It’s 5:30 A.M., it’s still dark outside, the sun’s barely peaking over the horizon, and your iPhone alarm starts going off, blistering your ears and obliterating your REM ending any chance you ever had of sailing away and leaving your normal life with David Beckham on his 100 foot yacht. You thought that waking up a little bit earlier being proactive and getting in a workout would be the small change you needed to shake things up and kick-start your day. Little did you know, that this once thought ‘great idea’ would be excruciatingly painful, kill your hopes and your dreams, and be more like a kick in the crotch. Well, I’m here to tell you, that despite all of the disappointment, pain and despair, getting up in the early AM to tackle your goals was probably the smartest thing you’ve ever decided to do, besides reading this book. Waking up and working out is worth it and it will be the best thing to give you the best results you want. The first week is always the hardest and as I like to call it, f*&% my life week. But if you can make it through the first seven days, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start this Fasted CrossFit thing a whole lot sooner.
What Is Fasted-CrossFit?
Fasted-CrossFit is exactly what it sounds like. Fasted-CrossFit. Interchangeable with Fasted-Cardio, but instead of running on the treadmill, we’re talking about early morning Metcon’s and AMRAPs, (aerobic and anaerobic exercise) while in a fasted-state. Why would you ever do this? Let me explain… In theory, when you’re in a fasted-state low glycogen and insulin levels cause the body to shift energy utilization away from carbohydrates, therefore allowing the recruitment of stored body fat for fuel. Therefore, Fasted-CrossFit will result in burning body fat for fuel as your main energy source as opposed to burning carbohydrates or glycogen for energy.
Why Is Fasted CrossFit Important For Body Optimization
Everyone joins a CrossFit Box for one of three reasons.
- You want to lose weight
- You want to lose weight and gain muscle mass
- You want to lose weight, gain muscle mass and get into shape
Are you starting to see the pattern here? Everyone joins a CrossFit Box to lose weight, but the problem is that despite your best efforts performing your endless WOD’s and AMRAPs you also have to optimize your diet, nutrition and eating habits in order to achieve the results you want.
Let me paint a scenario for you. You wake up and eat your so called ‘healthy breakfast’ of cinnamon wheat raisin toast, glazed with organic strawberry jam, a couple slices of avocado, a cup of orange juice and two eggs. Or maybe you take it a step further and have your green drink with breakfast, blended with a banana, and mangos, which by the way has over 80 grams of sugars. (Just an FYI, this is the quickest way to the soft body you never wanted) Sounds healthy right? Absolutely… NOT! If you’re a professional athlete and you plan on never going back to your 9-5 job where you sit for most of the day, then yes, by all means, drink all the juices and glaze your rib-eye with jam. Your metabolism can handle it. But for you, drop the juice and slowly back away. The fact of the matter is your body utilizes the carbohydrates and sugar from the bread, fruit, and juice as it’s main energy source to burn when working out in a fed-state. When you eat carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks them down into glucose (sugar), which then raises your blood sugar levels causing your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that prompts your cells to absorb sugar for energy, which turns into glycogen and stores body fat. So you eat your healthy breakfast, go to work and sit all day until your lunch break, where you eat a sandwich or a burger and sit for another five grueling and semi-satiated hours, gaining more and more body fat, which puts you further away from the body you want. See where I’m going with this?
Fasted-CrossFit or high-intensity exercise in a fasted-state, utilizes your body fat for fuel, not the glucose or the sugar you’ve consumed throughout the day. People join CrossFit gyms for a variety of reasons, but the number one reason, is to lose weight and get fit. Fasted-CrossFit will help you optimize your fitness efforts and get there more efficiently.
According to a study found in the Journal of Medicine Science of Sports Exercise, shorts bouts of high-intensity training or exercise, can produce muscle adaptations similar to endurance training with reduced training volume. In this study ten men and women trained three times a week for six weeks, performing sprints and high intensity training, with 4 min recovery periods, for a total of 4-6 sessions. Comparable to an AMRAP, or EMOM the results showed an improvement in body composition, an increase in VO2 Max by 11.5% as well as a decrease in body fat of 12.4% and increased lean mass by 1%. Remember, that this study doesn’t even include this workout in a fasted-state, which would optimize the results, by utilizing stored body fat for fuel.
The Fasted-CrossFit Enemy: Insulin
Plain and simple, Insulin is the enemy. As stated earlier, when you eat carbohydrates your body turns it into glucose and the glucose goes into your blood, then raises your blood sugar or glucose levels. When your glucose rises, your pancreas springs for action and tries to extinguish the situation by secreting insulin. The insulin expels the glucose out of your blood so it can then be used as fuel for energy. So what’s wrong with this picture? Good question. The insulin spike from the carbohydrates you ate, directs glucose to store or create body fat, as opposed to utilizing it as fuel. Ever wonder why you can’t lose weight, despite thinking that you eat relatively healthy and workout once a day for 45 minutes? CrossFit, while in a fasted state, will keep your blood glucose and insulin levels low enough to utilize your body fat as fuel.
Paleo or Keto...Why Not Both?
The Paleolithic man was not made to ingest sugar, so your body treats it like a poison. In today’s society, us omnivores are easily manipulated and swayed to eat for sport by attractive restaurants, celebrities endorsing new products, and fast-food chains that sell convenience not nutrition. People! We were made to survive without starchy carbohydrates. Think about it. Animals ingest foods based upon what their digestive systems allow them to eat. They don’t take a trip to KFC for a bucket of chicken, mashed potatoes, and a buttermilk biscuit because they’re hanging out with their boys on a Friday night. They eat according to what they’re supposed to eat. And we as mammals are much the same. Eating what you need in order to get the body composition you want, isn’t that bad. Don't get me wrong, glucose is vital for every cell in the human body as we thrive on glucose, and the best source of glucose comes from carbohydrates. I'm simply suggesting to eat fewer carbohydrates, to lower your blood glucose level.
The Paleo Diet
Going Paleo is pretty cut and dry and allows you to eat lean meats, tons of fruit, nonstarchy veggies, and nuts. No dairy, no grains, and no fatty meats. This diet allows you to have more carbs, and less fat.
The Keto Diet
The Ketogenic diet utilizes ketones as the body’s main energy source. Ketones are produced when insulin levels drop and glucose is not provided to your cells. This initiates the process to start burning body fat and utilizing ketones for energy, putting your body into what’s called ketosis. The Ketogenic diet is super low carb, high fat, and protein.
Working More On Ketones & Less On Glucose
Working more on Ketones and less on glucose is the key. Effectively minimizing carbohydrates, will minimize insulin dependence, therefore creating an efficient super fat burning machine since the calories your body is using are from fat. Any diet that includes more cardio, less food, and your favorite IIFYM snacks, is doomed to fail. It’s just not sustainable, as they keep you hungry and make you store more body fat. Pairing this type of diet, with Fasted-CrossFit will help you burn body fat, and increase energy as your body goes to a natural state, in which it was made to be in.
How To Optimize Your Results
There’s always a way to make your workouts, and diet more efficient and more effective. Obtaining your desired body composition, increasing vitality, and gaining the desired results you want, starts and ends with nutrition. If you’re not getting the nutrients you need while in a fasted-state, you’re not optimizing your true human potential. Fasted-CrossFit is a great way to promote fat oxidation and lipolysis, so that your body utilizes body fat for fuel. But without the proper nutrients to fuel your body, you won’t be as effective in obtaining your desired body composition.
Proper supplementation while in the fasted-state during high-intensity exercise is paramount to obtaining the desired results you want. Nobody starts CrossFit or any other exercise program for that matter without having some kind of goal in mind. You want to lose body fat, you want to be healthier to watch your kids grow up, you want to gain your confidence back. No matter what it may be, the nutrients your body utilizes play a huge part in that process. And if you think that eating doughnuts, then working out is going to get you to your desired goals, then I feel sorry for you, because you’ll never look or feel the way you want. Pairing Fasted CrossFit with the proper nutrition and supplementation will get you to your ultimate goals. So where do you start?
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are revered as one of the most effective supplements to obtain greater increases in lean muscle mass and body composition. With a multitude of clinical studies in support of their positive effects on muscle protein synthesis and preventing protein degradation, BCAAs provide benefits for promoting lean muscle mass, improving recovery, and increasing strength.
The branched chain amino acids are composed of the essential amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Muscle mass cannot grow without a proper supply of protein and the building blocks of protein are the branched chain amino acids. During high-intensity exercise, the body undergoes a rapid loss of BCAAs since they are the muscles main source of fuel. BCAAs can help prevent protein breakdown and muscle loss, which is extremely important during high-intensity exercise while in the fasted-state. There is a greater risk of muscle loss due to a decrease in the rate of protein synthesis and an increase of proteolysis, which is the hydrolytic breakdown of proteins into simpler, soluble substances such as peptides and amino acids, as occurs during digestion. Therefore supplementation before and after Fasted-CrossFit will help optimize your strength, recovery, and performance.
L-Arginine, is a semi-essential amino acid utilized from foods such as red meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. While being a “semi” essential Amino Acid, meaning one that our own bodies cannot produce, L-Arginine is found in small trace amounts. Non-essential amino acids are synthesized within our own biological system. Hence, non-essential since our body can produce them on it’s own.
L-Arginine is a precursor to the cell-signaling molecule Nitric Oxide (a gaseous by product). Nitric Oxide acts as a signaling molecule to facilitate the dilation of blood vessels and decrease vascular resistance. In simpler terms, Nitric Oxide is a vasodilator that widens the blood vessels to improve blood flow and circulation to the muscle tissues. L-Arginine is a much needed Amino Acid by the Endothelial Cells of the body, (cells lining the inside of blood vessels) in order to form enough nitric oxide, to keep steady blood flow and circulation. What does that mean for you while in the fasted-state? Better delivery of oxygen, blood flow, and nutrient uptake. Thus more macronutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are delivered to the muscle tissue, subsequently helping with faster recovery, increased strength, and enhanced endurance.
Kre-Alkalyn is a patented pH corrected form of creatine phosphate. With the addition of creatine phosphate (PCr) into the muscle cells, the body increases it’s immediate energy supply through the generation of ATP. Why wouldn’t you want this in the morning when you’re working out at 5AM in a fasted-state? It sounds like a miracle if you ask me.
Once ingested and inside the muscle cells an energy phosphate attaches itself thus turning into phosphocreatine (PCr) or Creatine phosphate. Through this phosphorylation Creatine then donates the PCr molecule to create ATP (adenosine Triphosphate) which is then utilized by the muscle cells for rapid energy use and muscle contraction. Therefore, having more creatine phosphate in muscle cells means more ATP can be rapidly produced during intense bouts of exercise, which can lead to gains in strength, power, speed and muscle growth. Kre-Alklayn also helps optimize VO2 max and oxygen uptake to increase lean muscle mass, endurance, strength, and recovery.
Forskolin is a natural herbal supplement that is a derivative of the Coleus Forskholii plant, which has been proven to help improve your total body composition, through it’s unique mechanism of action on the messenger molecule cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Forskolin increases cAMP accumulation, helping to stimulate fat loss and promote lean body mass. cAMP is a derivative of ATP that acts as a second messenger in many biological processes. cAMP triggers the release of a thyroid hormone that helps ignite the calorie burning process, simultaneously raising energy levels and burning fat. Simply stated, this supplement allows fat to be used as fuel without burning existing muscle mass, which is exactly what we’re trying to achieve with Fasted-CrossFit.
So, if you're looking to optimize your results and your goals, the four supplements stated above should absolutely be included into your Fasted-CrossFit regimen to derive the most optimal results.
PRO-TIP: SUPPLEMENTS TO STAY AWAY FROM
- Carbohydrate Supplements
- Supplements with Proprietary Blends
In conclusion, you’re almost there! Joining a CrossFit Box, working out with your friends and crushing WODs is half the fun! But if your goals are to lose weight, get into better shape and actually get the results you want, then Fasted-CrossFit will be the most efficient and effective way to get there. Who want’s to workout everyday for the next three years just to lose 50 pounds! Wouldn’t it be nice, if you could get there in six months instead? Fasting while performing CrossFit in the morning, will help your body achieve low glycogen and insulin levels which will cause your body to shift energy utilization away from carbohydrates, therefore allowing the recruitment of stored body fat for fuel. Subsequently, Fasted-CrossFit will result in burning body fat for fuel as your main energy source as opposed to burning carbohydrates or glycogen for energy, all while maintaining lean body mass – Something that every CrossFit athlete desires! Optimize your efforts. Optimize your outcomes.
Get The Nutrients You Need To Power Your Fasted-CrossFit Life!
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