When you read this article I will probably be high in the Andes Mountains with the HOTWORX Climbing team. The last cardio workout I did before leaving for South America was an infrared Hot Yoga session at my new location on Magazine St. in New Orleans. I practice intermittent fasting with infrared training to manage weight and body fat, but I also do it to keep my metabolism firing on all cylinders. I know that when you wake up in the morning into a fast that began at 8pm or earlier the night before, a really good workout including resistance training first and then cardio in that fasted state can work wonders for your performance when practiced consistently.
Fitness training in a fasted state is a dietary form of hermetic stress. This type of stress is caused by the energy restriction of the fasted state, and when exercise is added to the equation even more stress is created. When this happens an adaptive response to the intermittent stress called hormesis occurs. Hormesis conditions the cells in your body to withstand even more stress. Mind you, this is a good form of stress. This is a way to accelerate your workout/fitness progression!
Infrared fasted training is great for burning fat. After fasting for 11 or 12 hours from 8pm to the morning workout the next day, the body has spent all the carbs and will use up fat for fuel during your fasted workout. The infrared energy absorption into the skin accelerates the fat burning as it causes fat to be oxidized when your body is heated. All of this is good for fat loss but remember, you still have to come in at a calorie intake deficit to calories burned throughout the day for weight loss! Imagine your results, though, when you combine the caloric intake deficit with a fasted infrared workout regime.
What about daily functional performance or sports performance from fasted infrared workouts? In one study it was found that an overnight fasted group “showed a significantly greater training-induced increase in VO(2max) and resting muscle glycogen concentration” (1) than the fed group. Another study showed that growth hormone (GH) concentrations increased in fasted human subjects. (2) Of course, you need to perform strength training during your fast and then consume appropriate daily grams of protein when you break the fast to obtain the desired fitness gains from the increased GH.
Don’t eat right after your morning fasted workout. Studies have shown that waiting three hours after your workout to eat also promotes increased GH. Hormesis from the stress of the fasted workout and your body’s effort to get back to homeostasis causes this hormone shift.
Give your body a boost in 2023 with a fasted infrared workout routine!