How to Maximize the Effectiveness of Fasted Training
If you’re going to train fasted, you should seriously consider using the following two strategies to squeeze as much fat loss as possible out of it and negate its one big downside (which you’ll read about below).
- Take the right supplements.
- Eat a post-workout meal.
Let’s start by going over each supplement I recommend and why.
Take the Right Supplements
The following five supplements are what I use when dieting for fat loss and, like fasted training, they make the stubborn fat loss noticeably faster with no unwanted side effects like muscle loss. There’s really no reason not to add them to your routine.
- β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB)
As you learned earlier, yohimbine is a supplement that boosts your metabolism and stubborn fat loss when taken before fasted training.
In terms of dosages, research has shown that 0.2 mg/kg of body weight is sufficient for fat loss purposes, and that ingesting it 15 to 30 minutes before exercise is particularly effective.
Some people get overly jittery from yohimbine, so I recommend you start with 0.1 mg/kg of body weight to assess tolerance. If you feel fine, then increase to the clinically effective dosage of 0.2 mg/kg.
To further increase fat mobilization during fasted cardio, you can also combine yohimbine with the stimulants caffeine and synephrine, which you’ll learn about in a moment.
Some people also don’t feel good when lifting weights after taking yohimbine, so if that’s the case with you I recommend you only take it before fasted cardio.
Furthermore, yohimbine can raise blood pressure so if you have high blood pressure, I don’t recommend you use it.
In terms of which specific yohimbine supplement I recommend, I’ve included a clinically effective dosage in my pre-workout fat burner Forge.
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, HMB is very good at preventing muscle breakdown, which means you’ll 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 supplementsbecause they rely on leucine for their anti-catabolic effects (isoleucine and valineare 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.
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 strength, muscle 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:
- Before training, supplement with 3 to 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. If you’re not sure of your caffeine sensitivity, start with 3 mg/kg and work up from there.
- Keep your daily intake at or below 6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Don’t have 6 mg/kg before training and then drink a couple of coffees throughout the day.
- Do 1 to 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 milligrams 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) that works quickly in the body.
We recall that synephrine is an effective natural fat burner that will help you lose fat, and stubborn fat in particular, faster.
Research also shows the effects of synephrine are amplified when it’s taken with two other molecules that occur naturally in bitter orange fruit: naringin and hesperidin.
Naringin stimulates the production of a hormone called adiponectin, which is involved in the breakdown of fat cells, and it activates a type of receptor in fat cells that regulates fat mobilization (the PPARα receptor).
Through these mechanisms, naringin also works synergistically with synephrine and hesperidin to further accelerate the basal metabolic rate.
Hesperidin also stimulates the production of adiponectin and activates the PPARa receptor. As a bonus, it also improves blood flow and reduces the inflammation of blood vessels.
For all of these reasons, I included a clinically effective dosage of synephrine, naringin, and hesperidin in my natural fat burner, Phoenix.
Phoenix’s caffeine-free formulation is quite a bit different than Forge’s and is actually made to be “stacked” with it (taken together).
(I purposely left out the caffeine from both of these supplements, though, because chances are you’re like most people and would prefer not to get your caffeine from pills.)
How to Use These Supplements Properly
Here’s what I take before my fasted training sessions:
- 2 servings of Forge
- 1 serving of Pulse
- 1 serving of Phoenix
(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.