 to 4 per week while cutting.

      2. Yeah I talk about this more in my next book. They help by increasing glycogen stores in the muscles.

  • Fran

    Hi Mike
    I am currently doing IF so I lift fasted 6+hrs without food prior to lifting. I normally follow my lifting with 30mins LISS. If i wanted to incorporate the HIIT. What is the best way to take the beneficial supps for this?
    Would i be 10mins prior to lifting (fasted):- BCAA / Leucine , Caffine, GTE, Yohimbine then after lifting BCAA / Leucine and do HIIT?
    Thanks dude

    • Fran

      Sorry Mike just in addition to this. Other people in the Industry I respect, Martin Berkhan, Andy Morgan, Jay (AWorkoutRoutine) are all people that are in favour of the no cardio and reduced calories methods for continued fat loss and go as far to say that HIIT on a cut will elad to recovery issues and ultimately muscle loss, I am personally starting to suffer a drop in strength and reps at week 10 of my cut, I am not sure what I shoudl do for the best in terms of LBM retention and continued fat loss. Can you offer any advice?
      Thanks

      • Michael Matthews

        I’m familiar with these claims but have never actually experienced them either in my own training or with people I work with.

        Too much cardio or HIIT is definitely a problem, but I recommed no more than 1.5 to 2 hours per WEEK while cutting. It helps speed up the fat loss without causing any recovery issues.

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup that’s exactly what I would do.

  • Cleve Latham

    1. In an attempt to tackle stubborn fat deposits around gut and butt (I’m 5′ 7″ 155 10-12% body fat) I’m considering early morning spin class (with turning Real Ryders) as my cardio. Class is an hour long, but includes warm up, cool down, and recovery periods between sprints and hill climbs. I’m thinking that might add up to 30 minutes of HIIT. I don’t want to jeopardize my muscle building program by going too hard at cardio. I also do hot yoga three times a week and lift six days a week. Any thoughts?
    2. I like Pulse very much, but my research suggests that a pre-workout should contain creatine and L-arginine. Why did you not include those ingredients in Pulse?

    • Michael Matthews

      Wow that’s a LOT of exercise. I would cut it back to 5 x lifting and 3 – 4 x HIIT for no more than 25-30 min per session.

      I don’t think pres should contain creatine as it has no ACUTE effects–it accumulates in the muscles over time and works. Pres should focus on acutely ergogenic substances–things you can take and immediately benefit from.

      L-arginine isn’t as reliable in its mechanisms as citrulline, which is why Pulse contains the latter.

  • mike

    Hi mike,

    I usually lift in the mornings fasted, and then do HIIT cardio or work on some calisthenics progressions in the afternoon. Sometimes in the afternoons I won’t be fasted since my meal times vary from day to day. If i needed to choose either cardio or weight lifting fasted which would you recommend I do?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Michael Matthews

      Good question. I’d keep the lifting fasted over the cardio.

  • Ed

    Mike,
    Do you recommend taking the BCAA’s or Leucine prior to fasted state Cardio or HIIT training as well as prior to weightlifting?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes, before any fasted exercise.

  • Brendan

    I like that you sited research, makes you seem legit…. but after actually reading the research you sited, I realised you took what you wanted from it and drew your own conclusions.

    Even in the abstract it states, “Although calculated rates of glucose oxidation were different when comparing the four trials (P < 0.05), total CHO oxidation and total fat oxidation were similar."

    You mention "Increased insulin reduces the lipolytic rate and limits the availability of plasma FFAs in the circulation", but conveniently ignore the researchers follow up with "However… we found no evidence of impaired fat availability (Fig. 2) or fat utilization (Fig.4)."

  • Derrek

    What if I’m against using supplements like BCAA and green tea? Any advice on fasting and doing weight training and cardio? Should I just drink green tea? Is there anything I can do to naturally not lose muscle mass? Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      I wouldn’t train fasted if you’re not going to use BCAAs or leucine.

  • Oscar Sanchez

    Hey Mike, I can only do my HIIT workouts at the same time as my lifting. My HIIT workouts are usually an hour in length, and my weight workout is 2-2.5 hours. Do you recommend doing HIIT before weights or weights first?

    Also, I’m about 20% bf (got tested with hand held device). How long do you think it will take me to get to 5-6% BF? Doing 5 two-hour lifting sessions and 6 one-hour HIIT sessions per week, and just sort of eyeballing my diet/calories.

    As for supplementation, how much yohimbine and caffeine do you recommend taking before HIIT? I’m planning on doing 200mg of caffeine and 1 tbsp. of yohimbine about 10 mins before my HIIT. I like to train fasted but don’t have access to BCAA’s. Would having a bottle of gatorade be a good substition? (It has lots of electrolytes and can give me energy for my cardio). Thanks a lot Mike! You Rock!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks man!

      Wow your weight workouts could be MUCH shorter. I never lift for more than 60 minutes.

      That said, I would do the HIIT after. Save your energy for your lifting.

      I would just follow the supplement recommendations given in the article and if you drink Gatorade, you’re no longer fasted.

  • Josh Cheatwood

    I weigh 255 so how much yohimbine would i need to take?

    • Michael Matthews

      I would start with half the recommended dosage here and see how your body responds.

      • Josh Cheatwood

        Oh, thanks plus I have been taking it for a bit . I was just seeing if the # i came up with was correct lol. If i did it right. it came out as 115mg? or did i do it wrong? plus I’m 6’4-6’5 trying to get too 220. Any help would be a big thanks. Josh

        • Josh Cheatwood

          Actually I re-read it . I think It’s 23mg that sound right Mike? also wanted to ask your thoughts & opinion on Cayenne Pepper 100,000 H.U 450 mg each. . Thanks for any help in Advance..

          • Michael Matthews

            Yeah .2 mg per kg of body weight so 23. I’d start around 15 and see how your body feels.

            The pepper won’t do anything to speed up the weight loss.

  • magda

    How long should a fasted state last

    • Michael Matthews

      What do you mean?

      • magda

        If i do cardio at 7am then what time should i start to faste and would time should it end?

        • Michael Matthews

          You’ll be fasted by the time you wake up.

  • Ron

    Great article, Mike. From what I remember in your book, you recommend splitting weight lifting sessions and cardio by at least several hours. How should i incorporate fasted training if I’m weightlifting in the morning and doing cardio late evening?

  • Jared

    Hi Mike,
    What are your thoughts on taking L-Glutamine prior to a workout and fasted?

    Thanks,
    Jared

    • Michael Matthews

      No need to…

  • Derrek

    What about doing HIIT training fasted? Is this ok? Without anything. Sometimes I drink caffeinated tea before.

    • Michael Matthews

      I’d recommend some BCAAs or leucine just to counteract some of the muscle loss that would occur otherwise.

  • AlexA

    Hi Mike, thanks for taking the time to answer all the questions. I read through all the 101 comments so hopefully u won’t need to repeat yourself!

    I have started my first cut as laid out in BLS, currently at 14% BF. I don’t get hungry in the mornings when I go to work so I have naturally been fasting until about 11:30am, have a pre workout shake (hemp and pea) and then gym at 12.

    I have bought a bike to cycle to work at 9am, its a 30min light to moderate intensity ride to work. I want to incorporate this as my fasted cardio, then do fasted lifting at 12 and have big lunch at 1ish.

    What supplementation do u recommend for the fasted cardio and lifting?
    8:30am; BCAAs, cycle to work
    Then nothing except green tea until 12pm and then take more BCAAs and Gym?

    If my fasted cardio is low intensity (i.e. 30min recovery cycle to work) do I even need to bother with muscle loss issue?

    Thanks again!

    Alex

    • Michael Matthews

      My pleasure! 🙂

      Great on your cut. I like your biking idea.

      Hmm. I would do this:

      BCAAs & bike. Arrive to work and have 1 scoop of whey protein. Your insulin will be back to baseline by 12pm. BCAAs & lift. Eat.

      Yes the muscle loss issue applies to LISS.

      • AlexA

        Again thank you so much for responding! I Will start right away and let u know when I reach my goal of 10% BF in about 2 months! 🙂

        • Michael Matthews

          YW and great sounds good!

  • Adam Samodulski

    My Stats: My Supplements:
    35 yo male Body Tech creatine mono
    5’8″ Green tea extract
    186.1 lbs. Twin Lab Nitric fuel
    19.4% BF MRM bcaa+g reload
    28.3 BMI ON whey protein
    VPX meltdown

    Main goal is to lose belly fat (15 lbs.) while not losing any muscle and train in fasted state. I want to do both my HIIT cardio and weightlifting in one session early in morning (4 AM). I can only fit one session in a day as both my wife and I work full time and have three young kids. Whats the best regiment with the supplements i have listed, especially on days that i am doing both weights and cardio (i’ve been shooting for 2-3 days of the week doing both).

    Thanks. I love your site. Oh yeah, do you see a dire need to add Pulse to my workout?

    • Michael Matthews

      Cool on all this. Totally fine on the one session. You can do your HIIT after your lifting.

      You don’t have to add Pulse, no, but you’ll like it for your workouts. 🙂

      Do this:

      BCAAs and 2 VPX and 1 scoop Pulse before workout
      1/2 daily dosage of GTE (this may cause nausea–if it does, leave out)
      I would do some caffeine as well
      Lift + Cardio
      Whey & GTE

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Adam Samodulski

        Thanks..I think i will buy the Pulse and leave the Nitric for when i get the occasional night work out in..

        • Michael Matthews

          Sounds good. 🙂 LMK how you like it!

  • Hey Mike! I really like your writing style and the fact that you link the studies you cite. Great for credibility and trust.

    Personally I had great success with fasted low-intensity cardio (long walks 14-15h after the last meal). The more I delve into the research on this topic, the more I’m inclined to take the relaxed approach and just create the proper caloric deficit. I’m sure all kinds of cardio work; fed or fasted, low or high intensity, interval or steady, and the difference between them is very small.

    For instance, in the AARR released today, after reviewing 11 studies regarding intervals vs steady-state cardio for fat loss, Joel Minden concludes “Collectively, the data reveal that interval training offers no reliable advantage over steady-state endurance training for fat loss.”

    Thanks for the time you put into writing these articles. I’ve also listened to two episodes of your podcast 😀 great stuff there also.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Radu!

      I’ll check out the latest AARR as that sounds interesting.

      My thoughts FWIW:

      If you’re over 10%, a proper deficit is basically everything. Getting from, let’s say, 15% to 10% is just too easy.

      When you want to get into the 6-7% range, however, things change. Preservation of lean mass becomes a big factor and you’re dealing mostly with stubborn fat.

      • Yeah, you’re right. I guess most people don’t really have several months to lean down slowly.

        • Michael Matthews

          Yeah. It takes quite a bit of patience.

  • Gary

    Hi Mike. Great article, but with one omission, how long after eating should we wait before being considered ‘fasted’? E.g. I have a light lunch at 12.15pm, then start my 45min workout at 2.15pm (hiit, and lifting), followed by a chicken salad wrap.

    what do you think?

    great site btw

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I talk about that in the article. That’s not enough time. Just one scoop of whey protein will elevate insulin levels for about 2.5 hours…

      • sfczarnecki

        Sorry, I know this is old but I’m starting to use Yohimbine and I want to get this right. So…if you’re working out in the evening or afternoon, how long do you have to wait after eating lunch? I know the article says 3-6 hours but there’s a bit difference between planning to stop eating by 2pm for a 5pm workout verses stopping by 11am for a workout at the same time. Is there a “median” or recommended wait time? Not sure what to do here…

        • Personally I do a lunch of chicken and salad and I have a scoop of whey at 3 and do my cardio at 530/6. More food at 3 wouldn’t work.

          • sfczarnecki

            Perfect! I generally stop eating at 1:00pm on workout evenings because I can’t stand that feeling of a full stomach when I’m working hard. I usually have a tuna and spinach roll-up with a low-carb wrap (no mayo in the tuna), a side of fresh veggies with a TBSP of hummus, and a Baby Bell light cheese. Sometimes I have a Siggi’s plain yogurt but I can skip that on the workout days if needed. Thanks for the reply (I’ll remove the other request in the forums)!

          • Cool! Sounds good. No worries on the forum. 🙂

  • Luis

    Hey, Mike! I have these questions:
    Does the use of albumin or casein before sleeping disturb the falling of insulin levels and, consequently, minimize the potential of fasted training after getting up?
    How may I eat after the fasted cardio?( How much time after, what kind of food or supplement should I have to combat the muscle loss whithout raising the levels of insulin)
    Thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      One serving of either will be fully absorbed with 4-6 hours so you’ll be fine.

      I just have some protein after.

  • Anthony

    Hey Mike,
    I’m at 8-9% BF and trying to drop that a little bit but still make muscle/strength gains (so I suppose its body recomposition). From what I understand, I should try to do fasted HIIT to lose fat and eat carbs/protein before lifting to gain muscle (in addition to GTE, caffeine etc).

    However lets say I need 2400 calories to maintain my weight on a non-lifting, non-cardio day (so 2400=BMR). But if I wanted to do a sprinting workout/HIIT that day, I would assume HIIT would burn, for example, 200 calories, so then I would try to eat 2600 (2400 + 200) calories that day to not create a caloric deficit and to not lose muscle.

    So where does fasted HIIT come into play? If in that example, the HIIT I did was in a fasted state, my body would burn more fat–so then if I would eat 2600 calories to try to maintain muscle, but I burned extra fat during the workout –>increased amount of calories burned–>caloric deficit–>muscle loss. So should I add additional calories to that 2600 (2400 + 200 + x), or does fasted HIIT work by a completely different mechanism? Thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      You’ll only be able to do that if you’re new to heavy, compound weightlifting. Otherwise you’ll have to settle for losing fat while maintaining muscle.

      Your BMR isn’t 2400. TDEE maybe. Check this out:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      You could keep calorie intake steady every day and do well:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      You don’t have to eat more on training days and less on cardio days. If you really want to I will be discussing it in my next book, which will be out in about a week.

      Calorie deficit doesn’t = muscle loss.

  • Brian Giffin

    Mike I am cutting now and have a question regarding calorie counting. I think I asked you this before but I didn’t quite get your answer.

    My calorie counting app provides me with additional calories that I get to eat when I log my workouts/ cardio. I can turn this feature off if I want to. Should I be eating additional calories based on the apps recommendations or should I be following a flat daily caloric baseline regardless of my daily workout and just adjusting up or down 200 cals as I feel they are needed depending on my goals?

    Can’t wait for the new book, thanks!

  • Melissa

    Hey Mike! Thanks once again for a fantastic article. I am very eager to give fasted HIIT a go as I am really struggling to overcome a plateau and start to see progress in getting rid of some stubborn fat. My question is how log does it take after eating for your body to fall into the ‘fasted’ state. I find it very challenging with my job to exercise in the morning and much prefer it after work.. I have played around with not eating after lunch (giving me about 3 hours of no food before exercise) which isn’t very long at all… Would would your recommendation be? Thanks heaps in advance!! Melissa 🙂

    • Melissa

      Have just Re read the article and noticed you mentioned 3-6! Sorry about that.. I spose the morning would be the safest bet as you would definitely be in a fasted state!

      • Michael Matthews

        No worries. Yes first thing in morning is best.

        LMK how it goes!

        • Melissa

          Thank you for the reply! Only just noticed it 😉 I definite will 🙂

          • Michael Matthews

            YW! Sounds good!

  • J. Porter

    Hey Mike, hope all is well. I’ve recently purchased your audio book “Bigger, Leaner, Stronger.” I’m loving the book. I just needed a little guidance on supplements and working out. I’ve lost about 65 lbs using IF and cardio over a six month period. I started out at 233 lbs . I’m 39, 5’5 and I weigh 168 lbs currently. The transformation has been great both physically and mentally but now I feel “skinny fat.” I want to transition into weightlifting but I still have 10-15% body fat to lose.
    I enjoy the benefits of fasting and would like to continue, at least until I get rid of the fat. My problem is I’m a weaker now than when I began. How do I now weight train effectively while fasting? Can I just use caffeine pills in the morning or do I need to do the combo you suggested (BCAA’s, Green tea extract, and Yohimbine) to get results.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      Great job on your weight loss. That rocks.

      You can definitely train fasted and follow LG and get stronger. My guess is you weren’t training properly before. Focusing on heavy compound lifting is going to make a big difference…

  • Aj

    So I should take all 15mg of yohimbine while in fasted state in the morning before exercise or through out the day?

    • Michael Matthews

      Fasted before exercise.

  • JakeM

    Hi Mike,

    Your website is awesome. I like the way you write and the fact that you link to evidence supporting your claims.

    I have three questions regarding this post specifically:

    1. In regard to the Leucine powder that you linked to, Bulk Supplements states on their website: “…it is also important to remember to take Valine and Isoleucine with it or else the proportions of amino acids in the body will be off; meaning that the liver and kidneys could be adversely affected by this sudden spike in one amino acid.”

    Do you think this is an issue for fasted training? If not, please explain.

    2. Is 10g BCAA or 3-5g Leucine an effective dose for anyone? I’m 6′-3″ with a fairly large body frame, and I’m curious if this dose will be enough?

    3. If I lift for 45 minutes on one day with no cardio and do 20 minutes HIIT another day with no lifting, do you still recommend 10g BCAA or 3-5g Leucine for both days? Is it okay to lower the dose for the HIIT?

    Thanks in advance, Mike. I really appreciate it.

    Jake

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Jake!

      1. Not an issue when you’re only taking 3-5 g 1 or 2 x per day.

      2. Yes.

      3. Same dose for both.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Jayme

    Hi Mike,
    I’ve read now 4 of your books- love them and promoting them to friends and family! Thanks for all your work!
    I am currently getting ready to get back into a fitness and clean diet routine and have been reading your books, articles and posts (and have also signed up for a customized meal plan). My main goal is fat loss- after reading Thinner, Leaner Stronger- I thought I had it down…but then I stumbled upon fasting cardio and weightlifting. Based on the research I am interested to try this, but need some clarification on a few things:
    – if weightlifting causes an increase in catecholamines, why is it not recommended to do hiit cardio right after weights to take advantage of this fat-burning opportunity?
    -if I am to separate weights and cardio (morning and evening) and want to do both in fasted state, which of the two is most beneficial to do in the morning to take advantage of the fasted state?
    -looking at the formula for calculating a meal plan (as in TLS), if I am doing fasted state work-outs, what is the best way to make up the “pre-workout” meals…or do I?
    – the supplements you recommend in your article on fasting workouts…would these be in addition to those you recommend in your TLS book?
    -do omega supplements need to be considered as part of your daily recommended fat intake?
    Sorry for all the questions- lots of great info…just trying to put it all together 🙂
    Thanks Mike 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I really appreciate the support and look forward to helping you!

      You can do your cardio after your lifting if you need to but better would be separately. You can do both fasted.

      Yes the supplements are really just for fasted training.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Rationale

    Hi Mike,
    I want to know if I will be able to lose my subcutaneous fat at the belly performing fasted HIIT cardio by jumping ropes “only” and not doing any additional ab exercise between intervals? Or can I achieve fat mobilisation at the belly without incorporating core training exercises in my HIIT?

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  • Danna

    Hi mike- I recently stumbled across your site here and loved it. I bought your womens tls book. I just started it this week. So far so good. Previous to this I was training for figure competitions but could never lean out my legs, especially inner thighs. 10 months ago I had a baby and my upper body has bounced back nicely but legs are being ver stubborn. Would fasted cardio be the best option to get the stubborn fat off the legs? If so, sprints and cycling good options. What type of cardio do you recommend for stubborn hip butt leg fat. I was around 15% bf pre baby and 23% now but would like to get down to 17-18% over the next months if not sooner. I’m so unhappy with my legs that I’m looking into liposuction. Thanks for your time.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Danna! Let me know how you do on the program.

      Yes fasted cardio could definitely help. That plus a proper diet and supplementation should take care of it…

      • andy

        Should I supplement with bcaa for fasted cardio? Or just fasted lifting?

        • Michael Matthews

          Yes you’ll want leucine or BCAAs for both.

  • CDK

    “A caveat, though: don’t be surprised if you’re noticeably weaker during your first couple of weeks of switching from fed weightlifting to fasted.”

    Holy crap, Mike! I knew I would feel weaker, but I did Legs the other day in a fasted state (about 1 hour after waking) and instead of doing 315 lbs for 5 reps, I had to drop to 290 and I had trouble getting 4 reps. My wife also saw her squat decrease. We have agreed- for leg day we will train in a fed-state.

    Overall though, we have seen some gains in some exercises and have basically stayed the same in others. We’re only on Day 10 though so can’t really attest to too much.

    Thanks for the read!

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup some people don’t do so well with fasted training. Good call on training legs fed. You might want to do the same with your heavy deadlifting.

      Glad to hear you’re doing well otherwise. Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

  • Ryan

    Should I take VPX Meltdown with a preworkout before a fasted workout?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah you can

  • laura E

    I thought that the fat burning really kicks in AFTER the HITT. So wouldn’t the benefit be greater to continue the fasted state about an hour or two after HITT?

    • Michael Matthews

      That’s a common misconception. You can read more about HIIT here:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com/high-intensity-interval-training-and-weight-loss/

      • laura E

        hmn.. I read it, but it didn’t really talk about the “after-burn effect.” To clarify: If I fast, then do cardio, then wait an hour to eat breakfast, will I burn more calories than if I just ate right after doing my cardio?

        Hope that makes sense. BTW, I recently finished “Thinner, Leaner, Stronger” and I really enjoyed it. Thanks to your book I have definitely gotten stronger and my squat has improved 100%. Now I just need to work on the thinner and leaner part 😉

        • Michael Matthews

          The afterburn effect is what it is–it has nothing to do with doing additional LISS after the HIIT.

          No you won’t burn additional calories. You can just eat after.

          Thanks on the book! I really appreciate it. 🙂

          Haha let’s check out your diet:

          https://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

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  • Jolo300

    Hi mike,
    I’ve just started trying fasted training and am taking 10g bcaa (2:1:1)
    200mg egcg, 200mg caffeine before my workout and 22.5g whey with 5g creatine after my workout. Is this correct?? Should I take my final 200mg egcg after the workout also or later in the day with a meal?
    Lastly, am I wasting my time doing all this if I don’t add in the Yohimbine?? I don’t really want it as worried about the jittery thing!
    Thankyou

    • Michael Matthews

      Great! That is correct yes. And sure on the EGCG. That’s fine. It still can help without the yohimbine, although I would recommend you try it. Most people don’t get jittery from it.

  • Debbye S. Sparks

    Is it ok if I take BCAA and Yohimbine at the same time? I havent done it, I’ve read a lot about yohimbine but havent found anything about that, thank you

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes, totally fine.

  • Francesca

    Hi mike, thanks for all this great info. I’m female.. Do a lot of weight training (I lift as heavy as I can and train as hard as a dude)my goal is to become bikini model fitness lean.. I just have a nice layer of fat covering some good muscle. My diets pretty good, water, etc just about a month or so again I started fasted morning cardio. Just bcaa and black coffee.
    It seems to be working.. Normally I will do forty min to one hour to seventy five min low intensity steady state.
    It was rough in beginning but bcaa helps me not to feel nauseous. So after I do this, I take my whey shake an a banana/packet of honey and fifteen minutes later lift.
    I feel ok except later in the day I do feel depleted.
    Proper diet and more good food choices is helping that.
    Question is: do you think this is a good method to lean out more? I love weight training and was doing a lot more than cardio… Was doing twenty to thirty hit after weights but many days I’d skip cause I was spent from lifting!!
    So I started fasted low int cardio first thing
    You are saying to do hiit? If I do that would it be just twenty to thirty min? Then is it safe to lift?

    So many possibilities I just want what’s going to work as I put so much time into it.
    My days are seriously dictated by workout!!!

    Ok hope to talk soon
    Francesca

  • Derrek

    So are BCAA’s needed when doing weight training and/or HIIT when fasted? Do I need to supplement with BCAAs before fasted HIIT?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes. Or leucine.

  • Kambrose

    Hi Mike!

    Two questions

    I hear that your suppose to eat within 30 min of waking up? Also how long can I fast before I should eat? I wake up around 7 , get kids to school and get to gym around 9-930.

    Also I’m training for bikini competing and do weights and cardio. What is the best way to go about this? I am needing really to loose weight, iv been dieting but weight has hardly budge!

    Thanks!! 🙂
    Krystal

  • Kambrose

    Two questions

    I hear that your suppose to eat within 30 min of waking up? Also how long can I fast before I should eat? I wake up around 7 , get kids to school and get to gym around 9-930.

    Also I’m training for bikini competing and do weights and cardio. What is the best way to go about this? I am needing really to loose weight, iv been dieting but weight has hardly budge!

    Thanks!! 🙂
    Krystal

  • Rami Aldouri

    Hey man.

    Just stumbled upon your website today. Will definitely be visiting here more often.

    This is the first ever article I’ve read about fasted cardio/workouts. Before this all I’ve ever read was that you should never exercise fasting, to always have a meal 2-3 hours before a workout or else you’ll lose way too much muscle (mostly from bodybuilding.com). You’ve convinced me with how you can fight the muscle breakdown and how the fat burning is way more efficient with fasted training, but my question is, wouldn’t it be better if you were in a fed state before your workout, and then you’d burn the calories of that last meal you had (rather than it getting stored as fat), just so that the workout could be more productive (and less of a struggle), and then you could fast for the last 5 or so hours before you sleep, taking the bcaas before going to bed, as long as the calorie deficit is the same whether you choose to go for fasted training or fed training? I mean a more productive workout means more calories burned at the gym and then consuming extra calories wouldn’t cause as much of a problem also?

    Sorry but one more thing. With a high spike of insulin, is there no fat burning going on at all? So for example, a 45g whey protein shake (hardly any carbs/fat) after a workout means there’s going to be no fat getting burned for the next few hours?

    Thank you from Dubai.

  • Vu Tran

    Hi Mike, after reading this i got curious and just want to clarify something with you if that’s ok….

    1) As you mentioned, GTE is very beneficial for fat-loss…What make epigallocatechin gallate in Phoenix different from catechin in GTE? And why did you choose to use this over the regular catechin in GTE ?

    2) You wrote that 150 mg catechin/pill and that you’d recommend 400-600 mg of catechin per day..meaning that equals to taking 3-4 pills per day!!! Especially on an empty stomach as it’s part of the Pre-workout supplements…BUT from NOW’s Website on their GTE pills that they do not recommend to take more than 1 pill per day , and NOT on an empty stomach! I also read before that high dosage of catechin also have a direct correlation to reducing thyroid activity, which can cause Hypothyroidism.. Could you also please explain this and why you recommend 400-600 mg instead of the recommended dosage set by the manufacture? Wouldn’t exceed this limit will cause health issues over time??

    • Michael Matthews

      Good questions.

      1. EGCG is the catechin most associated with weight loss and as we had to conserve space in the pills for the rest of the ingredients, we chose it over GTE, which contains other types of catechins as well.

      2. Yeah ignore them. I base my recommendations on clinical research. Bottle recos are usually based on nothing.

      I’ve never seen any research associating GTE supplementation with hypothyroidism. Link me?

  • SJ

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve been desperately trying to reduce my leg “size” – I’ve lost weight in all other areas BUT my thighs, so I’ve been reading up on all your “stubborn fat” articles. My question is, I have particularly muscular (actually, I’d say more defined than muscular) calves…so I’m a bit weary about how to balance the fat loss vs. muscle gain in my legs. I know women don’t “bulk up” much even with heavy weightlifting, but I really don’t want to see my calves get any thicker! I know my calves are composed of more muscle than fat because when I pinch them, I barely get anything. Is this just my genetic makeup and something I have to deal with?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Michael Matthews

      Good question! Part of this is definitely genetics. Check this out:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com/calves-workout/

      That said, if we reduce your body fat percentage, it should help. Where are you at currently?

      • SJ

        Thanks for that link! Darn genetics, ha.
        I haven’t taken an accurate measurement, but from the photos on your https://www.muscleforlife.com/how-to-measure-body-fat-percentage/ article, I’d say I’m in the 21-23% range (I’m a female).
        Most sources suggest endurance activities like distance running for leaner legs (less of a muscular look) – should I rather do that over HIIT and just be more patient in shedding the thigh fat? I’m torn! Do you have any thoughts/advice on this?

        • Michael Matthews

          Okay cool.

          Yeah that’s a common recommendation and it can help but then again some runners I know have bigger calves than I do! Haha.

          IMO HIIT on a recumbent bike or rowing machine would be alright as neither really involve the calves much…

  • HectorP

    Hi,
    Can i just take all those supplements before one session? For example, i take the supplements before fasted HIIT cardio and then lift weights in another session (hours between obviously) and lift in a fed state? will that still give me faster results still or no?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup I do the same.

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  • Jason G

    Hi Mike, great article as it discusses a lot of what I have read before and currently do most, if not all of what you prescribe. I would like to know that in addition to taking bcaas pre-workout, if it is beneficial to sip on an amino drink like Aminolast from Gaspari during a workout to further help prevent muscle breakdown. I also would like your opinion on doing HIIT cardio for 15-25 minutes followed immediately by an extra hour of steady state cardio. It seems logical that if your body mobilizes fat during HIIT, you can continue to burn it at an accelerated rate for an hour of steady state at 60-80% max heart rate. Lastly, if training for fast fat loss, should a person wait for an hour or 2 after training to eat to maximize fat loss? Thoughts? Thanks!

  • Zach

    Hey Mike,

    Quick question, when choosing a BCAA before fasted HIIT or weight training, should we avoid those that have protein? Picked up a tub of reload and didnt realize that it has 9 grams of protein in every serving.

    Thanks!
    Zach

    • Michael Matthews

      Check the cals. Sometimes it’s not actually protein–it’s just aminos being counted as protein. You want the cals under 30/40 per 10g.

  • Christopher Cassidy

    Mike,
    Great article! I have been implementing a casein protein shake before bed as I read that this slow digesting protein helps the body to burn calories while sleeping. Also in order to reach my protein goal of 240g I need to supplement with a couple of shakes.
    I’m wondering if I would have to eliminate this shake from my diet to achieve a fasted state workout. I generally go to bed between 10:30-12, and have my last meal(dinner) between 6-9pm.
    Another question I had is if I miss my morning workout(usually 6am-8am), and have a shake(as I did today, around 200c), does this negate the positive effects of the fasted workout?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! No you’ll be fasted by the time you wake up. Yeah anything over 30-40 cals will break the fasted state.

  • Greg

    Hey Mike, I’ve tried fasted training in the past, but found I got severe dizzy spells and really bad headaches. For that reason, I had to stop. I’m on a bulk right now, but I’ll be going back to cutting in a few months. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah that happens to some people. Don’t bother with it. It’s not necessary.

  • Kirk

    Hi Mike,

    I know you’re a big fan of Fasted Training! And that you recommend to take BCAA as a pre-workout supplements in order to preserve muscle-loss while training in a fasted state (Fasted Cardio) — as well as taking Yohimbine to accelerate fat loss…My question is that since the effect of Yohimbine is completely neglected by spikes of insulin in the body, wouldn’t taking BCAA in your pre-workout increase the level of insulin and in turn, cause Yohimbine to be useless? As someone with a great deal of fat to lose (28-30% Body Fat), Is it better to just do cardio in a fasted state without these supplement and lift heavy instead?

    • Michael Matthews

      Good question! The insulin response to BCAAs, and to just leucine in particular, is very low. It doesn’t break the fasted state.

      • Kirk

        Awesome! Thank you Mike! As far as Yohimbine goes, do you take it at the same time as you take the BCAA or one first before the other??

        • Michael Matthews

          Same time.

      • Kirk

        Sorry I forgot to add:

        1. How long does the effect of Yohimbin HCL last? Say if Fasted cardio was done, how long do I have to wait before I can have my first meal of the day?

        2. To prevent losing muscle mass by fasted-cardio, would something like a protein shake after cardio have any effect on Yohimbin HCL fat-burning effect? (Insulin spikes)

        Thank you, Mike!

        • Michael Matthews

          1. 30-45 min. You can eat right after.

          2. No as it’s out of your system by the time you finish.

  • jessica

    Hey Mike

    How do you train twice a day in a fasted state (I assume you were meaning on two separate occasions during the day)? Would it be bad to lift weights in a fasted state and then do 25min of fasted HIIT straight after?

    Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      I lift fasted at 715AM, have a relatively small lunch (40p, 20c, 5-10f) at 12, a scoop of whey at 3, and cardio at 6.

      I probably wouldn’t lift fasted and then do HIIT after. I would lift fasted, have a scoop of whey, then do cardio.

  • Goga

    hi! i really love your site!
    so i decided to try fasted training and i have a question – is yohimbine safe for women? im 28)
    thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yeah it is.

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  • Kyle

    I have purchased the Yohimbine HCI and took 2.5 mg today prior to a fasted HIIT session. I am confused about the dosage. I am 210 lbs, 95 kg. Do I really need to take 19 mg (7-8 capsules)?

    Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      That would be a clinically effective dosage, yes.

  • Hi Mike,
    Great Book and Website. I have learned ALOT. I have recently lost 90 lbs. I went from 30 % BF to 12 %. I’m getting into the stubborn fat part. When I train fasted, should I break up my lifting and cardio? Before, I would do HIIT immediately after lifting. Now I’m thiinking of doing HITT at say, hour 8 of fasting and lifting at hour 16. What do you think?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Joe and wow great job! I like to yes and I assume you’ll have a pre-workout meal before the lifting?

  • David

    Hi Mike,

    Many thanks for sharing your expertise!

    I have a question regarding the effect of the gelatine in caps and if it breaks a fasted state. Essentially I am considering fasted training using Leucine. However, I understand that Leucine tastes awful and does not mix well. So I was thinking of making my own ca before my morning work out. But do you think that the relatively small amount of gelatine in 3 size 00 caps would break the fast?

    Many thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      YW!

      Caps are totally fine.

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  • Amanda

    Hi Mike, I am just beginning the TLS and have started following your recommendations for supplements as stated in this article. My question is what should I be taking and when on my off days? Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Great! I take everything but pre-workout on off days, which means creatine, fat burner (if cutting), health supps, etc. Sometimes whey, sometimes not, just depends what my day is like.

      • Amanda

        Thanks!

        • Michael Matthews

          YW!

  • Ruby

    Hi Mike, excellent article, thanks! I’m so glad I found this site, as I’ve been reading so much conflicting info on fasted vs. fed training. I’ve been training fasted for several months now and find this is the best way for me to do it. My primary goal is to increase my lean mass, but I also want to keep my body fat in check. I usually eat complex carbs at dinner so that it’ll fuel my workout the next morning, but on rest days I reduce my carb intake and therefore don’t get the benefit of that fuel the next morning. What are your thoughts on doing a HIIT session followed by a small meal (i.e. a banana or similar) and then lifting right after? Will I have used too much energy to have a good lifting session? I don’t really have time to split my workouts up in the day and I really want to get 2-3 HIIT sessions in each week. Am I just over-thinking things?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Ruby!

      Cool on what you’re doing. You’ll probably do better with a pre-workout meal if you’re trying to gain as much muscle as possible because just the pre-workout carbs alone will help you lift more weight.

      I wouldn’t do the cardio and lifting that way. Do the cardio after.

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  • Fred

    Is it okay to use a flavored BCAA? I only ask because although they are minimal, it does have a few calories/carbs in it (2-5g). I have currently been taking unflavored BCAA for my fasted training, and it is very hard to stomach.

    • Michael Matthews

      How are they sweetened?

  • Raed

    Hi Mike,
    I’ve just recently come across your wisdom, and I am trying to brush up on all of your articles and waiting on my purchase of your book.
    My question is in regards to the supplement yohimbine. I believe it is banned in my country and would therefore like to know if there is an alternative to this product?

    Kind regards.
    -R

  • Brandon

    Hi Mike, quick question…. In this post, you mention the following:

    “On the days where I’m doing both weightlifting and cardio, I take the above before both training sessions and have no issues.”….

    Lets say someone is broke like me & can only afford the leucine for now… Are you saying that on days when you do weightlifting and cardio, you’re taking TWO servings of 3-5G of leucine (3-5G 10-15 min before the weightlifting AND 3-5G 10-15 min before the cardio) or just ONE 3-5G serving??? Need to clarify & i’m hoping I haven’t been doing this wrong for several weeks now lol (i’ve been taking just ONE 5G leucine serving 10-15 minutes before my entire workout, regardless of whether i’m doing weights and cardio that day or just cardio)… Thanks -Brandon

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes that’s right. If both sessions are fasted. I don’t always train fasted though.

      • Brandon

        Darn lol. Cool well i’ll just make the adjustment. Think i’ll grab a 500G bag next time since I know i’ll need to take it twice a day (got the 250G bag this 1st go round). Could technically just drink a protein shake after the lifting then another after the cardio since the protein shake has like 2.5G of leucine in it, but then I would be breaking the fasted state & I like doing both workouts back to back due to my schedule & the overall convenience factor.

        BTW- Thanks for all of the GREAT info you have provided on this site. I literally decided on fasted HIIT training because of you & look forward to trying your Phoenix Fat burner in addition to a couple of the other products as I progress through the 1st quarter of 2015. Started at 225lbs/25%bf (at 5’8) on 9/1/14, now i’m down to 185lbs/12%bf (been stuck there ever since I hit it a couple weeks ago but trying my best to get down further :-). Currently trying to get consistent with what I recently learned about macronutrients/carb cycling & hopefully that will help me now that the lbs seem to be getting harder & harder to drop (its been a battle ever since I hit 185)! Not sure how tall you are, but i’m hoping to look like you by next summer! LOL Thanks again man & will check back as I progress! -Brandon

        • Michael Matthews

          Yeah I just get a big ol’ bag to save money.

          That’s right on the protein.

          Wow great job man! That rocks. I appreciate the support too. Keep this in mind for your continued weight loss:

          http://www.muscleforlife.com/how-to-speed-up-metabolism/

          I’d also love to feature you on the site! What do you think?

          • Brandon

            WOW… I’m just getting through the first couple paragraphs, but I can already see that your article on the metabolism just might be the best thing I’ve come across ever since I started this process (not sure how I missed it)! I’m betting that’s a HUGE part of what i’m running into right now because I definitely was at a huge deficit for a while that I only increased a couple weeks ago. That in addition to doing weights+HIIT cardio 5 days a week (& just HIIT cardio the other 2 days) probably killed my metabolism but hopefully its not too late to correct it (taking in just under 1700 cal/day right now). I guess we all live & learn lol.

            Man I would seriously be honored to be featured on the site Mike, especially after reading several of your articles on here & coming back so frequently (this just happened to be the first time I created a disqus account & posted). I’m shooting for 5’8, 160-180 w/ approx 7% body fat (& hopefully a waist somewhere in the 28-32 inch range if genetics allow it). I definitely have my work cut out for me in 2015 when it comes to reaching my ultimate fitness goal, but i’m soo glad to say i’m halfway there! Nothing like seeing results when you know how hard you have worked to get them. This is definitely one of the hardest things i’ve ever done in my life, but between what i’ve learned with my own late-night independent study (hours & hours & hours) & what I have learned on this site directly, I just feel like there is no way I can NOT succeed at this point.

            People like you truly inspire me, you give me something to aim for & I really appreciate you even taking the time to reply to my post (especially knowing how crazy busy you probably are)! Let me know what else I need to do man & I look forward to chatting soon! Happy New Year if we don’t speak beforehand & thanks so much once again! -Brandon

          • Michael Matthews

            Really glad you liked the article! Your metab will be fine. Just work it back up.

            Awesome on the before & after. Let’s do it! Wanna shoot me an email? mike@muscleforlife.

            Thanks a lot for the kind words and support. I’m happy to help and love staying in touch with everyone, so it’s a win-win. 🙂

            Talk soon!

  • Jay

    Apparently Yohimbine is banned in the UK??? 🙁 I just tried to order some but it wouldn’t let me. I assume there isn’t any substitute either.

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah UK health fascists disapprove. 😛 No, it is what it is.

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  • Benito

    Hi Mike, I am a big fan of yours, since I’ve got your books BLS, and the Shredded Chef I am experiencing very good results. There is something else not related to this post that I wanted to ask you. What is your point of view about stretching and weight lifting? I teach martial arts (Taekwondo) and lift weights as well, after weight lifting sessions I stretch a lot and I feel very good, so for me it is very important to keep an excellent flexibility, especially for my legs. However, many people around the gym never do any stretching exercises, instead some others do it before lifting.

  • Michael Matthews

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:

    http://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • JG

    Hi Mike, may I ask, if I have the option of choosing what time of the day to work out, how could I go about picking between:

    1) late morning/noon (for fasted, fat-loss workout-as suggested in your work) or 2) late afternoon/evening (for optimal Testosterone/Cortisol levels – as suggested in Chris Walker’s work).

    I know fat-loss improves T/C levels and T/C levels improve fat-loss. Since blood work shows that I (in my 20’s) need to improve my T/C levels and I need to lose about 25lbs of fat – In addition to your nutrition suggestions, I am trying to see what is optimal in regards to my workout times. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your time and consideration.

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey JG,

      Honestly it won’t make a big difference either way but I would go for the fasted training personally.

  • Zach

    hey mike, just wondering what do u do to get down to 6 ish percent BF? Like how many times a week fasted weights and how many fasted HIIT?

    • When I’m cutting I lift 4 to 5 x per week and do 3 to 4 HIIT sessions per week (25 min per).

  • Henrik

    I’ve recently started with fasted workouts and I take BCAA before. Now I’m wondering, how long I can wait before I eat after a workout? Would I burn more fat if I wait one hour (or more) instead of eating right away?

    • Cool. No, you won’t. You can just eat right away.

      • Rinku Ramolia

        If I eat right after my workout or take bcaa again, doesn’t it spike insulin n shut fat burning process?

        • Doesn’t matter because total daily intake is what matters most here.

          • Rinku Ramolia

            Thanks for your reply. I have few more queries if u could help me out?
            1. I feel very hungry after I wake up in the morning. So if I take only bcaa and do fasting cardio, I feel hungry before starting the cardio or between the session. So how can I do fasting cardio if want to do?
            2. I do dieting on anabolic diet (0 carb, 60% fat, 40% protein) n no insulin spike for 6 days and 1 day carb loading. So in this diet if I take whey or bcaa after my training, doesn’t it spike my insulin?
            3. Many experts say that actual fat burning process is not done during training but after ur training so have ur whey aft 30 to 60 minutes aft ur training for maximum fat burning.
            Kindly help me out.

          • 1. Do it hungry and eat after?

            2. I really don’t recommend this. Check this out:

            http://www.muscleforlife.com/low-carb-diet/

            http://www.muscleforlife.com/the-definitive-guide-to-carb-cycling/

            3. Broscience. Just make sure your diet is right and use exercise to drive fat loss. Check this out:

            http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

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  • NittyNat

    Thanks for the article!! Quick question though. I’m currently weightlifting 5 days a week and doing 2 days of fasted HIIT. I want to add 1 or 2 more days of HIIT so that I can be doing 3-4 sessions a week. My question is if you should be doing both weight training and Cardio fasted and your doing them 5x and 4x a week respectively. Would you start with fasted weightlifting and then finish with 20 minutes or so of HIIT. I feel like doing cardio right after my workoit would be a little much but I may just have to get used to it.

    • Good question. This depends on your body.

      Personally I can do 5 45-minute lifting sessions per week plus 4 25-minute HIIT sessions when cutting and be fine, but any more and I begin feeling a bit run down.

  • John

    Hi question here. Will BCAA negate yohimbine hcl’s effect since BCAA elevates insulin levels whereas you saidbyohimbine hcl’s effects are negated in elevation in insulin. This is really confusing me since I want to take both bcaa and yohimbine at the same time before my fasted cardio so that I can maximize the loss of stubborn fat(yohimbine hcl) while not letting my muscles degrade(BCAA). Thanks. Hope you reply to this message michael 🙂

    • No, the insulin response isn’t large enough to negate yohimbine’s effects.

      • John

        Thanks for the reply michael! Gonna try to do your hardgainers guide without trying to gain too much fat. 🙂

  • Jill

    Can i do this randomly or does it need to be a steady routine to take effect? i realize a routine will make progress quicker but i am not sure if i can commit to this everytime i go to the gym. evening workouts are more convenient at this time

    thanks!

    • Randomly is fine but the more you do the better the results, of course.

  • Logan Davis

    Hey Mike,
    During fasted weight training can I just use pulse without some bcaa’s? Because I noticed there’s some bcaa s in pulse.

    • There aren’t any BCAAs in Pulse…

      • Logan Davis

        The real “magic” of PULSE is in its unique combination of amino acids scientifically proven to increase strength, endurance, focus, and mood.

        Are these different amino acids than the ones in bcaa supplements

        • Yes they’re different. Pulse doesn’t contain any BCAAs.

          • Logan Davis

            Ok thanks Mike. Sorry for being a supplement noob lol

          • Haha np.

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  • Marcus Colone

    “There is a downside to fasted training that you should know about: muscle breakdown is dramatically increased”
    Yeah, at 195 minutes of resistance based exercise. Who is doing HIIT for that long? You only need 15 mins.

    • Depends on the intensity of the exercise. The mechanism is what it is. 15 minutes is a little low. 20-30 is better.

  • Elmert Y. Pitis

    Hi Mike,

    First of all, i just want to thank you for all the AWESOME info youre always giving your readers!

    When cutting, thanks to you i brought i body fat percent to 10% las year and this years cut im aiming for 8-9%. Im going to be doing some fasted cardio after work at night. Will eating carbs (complex or simple carbs) afect my cut? From what ive read in your posts, is that as long as your numbers in cals and macros are point, it shouldnt affect right?

    Thanks

    • Thanks Elmert! That’s great!

      No it won’t but you may find certain shitty foods cause you to retain more water. When you want to get really lean I recommend you get the majority of your food from unprocessed stuff that you cook yourself.

  • Alex P

    Hello and thank you for all your help I found this article to be very useful. Thanks for linking the studies and work shown. I have a question regarding the sessions: because of work and school I find myself with time available to performed fasted cardio/lifting in the mornings.
    1.) Is it advisable to combine cardio and lifting in a morning session? (I’m in the military and after work I am not afforded the luxury of training nor in the evenings. I can train from 5am-7am so I have that 2 hour window)
    2.) If so, and considering this is my particular circumstance and I am not new to early morning PT with large volume training, which would you advise I perform first the cardio or weights. please advise at your earliest convenience. Thanks for all your help.

    • Thanks Alex!

      1. You can do this, yes. Best is separated but that’s fine. Lift first and then cardio.

      2. Above. 🙂

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  • Nathan

    Hey mike, thanks for changing my fitness life, i had a quick question would drinking coffee with fat free coffee sweetener ruin my fasted state? (no milk no sugar just sweetener)

    • Thanks Nathan! If you keep those sweetener cals under 30ish you should be fine.

  • Susie

    Can I use Pulse, Phoenix, BCAA and skip the yomibine and still have an effective fasted session? I am worried about it bc of the warnings about anxiety…

    • Yeah definitely. Although I gotta say I’m a fan of yohimbine. It works well.

  • Rish

    Hi Mike,
    What is you stance on fed weight training for about 60-90 minutes. Immediately followed by HIIT cardio for 20-30 minutes?
    By doing my weight training before cardio, does that make it a fasted cardio session as after a weight training session as I have effectively used up my fed state?
    Thanks!

    • Best is separating cardio and lifting but this is fine if you can’t. No you won’t be fasted within 1 to 1.5 hours of eating.

  • ceren

    Hey mike.

    I am a 142 lbs female, and I am in the cutting period. I have a weird problem.

    While bulking my legs had gone crazy. Genetically I have big legs, and I guess I added a little bit more muscle than I prefer.( I am training legs really hard for 2 years) Now, I want to lose some muscular from my legs while keeping my upper body muscles as long as I can.

    How should I do the cardio?
    I am not able to spend money on BCAAS and if I do fasted steady state cardios, does it affect so much my upper body muscles?

    • Hey hey!

      If you want to lose muscle in your legs you’ll have to stop training them altogether, really. Even a few heavy sets per week is enough to maintain their current size.

      Do you have access to a rowing machine for cardio? I wouldn’t recommend fasted if you’re not going to take leucine or BCAAs. Just do it fed.

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  • Jacque9000

    Mike- Thanks for the great article, you really laid it out expertly. Having recently transferred from the iron-only gym-rat mentality, I could use some help.

    I’m going for fitness and targeting body fat reduction at the moment;

    1). Should I (or could I) be using Creatine with my fasted-state HIIT? I don’t care about water retention, body weight spike from said retention, etc. I am just looking to cut fat and preserve muscle mass as much as possible while in pursuit of fitness.

    My concern being that ingested Creatine will raise my muscle glycogen levels, will it sabotage everything I’m shooting for with fasted-state cardio? Does raising glycogen levels in muscles with creatine take me longer in HIIT to target fat oxidation? Like I said, I don’t care about maximum athletic performance at the moment, I got pudgy over the winter.. sad face.

    2). Pre- bedding down Casein protein (like I said, former gym rat mentality). If I am fasted HITT-ing in the morning using the night as a fast, does taking a casein sup. before sleeping screw up this fast?

    • Thanks!

      1. Yup creatine is fine. Take with your post-workout meal. It won’t get in the way of anything. It will help you preserve muscle.

      2. Yeah casein will break the fast.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Blanca

    Hi Mike,
    I am currently following your year long book and I love it! I am focusing on cutting right now and can only workout in the mornings so I do my weights followed by HIIT cardio 3-4 times a week but I am always fasting. Can I only purchase BCAA’s, Yohimbine, and Legion without buying the caffeine pills? I’m sensitive to caffeine so I would rather not take them. Also, if I only take these pills before my workout and drink Whey and a multivitamin after my workout am I fine for the day or do I have to take them again with lunch or dinner?
    Thanks! I know this is a lot

    • Great! Cool on what you’re doing. Yeah you can. You don’t HAVE to have the caffeine but it helps with fat loss.

      Yes you’re fine if you do that.

      Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

      • Blanca

        Thank you so much! Just ordered your Phoenix fat burner and can’t wait to try it. Trying to get in my best shape before I leave to study abroad and I’m loving the results thus far. I’ll definitely keep you posted!

  • Veronica

    If I cardio train AND weight train during the same fasted-state period, should I take an intra-workout supplement between cardio and weights? Is that safe?

    • Hmm personally I would probably leucine, lift, leucine, cardio, and then eat within an hour or so.

  • Jessica

    Hi Mike,
    Was wondering about the days when you do both weightlifting and cardio. Are you splitting those workouts up on those days, or doing them consecutively? If you lets say do your fasted HIIT in the am, and go back later for fasted lifing..how long do you need to wait for you body to go into a fasted state after a meal before you head back to train again?

    • Yeah I lift first thing in the morning and do cardio before dinner. I follow the fasted recommendations in this article. My lunch is relatively small (salad with chicken) and I have a scoop of whey at 3 PM and then cardio at 530.

  • Stavros

    Hi Mike,thank you very much for the great info! I have one quick question…
    I lift around 13.00 everyday while i am in a fasted state for 15 hours (Intermittent Fasting).Since i dont have money for bcaa,can i just eat 2 egg whites (30-40 cals) instead of bcaa before workout?Will egg whites provide enough leucine to make sure that my muscle growth wont be impaired?

  • Average joe

    hey man. Its me again. Just wanted to ask how many times a week should I do a fasted HIIT cardio. I have an out of town trip at a beach by the end of april and I just want to shed the excess stubborn fat and look as best as I can be but I’m afraid I might lose all the muscle mass I gained within a two month period already if I do the fasted HIIT CARDIO too often. The stubborn fat is not pretty big, my upper and middle torso is already flat and there is just a moderate lump on that lower torso portion hence the stubborn fat. I already bought xtend scivation bcaa, primaforce yohimbine and caffeine for this cardio. Also, will the bcaa really prevent ALL (Not just partial)the muscle loss that can happen from the fasted cardio? Thanks for the input man. Really love that you take time to answer all of us. Hope it’s not a hassle for you 🙂

    • Hey! Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/how-much-cardio/

      Long story short:

      When I’m cutting I do no more than 2 hours of HIIT per week and it’s closer to 1.5 hours. I do it in 25-30-minute sessions.

      • Average joe

        Alright, thanks man 🙂

        • YW

          • Average joe

            Hey Mike!

            Another quick question! Can I add whey protein to my bcaa, caffeine and yohimbine before doing fasted cardio or would it spike my insulin level? If yes, which whey would you recommend? Thanks 🙂

          • Whey is very insulinogenic. Just stick with BCAAs and the rest.

  • Samuel Sander

    How do you feel about adding in 1-2 fasted cardio sessions (with bcaa’s) when bulking? Would still be in an overall caloric surplus and gain like 0.5lbs per week or so but perhaps the 0.5lbs would be more muscle than fat as compared to eating less calories but also doing less cardio during a bulk. Thanks! :))

  • Ivonne

    Hi, thanks for all this amazing info! I bought your book and I’m going to start working out this week but actually have to questions.

    1. If I’m going to lift and cardio in the morning, I think I should probably take BCAA lift then BCAA again and then cardio is that right?

    2. The days I’m able to separate cardio and lifting then I should lift in the morning or cardio in the morning? and if I do the cardio in the morning I should take the BCAA and then lifting several hours after lunch without taking any pre workout shake?

    Thanks for everything!

    • Thanks! LMK how you like the book!

      1. Yeah that’s what I would do.

      2. Whichever you want. You’ll probably be stronger later in the day. Yes your lunch would have to be small for your insulin levels to return to baseline and any food you eat before training will break the fasted state.

  • Juan Marcelo Albrech

    Hi mike. Great article!

    I do not see a reason why you’ve not included glutamine in your favorite suplements for cutting, since it helps to keep stress at ideals levels, like you’ve said in other articles. Why do you think it’s unnecessary when cutting?

    Thanks!

    Juan Marcelo from Brazil.

    • I’m on the fence with recommending glutamine. I like it for immune and gut health and for preventing overtraining when you’re exercising a LOT but it’s not particularly important when cutting…

  • Danielle

    Hi Mike! Thanks for this article and for being so helpful with everybody’s questions! I just need to clarify something. I am training for a half-marathon and then will be training for an olympic triathlon so obviously the long, steady cardio workouts are my only option as opposed to the HIIT. So should I just take the leucine and BCAA beforehand? Is that okay with a long distance run or is this just limited to shorter workout periods? I’ve never tried running on an empty stomach before.

    • My pleasure! You don’t need leucine and BCAAs–just one or the other. But yes that would be fine. That said I would probably have a scoop of protein instead and not do long bouts of fasted cardio. I would be worried about muscle loss.

  • Kelsey

    Hi Mike,

    Sorry if you’ve been asked this already…

    But if I do one serving of Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy (or two servings maybe?) which includes aminos and caffeine would that spike my insulin levels to the point where I can’t take Yohimbine? And if it does allow me to take it can I continue to take Phoenix as well?

    Thanks for the advice

  • matt costa

    tried to find my answer in the comments below but i couldnt..

    i dont have the quickest metabolism, but ive always trained eating 2 hrs prior to my lifts and considered that to be in a fed state, i have been following your routine for 2 weeks now and have a few questions.

    I finish eating my last meal around 1pm. i have been keeping the carbs down but getting my calorlies in, i usually eat 3 meals prior to 1pm having as much protien as i can, and then train at 6pm. i take phoenix 1 hour before training.. should it be consumed even earlier ?

    i take my pre workout, then 10 mins prior to training i take my bcaa’s. i have definitely noticed that my body is fasted where as eating 2 hours before weight lifting i felt fueled and energized with no pre workout supps for the most part as i try and cycle pre workout off for a month at a time. should i not be fasted for such a long period of time (1-6pm)? or will that just be as if i woke up and training right in the morning after sleeping?

    FINALLY… what is the post workout regime? when im training fed, i get protien or weat gainer into my system as soon as i can with some bcaas. but after reading i am wondering if the body continues to burn fat after fasted weght lifting until i put that whey protien in my system and spike my insulin levels up. and the post workout drink should generally contain carbs correct? ie a bannana with a scoop of whey.

    appreciate the help,
    Matt

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  • VinV

    Hey Mike. Am glad to have stumbled upon this article and i intend to try Fasted Cardio and Weight lifting starting next week. So heres what i am confused about

    I workout at around 6 AM, 4 days a week (mostly weight days) while i might do my cardio workouts towards the evening twice a week. The evening workout partly has to do with my professional commitments and partly due to the fact that i feel less inclined to wake up ay 5AM on every single day of the week. I do like sleeping late and waking up late on a couple of days atleast.

    a) I normally eat 3 egg whites before and after my weights day workout. I also consume a banana, whey and creatine post workout. Can i continue eating the egg whites and still follow the fasted program or do i skip it all and strictly eat only when my feeding window begins post 12PM ? What about the whey and monohydrate creatine (normally mixed with some sweetened juice such as Grape), when do i drink this if i were to avoid it post workout ? And i assume that the banana is ruled out as well?

    b) Would it be okay to override the fasted workout routine once or twice a week and maintain the usual diet accompanied by a workout at any convenient time of the day, if ones work commitments or sleep patterns were to hinder with the time keeping and schedules ?

    c) What sort of a diet schedule does one follow on the rest day ?

    • Thanks!

      Cool on what you’re doing. I do something similar: lift at about 715 AM and cardio around 530 PM.

      1. The pre-workout meal will have to go. It will break the fasted state. Just leucine and pre-workout is the way to go here.

      2. Creatine after you train. With your meal. Eat within an hour or so of finishing your workout.

      3. Sure you don’t have to train fasted every day.

      3. Maintain the deficit on rest days.

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  • Eddy

    Hey mike, so i read your book and you recommend taking in 30-40g of protein and 40-50g of carbs for pre workout for max gains! Do you recommend this regardless if your bulking or cutting? Im cutting so if I were to do this for preworkout wouldn’t that spike my insulin and cause me to be in a fed state which will make it harder to burn fat? I’ve recently been eating 1.5 cups of oatmeal with 1 scoop of whey for preworkout! What Is your opinion on this? Please respond when you get the chance! Thank you!

    • Thanks Eddy!

      Yup bulking or cutting unless you want to train fasted while cutting. Some people just don’t enjoy it. I do and find it worthwhile for getting rid of stubborn fat in particular.

      Yeah that intake sounds about right.

      Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

      • Eddy

        Okay thank you so much for responding quickly and I have one more question! I know it’s better to eat carbs before you workout to perform better but as long as your hitting your macros and daily caloric intake does nutrient or meal timing really matter?

        • YW.

          Meal timing doesn’t matter much, no, BUT it’s probably a good idea to have protein before and after training (or just after if you’re training fasted).

  • Eli

    I train fasted after a 16 hour fast, never supplemented with BCAAs. Is this a bad idea? My gains have been pretty decent but did I loose out on any not taking them?

    • Yeah it’s not ideal. Especially if you’re an experienced lifter.

  • Darragh Hayes

    Hi Mike,
    On the topic of cardio in general – I work a 9-5 job and recently I’ve begun cycling to and from work to keep the fitness levels up. It’s a ~12km cycle that roughly takes me 35 minutes going at a steady pace. I’m just at the point where I’m comfortable enough doing this 5 days a week, which amounts to about 6 hours of LISS cardio a week.

    All that being said, I’ve been into lifting for the last couple of months but to be honest, I haven’t been wholly committed, at least not to the high intense, low rep style of the BLS programme. I’m very familiar with your work and I know you generally don’t advocate doing so much gruelling cardio. Most of your advice seems to be centred around 1 hour, 2 hours max of HIIT in a week.

    In the last few months I put on quite a lot of weight. Some of it muscle mass but mostly fat. I went from being a skinny guy at 143lbs up to fairly chubby at 174lbs (20 years old). I used to be on top of my diet and incredibly active but then some life changing things happened. (Long story!) Anyways, I’m still fairly active and I’m definitely much fitter than your average Joe (Nothing to brag about really :P) but now it’s time to get my shit together! I want to begin the BLS programme specifically to lose fat and I have some questions:

    Is it possible to actually balance out the BLS programme for cutting with the relative shit tonne of cardio on top of it, and if so would you have any tips?

    The main challenge as I see it is balancing it all so I don’t burn out midweek and end up overeating from fatigue – This is a particular vice of mine. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

  • vijay

    Hey Mike..should i take yohimbine if i am already taking caffeine for fat loss?

  • Tony

    If I’ve got BCAA capsules that are 500 mg a piece (250mg Leucine), will I be fine taking 10 of them 30 minutes before fasted cardio?

    • Unfortunately yes. That’s why BCAA caps/tabs suck.

      • Tony

        Thanks! Only 388 more caps to go before I can switch to powder.

        • Lol

          • Tony

            Turns out that the powder isn’t that pleasant either. I’m hoping Legion eventually adds a BCAA drink, but I imagine that masking the flavor of the Leucine is a difficult task.

          • That’s interesting. Thanks for sharing. We’re doing something better than BCAAs actually. More info coming soon. 🙂

          • RJ

            Curious, if Forge is going to have HMB instead of BCAA’s is there a reason you still suggest BCAA’s and not HMB?

          • Good question and I will be recommending Forge/HMB from now on. I just wanted to make sure HMB was as good as I had heard for anti-catabolic purposes and it is, so I’m comfortable using and recommending it.

          • RJ

            So what is the clinical dosage of HMB we should take with our Pulse and Phoenix for fasted training until Forge comes out?

          • 2 to 3 grams.

          • Daniel Caruso

            I was just about to try fasted training and was about to order the BCAA Reload that you recommended, but after reading this I am thinking of trying the HMB pills instead until Forge comes out. Do you recommend this Mike? Do I still take it before training in a fasted state? Are there any major differences between BCAA’s and HMB? Also I am confused about Yohimbine and if I take this before working out in a fasted state, if I can still eat a post-workout meal since I read that the effects are negated?

          • Yeah go with HMB I will be updating this article soon.

            Yes you can eat a post-workout meal.

          • Daniel Caruso

            Thanks Mike!

            One last question – I just got home from work and want to workout without eating. haven’t eaten for about 5 hours. I know this isn’t a fasted state quite yet but wondering if this can still help burn more fat than if I eat something now. Also assuming I should still take the HMB and yohimbine?

          • It could be fasted. It depends what you ate in your last meal.

            If you ate a rather large meal then no it’s not fasted training and you wouldn’t benefit from HMB and yohimbine.

          • Daniel Caruso

            Yeah it was a pretty large lunch – high amount of carbs, etc. how many hours have to pass before it is generally considered fasted training? so even if i eat a large meal 5 hours prior to workout, i reap no extra fat loss benefits resembling fasted training? i assume this is because the large meal takes many hours to completely digest. if this is correct, then i should probably just eat my fruit protein smoothie before workout to give me a better workout and save true fasted training for when i workout right after waking up. thanks so much Mike! noticing amazing results just in a few months!

          • Right. A large meal may be processed in 5 hours but it’s iffy. I would assume 6-7 to be “safe.”

            And no your lower insulin levels can be beneficial but something like yohimbine probably won’t do anything.

            Yes that’s right on the pre-workout meal. If you’re lifting you may just do better overall with a pre-w/o meal.

          • Daniel Caruso

            OK, so it makes sense that yohimbine wouldn’t do anything, but what about HMB? Even though I am not in a totally fasted state at the start of workout, wouldn’t it help lessen muscle breakdown to play it safe, or is it unnecessary?

            I do true fasted training almost every workout right after waking up, but some days depending on my schedule I have to do it after work. Still not sure if on these days after work I am better off just eating a pre-workout meal to get more energy which in turn will create more muscle or if I will benefit more from the slightly reduced insulin levels. My primary goal is to lose stubborn fat and get lean as fast as possible.

            I know you mention 1 serving of Phoenix before fasted training – is this 2 capsules or 4? I am confused because on the bottle it says 1 serving is 4 capsules, but the directions have me taking two in the morning and two at night, so 4 all at once seems like a lot to me.

            I always do my heavy lifting first, immediately followed by my HIIT cardio, and due to my schedule I have no way around this. If I want to stick with fasted training, do I need to ingest 3-5 grams of HMB again after lifting and before cardio, or will I be fine doing taking it just once before everything?

            Thank you so much Mike – you are truly the best fitness expert I have ever come across!

          • Nah no need for HMB unless fully fasted. It’s NOT a potent muscle builder like many companies claim.

            IMO fasted training is BEST used when you’re lean looking to get really lean. That is, 10% and wanting to get leaner. It’s here where you will notice the difference and especially if you use the right supplements too.

            Some people like training fed for their big squats and pulls and train fasted on their other workouts.

            I do 4 at once but my stomach is invincible. Try 2 first. 🙂 Then 2 with food later.

            Not a big deal on the cardio after. You don’t need more HMB.

            Thanks brother! Hope this helps!

          • Daniel Caruso

            Thanks so much for your thorough responses Mike!

            I am around 14% bf right now, so since I don’t fall in that 10% range you recommend for fasted training, I am not sure what I should do (goal is to lose fat as fast as possible).

            I notice my stubborn fat areas such as nipple region and hips are getting much leaner just in a few weeks of fasted training, so I feel like it has to still be beneficial to some degree. Seems like fasted training still burns more fat in general anyway, but the people under 10% might see the results better in regards to stubborn fat. If fasted training does indeed burn more fat during workouts, shouldn’t everyone who can handle it do it to burn fat fast regardless of bf%?

          • YW!

            If you feel fine training fasted I don’t see any reason not to do it, especially if you supplement as well. You WILL lose fat faster.

          • Tony

            I am psyched for Forge! Was hoping you were going to do a Yohimbine + BCAA product, but this looks even better. I don’t know how important the Citicoline is, but as long as it doesn’t hike the price up, it’s probably a good addition. Apparently, it’s also supposed to increase satiety (one of your favorite words), which would stack well with Phoenix.

          • Thanks! Yeah citicoline isn’t super expensive so I wanted to include it. It’s a popular nootropic and haha right on the satiety. 😛

  • Kevin

    WOW i was surprised to NOT see L-carnitine and CLA on the list of supplements. They are literally the go-to supplements of a lot of ppl, and they obviously work too. Why didn’t you mention them?

  • Neha

    Mike, if I just drink coffee before training.. I can’t afford to buy so many supplements.. My goal is fat loss so is it still possible to do it with coffee only

  • adam khan

    Can I eat carbs, fats, and protein after fasted cardio session? As a PWO

  • Janie Hannan-Kearl

    Hey Mike, so with fasted training, how long should I wait after a workout to break the fast? I’ve been doing the 11-7 eating window and I’ve heard that you should wait an hour after working out for it to be really effective. But I’ve also heard that you must eat within 30 minutes of exercising or muscle begins to breakdown… Thanks for the advice

  • Eli

    Mike, fasted lifting is easy enough…wake up, take care of business and hit the gym. For fasted cardio, however, considering you recommend separating the two – what would be considered a “fasted” state if trying to follow your supplementation routine (which includes yohimbine)?

    • Here’s what I do:

      Lift first thing in morning.

      Post-workout meal.

      Eat light lunch of salad and chicken.

      Have scoop of whey around 3 PM.

      Do cardio at 530-6 PM.

      Eat big dinner after.

      • Eli

        Ok. That sounds doable…just a little shift of what goes into each meal. Usually try and have 5 meals. I will save up for the big, post cardio dinner. Waiting on my custom meal plan…hopefully what is built for me will be able to be adjusted for your recommendation.

      • jforex

        Hi Mike – cardio – i assume this is HIIT?

        Eat big dinner? So – the lifting and cardio offset this big dinner??

        • Yeah HIIT.

          Yeah I follow a meal plan every day. I don’t just eat what I feel like, haha.

  • Patrick

    Hi mike.
    Just a simple question.. U didnt mention whether on days where hiit and weightlift coincide, which one is advisable to do first? Thanks

    • If you’re doing the back to back lift first. If you’re separating by several hours do whatever you prefer.

  • Dontpl

    How to build muscle as fast as humanly possible…That’s what we all want to know.Most of us don’t have the genetics of an NFL running back or pro bodybuilder.So it’s not all your fault.I was mixed-up until I got this plan,see my review of it:>bestfitnessandmusclebuilding(dot)c.o..m/ms2<

  • VJ

    Mike, I get up at 4:30 and am at my gym by 4:45 for fasted cardio. Obviously, can’t drink BCAA’s or egg white protein 30 min prior. Is it beneficial to take the BCAA powder in my water bottle and drink during my workout?

    • I would just drink it right after getting up and head on over.

  • Nuno Carro

    First of all, thanks for the amazing info you provide us with actual research made and explained to us in a simple way.

    This is another great article, and again i thank you for it, but there is something i am not understanding, and i’d appreciate if you could explain it to me.

    The problem is the following, if we are burning fat while training in fasted state, what exactly happens to the calories we eat later? My body will just use them to replace the energy i just spent right?

    I mean, if i would train in a fed state, i would be burning the carbs calories i ate before the training mostly, right? But if I still consumed less calories than my TDEE at the end of the day, wouldn’t my body be burning the extra fat i carry to replace that energy needed?

    All in all, I know that calorie in vs calories out is the most important thing, but still, I don’t understand why it is beneficial to use the fasted training instead of just worrying about calorie in vs calorie out.

    Thanks in advance,

    Nuno Gregório

    • Thanks! I appreciate the kind words.

      Fasted training definitely isn’t a way to “hack” energy balance. I think its two biggest benefits are 1) for hacking away at stubborn fat and 2) for combining with supplements that help you burn more fat like caffeine, synephrine, green tea extract, and yohimbine because they work best in a fasted state.

      • Nuno Carro

        Thanks alot for helping me clear my confusion on the matter. Fitness in general can be easy and simple, but if we try to understand all the variables it does become kinda hard.

        Again thanks alot for the reply, i really appreciate you taking the time to answer all of our questions.

        Definitely a must follow website!

  • Kevin

    Hey Mike I just have a quick question here. You mention that it is best to take 3-5g of leucine or 10g of bcaas pre workout. My bcaa supp has 10g of bcaas but only 1.5 g of leucine. Should I double my dose?

    • Yikes that’s a shitty supplement. I would just buy pure leucine…

  • Brian

    Mike, I noticed you did not include Acetyl L-Carnitine on your list of supplements. Why?

  • Alyssa Martin

    Hi Mike,
    I read through the first page of comments and I did not see this question answered, forgive me if I didn’t read far enough.
    Do you recommend a specific time limit on fasted lifting? I could spend an hour lifting and hardly notice the time fly by. am to do 30 min lifting and 20 min cardio. You are saying I can do this all without a snack in-between? I can take the supplements, lift and perform hiit… eating only after?
    Thank you for your time.

    • 30 min lifting and 20 min cardio in a fasted state would be totally fine, yes. And then eat after.

  • German Muratore

    mike, ive read your book and you dont say anything about fasted state, this sounds good! It it ok to do fasted cardio the days of cardio, and then in the afternon hit the weights? Thanks! and sorry for the english. Best from Argentina!

  • Travis Redmon

    Do you still implement fasted cardio with yohimbine, pulse and bcaas even while bulking to possibly negate some of the fat gained in the process?

    • I don’t because yohimbine becomes less effective over time (as any stimulant does) and it’s not going to make that much of a difference over a longer period of time. Maybe a few pounds less gained over 4-6 months.

  • jforex

    Great article – thanks. I have three questions:

    1 – How about 20 minutes brisk walk right before every meal? Insulin should be really low 3-4 hours after previous meal, and especially when we’re hungry before the next meal. Thats a total of about 60-80 minutes of walk every day – all during a low insulin period – and sustainable – because I dont have to walk continuously for an hour.

    2 – is jogging, HIIT or sprinting better than walking for fat loss? I tend to think that walking should be better for fat loss – because fat oxidation is much slower. And other faster activities are too fast to use fat as fuel.

    3 – Does all liver glycogen has to be finished before fat can be used as fuel? Or are they used together during an activity? If glycogen has to exhaust first – then there’s no way to lose fat but one – deplete all glycogen by an extended 16 hour fast – and then do slow cardio. And all other exercise is plain foolish for the purpose of fat loss.

    Thanks.

    • Thanks!

      1. Really depends what you ate in the last meal and how long ago it was. I talk about this in the article.

      2. HIIT is best:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/high-intensity-interval-training-and-weight-loss/

      3. No. They are pulled from simultaneously.

      This will help you better understand the bigger picture:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      • jforex

        Thanks much.

        • yW

          • jforex

            My second day on HIIT –
            [ 8 30:60 bike intervals total 12 mins]
            +[ 3×12 Leg Press ]
            +[ 8 30:60 treadmill sprint intervals total 12 mins]
            +[ 3×12 Leg Press ]

            3 sets of leg presses give me nice recovery of 5-6 mins after 8 intense intervals. Then I repeat the 8 intervals on treadmill, and finish with 3 sets of leg presses again.

            Also doing a 10-min walk with dumbbell-curls + 10 mins stair climbing after dinner – hoping to use up fast sugars from carbs at night.

            Thanks.

          • Cool! That should work well. 🙂

  • Jim Walker

    Great info mike!
    If you’re trying to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously, as you detail in another article, fasted weight training shouldn’t be used right?

  • Miguel Rodrigues

    Hi mike ,what is your take on using yohimbine on a gaining phase also?do you use it and if so there is no downside of using it 5 6 days a week if you don t overdo the amount?thanks in advance

    • There’s really no use to take it during a bulk. Yohimbine is only useful when training fasted, and I don’t recommend training fasted on a bulk. You will be stronger with some protein and carbs in your stomach. 🙂

  • Rajith

    Mike,
    Caffeine and green tea extract are useful only when training fasted? I started cutting and supplement with Caffeine + Green Tea Extract before my workout (in the morning) does it also effective while cutting in fed state? Thanks!

    Rajith.

    • Nope you don’t have to be fasted for them to benefit your training and body comp.

  • Cole

    Hey Mike! I just started my first week of Phoenix (I plan on taking it for a two month weight cut during June and July). I am also training fasted per your recommendation. I am only eating within a 6 hour window (IF). Will I be ok taking two at the beginning and two at the end of my eating window? I assume it’s ok to take it along with my fish oil and multi vitamins? It hasn’t upset my stomach at all but I always make sure I eat something with it.

    Thanks!

    • It is recommend to take Phoenix with food because it can be a bit rough on an empty stomach.

      If you have eaten recently, you should be fine to take the tablets then.

      • Cole

        Great, I will continue taking the tablets with my first and last meal of the IF eating window. I’ll let you know how it goes in a couple months!

  • Chase

    Hey Mike! Just found all your stuff just as I am starting a weight loss cutting regime. So glad I did.

    I lift three times a week at 3 PM for 30 minutes as I am very busy early mornings and enjoy afternoon lifting better and go on 20- 30 minute runs everyday same time. I am starting Intermittent fasting with an eating window from 4-10PM and supplementing with Yohimbine as Forge is yet to come out.

    My question should I take yohimbine in the mornings to get it in my system without insulin for longer or 30 minutes before I start my lifting at 3PM? Would it be beneficial to split my dose between morning and pre workout? Yohimbine has very little online info for people who fast all morning and into the afternoon.

    Thanks!

    • Thanks!

      Cool on wha tyou’re doing.

      You want to take yohimbine before fasted exercise. Just taking with while fasted isn’t going to do much…

  • Jerry

    Following your advice in this article and started 5 mg of leucine before my fasted morning workout. You’re right about the taste , but mixing with Pulse makes it ok

    Are there any advantages to adding BCAAs over leucine to my post workout smoothie?

    I’m out of my legion whey, so using another brand

    • Glad you were able to handle the taste by mixing it with Pulse hehe.

      No need to take BCAAs. They’re only useful to take before fasted training.

      Sorry about Whey+ brother! It’ll be back in stock in the next few days…

  • John

    – When will the body be in a fasted mode?
    – How many hours before training should i eat?
    Or should you just workout when you feel hunger? 😀

    • It takes 2-6+ hours depending on the food you ate.

      Hunger isn’t a good indicator because some people feel hungry before their considered fasted and others aren’t hungry for hours after they’ve been fasted.

      • John

        Thanks for the fast reply Mike!
        The fasted cario really Works for me. I have been loosing more fat this week, then last one. Im around 19% bf.

        • YW! Cool the fasted cardio is working.

          Keep up the good work and keep me posted on your progress!

  • melody

    Is fasted cardio or weight training only effective in the AM? Or would it still be useful if you ate breakfast and trained 6 hours later with out any meals in between?

  • Matt

    Hi Mike, once again, great article and great info. Once again however, stupid question!

    I see when you are on weight loss you do all workouts in a fasted state, cardio and weights.

    I already do 2 early morning cardio sessions a week so they are naturally in a fasted state (pre breakfast), although they aren’t always HIIT which I will change up. My other workouts are in the afternoons but mostly in the evenings, which makes it a little more difficult for me to do in a truly fasted state. Is it OK to do 2 fasted cardio sessions, then all other workouts, cardio and weights in a fed state? To be clear on my goals, I’m trying to build muscle and burn fat at the same time.

    Thanks
    Matt

    • Glad you liked it. 🙂

      Yeah when I try to get really lean I do all weight lifting and cardio fasted. It isn’t required though. It just accelerates fat-loss and does become necessary when going sub 10% BF.

      As to gaining muscle and losing fat, if you’re an experienced weightlifter, it doesn’t really get better than this:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/calorie-cycling/

      • Matt

        Thanks Mike. I’m really excited about starting to put these strategies into practice. Half way through BLS reading, come Monday I should have a good plan lined up. Looking forward to seeing how I progress on this…

        Thanks
        Matt

      • Matt

        Thanks Mike. Really excited about putting these strategies into practice. Will have finished reading BLS by the end of the weekend and have a great looking plan ready for Monday.

        Thanks again.
        Matt

        • YW! Glad you’re pumped!

          I’m excited to see your results while on this program!

          LMK what you think of the book.

          • Matt

            Hi Mike,

            Am looking at the supplement side of things.

            Other than being a little disappointed (!) that Yohimbine is banned here in the UK, I wanted to look at getting a source of HMB to use instead of my BCAAs.

            I prefer caps for convenience, and have found quite a good value bottle of 120 caps, where 4 caps provide 3.8g (better than some where you need 12 caps to get 3g!!). I was wondering whether all HMB was created equal as I have found another brand, similar dosage but over double the price. The cheaper product is Weider HMB 3800 – any thoughts on brand? The more expensive product is called Etixx HMB 1000….

            Thoughts as always welcome.

            Thanks
            Matt

          • Yeah UK sucks like that. 😛

            Not sure on the brand. I don’t trust a lot of supplement companies as you can imagine…

  • Kimber1185

    Hi Mike!
    So I am interested in starting fasted cardio, but I am a vegan so I was wondering if your supplements were vegan friendly or if they contain animal products. Thanks!!

  • jforex

    Just wanted to say that i am losing fat around my stomach – that I could not lose in years – simply by doing one thing.

    I did everything for months and years – weight training, cardio, hiit, fasting, what not – but could not lose stomach fat.

    I am losing stomach fat simply by walking for 15 mins three times a day. Its amazing.

    I am not ripped with muscles – but i dont care for that – with all respect to everyone. but doing this one thing is getting me where i want to be – a simple flat stomach.

    wow.

    • That’s awesome! Glad you’re getting results!

      • jforex

        lets juss say its getting me more results than zero – but its nothing like yours – am still far away from the ideal bf %. i am sure the routines you suggest here give those cut results…

        • HIIT would get you better results than walking, that’s for sure.

          That being said, even then, it all comes down to cals. If you’re not in a cal deficit, you won’t lose weight.

          The best way to ensure you’re in a deficit is by setting up a proper meal plan. Check this out:

          http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

          LMK what you think!

  • Brandon

    After months & months of research, I decided on Phoenix Fat Burner to burn off the last couple “stubborn” areas… Planned it out due to finances & wanted to start it up no later than next Monday (events coming up)… I go to order it on Amazon right before heading to the gym and… UNAVAILABLE (& I pinched myself because I could swear it was available just the other day before my check cleared)!!! lol Called in, dude says they won’t have it back for like a month… I’m like WHAT??? O well, I tried! Not tryin to wait that long, guess i’ll try something else in the interim. Def bummed, but guess that means it must work well lol -B

    • jforex

      hmmmmmmmm.

    • Damn. Sorry about that Brandon!

      My manufacturer went through a merger that halted production for over a month… :/

      They’re back at it with production now, and there capacity has increased so I’ll be able to do a better job keeping everything in stock.

      Again, sorry for the wait man.

      • Brandon

        Man you know when it rains it pours over here Mike! Haha no worries dude. It’s kinda a good thing in a way because obviously that means it must work & I was not 100% decided until recently (keep getting slammed with ads on “the best fat burner”/etc [some brand i’ve never heard of] & bodybuilding.com has a top 10 list of “best” ones but strangely Phoenix isn’t listed)… Still sold as this point tho so hate that I have to miss out for a month or so… I think what i’m gonna do for now is just try the Yohimbine by itself until you guys are back in stock just to see how my body responds, then hopefully by the time you guys are back in stock my body will be used to the Yohimbine & I can either marry the two or drop the Yohimbine & just use Phoenix… Based on what you mentioned, it seems like Yohimbine will target the area i’m struggling with (stubborn fat in the lower stomach area [thanks to how it treats those receptors]), & thats exactly what I need… I’ve lost 65lbs since September (225 to 160) & at this point i’m trying to refocus my energy on heavy lifts/building muscle (vs “cutting”) but i’m just not comfortable with increasing my calories (&/or carbs) by even a moderate amount until that lower stomach fat is GONE… My only concern w/ the Yohimbine is that I worked my ASS off to lower my cholesterol/blood pressure since September, everything is in “normal” ranges now & I really don’t wanna see things get knocked out of wack… Praying that if that happens it’s only temporary (can’t find any info online confirming whether the side effects are short-term or long-term), but yea, it doesn’t seem like Phoenix has that type of effect which is why I wanted to try that first before grabbing Yohimbine…

        Didn’t see “Forge” on here last time btw, so maybe thats something to consider as well if the price is within reach! Hopefully should be decided between the two sometime today & have one or the other here by next week. I was so upset when I saw that Phoenix was unavailable, I almost was gonna ask if you had a stash hiding somewhere in your office lol. Wishful thinking man, wishful thinking. I’ll be patient! Thanks for those vids on Youtube btw, they helped me to realize what i’ve been doing wrong with my lifts & they literally caused me to change up my routine this week as I was doing like 3 sets of 12 reps (at moderate weight) vs 6 sets of 4-6 reps at the heaviest weight I can manage (hopefully the change will finally whip my pitiful shoulders into shape lol/story developing) -B

        • Ain’t that the truth.

          The good news is Phoenix is being produced now so I will have a LARGE stock arriving in 3-4 weeks. Yay.

          Yohimbine works well. There’s no doubt about it. That said if you have HBP tendencies then it’s probably not for you.

          Thanks again for all the support my man. Keep up the good work and keep me posted.

  • Matt Baker

    How do you manage to get yourself into a fasted state for your HIIT workouts, which are presumably later in the day? I get being able to do fasted weightlifting first thing in the morning, but do you eat lunch ~11AM and do fasted HIIT ~5PM with no meals in between? That also assumes the worst case of the insulin “recovery time” you describe.

    • I eat a small lunch of salad with chicken at 12 PM and have a scoop of whey at 3 PM so by 530/6, insulin levels are low.

      • Is getting fasted more about insulin levels then (4-6 hours away from carb intake)? Otherwise, wouldn’t the whey break your fast?

      • Or is it because protein shakes tend to not carry many calories that they’re basically used up by the time your HIIT workout comes along?

        • For typical meals, it takes 3-6+ hours to be fasted or for the insulin levels to be low.

          However, whey isolate, is extremely fast digesting, and it only takes 2-3 hours for the insulin levels to go back down and be considered fasted.

          Hope that makes sense. Let me know!

          • good to know. I’ll have to find some ways to work it in for that that purpose. Thanks!

          • Sounds good! YW.

  • Kevin

    @michael_matthews:disqus I have a question with the supps. I just bought Yohimbine pills and also HMB 2.5mg pills. How long before a fasted workout should I take them? Also, I was wondering if I should take the entire HMB dose before my fasted workout, or can I spare the dose through the day in order to avoid muscle loss?

    • 15-20 minutes before is good. You’d take the serving of HMB before training, not throughout the day.

      Hope that helps! LMK.

  • Chad

    Hey Mike, this may be a silly question but, are there any other fat burners/products like Phoenix you would recommend? I am loving Phoenix so far but am on my last day of pills and can’t order more until you guys get more in stock. Was just wondering if there is another product you would recommend I could try until you guys get more in stock? Thanks!

    • Unfortunately, there really aren’t any decent fat-burners out there. You’re better off getting caffeine, green tea extract, yohimbine and synephrine individually. It’ll be better than anything else you could buy.

  • Chase

    Hello Michael.

    What is my theoretical “time limit” for fasted cardio? I prefer to alternate between HIIT and steady state moderate intensity cardio (such as running at 7:30 pace, cycling at 17mph, elliptical, etc). I know for HIIT it is advised to limit it to 30 minutes, but what about steady state?

    Thanks

    • Good question. I would limit to 60 minutes personally. Would shoot for closer to 40.

      • Chase

        Good! I start to feel lower on energy by the 45 minute mark anyways:) Thank you

  • Rebecca Cowen

    Hoping that you can help me. I am 42 and female. I have been working out with a trainer for the last several months preparing to go to military training. I leave for training Aug 15 and I am currently 8 pounds over my maximum weight. for the military I have hit my food plan hard for the last month. Started at 1400-1500 calories (my BMR is 1428) with no success in weight loss. Dropped to 1200 calories 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat with little results. I do mostly HIIT workouts around 1015 am with my trainer M-F. I am currently taking no supplements. Bottom line: I have 7 weeks to lose 8-15 pounds and am feeling the panic set in. Do you have any suggestions on how else I could reach this goal?

  • Ali Nabil

    Is it beneficial to weight train and do cardio while fasting or should i only do one at a time? My goal is to get leaner and stronger

    • For sure if you’re trying to get leaner. When I’m cutting, I do both my weightlifting and HIIT fasted.

      If you’re trying to get stronger, proper pre-workout nutrition will help.

  • Kevin

    HEY @michael_matthews:disqus !! Really hoping you could help with my confusion regarding some supps i bought & the doses. I’m around 135 pounds now, i’m very short actually. And I figured i should take 2grms. of HMB and around 5mg of yohimbine HCL preworkout. Are those doses ok? Also, how long before the workout should i take them? I was thinking i should take them like 45 min before i do fasted HIIT. Is that ok? I also wanted to know your opinion on taking that with a l-carnitine supp as well, will that break the fasted state by any chance?

    • No problem.

      Good on the 2g of HMB. For the yohimbine you want .2mg per KG of body weight. So you should have 12mg of yohimbine.

      You can take these 15-30 minutes before working out.

      L-Carnitine won’t break the fast, but there’s no need to take it. Check this out:

      http://examine.com/supplements/L-Carnitine

      LMK what you think.

  • Gustavo De Almeida Luiz

    Hi Mike. I just brought synephrine. I noticed that it have 0.6 g of carbohydrate per 2.6 g. This will brake my fasted state? What’s the effective dosage?

    • Nah that won’t break the fast. No worries.

      The clinically effective dosages range from 25-50mg. I have 50mg in Phoenix.

  • Kevin

    Hey! @michael_matthews:disqus I was just wondering if drinking coffee will break the fasted state? I thought coffee was calorie free and also non insulinogenic, but I’ve been reading a lot about how coffee actually releases insulin and could break the fasted state. Is this true? Of course, I mean black, plain coffee with no sugar or anything added. I just don´t want it to negate the effects of the supps that I am taking, since I am taking Yohimbine. So… Is it ok to drink coffe before my fasted workout? Will it negate yohimbine’s fat burning effect? HELP!

    • Don’t worry on the coffee! It won’t break your fasted state. It’s only when people use cream and sweeteners with calories that you risk breaking the fast.

      • Kevin

        @michael_matthews:disqus thank you so much man, have learned so much from you.

  • Henry

    Hey Michael,

    So there’s a a good argument, in my opinion, on both sides on the argument of fasted cardio. For my situation, I want to preserve my hard earned muscle and strength while losing fat.So I try to read each sides perspective on the matter. But after reading articles online, I’ve formulated an idea, which is to take a serving of your Phoenix fat burner upon waking up. Then, 15-20 minutes later, do a 15-20 HIIT session. Do you think this a good Base to start with and adjust as needed?

    • If you want to accelerate fat-loss, fasted training is probably a good idea. If you’re focus is building muscle, I don’t recommend fasted training.

      For fasted training Phoenix is great, but you will also need BCAAs or leucine to prevent muscle breakdown. Or even better, my fasted-training product, Forge. Check it out:

      https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/forge/

  • Matt

    Hey Mike, hopefully a quick one.

    If taking HMB in capsules rather than in a soluble pre-workout/drink, how long before a workout would you advise taking the caps? Do you have to give it more time than if taking it in a drink?

    Thanks in advance.
    Matt

  • Casey Collier

    Mike, I read somewhere that taking supplemental leucine alone (for fasted training) can lead to a defficency of the other two BCAA’s… Is this bro science or could it have some truth? To be clear, my protein intake is adequate at 1.25g/lb.

    • It’s bullshit. You’d have to take a LOT of leucine to ever cause issues with this (30g+ per day probably).

  • Roberto Eduardo Rojas

    Hi Mike,
    Just One question on the Forge intake. If Iam not doing cardio in the afternoons, is it safe to take the full dosage all at once? I am 196 (that puts me in the 8 pills for full dosage), and I am a little concern in taking 8 pills on an empty stomach in the morning before weights. Thank you in advance for you comments

    • Start with 4 capsules and work you way up. If you feel fine doing it, you can take the full 8 capsules serving.

    • Start with 4 capsules and work you way up. If you feel fine doing it, you can take the full 8 capsules serving.

  • Yep. No problem!

  • Maxwell

    Hi Mike
    1. So how about post-workout meal after fasted training? (early in the morning). Like should it be more carbs, more protein than usual?
    Or sticking with 30g-40g of protein and 1g of carbs per kg of body weight like you have mentioned in your TLS book would be good enough?

    2. What do you think if I exercise like this while doing intermittent fasting:
    HIIT (before the first meal)
    Fed State (8 hours)
    Weight training

    or do you think I should include my weight training between my meals, not after 8 hours feeding like shown above?

    Thanks, Mike. 🙂

  • Ally

    Hi, Mike,

    How would you judge when the body goes into fasted state? I train fasted but can only do it in the evenings. You say that typically it takes 3-6+ hours after a meal. (Whey protein 2-3 hours). Would you judge by the amount of calories? Or by macronutrients? For example, how much time a meal of 250cal with 40gr protein with keep insulin levels elevated?

    Thank you!

    • You can’t really know by feel. I would just by calories and macros, yes. Carbs and protein are going to spike insulin and keep it elevated higher than fat.

      My rule of thumb is 30 to 40 g whey is going to take about 2.5 hours and if you add the same in carb, I think it’s safe to assume another 1 to 1.5 hours.

      • Ally

        Thank you! Looking forward to your Q&A today.

  • side_i

    Thank you so much for this article, I plan on starting fasted cardio next week & this article gave so much insight. I’ve lost 30 lbs but feel like I’ve reached a plateau. My question is, I have HBP, are these supplements okay to take ?? I’m also on medication for my HBP.

    • Great! I’m glad you liked it.

      You don’t want to take yohimbine and I would clear anything else with your doc just to be safe.

  • Alexandra18

    HI Michael!

    I was wondering– would you recommend fasted lifting directly after fasted cardio? Working on losing some fat in a short amount of time (we don’t have a tone to lose)

  • s chloe

    Hi – thanks for the article. I started taking Pulse + Forge for the first time today – I am 116 pounds and 5’3″. As instructed, I took two pills. After a few minutes, I started getting prickly/tingling sensations in my finger tips and ears which subsided after about 15 minutes or so. Is this a normal response? Do you think I should I reduce my dosage? Thanks!

    • That sensation is actually expected and completely harmless! It’s caused by an amino acid in Pulse called beta alanine. 🙂

  • paulie

    A friend recommended casein at night time to help with recovery. If I plan on doing fasted cardio in the AM, will the long burning effects of casein mean I won’t be in a fasted state? What would be the best bet to ensure that I am recovering and getting the protein I need at night, without losing my fasted state in the morning? Is whey a better choice at night to avoid this?

    • Nah. I still recommend casein protein. You’ll be fasted by the morning.

  • tanmoy panja

    Hi. myself Tanmoy , I am from INDIA ,,,,

    My current weight is 180 lbs. and height is 165 cm . ……

    I wanna loss my extra few lbs. from body …. so I try to stick with a routing …..

    Exercise : 1 ) In morning Fasted state Cardio (mix off LISS and HIIT )

    2 ) In afternoon body split weight training ……

    six in a week and Sunday is a rest day ….

    Meal : Take day’s 1st meal at 9.30 A.M.

    take lunch at 12.30 P.M.

    take last meal at 3.30 P.M.

    I wanna flow intermediate fasting rule 16/8 ..

    Calories intake : Height calorie intake 1500/1600 in a day …

    Suplement : 1) whey protine (after workout )

    2 ) BCAA (before work out )

    3) Creatine (before work out)

    4) glutamine (before bed)
    5) omega 3 fatty acid ( after lunch)

    6) multi vitamin ( after last meal)

    7 ) Calcium ( after break fast )

    8) electrolyte power ( during cardio/weight lifting )
    I want ur thought sir .. is this any thing I am missing ??
    Or stick with this plan …

  • Tim

    Hi Mike

    I am trying to improve strength at the moment but am doing 2 or 3 cardio fasted cardio sessions a week to keep conditioning up and stop bf rising. Is it worth still taking forge pre cardio to give fat burning a slight boost even though I am not strictly cutting?

    Tim

    • Cool you’re doing cardio! As to doing it fasted or not, that’s up to you. Either way is fine. If you are doing it fasted, I recommend taking Forge.

      It would help with burning some extra cals. But, if you’re bulking, you need to be in a surplus anyways…

  • Jon

    Hi Mike,

    So if I understand correctly you take 1.5 servings of FORGE and 1 serving of PHOENIX all before fasted working out?

    That means that for a 200lbs guy that would be 6 capsules (first time dosage)/12 capsules (full dosage) of FORGE and 4 capsules of PHOENIX – all taken at once?

    Did I understand that correctly?

    Thanks – Jon

    • No you want to take 1 serving of each before fasted training.

      At 200 pounds the full dosage of Forge is 8 caps (4 caps if it’s your first time).

      A serving of Phoenix is 2 caps.

      Hope that clears it up! LMK.

      • Jon

        Ah yes, thanks for that. Now would these servings be taken again any other time during that day? and are these needed to be taken on non-cardio/rest days? – Thanks again for all your help.

      • Jon

        Actually let me try that question again… haha

        I do:
        -3 fasted training+cardio days and
        -2 non-fasted evening training-only days – simply because of my schedule.

        I would obviously take the recommended servings on fasted days but should I couple that with equal servings in the evening with meals on those fasted days as well or not?

        Should I take any servings on my rest days and/or the days I train in the evenings whilst non-fasted?

        Hope this is more clear. Thanks again Mike

        • Nah. There’s no need to take them with meals on rest days or with meals during your fast day.

          You only take it before fasted training (cardio and/or weightlifting) and that’s it.

  • D

    Hey Mike,

    Great article but I’ve got one question. If I do fasted HIIT cardio can I eat right after that or should I wait a little while longer?

    Thanks!

  • Gevo

    Hey Mike, so I’m 62kg, do I take 12.4mg of Yohimbine? And do I take it everyday or just before workouts.

    • Yep, exactly. Or 5 capsules of Forge:

      https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/forge/

      It’s only taken before fasted training. No reason to take it at any other time.

      • Gevo

        Cool thanks. I decided to get forge last minute instead of just yohimbine yesterday so can’t wait to try it out

        • Nice! Thanks for picking it up. LMK what you think!

          • Gevo

            I havent started fasted training yet due to schedule but im about to this week. Do i need to take Bcaa too or just the yohimbune is fine? Im also only planning on using it for weight lifting workouts since im not doing cardio for now, hope thats not an issue.

          • Yep, you gotta take BCAAs to prevent muscle breakdown. Or even better, HMB. Check this out:

            http://www.muscleforlife.com/bcaa-supplement/

            Totally fine to do only for weightlifting.

          • Gevo

            Ill be taking forge though i wont need to supp with anything else right? Im taking caffiene and green tea ext too to help with cutting

          • Cool!

            Nope, you don’t need anything else.

            LMK how it goes.

          • Gevo

            Should i be taking yohimbine with the forge, caffine and green tea? I do 3 weightlifting workouts and 2 ab workouts a week, usually on different days and no cardio. Should i take it on all 5 days? (When im fasted of course)

          • No need to take yohimbine. It’s in Forge. The rest are good!

            You can take the caffeine and green tea everyday, whether you’re training and/or fasted or not. Forge is only taken before fasted training.

  • kelly

    great article! Thanks! question.. if my routine is gym (group sessions with a trainer-weights, circuit training, etc) 4 days a week and I want to incorporate fasted cardio on the same days as well, what should be my routine? would it be 20 mins of hiit fasted cardio around 6am, then eat bfast at 6:30, then gym time would be 8:30 am-9:30am, then a post workout shake…would that work? 48 yr old female, 150 lb trying to shed body fat and tone up

    • Glad you liked it!

      I recommend keeping the weightlifting and cardio completely separate. (like one in the AM and one in the PM) If that’s not workable, do the weightlifting first and then the cardio.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Kevin G.

    Hey Mike. I’m considering fasted training to help with fat loss particularly for weight training. I want to know if drinking whey protein with water while training would be considered counterproductive? Thanks for your input.

  • I’m a 60yr old woman who has used fasted cardio successfully in the past. At this point, all my fat is “stubborn”. My question is can I use this protocol with weight training and HIIT to get from my current 2lb overweight state to my desired 20% body fat? I estimate I have between 25-30 lbs of fat to lose to get there.

  • Jessica

    What would you suggest for quick digesting/ light meals? Due to work flow, I have to take late lunches at 11 am but like to work out right after I get off work at 2 pm. If I had a small cup of soup or small salad at lunch, is 3 hours enough time to return to a fasted state?
    Thanks!

  • Jess

    Hi Mike! I weight train first thing in the morning but like to pick up a coffee on my way to the gym which is about a 40 minute walk. I’m currently eating and training for fat loss – do you think the milk I add to my coffee, about 20ml, would completely negate my fasted state? Or should I stick to black coffees for the time being? Thanks!

    • Unfortunately, it probably would. I don’t recommend adding more than 10ml of milk or cream to the coffee.

      Hope that helps!

  • Derek

    Hey Mike, thanks for another great article! I’m thinking of switching from training fed to training fasted. I plan on having 20g protein at 7am, a black coffee at 10am and then training at 11am. Will I be in a fasted state by the time I start training, and will the protein I eat beforehand be enough to reduce muscle degradation? Thanks

    • It depends on what you eat for the 20g of protein. It takes 3-6+ hours to be fasted.

      Also, make sure you don’t use more than 2 tbsp of cream in your coffee or that will break your fast as well.

      If you’re training fasted you need to take BCAAs, leucine, HMB or even better, Forge:

      https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/forge/

      • Derek

        Hey Mike, thanks for your response. I was planning on eating egg whites. I’ll look into Forge!

        • NP. Egg whites would break the fast. 🙂

          LMK what you think of Forge!

  • DaveUK

    Someone said training in a fasted state is dangerous as it can turn the blood acidic? I don’t know if they meant that only applies to diabetics though?

  • Valerie

    Hi Mike! I had a question, My schedule is really tight, therefore I go to the gym right after work at 5:30pm. It’s a kick boxing/ martial arts class, and so it is a lot of circuit training, and cardio, and every day is different. I want to incorporate fasted cardio, but right now the only time I have to work out is after work. I am going 5 – 6 days a week. My question is 1) If I eat my lunch at 12:30 and go to the gym at 5:30 would that give me enough time to be in a fasted state? And I know it might sound silly, but does drinking water interrupt my fasted state, and 2) I take a bcaa on my way to the gym because it helps with my energy, does that affect my fasted cardio? 3) And last but not least, I am trying to eat every 3 hours to keep my metabolism going and etc, and not eating between 1230-5pm, would that cause any harm? I know it is a lot but this would help me tremendously.

    • 1. It takes 3-6+ hours to be fasted. You should be fine as long as your lunch isn’t huge.

      2. Good you take BCAAs pre-workout. It won’t interrupt your fasted state. Forge is more effective than BCAAs if you’re interested:

      https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/forge/

      3. Totally fine on fasting to train fasted. It’ll accelerate fat loss.

  • Biggsey Mammal

    hey mike, great article. i have started fasting 16 hours a day, usually eating between 12:00 pm and 8:00pm. i would like to start swimming laps in the morning before work (approx 5:00 am) and would just wondering what the effects would be of working out/exercising in the middle of a fasting period and then continuing to fast for another 6 hours?
    thanks

    • That’s fine. Typically, I recommend at least protein post-cardio, but if you want to continue the fast in addition to the BCAAs, leucine, HMB or Forge you need to take before the fasted cardio, you should take them post-workout and every 2-3 hours up until you eat.

  • Helen Booth

    Hi Mike, I currently commute to work by bike (only approx. 10 minutes 4 times a day) but I eat before I leave the house in the morning. Is it worth trying this as fasted cardio or would I not see a difference with only 10 mins cardio?
    Also I don’t take green tea supplements but I do drink Matcha tea (which I think is what the supplements use) would a cup of this before fasted weight session help? Thanks!

    • It probably wouldn’t make a difference, no. If the rides were double the length I’d probably recommend it because then you can get more out of the supplements as well.

      Matcha is great but you’d have to eat quite a bit to reach the catechin levels you want…

  • Aaron Bruinsma

    Hi Mike, I’ve started training recently and had a few questions about HMB and Forge. I understand that the effective dosage is 2-3 g a little while before your workout. However, reading the directions, it says to take one capsule (2.5g) per 50lbs of bodyweight. I’m wondering this because I have access to Optimum Nutrition’s brand of HMB and I don’t want to take 7 1g capsules (it’s more convenient for me to walk into a brick and mortar store than order online). Thank you!

  • Denise

    Hi mike. If I eat at 11am then do fasted cardio at around 6. Is it okay if I munch in like 2 pieces of sugar free candy?

  • Carla

    Hey Mike,
    Loving the articles! Sorry if this is a silly question but I was wondering if there was any truth to this. I read an article about fasted cardio and how working out in the morning (around 10 hours after eating) is a good thing due to reduced glycogen stores. However, if it’s a lot longer than this and glycogen stores are completely depleted, this is bad and can result in muscle loss? So is this true or just plain rubbish and it doesn’t matter if you have fasted for a long time? haha
    Just wanted to know because i usually eat dinner around 5pm and do a fasted workout the next day at 8am so thats 15 hours after eating.
    Thanks for your time 🙂

  • KEVIN

    Hey Mike i have a question for you. great article by the way very informative. is their any code where can we order forge? also if i am doing fasted hiit in the morning pre cardio i currently take a fat burner, would you recommend taking bcaas pre cardio as well? and post cardio whey with my breakfast? i usually eat 3 servings of egg whites and a smoothie 1 cup of blueberries 1 banana and apple juice do you think that is a fine post cardio breakfast?

  • Scar

    Dear Mike;

    I have a question regarding Phoenix serving when doing both fasted weights and cardio; should one be taking 1 serving before weights and cardio? I’ve been doing fasted cardio after I’m done from my fasted weight session; so should I be taking 2 servings (8 pills) ? Wouldn’t I be going over ? Note that I take my pre-workout (Forge, Pulse. etc.) 15 mins later and I would be lifting, which lasts for 45-75 mins, followed by 10 mins break and I start my cardio.

    Thank you.

    • Good question! You should take half a serving (2 capsules) before your fasted workout. You can then take another 2 capsules later in the day with a meal.

      What do you think?

  • Mike D.

    Hi Mike,

    As a college student with a part time job trying to lose fat, it is hard for me to get the gym twice a day, while fasted, to workout and then do cardio later in the day. Would it be alright if I did HIIT cardio right after training for 15min while I am in the fasted state or should I do cardio separate and later in the day while possibly not being in the fasted state.

    I do take a BCAA supplement intra-workout and am looking to pick up your pre workout fat burning stack (pulse, pheonix and forge).

    Thanks.

    • No worries. Yup do your cardio after your lifting. Totally fine.

      Let me know how you like my products!

  • Timothy Inkoom

    Hey mike i am not really a supplements person nor have i ever taken before. Ate there other substitutes that i can consume instead?

    • No problem. Just eat right and train hard and you’ll be fine. Nothing really for fasted training. Whey is the common alternative to BCAAs/leucine/HMB.

  • Leiha

    Hey Mike! 🙂
    So, I’ve read that as soon as you eat, your body goes into a fed state and therefore STOPS all fat burning. If I’m on a cut & doing fasted exercise what’s your opinion on waiting to eat for a couple hours to extend the fat burning capacity?

  • kim taeyeon

    hey mike!, i was reading some of brad schoenfeld articles and i came across this one

    http://www.lookgreatnaked.com/articles/does_cardio_after_an_overnight_fast_maximize_fat_loss.pdf

    his studies found that fasted training did not have any increased fat loss effects… what do you think?

    • It actually did make a difference but it was small. Honestly my thoughts are this article, haha.

  • Jason

    Hello mike is fasted cardio something that you can do while pregnant.

    • Good question and you know I’m not quite sure. Check with your doc.

  • Gero Arias Madero

    Hi Mike, good article, good points, however, do you think that is big the difference of the rate of fat loss talking about a person that does cardio in a fasted stated vs a person that is in FED stated. I really dont think that there is a pretty big difference talking about body composition. I have tested myself for 4 months i did cardio in a fasted stated and in the 4 months left in my diet i did cardio after my weigh training session and i did not see difference in the quality and rate of fat loss. I think that is not really necessary to do this. But can you write me what are your thoughts about if you really would see big difference talking about body composition? I wrote a part of a study so you can see what i mean.

    It has been hypothesized that performing aerobic exercise after an overnight fast accelerates the loss of body fat. The
    purpose of this study was to investigate changes in fat mass and fat-free mass following four weeks of volume-equated
    fasted versus fed aerobic exercise in young women adhering to a hypocaloric diet. Twenty healthy young female
    volunteers were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 experimental groups: a fasted training (FASTED) group that performed
    exercise after an overnight fast (n = 10) or a post-prandial training (FED) group that consumed a meal prior to exercise
    (n = 10). Training consisted of 1 hour of steady-state aerobic exercise performed 3 days per week. Subjects were
    provided with customized dietary plans designed to induce a caloric deficit. Nutritional counseling was provided
    throughout the study period to help ensure dietary adherence and self-reported food intake was monitored on a
    regular basis. A meal replacement shake was provided either immediately prior to exercise for the FED group or
    immediately following exercise for the FASTED group, with this nutritional provision carried out under the supervision
    of a research assistant. Both groups showed a significant loss of weight (P = 0.0005) and fat mass (P = 0.02) from
    baseline, but no significant between-group differences were noted in any outcome measure. These findings indicate
    that body composition changes associated with aerobic exercise in conjunction with a hypocaloric diet are similar
    regardless whether or not an individual is fasted prior to training.

    • Gero Arias Madero

      look at this and tell me your point > http://www.jissn.com/content/pdf/s12970-014-0054-7.pdf

    • IMO the advantages of fasted cardio become very noticeable when you combine it with supplements like caffeine, yohimbine, and synephrine.

      It’s also most useful for people that are lean and wanting to get really lean (when you’re dealing mainly with stubborn fat holdouts).

  • denvercoder10

    Hi Mike, excellent article, as always!

    I’m currently cutting, doing fasted weightlifting followed by HIIT in the a.m. (no time to go back to the gym at night for cardio).

    I’m taking 10mg of Yohimbine pre-workout, I was wondering if that would stay “effective” for the 1h workout + the 30min HIIT, or if I should take more, say, 10-25min before finishing up weightlifting, before cardio?

    Also, do you know if 10g of BCAA’s pre-workout will create an insulin response and kill my fasted state? I’m currently taking 1 scoop of Pulse, 10g BCAA (only because I have too much of it lying around and wouldn’t use it otherwise), 3g of HMB and 10mg of Yohimbine as the fasted pre-workout stack (I intend to get Forge and Phoenix once my current stock of supplements ends!)

    Thanks!!

    • denvercoder10

      Update: Did some research on this and got the following:

      – BCAA insulin response: Yes, BCAA will cause an insulin response, but it shouldn’t really affect fat loss (see monophasic vs biphasic insulin responses). Should be no problem to keep on using it (even though it’s redundant with HMB)

      -Yohimbine: Seems to have a half-life of about 2hrs…so 1hr barbell + 30 min HIIT should be fine on one “serving”.

      Does this make sense?

      • Nice. 🙂

        Hmm the yohimbine research I’ve reviewed indicated a half life of about 45 minutes. Can you link me to where you found 2 hours?

        • denvercoder10

          You’re right, upon further research it seems the half life is 30-45 minutes. So much random information posted online…

          Still should be good for one session of lifting and cardio though!

          Thanks!

    • Thanks!

      Cool on what you’re doing.

      Yohimbine has about a 45 minute half life so yeah you’re good on the lifting and cardio.

      BCAAs do cause the body to produce insulin but it’s not enough to break the fasted state like food does.

      That said, check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/bcaa-supplement/

      Thanks for all the support!

  • Marian Boricean

    Hey Mike, I’m currently using Forge for fasted weight lifting in the afternoon (never have a meal current day) and then I have my post workout meal. This works great for me to deal with calorie intake for the day. Love it.
    The problem I’m going to have soon, when I will run out of Forge. I will be going home (Romania) and I will not be able to purchase it for awhile until I return to US. Bad planning on my part.
    Is there anything else you recommend I could use for fasted training to prevent muscle loss? Or should I just start training in a fed state once I’m out of Forge?

    Also, another question that popped up in my mind the other day: If muscle memory is real, as you mentioned numerous times, why are people so concerned about losing muscle during the cuts? Don’t these muscle grow back very fast during the next bulk cycle?

    Thanks!

    • Great! I like it.

      Hmm how about just a simple BCAA or straight leucine? I used to use leucine before I had Forge.

      That’s a good point and the answer is…people will go neurotic about silly things, haha.

      • Marian Boricean

        So you’re saying, I should not worry too much about losing muscle because they’ll grow back fast once my cut is over. Is that correct?

        BCAA’s and Leucine.. procuring them will probably be as challenging. I’ll look into it because in my country didn’t actually see these things :D. Who knows, maybe I didn’t look hard enough. Training fasted is tough (I start losing a rep here and there) but I’m happy that I can stick to my numbers throughout the day.

        Whats the plan for free shipping in Europe? 🙂 🙂

  • Matt

    Hi Mike,
    Similar to other questions, but in light of the fact I am in the UK and it is currently an issue getting hold of anything with Yohimbine in and the fact that I don’t believe you have your Europe distribution centre set up, I cannot get hold of Phoenix nor Forge.
    I know your preference would be to use your much researched products, however, given my situation, can you advise any alternatives that at least go some way to achieving the same thing. Any half decent products worth considering?
    Thanks
    Matt

    • Hey Matt!

      The two molecules that are going to help most are yohimbine and synephrine so if you can’t get either then I’d say don’t sweat it and just rely on diet, exercise, and caffeine…

      • Matt

        Thanks Mike, appreciated. Yohimbine is a banned substance here in the UK (!!), so I’ll see if I can find a safe form of synephrine. Interested to see if it can make a difference….

        Thanks again.

        Matt

        • Sounds good. LMK how it goes!

          • Matt

            Hi Mike,

            OK, so I can only source synephrine (or bitter orange) on it’s own. I found the below product. It says it is 6% synephrine, and that each serving (2 caps) contains 900mg of bitter orange. My simple maths (!!!!) converts that to 54mg of synephrine which is a similar dose to that contained in Phoenix. Your thoughts on this product welcome:

            http://uk.iherb.com/Nature-s-Way-Bitter-Orange-Standardized-60-Tablets/1876?gclid=CIKu94i21sgCFWoJwwodDeMCqA

            Also, in terms of when to take this, is it like creatine in so much as I can take it whenever throughout the day (i.e. the effects are gained from it just being present in the body at a certain level), or is it better to take it right before a workout along with my dose of caffeine. i.e. to provide a stimulant effect? Same question for the timing of taking green tea extract as I have a separate supplement for that also….

            Thanks for your time and help.

            Regards
            Matt

          • Yeah that makes sense on the product. Looks good.

            The stimulant effect is very mild but it works synergistically with caffeine so take with it.

          • Matt

            Thanks Mike. And any thoughts on the timing of taking the green tea supplement?

          • YW! Yep, you can see the times I take it when cutting and bulking below:

            https://www.muscleforlife.com/cutting-supplementation-routine/

            https://www.muscleforlife.com/bulk-maintenance-supplementation-routine/

            Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Joanne

    Hi Mike! Great article and nice to have links to other discussions and info along the way as well!! I have been training with a trainer for over a year and have finally found the keto and egg fast diet to work for me. I have lost 10lbs in the last two months and have the determination to make this work. I am really looking for a 17-20% body fat range and am currently at 27% and 127 lbs. 5’3″ tall and 46 years of age. I am active and have also joined a gym in order to do cardio three times a week as I train with my trainer three times a week. I only eat eggs, grass fed butter and cheese throughout the day and stay at 1009 calories. I stopped eating at 5pm and start in the morning with a bulletproof coffee – grass fed butter, coconut oil (or mct oil depending on the day) and coffee. I then workout at 10am. Then around 11:00am I have my three eggs and cheese and again at 4pmish and then stop eating for the day. I build muscle quite well but my main objective right now is to lose weight – get my body fat to 17% and get some abs!! THEN build more muscle. However I do not want to lose muscle either I don’t think?? I take Beta Alanine as well as L-Citrulline in my water with Vega Sustain throughout my workout. I also was told because of the diet I am on to take creatine as well – but I am now feeling bloated after taking the creatine. I have never tried a fat burner and am wondering if I am having the bullet proof coffee, am I still in a fasted state and can I take your Phoenix at this time before I workout? as well I am wondering about doing carb/calorie cycling or just staying in keto … going on and off the egg fast … there are so many different diets I am getting confused and do not want to harm my body by staying in keto. Do you sell your products in Canada or do I order from you in the US? I also have relatives in the US so I can pick up there, just wondering my options and what you could suggest as a meal plan including your supplements and diet now, and how long you feel it would take to reach the 17% body fat based on if I follow your recommendations and supplements to a tee.

    • Thanks! Glad you liked it.

      You might find this interesting:

      https://legionathletics.com/ketogenic-diet/

      https://legionathletics.com/diet-meal-plans/

      LMK…

    • Joanne

      Thank you Michael! That was a terrific read! I am worried tho if I change into the eat to my macros diet I have done so well on the keto and egg fast I do not want to lose the great body I am really starting to have. This diet is working well for me as my main goal is to lose body fat period. I feel since I build muscle quite easily and quickly – I won’t lose any muscle I can’t rebuild. (Do you agree??)

      You state:

      If you’re overweight and sedentary, your diet should be low in carbohydrate. Keto may be unnecessarily low but you have no need for more than 0.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per day. (Are you referring to body weight or lean body mass??) AND I workout lifting weights and doing a general circuit 3x/week and and going in a semi fasted state – as I do have my bulletproof coffee before I start to workout at 10am, drink a concoction of vega sustain, small amount of bcaa’s, l-citrulline and beta alanine, but nothing else until after my workout. I am meeting my highest lifts, pushes, squats and pulls. Just not going for any pr’s. I also have tons of energy working out. So I am not sedentary, but I am also not in the gym 24/7 – BUT I do not want to hurt my body – but build it into a lean mean awesome machine!!! First losing the huge body fat then building my body!!!

      As well – you never answered if you sell your products to canada or if I need to pick them up in the USA? Thank you, Joanne.

  • Andrew

    Wouldn’t the 5g of carbs in Pulse negate the Yohimbine if attempting to truly be fasted?

    • Nah. Pulse has 5 carbs, but only 5 calories so you’re good.

      The reason why is because some of the carbs come from the sugar alcohol, erythritol. Carbs normally have 4 cals per gram. Erythritol however, only has .2 cals per gram.

  • Emily Stolan

    Hi Mike, what do you think about 30 min. fasted HIIT at 7am, then having a protein shake and some carbs, taking about a thirty minute break, and then lifting at 8am? Will that be effective?

    • I don’t recommend HIIT before weightlifting. It’ll effect your performance in the gym.

      Instead I recommend doing the weightlifting and then the cardio.

      Thoughts?

      • Emily Stolan

        Lift first, cardio after sounds good to me Mike! How much of an advantage do you think it is to split up cardio and weights? Ie- fasted cardio in the morning then lifting in the evenings vs doing them both in the same workout?
        Thanks for your time!!

        • Great. 🙂

          I think it’s slightly better for muscle building purposes but it’s not a make/break.

  • Abby Baxter

    Hi mike! Your articles are SO informative and easy to read- I’ve been soaking up all the info and loving it! Here’s my question: I get to the gym about an hour after waking. I lift weights 5-6 days a week and add an HIIT session afterwards most of the time. So my gym sessions are about 1.5 hours most days. I am sold on incorporating fasted training and want to purchase Forge ASAP to help me reach my goals but I’m wondering if waiting an hour after waking to get started and then spending another 1.5 hours training would be too long to go without food. I can’t seem to find any info on this but maybe I’m missing it! What do you think? Thank you in advance!

    • Thanks Abby! Glad you’re enjoying them.

      Nah you’re totally fine. Take a full serving of Forge 15 minutes before you start weightlifting and have your post-workout meal after your HIIT session, and you’ll be good.

      NP! Talk soon.

  • P Mort

    Regarding HIIT, I do lighter versions of this right now; current routine has 5 minutes moderate pace, then a cycle of 5 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 10 seconds on, 20 seconds off, 15 seconds on, 30 seconds off, & repeat two more times, then 5 minutes moderate ending.

    When I see people recommending sprinting for 30 seconds, then slowing up for 45 – 60 seconds, I tend to get a little skeptical. I was a sprinter in high school, and when I ran a 200, which was about 22-23 seconds for me, I was wiped and couldn’t fathom doing anything strenuous for like another 10 minutes or so. Are sprints in this context more like an 80% of max effort kind of thing? A workout like that for 20+ minutes sounds like it would kill you.

  • Alex M

    Hey Mike,

    A few questions. 1. Is it ok to use BCAA during fasted cardio instead of HMB? Will it have the same muscle-sparing effect?
    2. Your BLS book doesn’t discuss fasted cardio specifically (only fasted training in general in regards to BCAA). Do you recommend fasted cardio as the standard way we should be doing cardio on your BLS program? Does it matter if we’re bulking or cutting?
    3. What is preferable/are either of the following options ok? Morning cardio and then evening weight lifting or evening weight lifting and then cardio right after? On my non-lifting days I do cardio alone, but since I try to get in 3-4 days of cardio as you recommend on a cut and I’m lifting 5 days a week, some days need to overlap and I want to know the best time to do cardio of those two options.

    • NP!

      1. Yep, that’s fine.

      2. Cardio can be done fasted or not fasted. If you’re cutting doing fasted cardio can accelerate fat loss, but again, it doesn’t have to be done fasted. When bulking, I don’t recommend doing your cardio fasted.

      3. Either way is fine. Won’t make a big enough difference to matter either way.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Bachahana Achakzai

    That was all about fat loss. What about strength and mucsle building while fasted??

  • Bachahana Achakzai

    What about fasted strength training or weight lifting for building muscle?

  • Jforex

    How about training for 20 mins right before every meal – when we’re hungry Sugar and insulin levels ought to be pretty low at that time, isn’t it?

    This splits the 60 mins workout in 3 parts, before the three meals.

    As for the workout – how about 20 mins of stair climbing every time.
    Sorry I cannot go more intense than that. Thanks.

    • That’s totally fine but it isn’t the same as fasted training, that’s all.

  • iDiedAtBaron

    How long does it take for you to be officially in a fasted state?

  • Phillip

    Is it good or bad to wait a few hours to eat after a fasted HIIT session, because sometimes I don’t have time. I take Forge before to prevent muscle loss, but how long do these effects last? (I still am hitting my marcos correctly)

  • Hey Mike,

    So to be clear, you recommend working out with absolutely nothing to eat before your workout? …other than the supps you outline in this article.

    Essentially, you’d just roll out of bed, take the supps with some water and start lifting?

    Thanks Mike!

    • If you want to train fasted to help accelerate fat loss, yes.

      If you don’t wish to train fasted or are trying to focus on building muscle, I recommend taking the proper pre-workout nutrition:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/pre-workout-nutrition/

      Yup, training right after waking works best for most because you’re pretty much always going to be fasted when waking up.

      Welcome! Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Izzy

    Hi I had a few questions, 1. how often do you’re commend fasted cardio/training ? My goal is fat loss. 2. What should I eat after? I’ve been doing a protein shake. 3. How quickly after should I eat? 4. Do you recommend fasted cardio and training in one session? Or split the days?

    • NP!

      1. As many times as you like. When I’m cutting I do all my weightlifting and cardio fasted.

      2. Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/guide-to-post-workout-nutrition/

      3. Within 1-2 hours is what I recommend.

      4. Ideally you’d split them up. The same day is fine, but you should separate them by several hours.

      If that isn’t possible, it’s fine to do them together, but make sure you do the weightlifting first.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Phillip

    What happens if you take Forge, and your body is not fully in a fasted state for an afternoon HIIT cardio session? Does it make the world of a difference if I only fasted weight lift?

    • Nothing. It just isn’t needed unless you’re training fasted.

      The benefit is when you’re fasted. If taken while fasted, it will prevent muscle breakdown caused by fasted training and help accelerate fat loss.

  • steven zimmerman

    Mike, I’ve been looking at your line of supplements and would like to see what you think. Just starting out on 5×5 Stronglifts and doing intermittent fasting 8/16 schedule, I normally workout about an hour before my first meal of the day (lunch). Which 2 supplements would I benefits the most from in your line? 265lbs 6′ Male about 85lbs over weight.

  • Emily

    As a mom of three, my gym time is extremely limited for the week. I have 3 solid days a week I can make it to the gym. If I’m trying to utilize those days most efficiently (burning as much fat as possible!), is it beneficial to do the 3-day/week weightlifting plan from my TLS book, followed by a 20 min HIIT…in a fasted state?? Please advise!

  • Barb

    Hi Mike, I love your TLS book!!!! I ordered forge and have yet to take it, (being a chicken shit about it LOL but plan on it for SURE ) should I have ordered pulse too or will forge be enough? I also take a boxing class for 30 mins followed by 30 mins of resistance training can I include this as part of my cardio and then do one more day of HIIT biking etc. I feel like I am always exercises and I don’t want to burn out THANKS for your help

    • Glad you enjoyed the book! Thanks for picking up Forge! No worries. LMK how you like it when you do try it.

      For the sake of preserving muscle and accelerating fat loss during fasted training, you’re set with Forge! If you’d like more of a boost in performance, I’d recommend picking up Pulse. It’s also synergistic with Forge. 🙂

      Regarding the cardio, I recommend doing the weightlifting first. Doing the cardio first will affect strength in the gym.

      That amount of cardio seems fine. To make sure you’re not overdoing it, take a look at this:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/how-much-cardio/

      Hope this helps! My pleasure!

      • Barb

        AS always you have great info!!!! Okay taking my Forge tomorrow 15 mins before my weight lifting, does bulletproof coffee interfere with fasted state???? I usually have that before I workout. Thanks again

        • Thanks. 🙂

          Cool on using Forge tomorrow! Unfortunately, the bulletproof coffee will break the fast…

          • Barb

            Okay thanks for letting me know! I will make it through without it I am sure 🙂 LOL

          • NP! I think so too. 🙂

  • Andriana Eden

    Hey Mike!
    Ordered my custom meal plan, finishing TLS, and read for that dream body 😉 I have been doing fasted training for over a year now, it just works for my lifestyle. But after reading this, I tried yohimbe…. I went to the lowest dose and still was having bad reactions. So forge is out 🙁 but I was going to order HMB to try… A while back I read about BCAAs, which has now been trumped by HMB apparently. Do you recommend BCAAs I intra workout? Especially if doing cardio followed by weights fasted? Thanks!

    Also… Have played around with the idea going raw vegan, so may be ordering another meal plan soon lol.

    • Nice! LMK how you like the book.

      Understood on the yohimbine. Let’s stay away from it.

      Yep, I recommend HMB over BCAAs. No need for the BCAAs intra workout. Just the HMB pre-workout is all you need.

      We’ll be able to put a plan together for you if you do haha.

  • Jithin Raghunath

    Hey Mike, I’ve normally taken a pre-workout as soon as I roll out of bed, before I hit the gym. But it has me thinking…my pre-workout has caffeine, 6grams of BCAAs, some creatine HCL, etc. I don’t eat anything else, just drink this…is my state still considered fasted? Do the BCAAs negate the ‘fasted’ part?

    • Unless there’s protein, carbs and/or fats in the pre-workout I don’t know about, yep you’re still considered fasted. BCAAs do not break the fast.

  • Gustav

    I am confused about this, I understand that fasted training increases the fat oxidation during the workout , but what about the other 23 hours left, wont the fat oxidation decreases due the food post workout? In the other hand , with fed training , fat oxidation is lower but during the rest of the day , the EPOC efect is higher , so in my opinion the fat used as energy remains the same in both cases, what do you think Mike?

    • Energy balance is still the name of the game, of course, but fasted training is particularly effective for getting rid of stubborn fat (and PARTICULARLY when combined with the right supplements).

  • Phatboy Dane

    What if I train twice a day? If I do cardio fasted in the AM, have a post workout meal (recommendations?) and want to train fasted later, how many hours should i be fasting between workout sessions?

    • You can do that! You just need to make sure that depending on the size of the meal, you haven’t eaten for 3-6+ hours before each training session.

      For post-cardio, I just recommend having 30-40g of protein.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Sara Gundermann

    I typically do low carb until my pre-workout and post-workout meals much later in the day, but since adding fasted cardio, I’m not sure if I should add carbs to my breakfast now tor reduce cortisol levels from my morning session. Your thoughts?

    • You can if you want. You don’t have to though. Since you’re training fasted, the only time you want to make sure you have a certain amount of carbs is post-workout. Otherwise, you can have the rest of them when you like!

      To reduce cortisol, check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/stress-cortisol-weight-loss/

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • WillyC

    Hey Mike, great article!!

    You said in the article that fasted cardio resulted in a bit more fat loss. I was wondering if 2 people achieved the same amount of caloric deficit from their workout/ diet, then how would their fat loss results be different?

    Thanks

    • Thanks!

      The “simple” answer is you can cause your body to derive more of the energy it needs from fat as opposed to glucose/glycogen and/or muscle.

      That plus the additional benefit of speeding up “stubborn” fat loss are the main reasons why I think fasted training is worthwhile if you’re cutting.

  • Stephen Mathew

    Hi Michael,

    Your articles are highly informative backed by solid reasoning, much obliged.

    I’m totally clear about fasted AM cardio after reading this article, I plan to include some bodyweight functional training in the evenings as well for which I wanted to know if I should perform it after dinner or have my dinner post exercise and how long should i wait to eat im once done exercising?

    Thank you!

  • Mario Russo

    A little over a year ago I started doing the fasted training after reading this article. I got myself the recumbent bike, used Pulse, Phoenix, and Yohimbine pills before every lift and HIIT training session and I dropped probably about twenty pounds and around four inches off my waist in a little over three months. I only did the HIIT two to three times a week, but I didn’t cheat on my diet at all. I haven’t tried FORGE yet because the finances are pretty bad at the moment but man, WHAT a feeling to have fat just start pouring off of you. I’m diabetic as well, and take insulin. I would make sure I took my insulin before I lifted. Don’t know if this helped anything, but I tried to get my insulin levels as low as possible. Of course, I checked my sugar before taking my insulin just to make sure I didn’t go hypoglycemic. After a few months of doing this, I was able to cut my intake of sugar medicine by two thirds. Awesome article here which fits in with BLS to a tee. Getting back into the BLS and HIIT way of life again after a year of various, non-lifting related injuries and other stuff, and this is what I’m doing again.

    • That’s awesome Mario. Let me know how things go this time around. You know what you have to do. 🙂

  • Franken Steine

    I plan on training fasted until I’m at a desired body fat percentage. If I do 3 hours of fasted weightlifting and 2 30 minute HIIT per week, how much muscle can I expect to lose?

    Unfortunately I’m unable to get the supplements you recommend at the moment.

    • Hey!

      Hmm it’s hard to say. If you eat protein immediately after you train, you will minimize it.

  • So you only recommend hmb only on a fasted state? So if I’m bulking and doubling my workouts after work, there is no benefits of hmb? Thanks for all the value and time btw.

  • Timmy Atz

    Hi Mike IM thinking about Fasted Cardio at this point I am maintaining for another month then will begin to cut again. Is there any benefits of fasted cardio while maintaining or bulking?

  • Dashelyn Jarque

    Thank you fro the great article. I would like to know if you could please be more specific about a routine and heart rate % we need to be at. For example, 2 minutes at 75%, followed by 1 minute at 85%. I would truly appreciate that 🙂

    • My pleasure!

      Don’t worry about heart rate. Go by how labored your breathing is. It’s easier and more useful, really…

  • Elijah Laughinghaus

    With your emphasis on the simplicity fast loss as fewer calories in than out, and cardio as a means to fat loss, I’m curious… Say I cut calories by 25%, and my cardio burns 250. Couldn’t I instead do NO cardio, but cut an extra 250 calories from my diet? I want cardio for reasons outside of fat loss, but from the point of view you present, I’m not sure why its part of your recommendation?

    • Because a deficit created through restricting food is more detrimental than one created through exercise. There’s research on this but I’d have to dig through my PubMed, haha.

      This is why I recommend you use cutting calories as a last resort (exercise as much as you can before you cut calories).

      Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/not-losing-weight/

  • Jeannette S.

    2 months ago on my last BMI check , I was at about 23.5%, (5’-2”,141lb, Chest 34.5, Bi 12, Thigh 21,Calf13.5, Waist 26, Hips40.5). I haven’t done any measurements since but I’m now 134lb, and in the last couple of weeks I seem to be UNable lose more fat.

    I’m on a 1100-1300cal deficit, and I’ve been doing fasted weight training 4x/wk, and about 70min of fasted HIIT/wk. By fasted I mean I get up at 5am, take 2 FORGE caps at 7-8am followed by BCAA, and then 15 min before my workouts (10:30is) I take another 2 caps and BCAA during my workout. I have just as much energy as I do when I’m NOT on my fasted state (most days at least). I can even throw in a 15-25min cardio at the end; and right afterwards I take a protein shake or some kind of high protein meal.

    Should I increase my deficit and/or cardio? My weight goal is 126lb, but I fear doing too much and end up injured. . .Your thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated!

  • Marc D.

    If I do an hour-long fasted walk, then as I hit the end of the hour, I start doing sprinting for thirty minutes, would that be effective, ineffective or possibly dangerous?

    • I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s going to be hard though. 🙂

  • Laura

    Hi Mike, I’m trying to lose fat whilst maintaining as much muscle as possible, I want to do 25 mins fasted HIT in the morning then plan on doing some lifting in the afternoon, it will have been about 4 hours after eating that I plan on doing lifting, would you recommend a snack before the lifting session or just a shake and meal after?

    • Cool! I like the plan.

      I would do this:

      HIIT
      30 grams of whey
      Lift
      Post-workout meal of your choice, etc.

  • Ed

    Hey Mike!, Im currently on a cut and I am on my second week of my 8-10 week plan. I am doing heavy lifts as well as 2 HITT cardio days of 20 mins after my workouts also, this is the macros I am currently following using your BLS :
    160C
    32F
    192P
    1700 Calories

    I weigh 157lbs and about 5 feet 9, I was wondering how much body fat do you think I am currently? Furthermore, I am wondering if with the amount of body fat that I currently have, do I need to do fasted training or would regular dieting and what I am doing currently is enough to get my to around 10% BF so I can go on a builk. I have also attached a photo of me currently as well.
    Thank alot and really appreciate your articles as they are backed with scientific proof!

    • Great on what you’re doing. I would guess around 15%. Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/body-composition/

      You don’t have to train fasted, no, but if you follow the entire routine laid out here, you WILL lose fat faster, that’s all.

      Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

      • Ed

        Thanks man! I Hope to abs by the end of 8 weeks and start building some muscle!!!

  • Becky Ramsay

    What percentage of my daily fat, carbs and protein should I have at each meal and what time if I want to do fasted cardio and weightlifting? I do cardio in the morning before breakfast at 7 or 8 am and lift at about 5.30pm.

    • There isn’t a set amount you should have. You just want to hit your totals of cals and macros by the end of the day.

      The only timings that I recommend getting the right macros in are post-workout and before bed. (normally pre-workout too, but you’re training fasted). Check these out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/guide-to-post-workout-nutrition/

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/protein-before-bed/

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Becky Ramsay

        Thanks. I’ve already read those ☺️☺️☺️☺️

        But won’t eating too much before cause an my insulin is still raised. How much of each and at what time would you suggest to ensure a fasted state? I’m also curious about eating carbs after cardio. Read somewhere that for more fat burning stick to protein and fats after cardio… What’s your take on this?

        • YW! Good to know haha. 🙂

          For fasted training, you want to make sure you haven’t eaten in 3-6+ hours.

          For post-cardio, I just recommend 20-40g of protein. No need for carbs or fat.

          Hope this helps! Talk soon!

          • Becky Ramsay

            Ok. Great. Thanks for clearing that up ☺️☺️☺️

          • YW

          • Becky Ramsay

            I am curious as to what you think on carbs after cardio affecting fat loss… BS?

          • You don’t need carbs post-cardio, but having them won’t negatively affect fat loss, no.

            It all comes down to energy balance. Check this out:

            http://www.muscleforlife.com/best-diet-plan/

  • Rusty Englund

    Mike. Read the article. Very interested in the fasting cardio and the supplements.
    I am training for some ultras and triathlons. I’m doing some strength training and cardio/ bike training. I don’t want to build a lot of mass muscle, just what is needed for core and endurance. What supplements would you suggest for the fasting cardio and fat burning? Any training ideas?

  • Alex A

    Hi Mike

    Yohimbine is for stubborn fat loss it seems. If I’m 15% body fat will this be optimal for me to take now or do I continue to lose bf without yohimbine until I get to around 10%? I can’t seem to get under 14% without looking skinny despite taking BCAA fasted and following macro and calorie recommendations for cutting.

    Secondly, Lyle Mcdonald and a few others believe we should wait approx 2-3 hours to eat after taking yohimbine. This means no post workout shake fairly soon after training unless we take yohimbine even earlier but then I read about Yohimbine half life???

    This is my potential schedule. Is the following for optimal results (dosage and grams are correct for my weight)..

    05:30 wake up
    05:45 HBM 3g /Leucine 6g, 200mg caffeine, 15mg Yohimbine
    06:10 – 07:00 weights – (5 day BLS program)
    07:05 – 07:30 moderate/low intense cardio (for 3 of the 5 days)
    09:00 Post work-out shake – 50g protein, 80g carb

    If not what would be as close to ideal?!

    thanks

    • Hey Alex,

      I would just start now. Yohimbine gets more effective the longer you take it because it accumulates in the body.

      That said, you may still find you look too skinny once you approach 10%. It’s a common issue.

      The idea is to ride out the caffeine + yohimbine wave for as long as you can, which makes sense, but it’s a minor point IMO. I’ve always eaten within an hour or so.

      That general plan looks good. You don’t need that much leucine though. 3ish G is fine.

  • shaffa7

    Yo Mike,

    I’m around 20% bf and i want to cut as much fat as possible! So now i do 5 days of fasted training (cardio and weights), but before doing that, I drink a supplement which has a mix of BCAA’s and 100 grams of HMB! Is this good? I just ordered a HMB supplement and I will drink 3 grams of this from now on. Is this effective?

    Thanks man!

    • Thanks for the info.

      Woah. 100g of HMB can’t be right… Yeah 3g is all you need.

      Welcome! Talk soon.

  • Quick question: will a tsp of coconut oil in coffee bring me out of my fasted state?

  • Sarah

    Hello, does fasted training have to be done after 8 hours of sleep or could it be more? I find I’m really hungry when I wake up as I eat dinner around 6 pm and sleep around 11 and wake around 10 am so that would be more than 16 hours in a fasted state.. Thanks so much!! Sarah

    • That will be fine. Just have something like HMB or leucine before, and I recommend caffeine and yohimbine too if you’re going to train fasted.

  • Ed

    Hi, I was wondering if I plan on taking Thermoxyn the fat burner, the bottle says to take it before your breakfast on empty stomach, but if im doing fasted training and cardio should I still take it before my workout or take it after my workout before my postwork? Also, if I were to do cardio later on that day, how long should I wait, if I were to eat my postworkout around 10:30am? Thanks again!

    • I’m not familiar with the product, but I’m guessing you’d just take it after the workout before eating?

      It takes 3-6+ hours to be fasted depending on the size of the meal. What/how much are you eating?

      My pleasure!

      • Ed

        Okay that sounds good! And one more question, was wondering if its okay to take BCAAs during my workout when im doing fasted trianing
        Thanks again!

  • Mohd Alaiti

    Hi,
    I recently started doing HIIT cardio in the morning (In Fasted state). I usually go to work on foot. I takes me around 15 minutes to get to work and on the way there, it is uphill. On the way back from work, it is downhill.
    This means i walk around 30 minutes a day for 5 days.
    What does this mean in terms of cardio? Do I still do 1:30, 2 hours of HIIT per week? Or do i reduce it?
    Thanks.

    • Cool! That’s great. I would probably do 2 to 3 HIIT sessions per week plus the walking. That’s plenty (plus lifting of course).

  • Elmert Y. Pitis

    Hi Mike, im doing my second cut this year and ive bought your shredded pack of pheonix, forge, pulse and will be doing them on an empty stomach. However, im a bit confused as i dont see any leucine in the products. Should i add 5gm of leucine on top of this?

    Also, you say to take one serving of Phoenix before training/cardio but in the bottle is says after meals twice per day. Does that mean 3 times perday? As in fasted, post workout meal and any other meal making 3 times?

    Thank you!

    • Sounds good! Cool you picked up some supps. LMK how you like them.

      HMB replaces the need of leucine. You can see what I say about it on the Forge page:

      https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/forge/

      Regarding Phoenix, the label says to take with meals because it can be a bit much for some on an empty stomach. If you feel fine taking it on an empty stomach, I recommend it because it is synergistic with both Pulse and Forge. Try it out and see how it goes.

      Stick to 2 capsules twice a day.

      Hope this helps! My pleasure!

  • Hi Mike,

    I’m wondering what does it take to get out of the fasted state (as in how many calories)? Should I worry about flavored BCAAs (which probabky have some stevia or something similar in the mix).

    Thanks

    • Hey Cezar! BCAAs don’t break the fast–don’t worry.

      It depends on the types of foods, but I don’t recommend having any more than 20-30 cals to make sure you don’t break the fast.

      Welcome! Talk soon.

  • Carol

    Hi Mike,

    I got the idea of not eating before fasted training (and so I take BCAA to prevent muscle loss), but I am a bit lost about what to do after the HIIT fasted training. Should I eat after the workout? if so, what should I eat? How long after the workout?

    Many thanks. =)

    • Hey Carol!

      After fasted cardio, 20-40g of protein is all you need. After fasted weightlifting, you should have your standard post-workout nutrition:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/guide-to-post-workout-nutrition/

      LMK what you think. My pleasure. 🙂

      • Chad Avalon

        How long after the excercise though? Would eating right after a 30 minute cardio session cause an insulin spike that would negate yohimbe?

        • You just want to make sure you’re fasted for the effects of yohimbine while training. After that, within 1-2 hours for your post-workout nutrition is good.

  • Elaine VanDerVeeken

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve been doing fasted training (both weights and cardio) for about 3 weeks now and am liking to progress. My only question for you is if it’s bad to train fasted for extended period of time? Do I need to take a break from training fasted and then switch back? Or should I only train fasted a few days a week.

    Thanks,

    Elaine

    • mfq

      I also have the same question in mind, I am working out fasted for 1 month 7/7 and seeing great results – In days when I feel weak I just make one ore two day break off excercising (or make just some not fasted light yoga or pilates) and eating more one day. works for me, still it is to soon to sum it up, but so far i feel good:)

    • Hey Elaine! Nah, it’s fine. I only recommend fasted training when cutting trying to lose fat, though. While cutting, you’re welcome to do all your cardio and weightlifting fasted.

      Hope this helps! Welcome.

  • Mfq

    Hi there, I am 35, healthy woman with
    some low thyroid disorder, stopped taking my pills when I was 18 –
    turned to thyroid yoga instead and 12 years ago became vegetarian.
    For a year now I’ve started working out. I’am 173cm, 65kg – since 10
    years that has not changed, but as far as I can remember I have
    always had my beloved low-abs, low-back fat that was always making me
    crazy.

    For my last year of working out –
    30-60 minutes a day – light weight lifting, some light cardio, yoga
    – I had not noticed any differences in my trouble zones – yes, I
    became much more lean, stronger and more flexible ever, but my goal
    (to loose that belly fat) was still not achievable – I even started
    to think to quit it as it had not deliver any results.

    So I started to read a lot and found
    fasted cardio/intermittent fasting/insuline levels method. I was very
    sceptic at the beginning and concerned about what the „experts say”
    about that, but still i gave it a try.

    I stop taking any food/drinks after 6pm
    – only water then, I wake up around 9-10 am and the first thing I
    do is half and hour of light weight lifting or yoga/pilates and half
    an hour of light cardio. After that I take my shower and eat
    breakfast (I do not follow any diet, I just eat what I like in my
    vegetarian manner). Then after 3-4 hours I have some dinner and at
    about 6-7 pm I eat light supper.

    In a month time I have lost about 3 cm
    in my waist, 2 cm in my belly area, which I thought was impossible to
    do. I feel good, my mind is clear, I do not starve myself, I eat what
    I like and I love my beer.

    So – APPROVED – this stuff works!!!
    It this the ultimate fat killer!!! It will not of course happen in a
    miracle way, one must have the discipline to achieve the goals, but i
    am the living, and feeling good example that this way is the good one
    to get lean if consistent.

    • Thanks for all the info!

      Awesome job on the progress you’ve made in just a month! Without starving and still eating the foods you love too! That’s great.

      Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • Sean Haber

    Can a few calories ruin the affect fasted training has and block yhombines use? e.g my pre workout coffe says it has 5 calories in it, theres no sugar or other ingredeint so am not sure what its from , and can i add a splash of almond milk?

    • It can but you’re totally fine with that many cals. It depends on the almond milk, but you can have up to a cup of unsweetened almond milk and be totally fine. To be safe, you want to stay under 20-30 cals to make sure you’re fasted.

  • Manny Perez

    Hello Mike,

    I was just wondering what is good recommended meal plan for being on a HIIT fasted cardio? I also take your Forge supplement before I do my cardio around 6am.

    Best.

  • Chad Avalon

    Hi Mike, so I bought the Forge supplement and I just want to make sure I utilize it properly. So will having casein before I go to sleep still keep me in a fasted state in the morning? I excercise about an hour after waking. Then it usually feels good to eat right afterward, probably about 15 mins after working out (both cardio and weightlifting), as the yohimbe does quite a number on my nervous system (though tolerable) and eating makes me feeling better in that regard. Does this sound like proper utilization?

    Also as a second but related question, I’ve been thinking about taking my fish oil pills when I first wake to take them with egcg, as this is the best way to absorb it. Will a single, 10 calorie fish oil pill have any influence on the fasted state as I am doing it above you think? My scouring of the net has mixed reviews, with most end up saying rules like “anything under 50 cals is ok”, and also “its a spectrum, so the more fasted the better, but not completely undone with a few cals”. They did not take yohimbine use into account though. From what it seems to me with the research available we’re taking some educated guesses. But I just want to hear yours. Thanks so much!

    • Chad Avalon

      Also, have you heard of Rauwolscine? Appearantly its very similar to yohimbine in its biological activity, without the jitters and nerve effects. No studies to confirm similar outcomes, but since mechanism is the same its probably very likely.

      • Yeah it’s also called alpha-yohimbine and it can work well for people that are really sensitive to yohimbine.

    • Thanks Chad!

      You’ll be fasted by the morning, yes.

      Eating afterward is fine.

      IMO take the fish oil after you lift with your post-workout meal. There’s research that shows it can augment muscle growth when used like that.

  • Livo

    What is the difference between doing fasted training for fat loss, and fed training but using a fat burner for fat loss? Thanks, Are both effective?

    • Fasted training is just another way to help accelerate fat loss. A good fat burner also accelerates fat loss. So, doing both will result in even faster weight loss.

      If the fasted HIIT is done properly and the fat burner is an actual good fat burner that uses scientifically proven ingredients at the clinical dosages, yes, they are effective.

      Hope this helps. Welcome!

  • Elijah Laughinghaus

    With your emphasis on the simplicity of fat loss as fewer calories in
    than out, and cardio as a means to fat loss, I’m curious…say I burn
    about 250 calories in my cardio, why not just cut that many more
    calories from my diet and skip the cardio? From what you’re saying,
    fat loss wise, the results would be the same?

    • Because a calorie deficit created through calorie restriction has different physiological effects than one created through burning more energy.

  • Faiz

    Thanks Michael for tons of information above. I have lean body with a noticeable amount of belly fat. I have started fasted cardio since 2 weeks. I also do weight training to gain some muscle mass. My ultimate goal is to gain muscle at the same time more importantly getting rid of belly fat (want to get ripped abs 🙂 ). Like i said i have lean body ( i am 29 yrs , 5.7″ 153 lbs), should i continue doing fasted cardio? Should i take whey protein before cardio in order to minimize muscle loss?

  • Alex M

    Hey Mike, interesting article. When I look at the second graph, I see that the amount of fat oxidation in the PP group is only slightly higher than in the CP group. Is this extra amount of fat oxidation statistically significant? Regardless, I find that I have much less energy during fasted training or don’t have the energy to workout fasted after work (and want to eat beforehand). Do you think the extra amount of fat oxidation in fasted training is significant enough to still workout fasted despite having less energy and potentially having less good of a workout?

    • It’s a slight effect that becomes more significant when you add supplements like caffeine, green tea extract, and yohimbine (which requires low insulin levels to work).

      • Alex M

        Thanks for the reply. I’m still curious if the effect is enough to warrant a less good workout due to not eating beforehand?

        • I definitely think so because the sooner you’re done cutting, the sooner you can get back to building muscle.

  • Livo

    Hei, Mike, I have started my de-load week, I have completed Phase 1 of the Year One challenge for women. I feel great, I feel motivated. This week I am doing fasted cardio, and then hit Phase 2 next week. (^.^)

    • Nice! Glad you’re doing well.

      Sounds good!

      Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

  • Alahna

    Hi mike,

    I always eat about and hour before I train and then about and hour and a half after training I do my high incline cardio for 30 min. At that point am I in a fasted state or still fed? I eat approx 25g protein and 30g carbs.

    • If you’re eating an hour before, you won’t be fasted.

      • Alahna Gerhauser

        So I should eat earlier? If I’m at the gym by 10 and my training is and hour and a half I should have my first meal by 7 am ? Would that be better?

        • It takes 3-6+ hours to be fasted. So, depending on what you eat, eating at 7am would work. If that doesn’t work, I’d recommend not eating at all when waking up and just go to the gym first thing.

          Otherwise, you should just have the proper pre-workout nutrition:

          http://www.muscleforlife.com/pre-workout-nutrition/

          LMK what you think!

          • Alahna Gerhauser

            Ok. So if I’m going to eat would it make sense to eat a complex carb higher on the glycemic index so it’s digested faster and maybe just stick with whey protein in the am? I have to eat in the morning. I can’t get to the gym any sooner than 9:30/10 and I’m typically there 2hrs total. I’ll be starving by noon. I’m used to eating every 2-3 hours so this will be hard and I’m carb cycling so I’m always hungry. 😂💪🏻.

          • Hmm. To be safe, I recommend just sticking to whey then.

            So, whey at 7am, gym at 10am and post-workout at 12pm.

            Sound good?

          • Alahna Gerhauser

            Sounds like a plan. 👍🏻

          • Cool. 🙂 LMK how it goes!

  • Khaled

    Hi Mike…You recommend protein and carbs before and after working out. We’ve established that carbs cause insulin to spike, but what about protein? Do you still recommend a protein shake before fasted training?

    • Nope. Protein breaks the fast as well.

      • Khaled

        So let me get this straight. Only the ingredients found in your Forge, and possibly Pulse, supplements don’t break the fast while supporting faster fat loss and maintaining muscle?
        Thanks in advance for your advice!

        • They’re not the ONLY things that don’t.

          BCAAs and leucine are also good to prevent muscle breakdown from fasted training.

          As long as you keep intake under 20-30 cals, you won’t break the fast.

          My pleasure! Talk soon.

  • Joshua deCarlo

    Ok, here is my bag. I can’t exercise in the morning, it has to be after work. So I’m trying to eat a super early breakfast (3:30am) so that by the time I’m done with work (4:00pm) I will be in a fasted state. And then not eat until after I workout (6:00pm) I get LESS overall fasted time. Is this still effective, you think? But as I write this I think I know your answer…

    • I hear you, Josh! Yep, that’s more than enough time. You’ll be fasted by 4pm.

  • Jose Luis Latorre Millas

    Hi Mike, what would be better? train weights fasted at the morning and then train cardio fasted at evening, after dinner? when and how do you propose to do this (or how do you do it)? I read your cutting sup routine at http://www.muscleforlife.com/recommendations/supplement-recommendations/cutting-supplementation-routine/ but it is unclear to me the timing(s). Would you mind clarifying? Appreciated!

    • Jose Luis Latorre Millas

      Hope I didn’t ask too much.. 😛 for the 1 & 2 & 3, a general recommendation would do fine..

      I just want to start Monday the BLS 5 day program, and it has days with cardio and weightlifting.. would be great to do both on fasting ^^

      Could be good 5 am HIIT cardio and later on, starting between 8am and 11am, still fasted, do the weightlifting session, just before lunch should be ideal… so 11am would be perfect – is this correct Mike? else please correct me 🙂

      • No worries. 🙂

        Glad you enjoyed the book and awesome you picked up the transformation stack! I look forward to seeing your results!

        I don’t recommend using the rest time between sets to do cardio. It’ll take away from your strength in the following sets and the whole point of resting between sets is so that you can lift as heavy as you can each set.

        1. Anytime is fine. Just make sure you do it before cardio.
        2. Same as above. Just make sure it’s done after weight lifting.
        3. It depends on when you workout. You want to take the pre-workout supps 15-20 minutes before training and the post-workout supps within 1-2 hours of training.
        4. I don’t recommend it.

        Hope this helps! Will do. 🙂

  • Jose Luis Latorre Millas

    Hi again Mike 😉

    Received today the “30-Day Bigger Leaner Stronger Transformation Stack”, as Forge & Phoenix seem to be working, your products have won my trust :).

    I’ve almost finished reading your BLS book and started today the program, after training fasted since 6 January with another program with supersets, cardio acceleration and a mix of heavy loads-low volume and medium/light-moderate to high volume..

    I have four weeks to cut, starting today and I am doing this:

    05:00 – wake up FASTED and have your pre-WO recommendation. I also have BCAA 0 cal and drink it, 20 gram.
    05:10 – FASTED 25″ cardio HIIT and, alternating days, a bodyweight circuit 20-30″.
    11:00 – FASTED Weightlifting BLS program. During it I also have BCAA 0 cal and drink it, 20 gram
    12:00 – post WO based on your recommendations.
    12:10 – Lunch

    19:00 – 20:00 Dinner and start FASTING
    21:00 Sleep (so I can get 8h and wake up at 5am)

    I have one question regarding this training:
    Is it good to keep fasting after the cardio/bodyweight circuit at 05:10 in the morning and do the Weightlifting training also fasted? I am feeling ok and with enough energy, so to say.
    Or would be good to do this as you do (WL early in the morning and break the fast to have breakfast, dinner, and a light lunch – then wait 4 to 5 hours to do the Weightlifting training after work)?
    I cannot train early in the morning as most gyms around open at 6:30 and I have to conmmute 1h to work…
    Additionally, the extra question: would you add cardio acceleration in the rest pauses on the BLS program?
    Keep up the good work!!
    Jose

    • Hey Jose!

      Awesome! I look forward to seeing your results with the stack and this style of training. 🙂

      Cool on your schedule. You only need 10g of BCAAs, though before fasted training. I recommend having 20-40g of protein post-cardio. If that’s all you have until your weight lifting session at 11:00, you’ll be fasted again. It only takes 3-6+ hours to be fasted.

      Nah, I don’t recommend the cardio acceleration. The whole point of the rests between sets is so that you have the energy to go as heavy as you can each set.

      Hope this helps! Thanks! Will do.

      • Jose Luis Latorre Millas

        Hi Michael!
        Great! It’s not the same to have around 10-20 grams of BCAA consumed between before and after the cardio? The time to go to the gym is determined from my work schedule so it could be 8am (when the gym opens) and up to 11:30 am… so unsure I will have 3 hours…
        Cool with cardio acceleration, really exhausted after heavy lifting so now I believe it was a silly question 😛 (have been lifting light and moderately to recover my elbow injury since March last year), now starting to be able to..
        And yes, you will see them. (the results)
        Best,
        Jose

        • Ah okay… If that’s the case, you can take BCAAs post-cardio.

          Cool! I look forward to seeing them. 🙂

  • Caitlin

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for all you do. I just purchased the Slim+Sexy stack and I am really excited to try it out. I have two questions though:

    1) Can I ingest the capsules like pills or do I have to empty the powder into a drink? I tried the second way and it made my fruit punch pulse & water mix really bitter.

    2) You say in your article to take 1 serving of Phoenix pre-workout. The bottle says one serving is 4 capsules. But the bottle also says to split the serving up and take 2 capsules twice a day with food… I thought Phoenix was for fasted workouts so it wouldn’t make sense to take with food…plus I only workout once per day so why would I take it twice? What should I do?

    • My pleasure! Thanks for picking up the stack! LMK how you like the supps. 🙂

      1. Take them as capsules. They’re not meant to be opened.

      2. Phoenix is meant to be taken with food. Forge is the fasted training fat burner.

      Phoenix is meant to be taken with food because it can be a bit much for some on an empty stomach. If you feel fine taking it fasted, though, it is synergistic with caffeine and Forge so it’s great to take pre-workout (fasted or not).

      If you do that, take 2 capsules before training and another 2 capsules with a meal.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Caitlin

        Hi Mike,

        I had some issues unfortunately…

        I learned the hard way that the allergy medication I thoughtlessly take everyday is actually a stimulant!

        Naturally, it interacted with the supplement components, and I had some less than pleasant side effects.

        I’m going to give myself some time off and possibly attempt the stack again when allergy season is over.

        Thanks,
        Caitlin

        • Damn. Sorry to hear that.

          Sounds like a plan. LMK how it goes!

          My pleasure!

  • Mindy Shuman

    Hi Mike,

    I love your article, I’ve re-read it several times. How long before cardio session should I take the supplement stack? Thank you!

  • Boris Paskas

    Hi Mike,

    I started reading your posts 2 days ago. First what i’ve seen was BCAA vs Leucine, and you were totally right. Leucine is the king.

    I need advice, i’ve just read this article right now.

    I am on cutting for a 1 week right now. I am on 5×5 training (3 times a week and cardio, low intensity for a 60 minutes on off days except Sunday).

    I never trained fasted, not even cardio not even weightlifting.

    My diet is pretty much fine, i eat oats with almond milk at the morning every single day. But it is always before cardio/weightlifting.

    I am 180cm and 85kgs, i have fine muscle mass but…little fatty, not a lot tho.

    So tomorrow i will start fasted workouts. I will stop taking carbs or anything before workouts so my insuline levels wont grow.

    From supps i am using creatine monohydrate, whey isolate and leucine.

    How, when and what should i take before workout or afterwards?
    Can i train without taking any supps before workout?
    I usually drink all that in PWM, 2.5g leucine, 5g creatine and 25g protein.
    And the next and last question is, when and how much carbs should i eat after workout? Should i eat SIMPLE carbs (sugar) after HIIT too, or just drink protein? I know i should take simple carbs after weightlifting, around 1,5g-2g per 1 body kg.

    should i also change my routine, change 5×5 to something other because of fasted workouts?

    Please help me out, and don’t recommend me those cute Legion supplements, because i live in Serbia and i have no chance to buy them

    thanks!

    • Hey Boris! Hope you’ve been enjoying them. 🙂

      Cool you’re doing the 5×5 training. I’m a big fan of the program.

      Sounds good on the diet. I recommend you set up a meal plan so you know you’re hitting the exact cals/macros you should be to reach your goals. You can do it here:

      https://legionathletics.com/diet-meal-plans/

      Cool you’re going to be training fasted.

      Great on the supps you’re using too.

      For fasted training you need to take BCAAs, leucine or HMB 15-20 minutes before working out.

      Other than that, there are several supps you could take that will accelerate results, but they aren’t required.

      For what to take post-workout, check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/guide-to-post-workout-nutrition/

      Nah, totally fine to continue the 5×5 program if you like it.

      Up to you. Fasted training isn’t required to get results. It can just help accelerate results.

      Welcome! Hope this helps. Talk soon.

  • Mindy Shuman

    Hi again! How long should I wait to eat after doing my fasted training with the FORGE & PHOENIX?

    • Hey Mindy! It takes 3-6+ hours depending on the size of the meal.

  • stevie mayer

    Hi micheal! I have heard so many different theories on fasted cardio and weight lifting. I guess my main question is it safe for everyone? I am about 80 pounds over weight right now, would i see the benefits faster? Or would it hurt me as a beginner?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Yep, assuming you’re healthy and don’t have preexisting issues, you’re fine.

      Not everyone does well with it, though. Feel free to try it out and see how you do.

      Yeah, fasted training would definitely accelerate fat loss!

      YW! Talk soon.

  • M

    Very helpful article, thank you.
    Appreciate the visuals too.
    Question however.
    1. How long do you need to wait after eating for it to be considering fasting?
    2. Do the work outs need to be done in the morning after sleeping for the most effective workout, or can it be at a later time of day, or even the evening hours?
    Thanks again

    • Welcome!

      1. It takes 3-6+ hours to be considered fasted depending on the meal.

      2. Any time is fine!

      NP!

  • Michael West

    Hey Mike,
    Reference your Forge supplement. How long are the increased fat burning and anti-catabolic effects? For example, if I take at 0545 and do cardio in the morning, am I good to stay on the fast til 12 noon ( assuming I am using IF)? Or should I eat after the work out to preserve muscle? I know that eating will trigger insulin and lead to the Yohimbe to no longer be effective. Or will I gain fat burning effects by keeping the fast now combined with cardio until my normal eat time?

    Thanks,

    Mike

    • Hey hey! It’ll last for any typical workout. Afterwards, I strongly recommend having 20-40g of protein. No need to wait. If you’d really like to continue fasting, you should take BCAAs or leucine post-cardio and every 2-3 hours until you eat.

      Welcome. Hope this helps!

  • Andrew Bayon

    Hey Mike,
    Great books read 2 so far.

    So I’m slightly confused as to What’s the best route to lean. If I’m doing 5 day lifting and 3-4 HIIT cardio session. Is it better to do hiit cardio fasted in the morning or weights?

    Also if it’s lifting, then no shake 30 mins prior? If it’s cardio no carbs or protein 30 prior? Cause you preach protein prior to cardio and lifting and carbs pre cardio for maintaining muscle. So what’s the best way to go about this?

    • Thanks, Andrew!

      You can do both your weightlifting and cardio fasted. If you’d only like to do one of them fasted, let’s do the cardio fasted.

      Yep, I recommend the proper pre-workout nutrition unless you’re training fasted. Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/pre-workout-nutrition/

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Mindy Shuman

    Hi Mike,

    Do a squeeze of lemon wedge or a tablespoon of coconut oil raise insulin while in the fasted state? Thank you!

    • Hey Mindy! A squeeze of lemon wedge is totally fine. I’m not quite so sure on the tbsp of coconut oil. To be safe, I wouldn’t

      Welcome!

  • Daniel Vroman Rusteen

    The only thing I didn’t get from the article, is how do you know you’re in a fasted state? Obviously, when you wake up you are, and that’s when I’ll go to the gym. But, for cardio in the latter half of the day, how many hours should I wait after my last meal to exercise? I think I read in your book 6-8 hours, but this can’t be right…

    • It takes 3-6+ hours to be fasted depending on the size of the meal.

      What and when is the last meal you have before your training?

  • Kris

    Hi Mike,do you take 5g of hmb contained in Forge(8 capsules of forge) before training? Did I get that right?

  • Mónica

    Hello Mike! Thanks for the information!

    I have a 1,150-cal diet (no sugar, no bread, zero aclohol, etc.) and I take Amino Cuts (caffeine, BCCAs, green tea, CLA), Whey with 23g of protein and 13g of carbs and also Carnitine. I hit the GYM 5 times per week (2 leg days, 3 days for the rest of my body) and I normally do HIIT three days per week when I don’t do leg day.
    Even though I didn’t do bulking and I only have 9 months working out, I have tons of muscle already but my problem is the fat of my belly. I want my abs so bad!

    Will you recommend fasted cardio for me? And if you do… could you tell me how could I do fasted cardio before weight lifting? Because I have only 3 hours early morning for my training so I guess I would have to drink my protein and eat something before lifting but after the cardio? Thank you!!

  • Chad Avalon

    Hi Mike, I’m about halfway through my second bottle of Forge. Getting good results with all of your advice and supplements. I thank you very much! Quick Q: does Forge need to be cycled? In other words, does it lose its effectiveness after so long?

    • Chad Avalon

      Also, quick sub question: how much water retention does yohimbe cause? I’m just wondering if I’m a little further in my goal than I think I am. I’ve been taking it nearly every day for about 6 weeks.

      • Hey Chad! Happy to hear it. Welcome. 🙂

        I recommend taking a week off from Forge every 6-8 weeks just to stay sensitive to it.

        Water retention will vary person to person. To help with the water retention, check this out:

        https://legionathletics.com/water-retention/

        Hope this helps! LMK how it goes.

        • Jonathan

          Hi, so if you do all of your workouts fasted (weights/cardio), does that mean you need to take a week off from fasted training since there’s nothing to prevent muscle breakdown ? or just take HMB instead if you don’t want to take a week off?

          • Yep, that’s still true, but I still recommend taking the week off from Forge (and anything else with stims) every 6-8 weeks.

            You can continue training fasted during the week break, but yeah, you’d just supplement with BCAAs, leucine or HMB.

  • 溫宇謙

    Hello mike~
    I have two few questions:

    1. I’m running out of forge, can I still train fasted without it or should I wait for the next bottle arrive?

    2. I have only one window for fasted training, so do you recommend weight training or cardio? (I tried to do both but really hard to eat nothing but protein between sessions)

    3. Recently it’s so hot outside which makes me don’t want to get out..
    I know it’s hot in Florida too, can u please give me some tips to keep the daily waking?

    • NP!

      1. Nah, you should wait for the next bottle. You risk losing muscle training fasted without Forge.

      2. If you can only choose one, I’d recommend fasted cardio. In that case, make sure you have the proper pre-workout nutrition before lifting:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/pre-workout-nutrition/

      3. I hear you! Maybe you can do it indoors on a treadmill? If not, realize you’re burning more cals thanks to the heat. 🙂

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • 溫宇謙

        Thanks a lot!
        So does it really make one burn more calories in a hot weather haha?

  • amy middleton

    Hi Mike, I’m an athletic mom of 4 who just enjoys fitness. I still have that last little pudge on stomach/hips/butt/thighs. I’ve been taking Forge for about a month. Just was able to work up to a full dose last week. I workout from home with zuzkalight. It’s a lot of HIIT using kettle bells sometimes, jumprope sometimes, bodyweight sometimes etc.. My question is that my workouts are fairly short 10-25 minutes depending on the day. I usually do a 2nd workout in the evening as well but I’m wondering if the forge is really doing a whole lot b/c my actual time spent working out fasted is so short. Do you think I’d benefit more from the Phoenix?

  • JDiscuss

    Thank you.

    You seem to be using the term fasted for both overnight fast and also for the several hours after meals.

    1- Even if we consider a small and zero carb meal, are you saying the glycogen stores are depleted between meals also? And as much as overnight? It doesn’t seem right.

    2- More specifically, lets say I have a zero to low carb breakfast of 2 eggs, spinach and black coffee at 9 to last till noon, and did cardio at 1. Do you think this is as beneficial as doing cardio before breakfast.

    Thanks.

    • Hey hey,

      I replied to this yesterday. Did you post this elsewhere or did my reply just not post?

  • Fitness20

    Hi Mike, I found out about IF and training fasted 3 years ago when I started my new fitness journey on becoming as fit as I could!! I lost 30 pounds and gained a lot of muscle!! I eat a lean clean diet year round and gave up pork and beef. It’s amazing what the body can withstand! I trained hard almost everyday for the last 3 years!! The only days that I did not train was when I was too sick to even get out if bed. God made us to go thru stages of famine and that’s why we store fat, so it is only thru fasting that you will burn the excess body fat that was stored. God made the body so complex!! God made us store fat for famine times that’s why you need to trick the body into thinking its in a famine by going 12+ hours with out eating to burn that body fat. When you combine fasting with sprints you get the best results from my expierience and trough research. I train fasted daily and it’s a way of life now. I thank God I made the lifestyle change into fitness and leaned about intermittent fasting and training fasted!!ANYONE WHO WANTS TO GET RIPPED Text ME FOR INFO AND PICS ABOUT HOW TO DO IT THE FASTEST WAY 6199774092

  • Gary Kenny

    Hi Mike, I’m doing your program (on the modified 3 day plan as I have soccer training on Saturday morning to fit in) and I’m stuck at the 13-14% Body Fat mark for the past 3 months. I workout in the evening right after work. Would you recommend getting up early in the AM to get 45-60 mins of fasted walking in on an incline treadmill? I’m not considering fasted morning HIIT as my body is usually shattered from weights training. But, a fasted morning walk 3-4 mornings a week I could manage. If it’s worthwhile, that is. Thanks!

    • Hey Gary! Cool you’re following my 3-day BLS split.

      To help get the BF moving, check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/not-losing-weight/

      The fasted walking is a good idea, and it can help with the weight loss for sure.

      Let’s also make sure you’re not doing any of the things that I mention in the article above.

      LMK how it goes!

  • Georgia

    Hi Mike

    I have been doing fasted cardio on my lunch hour and taking 3 grams of HMB just before. I get up around 8am and do 25 minutes of HIIT at around 12pm. Is this too long to go without eating from waking up? I don’t get particularly hungry in the morning and I eat a large lunch right after cardio. But obviously I don’t want want to cause too much muscle loss.

    Many thanks

    • Hey hey! Nope, that’s totally fine. As long as you take the HMB, you don’t need to worry about muscle loss. 🙂

      Welcome!

  • Fitnessnut

    Hi Mike: I am up and at the gym at 4am 5 days a week. Three of those days I teach spinning at 5:30 (train first then teach). I just started the FT to lose more fate faster. I am on phase 2 of TLS and trying to build muscle. I take BCAAs b4 my weights and drink a hydro-whey b4 class along with my yohimbine. Is my yohimbine useless w/my protein drink and if so, can I get away with not drinking a protein drink b4 class or will I burn my muscle?

    • Great you’re making it to the gym 5 days a week! Cool you’ve started fasted training and are following TLS.

      Yep, no point taking yohimbine unless you’re fasted. So, I recommend taking it with your BCAAs before weightlifting. You should continue the protein post-workout.

      Awesome you picked up Forge! Totally fine to take Forge with caffeine. LMK how you like it!

      Talk soon. 🙂

      • Fitnessnut

        Forge is great – second time taking it. Had protein drink at 3am, lifted from 4-5, (took 5 Forge (that 2.5 x my kg in body weight), then taught spin for 45min burning 537 calories.

        BF is down to 19.5. YAY !!! weight staying at 105.4.

        Did I do ok ingesting protein and then Forge 2.5 hours laters? Im sorry to inundate you with tedious questions. Maybe I’m over thinking it.

        Talk soon and thanks for your help.
        Kelly

        • For sure! Awesome job getting down to 19.5%!

          Unfortunately, it take 3-6+ hours to be fasted after eating depending on the size of the meal so, you wouldn’t be fasted by the time you teach your spin class. 🙁

          So, you should either have protein after your lifting before your spin class or do both your lifting and spin class fasted and take Forge before the lifting.

          My pleasure! LMK what you think.

  • Ollie

    Hi Mike! I only have the option to do either fasted cardio or fasted weightlifting which one should I do for maximal fat loss?

  • George Martins

    How would be my diet if I want to do fasted cardio in the evening? Should I do a 6 hours interval without eating anything and take the supplements (pulse, forge and phoenix) before doing it? Because I read in other articles you wrote that I should eat protein every 3 hours.

    Regards,
    George

  • Oliver Johansen

    It´s hard for me to do fasted cardio since I go to school. In summer I can make it work tho. BUt is it ok to to 1-2 fasted HIIT and 1-2 regular HIIT after weightlifting, like battle ropes, jump rope etc?

  • Tobin

    Hey Mike,

    I’ve been following your cutting protocols for the last 13 weeks or so. I went from 171 to 163 in that time, but have stalled for the last two weeks. As far as fasted training/HIIt cardio go, Ive been taking 10g of BCAA’s before, but havent been able to consistently perform fasted training due to school. I know my diet is on point, because I used your TDEE calculator and took away about 20% from my TDEE. I just hit a wall, and just want to lose maybe 2 more pounds, thats all, really tired of cutting this long haha.

    Also, I play basketball 2-3 times a week on several weeks, so on those weeks I don’t do HIIT, but i play for 2-3 hours those days, and the next day my weight drops drastically. Should I bump my calories to around maintenance on the days I play basketball or just keep it at the defecit?

    Additionally, Im at 11-12% body fat, just want to get around 9-10%.

    Thanks alot for your work! Number one in the fitness industry, making sure all my college friends know where to get their info from! Thanks again, Toby Joseph

  • Jake

    Heya Mike,
    I wanted to ask about the muscle loss component of fasted cardio. When you say fasted cardio is able to induce muscle loss, would this muscle loss primarily be in the legs, or would it be a muscle loss that affects my all my body muscles somewhat equally?
    Secondly, if I don’t have access to these supplements at the time that I implement fasted cardio into my routine, when and what should I eat after my fasted cardio session to prevent muscle loss as nuch as possible?

    Thanks in advance.

    • It could be more localized depending on what type of cardio you’re doing (downhill running, for example, would affect your legs more than rowing).

      Just have 30 to 40 grams of a high-quality protein after.

  • Eric

    Mike,

    There seems to be general agreement in the fitness and science communities that Yohimbine is effective during cardio sessions. You recommend it during weight lifting as well, while many sources that I’ve read across the internet suggest that they believe Yohimbine has little-to-no effect during weight lifting. I can’t find where you address that issue in any depth. Can you provide some more information about why you believe Yohimbine can be effective in mobilizing stubborn fat during a heavy lifting session?

    Thanks.

  • J slom

    Hello, a little confused on the fasting workouts. Is fasting avoiding only carbs before a workout or is it any macros besides supplements? In other words am I good having protein 30 mins before workouts. Also, the way my schedule is its easiest for me to do my lifting and then cardio immediately after. I remember reading (I believe in BLS) that you recommend having protein immediately following lifting. Do you see any issues with my workout routine especially if I’m going to be fasting.
    Lastly wanted to thank you for all the information you provide. Loved BLS and though I feel I can do a better job with nutrition I’m stronger and more fit than I have ever been. Thanks again.

  • Natasha Noriko Covert

    Wow Mike, you rock! You have a lot of patience, answering and re-answering the same questions over and over, lol. So I apologize if this question is just another repeat, but here it is… Is it more effective to do HIIT in a fasted state first thing in the morning and then do weight lifting in fasted state after lunch or dinner. Or is it just as effective to do HIIT and Weight Lifting back to back, in a fasted state, first thing in the morning. So in other words, should I break up HIIT and WL or can I do them back to back in a fasted state for best results? Also, after fracturing my sacrum (lower spine) I have switched from WL to Body weight training. Is Body weight training going to give me the same results for weight loss and muscle building as WL? Thank you so much!

    • Hey Natasha! No worries. I’m happy to help. 🙂

      Ideally, they’d be done separately. If that’s not workable, that’s fine. Just make sure you do the weightlifting first.

      Regarding the bodyweight training, it won’t change your ability to lose weight. However, you won’t be able to build muscle as effectively.

      While following a bodyweight routine, it’s important to ensure you continue to progressively overload. To help, check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/the-ultimate-bodyweight-workout-routine/

      My pleasure! Talk soon.

  • Harry Snell

    If you are in a calorie deficit you’ll still be storing fat during some parts of the day right? If you do fasted cardio to get rid of the stubborn fat, is it not likely to go back to these places when fat is being stored?

    • Nah. If you’re in a calorie deficit, you will not be putting on fat. That requires a calorie surplus.

      And yes, fasted cardio will still help specifically with the stubborn fat areas.

      • Harry Snell

        You can put on fat acutely though right? Say that you eat all your food in one sitting – you’re gonna store some if it for a while. So my thinking is that even if you do fasted cardio to get rid of stubborn fat, it will end up back there. What do you think about this?

        • Sorry I misread your original question so I edited my reply.

          I’ve worked with thousands of people and this has never been a problem because the net loss of stubborn fat is quite a bit higher when fasted training and supplementation are used.

  • Jessica Richman

    Hi Mike 😀! I have been reading a lot of your articles about using fasted weight training/cardio to burn stubborn fat. Loved thinner leaner stronger, easy read and very informative. Currently I am following the year one weight training plan from tls and *trying* to follow my cut plan. I’ve been trying to figure out ways to fit a lil bit of fasted cardio into my routine. I think the best option is right when I wake up before work. The only problem is I reeeeaalllly like having coffee (w/some sort of sugar replacement and nonfat creamer) first thing in the morning…….will that completely negate the benefit of fasted cardio because I’m not truly fasted? Or would the effort still be with my while? Thanks!

    • Hey Jessica! Hope you’ve been enjoying them. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed TLS.

      Cool you’re rolling on the 1YC. Good call on including fasted training to help accelerate fat loss.

      The coffee should be totally fine! Just to be sure, what non-fat creamer do you use and how much do you have? How many tbsp?

      Welcome! Talk soon.

      • Jessica Richman

        Well, it’s not always the same. Usually 2 tbsp store brand nonfat half and half or 2 tsp nonfat powdered coffee mate (I know gross 😬) if I run out of the former before grocery day. On days I have morning brew at the BF’s place 2 tbsp nonfat hazelnut liquid coffee mate. Sometimes if the coffee is of a flavored variety (like vanilla or hazelnut beans) I can do w/o cream, but I have always wondered if those have different nutritional profile than plain coffee. Maybe sugar is added? I scanned a couple with fat secret and my fitness pal, but got nothing.

        • Sorry for the delay, Jessica!

          Honestly, you’re better off doing 2 tbsp of regular cream. With non-fat creamer the amount of carbs in it will break the fast.

          Also, unless the flavoring is cal-free, you have to watch out for the cals in that as well. To be safe, I don’t recommend going over 5g carbs to ensure you stay fasted.

          Hope this helps!

  • Natalia Duque

    Hi Mike,

    I just got your Genesis supplement. Will taking it interrupt the fasting? In other words, should I take it after the workout? I like exercising in a fasted state first thing in the morning (I also take Phoenix and Forge)

    • Hey Natalia! Awesome. LMK how you like it. 🙂

      Yep, it will break the fast. Save it for after the workout or sometime later in the day.

      Hope you’re enjoying Forge and Phoenix as well!

  • Kendall

    Hey Mike!

    I have a sedentary desk job during the day – but usually in the morning I’ll wake up and do some kind of fasted cardio whether it’s interval sprints on the treadmill or a spin class. After my 8-hour work day I’ll do strength training and/or a CrossFit workout.

    What would you say are the best times to eat given the above schedule? Similarly, what do I eat after my morning fasted cardio? Protein shake? Protein-fat-carbs? What’s best to eat after fasted cardio for optimal fat loss?

  • Jay

    Hey mike, you didn’t mention how long a fasted state cut should be done in without having negative affects, cause I know you said that we shouldn’t be in a deficit for too long in another article. I have read on your other books and articles that cuts in a deficit state should be done within 6-8 weeks and then we can go back to maintaining or bulking. Please share some insights. Thanks.

    • Hey Jay! It all depends on how much fat you have to lose and how your results are coming along.

      As long as you still have more fat to lose and you’re still above BMR and getting results, you can continue cutting. Once you have to go below BMR to get results, it’s time to RD.

      Hope this help! Welcome.

  • Younes

    Hi Mike, thanks for the great article.
    I will be fasting from 3am to 8:45pm daily for the month of Ramadan.
    I do HIIT, cross-training, boxing and core strengthening 5 times a week.
    I use natural whey protein and Forge, on top of a very well balanced diet (thanks to my wife :))
    I’m 6’2, 175lbs top shape.
    I’m used to fasted training on 4-6 hrs periods before workout.
    But now, we’re talking 17 hours.
    How would you recommend I go about it?
    Thank you.

    • Younes

      Thanks for the answer.

  • Harry Ashton-Potter

    Hi Mike, after eating a meal of about 30g of protein and 30g of carbs what’s the best time to wait before training?

    • Hey Harry, you can start training in about 30min or up to 1-2 hours. Check this out:
      http://www.muscleforlife.com/pre-workout-nutrition/

      • Harry Ashton-Potter

        I’m taking Forge right now, have used it when training first thing in the morning before eating anything. Going well so far on those days.

        However some days I can’t train until 6-7pm after I finish work, how many hours before I train should I take meal that size in order to get the most out of fasted training combined with Forge?

        • If you want to train fasted with the meal above, 4 hours is safest.

  • Gethyn Griffiths

    Can I do fasted cardio while bulking Mike? Because I genuinely enjoy fasted cardio

    • You can, but depending on how much you’re doing, you could put a damper on muscle growth by decreasing your calorie surplus.

      • Gethyn Griffiths

        Thanks Mike, much appreciated, no website really mentions it

  • This is a great article, looks like I will be training very early mornings or late at night. Thanks

  • Claudio Tonelli

    Hi Mike!
    My bodyfat is 9% and i want to burn the stubborn fat.
    How long after eating 40g of protein and 30g of carbohydrates i’m considered to be in a fasted state?
    Thanks

    • Hey Claudio, I recommend 4 or more hours to be safe.

      • Claudio Tonelli

        Yesterday i had my first HIIT session in a fasted state and i didn’t feel tired at all while doing it.
        Super Cool.
        I was thinking to supplement with caffeine and green tea extract 15 minutes before HIIT.
        Because of their fat loss features.
        What do you think?
        Thanks as always.
        You are the best!:)
        Claudio

        • Great! Yes, caffeine and green tea work. So does yohimbine.

  • Alexis Padillla

    Hey Mike I was wondering, how many hours minimum after my last meal do I have to wait to be fasted and be abe to use forge to its best? Thank you

  • Dustin

    Hey,

    I started doing fasted resistance in the morning while cutting. Now that i’m not cutting, i’d still like to do resistance in the morning (non-fasted). What’s your routine?

    It seems like I can either have a protein shake and pulse at the same time (Gross, and caffein loses affect when i’ve consumed food recently), or I can wake up, grab a shake, and go back to sleep for an hour before pulse (this is obviously annoying).

  • BennyPatenaude653

    My children were looking for VA DoT ST-9 & ST-9A this month and were informed about a company that has a searchable database . If you need to fill out VA DoT ST-9 & ST-9A too , here’s http://goo.gl/0shIYl

  • sakib800

    I have a question please answer!!

    SO i am a guy (teen) have been trying to get lean and mean 🙂 but mainly i have been trying to lose fat from my face. BEcasue i realized when i was getting fatter and a lot of those fat where clumped near my face region.

    And trust me i look ugly when i have a fat face:(

    So I dieted for few weeks and my body and face leaned down well (my body more than my face)

    but do you think training fasted will help me remove some of that extra stubborn face fat??? ????
    I know its weird but plz answer

  • James

    Hi Mike, I’m a big fan of the BLS method and your practical and systemic information. Your information got me off to a great start in my training last year. My question here is related to fasted training + caffeine + green tea extract for targeting stubborn fat. From what you have heard and experienced, is is safe (side effects) to take these sups on an empty stomach? Is it ok to only do steady state cardio or is HIIT ok too? Is it safe to do heavy lifting fasted and on these supps too? Maybe the answer is it depends on the person, but I’d like to hear about your experience. Also, how many days/week can you safely do this fasted training + supps, and what is the max to continue this for (e.g. 10 weeks)?

    • Awesome! That’s great, James. It’s safe, although some people feel nausea. For best results, do HIIT. You can also train fasted when lifting weights.

      It’s safe every day and for long term.

  • BrennanCollins

    Good article. I’ve been playing around with Yohimbine HCL recently and definitely notice a difference in my stubborn areas, glad to see someone’s properly informing people about the benefits of fasted cardio too. Most just thought I was crazy!

  • Johnny Hill

    If I quit eating at noon or a little before so that I can strength-train fasted around 5pm, will black coffee or green tea break my fast? Thx.

  • Philip

    Mike…thanks so much….for impacting people’s lives like mine towards a confident, strong and healthy lifestyle. I have been reading your articles and have been extremely informative and beneficial for me.
    I have been taking Forge and Pulse before my fasted training. And Phoenix during my dinner.
    I have been taking them for couple of months now…..but one concern i have is….whenever i take Pulse along with Forge…i get a stomach upset…not sure why….i would appreciate any suggestions.
    Thanks.

    • YW, Philip! Glad you got so much from my materials.

      That’s awesome you picked up a fat burning stack. Try taking one without the other and that will show which is the culprit.

      LMK how it goes.

  • Francisco Velasquez

    Hi. I plan to do fasted HIIT 2x a week along with my 5x a week lifts. In your article it says you take TWO servings of forge before a fasted session, why? Also, on days that you lift and do hiit you do both sessions fasted? If yes, how many hours do you wait according to meal size between the sessions to train fasted again? On days that i want to do HIIT and lift would I benefit from training both sessions fasted for more fat loss or can I just do the HIIT fasted and lift later in the day reguarly? My priority is fat loss, but sometimes i like feeling energized from a small meal pre-lift if i know im going to do HIIT fasted earlier in the day (non HIIT days i would train fasted lifting as usual)

    • Francisco Velasquez

      also if fat loss is a matter of energy balance why does adding HIIT cardio help for fat loss (discounting fasting here, I already train fasted during lifting). What will it do that a caloric deficit already wont- strength training is a no brainer because of the importance of lean mass. I like fasted HIIT, but would like to know exactly what im getting out of it that a caloric deficit already doesnt give me.

  • Carrie A Groff

    Hey Mike, I love getting up every day and working out on an empty stomach. Is it ok to do this every day or is that bad? I only do between 20-40 minute workouts.

  • Miz Eloise

    hello. i am so new to supplemwntation amd the only thing i take is optimum nutrition lean whey protein. my question is i have 32 percent body fat still female. do i need all these pre workout fat loss supps? we dont even have these in the philippines and the easiest supp i can get is whey.

    what is the most important vital thing i keed to take for fat loss aside from being on a calorie deficit and heavy weight trainign. i dont want to lose the teeny bit of muscle i have while losing the huge fats amount

    ty in advance

    • Supplements help, but are not mandatory to make progress. However, if you intend on training fasted, then you definitely need to take a supplement to prevent muscle breakdown.

      Calorie deficit, lifting heavy, and HIIT cardio plus consistency will get you there!

  • Christina Medis

    I have a crazy question. I want to do fasted training on my lower carb days, but I dont have the time (busy mom) to do 2 a days at the gym. Can I wake up go straight to the gym for fasted cardio eat something and then train? What suggestions do you have for a meal in between, a fast acting carb so I dont lose muscle?

    • Ideally, train with weights first before doing the cardio. HIIT can leave you with a low gas tank even if you refuel right before it. You can try fasted the whole way through the double workout (weights, then HIIT) and see how that goes first.

  • Lisa

    When you say fasted do you mean no carbs? Or not any food at all? Somewhere in all my reading I got the impression that it was OK to eat protein before my cardio. I usually do my cardio about an hour and a half or two hours after I get up. I can’t do it the minute I get up because of my schedule right now. After two pregnancies with gestational diabetes I am very shaky and starving in the morning. I can’t wait those two hours and not eat something. After being in your program for the last three months and eating a slow digesting protein before I go to bed it’s much better but…

    BTW this program has changed my life! Thank you!

    Lisa

    • Hey Lisa, it means no food at all. Nothing with calories in them. No problem if you aren’t able to do your cardio fasted!

      Glad to hear you’re having success with the program 🙂 Keep up the great work.

  • klopped

    Hello, lets say I plan to fast for 12 hours. To take advantage of the advantages of training fasted, do i need to wait for say 11 hrs and 30 mins until I can exercise and finish 30 mins after that and break my fast

    OR

    Could I train in the early hours of my fasted window e.g I train in the 5th hour of my fasted state for say 30 minutes and will break my fast at the 12th hour.

    Which of these scenario is the correct way to train in a fasted state? Thanks

    • There’s no correct way aside from having your last meal be at least 4-6 hours before the workout. You can do it prior to breaking fast, in the middle of your 12 hour fast, or even right at the start. If you choose to train fasted at the beginning or middle of your fast, I strongly recommend that you take an HMB, Leucine, or BCAA supplement prior to training and every few hours after that until your feeding period to prevent muscle breakdown.

  • Wishywashy

    Hey Mike, so i have think i have really stubborn fat in the abdominal obliques and the nipple area(lol). I am pretty lean, with the fat caliper i am about 11% body fat. I am thinking about using these supplements to burn the fat does age matter for supplements as i am only 15. Also, if i am going to do fasted weightlifting and fasted swimming(my cardio) right after. Do i have to take double the amount if i were to do one of them at a time or am i forced to take them at separate time? Now this is off topic but now i question the accuracy of the fat caliper because the other day I went to a private gym for private training session They pulled out an a very advanced fat calculating machine and it says i am 6.1% body fat along with water weight and other stuff. This brings another question. Am i lean enough already and that i just need to build more muscle(beginner)to cover my frame, or that machine is inaccurate and i still need to burn more fat? Thanks!

  • Alex M

    Is fasted cardio/training only really useful once you hit 10% BF trying to get lower/lose stubborn fat? My understanding is that if you’re at a higher BF%, the benefits of fasted training won’t really be noticed and ultimately the deficit is the main factor (obviously it still is the main factor when you’re at 10% trying to go lower, but the fasted training helps with the stubborn fat). Is this true?

    • No, you’ll be able to benefit from fasted cardio no matter what your % is.

  • Georgia

    If I eat a small breakfast at 8am i.e. 1 egg and half a slice of toast about 150 calories… should I be in a fasted state by 12pm?

  • Orion Antares

    You meantion how fasted weight training will see your lifts being lower than fed training. I actually find I have the opposite problem, my fasted lifts are better than my fed training. I tend to miss fewer of my heavy lifts when fasted verse when fed. I’m wondering if there is any reason why that might be the case?

    • Sometimes it’s just comfort or preference. Could also be that your pre-workout nutrition isn’t ideal:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/pre-workout-nutrition/

      • Orion Antares

        Not according to the article you referenced.

        • How so?

          “Some people’s bodies just don’t do well with fasted training. They feel sluggish and weak and their workouts suffer.”

          “if you’re maintaining or bulking, I recommend you have carbohydrates before training to get the substantial performance boost that they provide”

          • Orion Antares

            I normally train heavy, fasted in the late morning/early afternoon. If for some reason I have to push that back, unplanned, I train fed in the late afternoon/early evening. When that happens I adjust my meals to more closely match what the second article you just mentioned in your reply described. I have never been able to push as much weight in an late session as I can in an earlier session. I’ve been able to do better in an early morning session, which I do some times when I can plan to not be able to make a mid-day session time, than I have in a late session. I’m just trying to identify why that might be. You think it’s just a comfort issue? Am I just ramped down too much that late in the day to be able to do a good heavy weight workout?

          • Gotcha. I can relate to this as well. I have many clients whose performance will differ depending on the time of day they train. In your case, it sounds like you have pre-workout nutrition nailed down. But, energy level isn’t as great compared to late morning/learly afternoon when you usually train.

            If you aren’t already, you can try using a preworkout like Pulse to give you some extra pep for those late afternoon workouts.

          • Orion Antares

            I currently use BCAAs for fasted pre-workout and 200mg caffeine for fasted or fed pre-workout.

          • Nice! That works wonderfully.

  • Jacqui Green

    Hey Mike,
    Just wondering about eating following fasted cardio (I may have missed it in the article). When and what is ideal to eat following fasted cardio? Can you eat straight after or is it best to leave it for a bit?
    Thanks heaps!

  • Aron Jürisson

    Hey Mike! Big fan. Followed the advice in this article (+BLS) but there’s just one question I didn’t see addressed – the feeling of sickness that comes with training first thing in the morning on an empty stomach when you’re not used to it. I starting feeling sick/nauseous when I was about 75% through my workout and had to cut it short. Still feel that way 1.5 hours after finishing. Any advice?

  • PB

    Hey! I was wondering how much of a difference fasted cardio makes? I have been doing it nonstop at least 3 times a week. does my body get use to it? I do my cardio in the mornings so I can do it fasted and i lift in the afternoon, but i’ve noticed I lift much better in the mornings because I’m so tired after work. if i stop doing fasted cardio and do it after my weights will it affect me negatively? (I don’t do both fasted because I don’t do well with lifting fasted).

    • A definitely noticeable difference. Your body can adapt to the physical challenges you throw at it. That’s why progressive overload still applies to HIIT cardio.

      Don’t worry if you switch to do weights in the morning and cardio after work. It won’t affect you negatively.

      • PB

        So the body does get used to fasted cardio? I should go some weeks without it? I’ve been doing fasted cardio at least 3x a week nonstop for a year.

        Ive been trying to cut fat but i seem stuck. I reversed back to maintenance and then cut, but I did not do a very good job in being super precise with numbers and I didn’t really lost as much fat as I’d like too and now I want to really focus and stick to my macros, but do I have to reverse back to maintanence before I can cut again (I was in a deficit for 9 weeks). I was wondering if there was an faster way to reset my metabolism and go back to a deficit and keep losing fat without having to do a 6 week reverse diet.? Thank you!!!

  • vishal vats

    Hey mike,
    I am on a lean diet and practicing intermittent fasting. I take black coffee at 5 PM then around 6 PM I start my weightlifting session for one hour followed by 3 minutes of HIIT running and 15-20 mins core exercises.I have my last meal by 10. Now Is it okay for me to do fasted cardio and some abs exercises in the morning around 6 AM ? can I do HIIT in the morning with same routine or ? I don’t want to lose any muscle.

    • Absolutely! Be sure to take HMB, Leucine, or BCAAs prior to your workout.

  • Travis Key

    Probably a repeated question but man, there are A LOT of comments on this article to read through. Lol. I’ll try to make it brief:

    I read on your website and/or in your book that, when cutting, you’ll eat salad with chicken for lunch and then, I think, a whey shake around 3:00 or 3:30 and are still able to do fasted cardio around 5:30.

    Applying that to what I want to try, if I eat the same lunch I imagine a protein BLEND around 2:30 to 3:30 will NOT leave me in a fasted state at 5:00 for weight training given the time needed to process whey, egg, and casein…? Should it be just whey for this serving?

    Forge, Phoenix, and Pulse before training.

    With HIIT Cardio AFTER my weight training, I read you recommend protein before starting to prevent muscle breakdown? Should I try it fasted first?

    Thanks.

    • Travis, for your afternoon protein, I recommend whey because of how fast it is absorbed and digested–leaving you in a fasted state before dinner.

      With HIIT after weight training, you can train fasted with Forge (or HMB, Leucine, or BCAAs) to prevent muscle breakdown and enhanced fat loss, or take advantage of pre-workout nutrition for better workout performance:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/pre-workout-nutrition/

  • Emmy

    Hi mike quick question if I weight lift and cardio early in the morning while fasted training and take all the sup will it be OK to do both after one another? I got your book thinner, leaner, stronger and while reading it said if don’t have time to do them separated i could do weight lift then straight to cardio but in the book it recommended to take a protein shake in between so doesnt cause muscle lost. So I’m a bit confuse, pls explain this I just want to make sure I get the quickest result. Thanks

    • No problem! You can train fasted for your weights, then jump right into the HIIT cardio. Have a shake afterwards.

      • Shawnda Kovacs

        So, it’s ok to take forge and do fasted weights, then HIIT, then shake afterwards? Will the HIIT break down muscle? Thx!!!

  • TS

    Hi.

    I’m a bit confused here… what you are recommending is to actually do HIIT fasted? Would not be to much considering heavy lift one or two hours later?

    After reading LBS I got the idea you recommend do HIIT later in the day, with several hours difference from heavy lifting.

    I’ve been switching on the days with HIIT late in the day and steady low fasted cardio in some others. Would this sound right?

    Thanks

    • Weights first, then HIIT. Or, separate the two by several hours (AM weights, PM cardio) like you described.

      HIIT is a far more efficient and effective workout than slow steady cardio, so I suggest you replace those slow sessions with HIIT.

  • Erik

    Mike,
    2 questions:
    1. If I do not have time to do fasted training in the morning, how long should I wait between meals before I workout to get back in the fasted state? For instance, if I eat lunch at 11 and then wait until 5 to workout, is that enough time to enter the fasted state again?
    2. If I am able to workout in the morning, how long should I wait after the workout to eat, in order to maximize weight loss results? I am currently 220 with 26% BF. along those same lines is it better in general to wait to eat longer after a workout to stay in the low insulin state, because eating right after will take you back into the high insulin fat storing state?
    Thanks,
    Erik

  • Paul-Émile Marier

    Hi Mike, you say that fasted training is particularly effective when combined with the right supplements, and you emphasize on their synergistic effect. I’ve been taking Forge and Phoenix before my workouts, but no caffein, as I workout at 8pm and don’t want to risk losing precious hours I sleep. I’m wondering if fasted training is still worth it without caffeine?

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