The fasted cardio 30 day challenge is one I decided to take on after watching videos from Aaron Marino at alpha m. and Thomas DeLauer at his YouTube channel. Both of these channels provide excellent information (especially for men) on how to get in shape, and look good in the process. I am always researching new ways to make my workouts better, and this challenge came to mind as something I wanted to test.
The Fasted Cardio 30 Day Challenge Overview
So what is fasted cardio? Here is a good definition I found regarding this fitness term:
“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.
- 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.” – MuscleForLife.com
For the challenge, I decided to wake up early each morning (around 6:45am) to go on a run around my neighborhood. Luckily I live in an area that has a nice “loop”, so it made it easy to find a path to run. My criteria for the run is:
- Between 1.5-2 miles.
- Start and end at the same location.
- Wake up each day at 6:45 am.
- Start date: 7/18/2016
- End date: 8/15/2016
If you take a look at the map, you can see the route I ran each morning. The total distance for the run is 1.7 miles with an elevation change of 78 feet. This fasted cardio run became tougher after noticing I was running uphill about 75% of the way. Even with this “extra” challenge, I decided to do the morning cardio challenge for 30 days.
The app I used for the challenge to track my time and route is called Map My Run.
Fasted Cardio Challenge Goals
I set some goals to beat after completing my initial run. Here are the final goals I wanted to complete by the 30th day:
- Split pace mile time of 7:30 or better.
- Total time of 13:00 or better.
- No stopping from start to finish.
- Go from 187 lbs. to 180 lbs.
With those goals, I set out for the 30 days to see if fasted cardio can really help you lose weight, and look in better shape.
I decided to track my weight loss and running times to see if I could lose weight, as well as run the route faster after 30 days. Here are my stats to start:
- Starting weight: 187.6
- Starting Total Time: 13:59
- Starting Mile Split Time: 8:13
I will post the results down below so check them out. Here are a couple images for my starting and ending physique:
(photos above were not edited in any way)
As a quick reminder, I am also doing my daily workout routine, Easy Home Fitness Trainer, while doing the 30 day fasted cardio challenge. As you can see I started not only getting bigger, but more defined as well. Seems the fasted cardio worked.
The Experience From Start To Finish
If you knew me personally, you would know I am not a long distance runner (anything over 1/2 mile is long for me). Yes I did cross country in college my Senior year, but that was to stay in shape during the fall, and I never placed well. I was not the worst runner, but it is definitely not one of my strengths.
Knowing this going in, I knew that beating my goals was going to be tough. I had to cut down a lot of time from the total time and split mile time after my first run. Even cutting down the total time by 30 seconds is a big accomplishment. 30 seconds of running time is a lot longer than you might think.
On the first day I set out, it felt easy. It is something I put my mind to and I knew I wanted to accomplish. I woke up bright and early to get started, and right away I felt great just going for a run in the morning. The run wakes you up, gets the blood flowing, and prepares you for the rest of the day. Even if you went for a nice walk in the morning you might encounter the same experience.
After the first week I began to see some results. I initially lost about 3 pounds which wasn’t bad. I am already in decent shape physically, but I have been trying to drop my weight a bit after realizing it went up into the 190 lbs. range. It is a bit harder for me to lose weight now as I already workout each day, but I still want to look more defined. I am only 5’11” so getting out of the 180 lbs. range got me thinking of new ways to lose the weight. That is where the fasted cardio began.
Going into week 2 and week 3, things started to get tough. I began to dread waking up at 6:45am as I wanted to sleep. Mind you, I am still doing my normal workout routine later on in the day (after I get home from work). This means I am going on the run early in the morning, then getting ready for my home workout after a return from work. If you remember from the start I am not a big runner, so running each morning started to become a drag.
Not only that, but the weather became extremely hot. It was 90+ every day, and the humidity jumped into the 90% range. Even at 6:45 AM it was still in the mid to upper 80s…heat is one issue when doing workouts, and running is no exception. I sucked it up, but it really put me in a tough mindset for the remainder of the challenge.
Week 4 – Finish
Now I was in the final stretch. It has been a long 30 days, and I am am finally ready to see if I can surpass my goals. At this point my total run time has decreased, but I have yet to beat the 7:30 split mile goal. I also need to drop to a consistent 180 lbs. as I am fluctuating up and down. I knew that I could do it as I got close to the end. Unfortunately the last few days were very hot making my runs suffer a bit.
So let’s fast forward to the final day, and it is absolutely beautiful! It has cooled off into the mid-high 70s and the humidity has decreased. This is great as I need to beat the 7:30 time. I set out on the run determined to finally beat all of the goals.
Now as I crossed the finish I knew I had beaten the time. Since I did not stop throughout the run and I kept a decent pace, I easily easily beat 7:30. I ended with a final split mile pace of 7:14 and a total time under 13:00! Not too bad for 1.7 miles (well for me).
Unfortunately, I came up just a bit short on the weight. I ended at 181 lbs. which isn’t too far off, but I ended up losing over 5 lbs. which is good for me as I don’t have a lot of weight to lose to begin with. I am happy with the results, but I think it is time for a new challenge.
30 Day Fasted Cardio Challenge Conclusion
If you need to lose weight, fasted cardio does work. I tested it personally and I know that the results will come. You might even get better results than me if you eat better (I had quite a few cheat meals throughout the month). I did lose over 5 lbs, and easily beat my run time goals.
Do you have any questions regarding my experience, or maybe you think fasted cardio is for you? Please leave a comment below and I will gladly give some advice.
P.S. I will be posting more challenge results as I complete them, so please keep a look at by going to: Home Fitness Challenges