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Int J Exerc Sci. 2018 Jun 1;11(2):827-833. eCollection 2018.

Effects of Prior Fasting on Fat Oxidation during Resistance Exercise.

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Department of Kinesiology, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, USA.


Prior research has demonstrated that the percentage of fuel utilization contributed by CHO compared to fat rises with an increase in exercise intensity. The role of food intake prior to exercise has been well studied and fasting prior to exercise generally increases reliance on fat as fuel. However, data on the role of fasting prior to resistance exercise is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects of one bout of resistance training in a fasted state compared to ingestion of standardized meal on fat and carbohydrate utilization. Twelve female (n = 12, age = 20.1 ± 0.79 yrs, height = 67.0 ± 2.63 in, weight = 143 ± 21.8 lbs) NCAA Division 1 athletes participated in the study. Each participant completed one 10 hour fasted resistance training session and one postprandial resistance training session. The respiratory exchange ratio (RER) and METs were measured using a Cosmed K4b2 portable metabolic cart (Cosmed, Rome, Italy) and heart rate was measured by a Polar H1 heart rate monitor. Participants consumed the prescribed food, waited 15 minutes, and then completed three sets of five repetitions of bench press, back squat, and military press at 60% of their 1-repetition maximum. The mean fasted RER was significantly lower than postprandial for back squat (p=0.01) and military press (p=0.02), but not bench press (p=0.19). There was no difference in METs, RPE, or HR between fasted and postprandial trials for any exercise. Results suggest that fasted resistance exercise relies more heavily on fat metabolism than carbohydrate.


Breakfast; metabolism; weight training


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