Fat Adaptation vs Conventional Training

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #36693

    Landon Lim
    Participant

    Fat adaptation is extremely useful for long alpine days but seems to have less benefits for general training and fitness. Say I have 24 weeks to train for a single-push style alpine objective. Would it be prudent to spend the first 18 weeks or so doing my workouts fueled with carbs before the workout? Taking in glycogen before my activity should in theory give me better performance during the session as opposed to doing it fasted. Additionally, I wouldn’t be as concerned with catabolisis at higher intensities. During the last few weeks leading up to my objective I could switch to fasted work and hopefully be somewhat adapted for the climb. My thoughts are that the increased performance during the first 18 weeks would provide more of a benefit for my fitness than if I were training mostly fasted throughout the 24 week period. This is assuming I doing less than 15 hours a week of aerobic work. For me, training fasted also limits my strength and climbing sessions as I have to do my workouts in the AM. What are your thoughts on this?


  • Participant
    Mariner_9 on #36699

    “For me, training fasted also limits my strength and climbing sessions as I have to do my workouts in the AM”

    The idea is to do the Z1/Z2 workouts in a fasted state, not strength or ME workouts. Reading between the lines, glycogen depletion might limit the efficacy of strength or ME workouts which should not be the case for aerobic work. Happy to be corrected if wrong!


    Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #36720

    Fat adaptation is extremely useful for long alpine days but seems to have less benefits for general training and fitness.

    That’s not the case. Any activity over a few minutes is largely aerobic. The bigger your base, the better you’ll perform.

    As @mariner_9 said, fasted sessions should only be done for Z1/2 and rarely longer than two hours except in highly trained individuals. You should always fuel for any session that will have an intensity greater than aerobic threshold.


    Participant
    Landon Lim on #36725

    Mariner,

    I fuel my strength and ME workouts beforehand. However, do to my schedule I have to do my fasted zone 1/2 stuff in the AM. When it comes to my PM workouts I am slightly fatigued.

    Scott,

    That makes sense. I very well could misunderstand the concept of fat adaptation but to my knowledge it’s primarily about training the body to run on mostly fat instead of carbs during lower intensities. I am wondering if fueling before my zone 1/2 workouts would give me more quality sessions (same RPE but faster). Then as my event gets closer I could switch to fasted training. Do you think this has any merit or am I off base? Thanks for your time.


    Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #36735

    …due to my schedule I have to do my fasted zone 1/2 stuff in the AM. When it comes to my PM workouts I am slightly fatigued.

    Okay, that makes sense. If fasting is compromising workout quality, then you may want to drop it.

    I very well could misunderstand the concept of fat adaptation but to my knowledge it’s primarily about training the body to run on mostly fat instead of carbs during lower intensities.

    Sort of. It depends how you look at it. We all have a certain FatMax intensity. You could say that the goal is to increase the amount of fat burned at a certain speed. Or you could say that the goal is to increase the speed at which we are burning as much fat as we can.

    I think the latter definition is better. The former could be interpreted to mean, “Okay, at slow intensities, I burn a lot of fat. I can stop training that now.” The latter implies that you should never stop training FatMax, which is more accurate.

    And look what can happen if you start at five years old and never stop?

    But to your question! It’s not a bad approach. If one tool is compromising another, you have to choose which is more important. Fasted training isn’t required for increasing fat-adaptation; it just seems to speed the process.


    Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #36736

    Also, it’s not about training to run on more fat at lower intensities. It’s training to run on more fat at almost all intensities.

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