Sportfasting was developed in The Netherlands and as such has been featured in many Dutch magazines, on television, on-line magazines and blogs. Obviously the problem with this, for English speaking people, is understanding it. In any case we have put it all below, maybe you know someone who is Dutch or are Dutch yourself. For the on-line magazines and blogs you could browse using Google Chrome, it will automatically give you the option to translate and will give you a good enough translation of the page in English. At the bottom of this page we have an article that has been translated for us.
Our own sports scientist Stephan Nuesser training motocrosser Evgeny Bobryshev, third in the world in 2015
Vaylen Kirtley of SABC is interviewed by GetIt magazine. While not about Sportfasting she mentions it and clearly it worked for her.
Review of Sportfasting in GoMulti (SA magazine) magazine, check out GoMulti at gomulti.co.za .
Dutch Magazine Articles
You can click every thumbnail below to download a pdf of the article, again please keep in mind these articles are in Dutch.
Article on Sportfasting from Wielermagazine:
What is Sportfasting?
Hardly any food and high intensity workouts for ten days; sportfasting in a nutshell. It is a new training method, developed by medical biologist Remco Verkaik and it goes against all current training principles. Coach Koen de Jong already is an absolute follower:’For racing cyclists, one sportfasting programme is an excellent completion to the training.’
TEXT: KOEN DE JONG, PHOTOS: NATASJA KRISTEL
During the build-up phase of their training, racing cyclists are used to training for long periods and eating large amounts of food. Drs. Remco Verkaik has a very different idea about it: no food and short training sessions and your condition will improve in no time, your recovery will be stimulated and your maximum capacity increases. The idea is simple. Roughly speaking, your body uses two types of fuel: energy sparing fats and energy consuming sugars. If you eat many sugars (=carbohydrates), your body turns into a sugar burning factory and forgets how to use the energy sparing fat supplies. A sportfasting programme forces your body to use the energy sparing fat supplies in an optimal way, since you are working out and you are not taking in any carbohydrates at the same time. The founder of sportfasting calls this adjustment of the body the ‘metabolic switch’ which is exactly what it is all about. Obviously, Verkaik will only speak positive of ‘his baby’. He mentions a few benefits of his programme. “The condition of your body could increase with 15%, your resting heart rate drops, you will lose weight and the capacity during your Anaerobic Threshold rises.’
Being a trainer, I was quite sceptical at first. A ten-day programme with so many benefits; it sounded too good to be true! But Verkaik’s enthusiasm made me curious and I asked the promising talent Daan de Groot to test the programme. De Groot, who is part of the Line Lloyd team, has been cycling up the mountain with the best of the best during the “Course de la Paix”. We start the programme by measuring the resting heart rate and the resting respiration rate and an endurance test. The sportfasting programme and another week of training follow. Then, we measure the resting heart rate and respiration rate once more and we do another endurance test to find out whether drs. Verkaik delivers on his promise. The results of the first measuring and endurance test are good. He is not on top form but it is obvious he has not been idle during winter. He receives the training and eating programme for ten days. I give him Verkaik’s nutritional supplements, since other supplements could interfere with the ‘switch’. Line Lloyd’s young talent also receives urine strips to be able to check whether his body has made the “switch”. If the colour of the urine strip is getting darker during the ten days, the programme is going well. The first three days he needs to cut down on his food, the following three days he is not allowed to eat anything at all and the final four days he slowly needs to build his food intake back up. This strict eating pattern needs to be combined with a half hour of cycling every day. This doesn’t seem like a lot and the three “cutting down-days” are easy. Daan already loses three kilos during those three days. During the fasting days, training is hard. It doesn’t seem like much but Daan has experienced that, if you are not eating, 30 minutes of cycling is incredibly hard. ‘When I got of my bike on the fifth day, my legs were trembling. I felt like I had just done a classic race.” During these days, he kind of lies on the settee the whole time and doesn’t do much. The urine strips show that the ‘switch” has started and he is steadily losing weight. Then we make a remarkable discovery; his resting heart rate has dropped to 32 instead of the usual 40 during this time of year. The building up phase is going well and he feels better soon. After the programme, he sticks to his recommended 1 carb-free meal each day. He also starts training again and we test his resting heart rate and respiration rate once more and do another endurance test. I am very curious about his VO2max test and his recovery after the endurance test.
During the endurance test, it starts to get clear that his heart rate is much lower while showing the same performances. This doesn’t change during the rest of the test and the results beat even our highest expectations. Not only did Daan lose 5 kilos, he also performs better, both on maximal power as well as at his turning point. This makes his VO2max rise (the best unit of measurement for physical condition and capacity) from 70.21 ml/kg to 79.09 ml/kg;a rise of as much as 12.5% in 20 days! This is extremely much if you consider the fact that Daan already was in good shape before the programme. The sportfasting programme also brought about an improved recovery. Before the programme, his heart rate dropped to 138 beats per minute in two minutes. After the programme, his heart rate drops to less than 130 beats per minute in no time. This was probably realised because the muscle fibres are burning energy in a different way now. There are three types of muscle fibres: type 1, type 2a and type 2x. Type 1 uses fats and type 2x uses sugars as a fuel. Type 2a is capable of both using sugars as well as using fats as a fuel. The ten-day programme makes this type of muscle fibre use the fat supplies in a much more intelligent way. This way you are able to cycle much faster using your fat supplies, with all benefits as a result. How all of this will influence his results later is hard to say. However, there are several tips and tricks to keep the ‘switch’. One of these tips is to do a mini-programme on a regular basis, after the ten-day programme. It is also recommendable to plan an endurance training once every three weeks without eating anything. Cycle first, then eat. A sort of mini-programme that makes the fat burning process keep on going. For now, we do agree with drs. Verkaik when he claims that sportfasting is the future turbo training method. You can never predict the results of sportfasting for other people based on only one story, but for racing cyclists, one sportfasting programme a year seems to be an excellent completion to the regular training. Daan doesn’t care about the results for other people. ‘How it works with other people doesn’t really matter to me. For me it works and that is all that counts’, he says, like a true, selfish top-class sportsman.
More details: Remco Verkaik (www.sportfasting.com). Do it yourself: Koen de Jong (www.harderfietsen.nl)
SPORTFASTING – INSANE OR THE FUTURE TURBO TRAINING METHOD
It also makes you lose weight
Ate Bruinsma is a Dutch man from Friesland of over forty. He is a passionate cyclist and cycles more than 10,000 kilometres a year. Ate is 1.75 metres and weighs over 100 kilos. No matter whether he trains harder or cycles more, his weight will stay the same. Ate decided to try a sportfasting programme. In his case, the results are spectacular too. In the first month after the sportfasting programme, he already lost 15 kilos! Two months after the programme this has increased to more than 20 kilos. I asked him whether it was going too fast. ‘I feel reborn, bubbling with energy and my mind is much more peaceful’, is Ate’s satisfied answer. “And I don’t even like sugar anymore. I was offered a piece of cake the other day and I just didn’t like it.’ The ‘switch’ really worked for Ate.