T Nation

Best time for cardio?


#1

I'm just starting a cutting phase and I was wondering what everyone thinks is the best time of day to perform cardio workouts? I know some people feel that first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is best, but others say you will perform better with some food in you system. Any thoughts?


#2

The best time is when YOU can do it.


#3

It depends on the type of cardio you plan to do. If you are going to be doing the more moderate intensity/longer duration cardio, than first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is a viable option. You can also do this post-workout, but I'd probably try and get out of the gym as soon as your lifting is done.

If opting for sprint intervals (ie. HIIT), then you'd be wise to have something to eat prior to it. HIIT after an overnight fast on an empty stomach has the potential to lead to some unnecessary muscle loss. Performance would probably also suffer. Your meal could be something as simple as a protein shake with some flaxoil or some other light meal. Much of the benefits of HIIT come once you have finished it. It will give your metabolism a nice big kick in the butt and you'll continue to burn calories long after you're finished.


#4

Try doing sessions for both during different weeks and see how you feel.

I know some people who swear by morning workouts, but I noticed the best results for myself was when I trained in the evening.


#5

It depends on the type of cardio you plan to do. If you are going to be doing the more moderate intensity/longer duration cardio, than first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is a viable option. You can also do this post-workout, but I'd probably try and get out of the gym as soon as your lifting is done.

If opting for sprint intervals (ie. HIIT), then you'd be wise to have something to eat prior to it. HIIT after an overnight fast on an empty stomach has the potential to lead to some unnecessary muscle loss. Performance would probably also suffer. Your meal could be something as simple as a protein shake with some flaxoil or some other light meal. Much of the benefits of HIIT come once you have finished it. It will give your metabolism a nice big kick in the butt and you'll continue to burn calories long after you're finished.


#6

Thunder hit it right on the nose. As always. Also, cardio if you are looking to cut the best way to do cadio is after your weight training.

In Health,

Silas C.


#7

Thunder once again hit the nail right on the head.

With the fasted state cardio you need to be cautious not to up the intensity to much. As he stated you are risking the loss of to much LBM.

HIIT. Then you need to have somethingin your stomach a befor hand. Within an hour or two.

The benefits that you are going to get from these sessions is actually going to come after the actual cardio session. So you need to watch what foods you consume afterwards. You dont want to consume a meal with large am,ounts of carbs in it. Check out "EPOC" on the search engine, the mag and the forumn.

The "Cardio Roundtable" would also be a helpfull read.

Phill


#8

Actually I'd still suggest carbs after a HIIT workout. EPOC will not be blunted by post-workout carb intake. Obivously, the intensity of HIIT prevents the use of FFA during the actual activity, but once you stop, your blood is flooded with them regardless.


#9

Never.


#10

Thunder - do you suggest someone with a high bodyfat % choose a particular style as opposed to someone with a low bodyfat %?


#11

How high are we talking?

Some people do obviously have issues with conditioning which would make HIIT a real challenge. However, they can always just ease into it and gradually up the intensity as they become more conditioned.

I'd ideally like to see a combination of HIIT and steady state cardio for someone dieting. Hoever, I tend to be more on the side of less cardio/more diet, meaning I'd rather someone not overdo the cardio to created theie caloric deficit. I think it's wiser to have more of it created with diet. To me this approach is easier to troubleshoot when the inevitable plateau comes along.


#12

I was talking about say the guys who is like 18-20+% bodyaft as opposed to the guy who is 10-12% bodyfat both looking to lose bodyfat but both obvisouly in different shape.


#13

An option would be to do steady state cardio at gradually increasing intensities until they get to a point where they can handle small bouts, even 5 minutes, of HIIT.

They could walk on a treadmill at a given speed, say 3.0-3.5mph and increase the incline of the treadmill by 0.5 degrees every minute until they can no longer increase it. At that point they do the same on the way down. The intensity is like a bell curve.

I do this for some of my cardio. I'll gradually get the treadmill up to about a 10 degree incline (no holding on). You're basically climbing. It's pretty rough on your calves too.


#14

And Glutes. too Thunder.


#15

I wonder where all the no carbs post cardio advice comes from.
All the research I've seen on the subject shows no difference in post wo fat burning with post wo carbohydrate intake vs no carbs. But post wo recovery will be seriously hampered..


#16

Depends on the intensity of the cardio. I don't think you need carbs after steady state cardio. What's to recover from? HIIT? Yeah, you need carbs.


#17

Steady-state moderate intensity cardio at 60-70% max HR for 45 minutes first thing in the morning seems to be good. Perform this on an empty stomach and perhaps kick things up a notch with the ECA stack or caffeine. This is for fat loss.

Hope this helps...


#18

is it just me that feels that 45 mins to an hour is a bit overkill for fasted state cardio, even at low to moderate intensity?


#19

It is absolutely overkill.