What’s the proper way of doing cardio training, especially for a weightlifter not wanting to shed too much weight or lose muscle? The best time to jump on that elliptical trainer, treadmill, bike, step-mill, or hitting the pavement to do an outdoor jog is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This makes sense because you’re doing cardio without any insulin fluctuation or spike, your glycogen stores are empty from fasting over the last eight hours in the rack, and ultimately this means that your body will be drawing a high percentage of its energy from fat stores. All of this is bound to set the stage for optimum fat burning potential!
Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not one of those guys who enjoy getting up first thing in the morning to put myself through a grueling cardio session without a morsel of food in my gut. But for those of you who can, I give you all the credit in the world. I’m not saying that I couldn’t train first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, I’m just saying that I’d prefer not to.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt better eating a decent sized meal about 45 minutes before training with weights (not cardio). This might not be in alignment with conventional thinking, but it feels right for me on a personal level. I feel like I can lift more weight, achieve a great pump and have enough energy to make it through my workout without losing steam. But let’s get back to the subject at hand – cardio. I’ve said my piece in regards to early morning training on an empty stomach, and in contrast I also wouldn’t be against cycling on and off a training program of morning cardio to maximize my fat burning potential. (more…)