AM Fasted Training
What You Need To Know To Get The Best Early Morning Training Results
Ignore that snooze button, its time to wake your @ss up and get in the gym!
Is training early morning a good idea? Not really. It is far better to have been up for a few hours, so that the fluid in your discs that has settled overnight can get moving, and your body temperature has been elevated.
A lot of you will be screaming right now and insisting that early morning workouts are the only answer (I workout in the AM myself). You have a job to go to and you have to work long hours.
If you don’t work out early in the morning then you don’t work out at all. OK that is understood. Read on to learn how to get the best results.
It is best that you are awake at least an hour before taking part in any deadlifting or squatting activity. It’s simple really. If you want to start training at 7am then get up just before 6am (duh).
The taking of a hot shower before attempting a strenuous session is highly recommended. Of course you will need a shower afterwards as well but that first shower will help awaken you properly, and help you to perform a safer and more efficient work out.
Should You Work Out On An Empty Stomach?
So what about fasted am training? There is a lot of debate in the bodybuilding world as to whether you should eat or not eat before an am work out.
One school of thought is that training on an empty stomach like this can make you throw up. Others say that if you had a decent amount of carbs the previous evening there should be no problems.
A lot of bodybuilders believe that early morning fasted training helps to get rid of body fat. The thinking behind this is that if your glycogen levels are low, your body will use any excess fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates.
But there is a strong scientific argument against this. Consuming protein and glucose outweighs the benefits of fasting. They provide fuel for the body and will prevent loss of protein which is important for the maintenance of your muscle mass.
Your performance will be increased and so will the fat oxidation process that occurs after the work out.
So it is important to avoid a training session completely fasted. At least have a cup of coffee and then take 10 grams of branched chain amino acids (BCCA) to prevent any muscle loss during your workout. You could also opt for a pre-workout supplement, just be careful when downing a high stim pre-workout when you are already waking up fairly dehydrated. Be sure to increase the amount of water you intake prior to hitting the weights. I myself opt for aminos and a stim free pre-workout for the extra kick and pump, some even come stacked with aminos.
Be Safe With Your Early Morning Work Out
There are a number of things that you can do to make your early work out safe. The first of these is a good warm up which could be as simple as a walk on the treadmill or a stationary bike ride for 5 minutes. You need to get some blood flowing before the second warm up stage.
A good idea is to perform some glute hams or to use bodyweight leg curls before attempting to squat. You don’t want to do your hamstring so make sure that you work on this area before deadlift variations.
Single leg squatting movements or heavy sled pushing are also recommended before the heavy stuff begins.
So the advice here is to do at least two sets of glute hams and then some rear foot elevated split squats before you go for the big squat. This is for your safety, so don’t try to cut corners or you could end up paying for it!
Nutrition After Your Work Out
What do you eat after training?? There is no need to go for the fast acting carbohydrates directly after your work out. Most will start with a simple whey protein shake post workout on the way home. For me I am always trying to steadily gain weight, so before I leave for the gym I blend together a shake consisting of water, skim (lactose free milk), greek yogurt, natural peanut butter, half a banana, creatine, fish oil and whey protein. This gives me a decent all around post workout shake immediately after my intense workout.
Then by the time I get home and after my shower, have a normal breakfast consisting of eggs/egg whites, turkey bacon and gluten free brown rice toast with natural peanut butter spread and I will throw in a fruit like grapes on the side. Your body is looking for that full nutrition especially after training in a fasted state!
You just want to prevent muscle loss due to the catabolic effects of training and ensure that any immune system suppression is avoided. Hemp protein is fine and so is a straight whey or a blend.
As long as you have a good meal at night you will have enough fuel for the next workout. The replenishment of glycogen will not happen immediately after your work out.
Avoid too many starchy carbohydrates after your work out and at lunch time. These can affect your mental focus and have a negative effect on your energy levels.