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Liam Dougherty Springer
05-27-2008, 03:29 PM
I have tried a few WODs on an empty stomach the first was Fran and it was misserable I had been fasting about 18 hours going into it and was about a minute slower than the previouse time I did the work out. The next was 50 Burpees for time after a 18 hour fast and felt great finished in under 3 minutes and was less exhasted than i could have been. The Last was ME deadlifts 1x7 after 22 hours fasting I pulled 295 a PR by 10# and felt fine. Then I rescently did a 3x5 day with HSPU max reps inbetween each set well fed and pulled my old 1Rm PR 3x on the last set I am sure I could pull much more than 295 fed and it was only 8 days later.

I am wondering how does WO OES (working out on empty stomach) coralate with performance gains?

Are there some workouts which are better to be done only when appropriatly nourished?

It seems as though I always perform best when fed especialy in any sort of endurance capasity. However is it possible that training OES will improve my performance when working out or competeing fed?

Or will I eventually be able to actually perform better OES than fed all around?

Mike ODonnell
05-27-2008, 04:15 PM
check out this on the whole myth of needing food before a workout for energy (http://projectfit.org/iflifeblog/2008/05/22/pre-workout-feeding-myth-you-need-food-for-energy-beforehand/)

Your body has enough glycogen and fat stored to get you through a normal workout. Just eat healthy pwo and you will do fine. Digestion takes a ton of energy....so hence your CNS response is greater on an empty stomach...add in some coffee/caffeine and you will be exploding out of the gates.

Garrett Smith
05-27-2008, 05:35 PM
I feel so much better when I work out OES, both during and after, that I wouldn't go back to trying to feed before training even if it added 10% to my performance.

Evolutionary fitness-wise, it also makes more intuitive sense to me that it would be beneficial. Predators don't go hunting on a full stomach. They enjoy the rewards of their hard-earned food by relaxing and going more parasympathetic (which helps the digestive processes).

Liam Dougherty Springer
05-27-2008, 06:56 PM
Thanx so much for your input. I am deffinatly going to continue WO OES however I will play around with setting benchmark PRs fed and after fasting and see if their is any improvement one way or another incase I feel like getting competitive.

I am so glad to have come across the wealth of insigt and educated input that this site makes availiable.

I also would be interested in any more experience regarding this issue not just for training. Pre competetive gameing or tournaments. Feed or Fast?

Darryl Shaw
05-28-2008, 05:25 AM
There's a big difference between training on an empty stomach and training with depleted glycogen stores so how well you're able to perform following a fast largely depends on how active you've been during the fast.

Mike ODonnell
05-28-2008, 06:29 AM
Pre competetive gameing or tournaments. Feed or Fast?

Feed up to the event...fast going into it and keep digestion light during. You want stocked glycogen stores. Of course this is too broad a question as I don't know the event...how long it lasts...what kind of effort is involved...etc.

If I wanted to play an ice hockey for 2 hours at my peak level....I need to go into it with good muscle glycogen from eating the days before and minimize training depletion. The day of I would not have food (depending on what time the game is....morning? night?) 3-4 hours prior and try to keep all foods that day light. May need liquid replenishment of water/carb/protein during the competition for 2 hours at it is at a high level....of course every sport is different in it's demands and needs...that is just one example.

Garrett Smith
05-28-2008, 07:03 AM
Darryl makes an excellent point.

Also, you will adapt to fasting after a while, so just like in training, you'll get better at working out in a fasted state. This doesn't happen overnight, but once it does you'll be quite happy with your results, IMO.

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-01-2008, 08:22 AM
man you guys are great! I think the biggest problem is that I have to WO after my job. So I have been fasting through the job which is fairly active in order to get to the WO. I have taken the information recived in this thread and found already my workouts are improving. Also the info on preparing for a game really helps solidify my ability to interpret a guidline for my bodies nutritional/stored energy "axis" so to speak.:cool:

Brian Shanks
06-02-2008, 07:54 AM
I have done fine fasting before heavy days. My problem is I couldn't continue the fast very long after I worked out. I tried it for 3-4 months and finally said to heck with it.
I switched my fast days up since I usually do my heavy days on Tuesday and Friday. So i will generally fast on Monday and Wed which I just do core workouts in the morning and have found that I can maintain my fast for longer periods of time.

Cheers

Bry

Kelly Frankson
06-03-2008, 06:56 PM
For me, I like doing crossfit metcon workout on an empty stomach, but I struggle through o-lifting session if I haven't eaten enough before hand. So I'll wait until after Crossfit sessions to break a fast, but always make sure I have atleast one big meal within a few hours of an o-lifting session.

Martin Berkhan
06-28-2008, 05:42 AM
Wrote this post on another board, context being fasted weight training sessions.

It's not an issue from a performance point of view, unless training volume is very high, but from what we know about protein synthesis and pre-workout nutrition it's certainly not optimal.

This is an excerpt from an upcoming interview

read and apply

'Another mistake I believe many IF'ers are doing, is fasted weight training. The research on pre- and post workout nutrition today is quite substantial and I don't think anyone in their right mind should be lifting weights on an empty stomach, regardless of goals.

I believe the protein synthesizing effect of the pre-workout meal overshadows any small benefit to be had from higher amounts of growth hormone that comes from fasted workouts and scientific evidence supports this.

This doesn't mean fasted workouts are a no go, but it means we should compromise a bit, which is why I suggest the ingestion of an adequate amount of essential amino acids or BCAA prior to the workout. This wouldn't technically make it a fasted workout, but I believe the caloric impact of 10 g EAA/BCAA is so small that it would leave you with most of the benefits of a fasted workout, while at the same time getting many of the benefits of a solid pre-workout meal.

My regime uses different pre and post workout meal setups depending on workout timing, and I just described the one I've successfully used with fasted workouts. '

Steven Low
06-28-2008, 10:10 AM
Martin do you mind posting the studies?

I, personally, have not seen any benefit from anything I do pre, peri or post workout (well, not noticable) besides eating a big meal before a workout. This includes fasting after a workout vs. post-workout shakes, protein (meat) before working out vs. fasting before working out, sugar/protein during workout vs. fasting, etc.

So I honestly don't have a set routine for what I do before or after besides not eating a big meal before. Shrug.

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-28-2008, 11:21 AM
Wrote this post on another board, context being fasted weight training sessions.


This doesn't mean fasted workouts are a no go, but it means we should compromise a bit, which is why I suggest the ingestion of an adequate amount of essential amino acids or BCAA prior to the workout. This wouldn't technically make it a fasted workout, but I believe the caloric impact of 10 g EAA/BCAA is so small that it would leave you with most of the benefits of a fasted workout, while at the same time getting many of the benefits of a solid pre-workout meal.

My regime uses different pre and post workout meal setups depending on workout timing, and I just described the one I've successfully used with fasted workouts. '

Thanx I have been thinking of incorporating BCAAs into my pre fasted work out nutrition and what you are saying sounds solid and tested.

I am also interested in more clinical study info if there is one although I will continue with my personal black box study in the meantime.

That being said in general I have noticed fasting workouts both heavy and Metcon have been improving significantly with practice. I have not lost any weight while becoming noticably leaner, while my metcon has significantlly improved recently and my strength has had a steady moderate incline. It seems I am at my ideal weight at 175 as no matter what my caloric or BF%fluctuation. I never gain or loose more than a couple of pounds.

Mike ODonnell
06-28-2008, 12:38 PM
I like the idea of BCAAs pre-workout especially if muscle gain is the goal (that and they really have no effect on a fast....I think we have a thread talking about BCAAs on here somewhere...)

Another point people need to consider is what is their "workout"? Ask 20 people and you will probably get 20 different answers....as it could be:
- cardio type (run/biking) steady state
- Cardio intevals (sprinting)
- Weight training for power/strength
- Weight training for hypertrophy
- CF type metcon with bodyweight
- CF type metcon with heavier weights
and on...and on....

I would say:
- Eat pre-workout as needed to maintain the intensity of your workouts (So some may need fruits/glycogen to get through more intense workouts that involve more lifting than say cardio...others may not depending on the workout. I think there is also a strong difference between working out fasted and depleted glycogen stores, and working out fasted with stocked glycogen stores...which fits into the whole frequency of workouts and recovery from them)
- Add some BCAAs pre-workout
- Eat like a horse in the post workout window after resistive based training only, not the cardio based kind (1-3 hours after of all whole food carb/protein...little to no fat).
- Employ carb cycling or timing parameters such as getting the majority of whole food carbs in pwo window after resistance/glycolitic based training. Other days with more cardio type routines eat meat and fat (up the fat, lower the carbs). There's more than one way to cycle (3 low/1 high as the Metabolic/NHE diet, 5 low and 2 high like in Body Opus).

There are lots of variables and it's going to be dependent on one's type of training schedule, insulin sensitivity (as that is key) and the intensity at which they exercise. (my intensity is going to be higher than someone new to working out...and an athlete in training's intensity is going to be higher than mine).

Martin actually did a great outline of how he uses his IF eating approach for his clients (http://projectfit.org/iflifeblog/2008/06/27/intermittent-fasting-guest-post-sure-fire-fat-loss/) on the blog if you want more details about it.

What I encourage with people doing IF is to try different things (of course keeping some basic principles in mind)....as that is the only way you will know what works best for you. Never know...the best approach may be the next thing we try....or not.

Steven Low
06-28-2008, 02:40 PM
Ah, knew I was forgetting something. Yeah, I don't have money for supps so I'm not on BCAAs and haven't tried them but from what the studies say they do stave off fatigue well... as does stuff like caffeine and such.

Martin Berkhan
06-28-2008, 06:26 PM
Martin do you mind posting the studies?

I, personally, have not seen any benefit from anything I do pre, peri or post workout (well, not noticable) besides eating a big meal before a workout. This includes fasting after a workout vs. post-workout shakes, protein (meat) before working out vs. fasting before working out, sugar/protein during workout vs. fasting, etc.

So I honestly don't have a set routine for what I do before or after besides not eating a big meal before. Shrug.

There's a bunch, but this is one is available in free full text. Note the bolded part.

' Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise

Tipton, et al

The present study was designed to determine whether consumption of an oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement (EAC) before exercise results in a greater anabolic response than supplementation after resistance exercise. Six healthy human subjects participated in two trials in random order, PRE (EAC consumed immediately before exercise), and POST (EAC consumed immediately after exercise). A primed, continuous infusion of L-[ring-2H5]phenylalanine, femoral arteriovenous catheterization, and muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were used to determine phenylalanine concentrations, enrichments, and net uptake across the leg. Blood and muscle phenylalanine concentrations were increased by ~130% after drink consumption in both trials. Amino acid delivery to the leg was increased during exercise and remained elevated for the 2 h after exercise in both trials. Delivery of amino acids (amino acid concentration times blood flow) was significantly greater in PRE than in POST during the exercise bout and in the 1st h after exercise (P < 0.05). Total net phenylalanine uptake across the leg was greater (P = 0.0002) during PRE (209 42 mg) than during POST (81 19). Phenylalanine disappearance rate, an indicator of muscle protein synthesis from blood amino acids, increased after EAC consumption in both trials. These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of an EAC solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids to the leg. '

Other studies has confirmed that the eaa's are solely responsible for the net increase in protein syntheis when taken pre-wo, i.e carbs dont help much in that regard.

Now, as to real world effects, I'll be the first one to say that I haven't noticed much of a difference either (completely fasted vs bcaa/eaa pre-wo), but the effects are likely to be subtle and hardly noticeable in the short or long term for that matter.

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-28-2008, 07:19 PM
Martin nice Post on IFlife regarding you practice in IF/training implimentation. It really falls in with the methods I have recently been finding most comftorble and though do to my randomized practice I am not sure what is working the best I am receiving gret results. The things that struk me most were the mention of breaking the fast with a small meal a couple of hours befor the work out adn the big meal early in th rest day. I have done the small meal before work out and found it especialy benefitial if I have had a particularly long or active fast leading up to it. I really like haveing an early eating window and a large first meal on my rest day even if I ate late the night before . I then will eat a high fiber vegetable meal second and finally a high fat meal with little carb content. I eat protein with each meal and will often eat 2/3 to 3/4 of the food I would in a normal day. I find this maxamizes my recovery from exercize and initiotes my insuline with draw before I even begin fasting. then by ending my eating early lik 2 o'clock I am able to go to bed in a fasting state for optimal HGH release. THis leaves me feeling energetic and unhungry for quite a while the next day I often find I don't need a meal until I have completed 20 hrs, and can often go longer without discomfort if it is more convenient to wait to eat.

Paul McKirdy
07-01-2008, 06:31 AM
Small background info on me, I was a Naval Nuclear Operator, so I have some amount of Physics and Chemistry practical use, and I still study as much Physics as time permits. All things being equal I would take the plunge and go back to purely academic study, so much interest there for me.

I am going to very grossly and amibguously describe here. Anyway, a common characteristic of a lot of power balance equations chemical or nuclear is a prompt jump point, below which things are steady state and at which point or beyond of prompt jump they sky rocket causing severe changes in the environment in question. Lately since starting IF I have been jokingly referring to carbs simply as immediate rocket fuel for catching and killing more fat and protein. Fats such as nuts and oils as deisel fuel for getting the fat and protein to where it can be consumed safely protected from others who want the fat and protein. Anyway, I am finding that throughout the day if I take in say ten almonds after having not eaten anything since the prior days feast it actually intensifies the fast, or even two eggs an hour or two after waking. Then in the 3rd and 4th hour after waking the feeling of fast is unbelievable in a good way. To note, I have changed my hunger trigger(database programmer speak) that that feeling is not hunger, but normal nutrient resupply and breakdown. As You think, so shall You be. So as of late I am concluding that "fuel" intake can exist and not impact fasted state as long as they are below whatever percentage of total cyclical intake. That once a caloric intake per unit time crosses some threshhold then your body changes "modes" or chemical environmental state rather and thus the fast state is over for the short duration. So the body has at least two states of being fuel and build. Where the fuel state is fasted and the body uses everything it can get its chemical grubby little fingers on as fuel. And in the build state which is triggered post-feast the body now uses all this excess building material population to commencing building repairing and mataining otherwise known as sleep, during which the body also makes the switch from build mode back to fuel mode. Life is a sin wave back and forth, and so fasting is some percentage of that sin wave and can be maintained even with harboring nutrients during the fasting window, so long as the prompt jump point is not reached thus causing a state change in the body's chemical environment.

I actually reached these conclusions as part of trying to twist my mind around when to eat in order to be fasted while working out yet eat soon enough to allow for taking certain supplements pre bedtime on empty or somewhat fasted stomach too, like ZMA. So now I take in small percentages of calories during the day, simply to balance out timings.

It's probably no Zen moment for many others, but I am just continually performing thought experiments to conclude how this robot we drive around works :).

Liam Dougherty Springer
07-01-2008, 11:01 AM
So the body has at least two states of being fuel and build. Where the fuel state is fasted and the body uses everything it can get its chemical grubby little fingers on as fuel:).

:D I am not sure I understand. When fasting or at least breaking a fast the body will initialy use all nutrients to restore the energy that the body has been useing from its natural reserves. These basicaly being fat, glycogen, snd certain amino acids at least these are the sources of energy we hope are being used as most of us aren't hopeing to have a reduction in muscle mass. once our "fuel tanks" are full any incoming nutrition will be used for imediate energy needs or "building" making fat and muscle.


I have found a positive and related reaction when eating a small meal to break the fast before working out. It allows me to begin "refuling" from a particularly long or active fast a bit before th extreem exertion of energy that will be my work out.

However I would be carefull about the whole carbs are jetfuel theory. If the intention of the fasting state when working out is to increase your bodies adaptive ability into taping into stored enegy more efficiantly in times of extreeme energy out put (i.e. a metcon WOD envolving over 200 reps within a 20 minuteish window) you will not want the carbs thus high blood glucose and insuline state just previouse to the work out. At the same time I have found such a work out OES will hurt my performance somewhat and sometimes I really want to see if I cant beat my previouse time or some one elses (I am unfortunately not imperviouse to ego). So I try making sure that the meal is easily absorbed alowing me to be in a under nourished state in a couple of hours and contains sufficient glucose for muscle glycogen restoration.

An example would be
an apple
2/3 cup of blueberrys
1/8 cup almonds and a handfull of unsweetened coconut shavings
1 pill of Rx fish oil or 2 of non Rx
and a non paleo 24 grms. of whey protien

been trying to think of something to replace the whey but it just works so well with its amino acid profile and quick absorption.

Any how I will wait at least 2 hours at most 4 hours after this meal to begin my WO.

I have found that to work very well for me.

Paul McKirdy
07-01-2008, 12:22 PM
Agreed, I just think the "fasted" chemical state and its benefits related to physical activity and mental state etc, do not necessarily equate to zero intake. I am thinking by feeling alone based on my current intake and activity that there is a threshhold between fasted and feasted. Which involves being able to keep the pump primed and still be in a fasted chemical state that promotes increased physical and mental capacity people have indicated on fasting.

haha synchronicity abounds. I will go for the pear in that situation. The reference to rocket fuel is accurate from my vantage point, qualified by the fact that I think our interpretation of biologically available is total crap, even given exact measurement because the body is a concert of reactions that I don't feel we have under control yet. However, I know exactly how I feel when I am pulling 500#s off the floor. I.e., we don't need as many carbs as we think we do because of the fact that they are jet fuel, and deliver tons of energy. Therefore just one pear early in the day is enough to hook in some carbs for when its time to run down the bear and break its neck for dinner. I know its not accurate on my part, purely on the way I feel when timing them and putting them in and out of the daily activity equation. I am with ya though :), I find pre-workout avocado lately is the most powerful prime-the-pump fuel I have ever had. Good bio-available energy fat rules them all in my body it seems like so far.

I used to have two scoops of egg white protein from ON and a couple teaspoons of EVOO mixed in a mason jar with 400mL water. I might even cycle back and forth now that I think of it :).

Usually my days now are:

0600 Wake
0615 Do something, usually mobility stuff and/or rowing and pushups.
0730 Before heading to desk at work one or two hard boiled eggs.
0930 Cup of black tea PG Tips duoble bagger.
1030 1/4 cup (20?) raw whole almonds.
1100 2-4 fish oil tabs, depending on how I feel.
1330 Cup of black tea one bagger unless Im feeling a two
1400 1/4 cup almonds, and a pear a little later.
1630 avocado
1700 ish workout time. Feel like I could eat a whale. Whether 10 miles or more on the bike, powerlifting or metcon. Something. Don't ever feel like there is anything in my body by this point and haven't felt underpowered yet.
2000-2200 Game on, let the killing and eating begin :)
2100-2300 Sometimes I will hammer some climbing the tree stuff by just doing pullups and push ups or dips tabata style.
2230-2330 Pending last food intake: ZMA(new since reading this forum in the past couple weeks, working good so far!)

I have been adding in Strawberrys sometimes during the day now that they are in season. Basically I have just been taking in barely enough, to stay hungry immediately after, and not fulfilling until after daily activity, and things have been going great. I definitely like to be as empty as possible when it's time to hunt. That's how I think of anything anymore now, live as if you had to get your food yourself. Only eat things during the day you could carry with you on a hunt, like almonds or an odd apple or pear.

Pulled 525 today at 1230 having only eaten two eggs and 1/4 cup almonds since yesterday at 2130. Took in three more hard boiled eggs at 1400, and about to have another 1/4 cup almonds, and I feel chomping at the bit for my 1700 bicycle ride today.

I guess an abstract of my present diet is sleep -> minor activity -> protein fat -> stimulant -> fat protein -> carb -> stimulant -> fat protein -> fat -> massive activity -> feast -> activity\wind down

Ok I will shut up now. I just can't think of anything more interesting to talk about now than fasting and exercising :cool: Thanks to everyone for tons of good info and work on the evolution of ideas on what works and what doesn't!

Liam Dougherty Springer
07-01-2008, 01:46 PM
Agreed, I just think the "fasted" chemical state and its benefits related to physical activity and mental state etc, do not necessarily equate to zero intake. I am thinking by feeling alone based on my current intake and activity that there is a threshhold between fasted and feasted. Which involves being able to keep the pump primed and still be in a fasted chemical state that promotes increased physical and mental capacity people have indicated on fasting.!

:D Sounds good to me I wonder what Mike O Donnell or Robb Wolf might say about it theoreticaly or Bio chemicaly haveing to do with stored vs. consumed energy availiability and hormonal responce balance...

Ya out there guys?

That being said it seems to me given that your typical diet consists of primarily protein sparing maintenence with like one glycogen replenishment meal well before the work out and an avocado would provide some nutritional energy however the insuline response would probrably be insignificant enough that your stored energy would still be availiable if the effort called for it. I also see your point as far as the natural course of a hunters day and the probable food consuption that would exist.:cool: It seems that if your # 1 priority is heightened sensory perception AND performance at peak level some of the stuff I am talking about as far as stored energy engagment is much less relevant.

You have obviousely got a good feel for listening to your body first something I am still trying to key in on seems like I just love playin around in my Noggin.