If want to lose weight introducing some form of cardio based training is going to be an important part of that process.
There are many points of view as to when is the best time to do your cardio to get the quickest results but really the most important thing is that you get it done.
Wherever you can fit it in to your day then that is a good time to do it.
Personally, I believe if you can fit it in then the best time to do your cardio is first thing in the morning before breakfast.
From a scientific perspective studies have concluded that evening exercise is better for burning fat then training in the morning. However other studies have revealed that exercise in the morning is better for controlling appetite.
Even if scientific evidence is undecided about early morning cardio for fat loss I believe that if you can get up in the mornings doing early morning cardio does make a lot of sense.
Here are the main points that I often put forward in support of this training strategy.
1-Because your body has been in a fasted state while asleep your levels of glycogen are low when you awake so your body is forced to burn more fat when doing exercise.
2-As you haven’t eaten anything overnight insulin levels are also low. Less insulin in your system allows the body to burn more fat when doing exercise.
3-Your carbohydrate (glucose) stores are also depleted after sleeping so again the potential to burn more fat is higher with less glucose present.
4-When you do exercise in the morning, your metabolism stays elevated for a period of time after the workout is over. If you exercise in the evening, you burn calories during the session, but you fail to take advantage of the “afterburn” effect because your metabolic rate drops dramatically as soon as you go to sleep.
5. Morning exercise may help regulate your appetite for the rest of the day.
6-Along with the physical effects of morning workouts there are also the mental advantages as well which include getting a massive boost of mental energy and clarity and a great sense of satisfaction from doing a early morning workout plus you get the mood enhancing endorphin boost that puts in a positive frame of mind.
7-Once you start doing regular morning workouts your body’s circadian rhythm will adjust to your new routine, making getting up at the same time every day easier.
8-By getting your workout done first thing there is no chance of you missing a workout, due to energy levels being low, work or family commitments or the socializing distractions that can crop up in the evenings.
9-Even though you may have a busy daily schedule you can always find time for doing a morning workout by going to sleep and waking earlier.
How to Maintain Muscle Mass
One of the major arguments against fasted workouts is that they can result in a loss of muscle mass. This is because when carbohydrate levels are low and cortisol (the stress hormone) are high from exercise there is a greater potential for muscle loss as the body looks to break it down and use it for energy.
Regardless of when you do cardio training it will have an effect on your muscle building levels but so long as you follow basic training and nutrition principles you won’t have to worry about losing muscle.
The goal is to keep the balance in balance in your body so that you remain in an anabolic state so that you can maintain or even add on a little muscle while trying to reduce your levels of body fat.
First off don’t overdo the cardio. If you feel that you are losing muscle by doing early morning fasted cadio then reduce the workout time down.
Give your body good nutritional support. Often muscle loss is due to diet than excessive exercise. A recommended supplement to take when doing fasted exercise is a good quality BCAA (branch chain amino acid) which have been proven to help support and maintain muscle tissue.
Finally keep on training with heavy weights. Even though you are trying to lose body fat your weight training sessions should still be using heavy weights working in the 8-15 rep ranges. Not only will this help you burn fat but will help maintain your muscle mass.
For me any time of day that suits your schedule is a good time for exercise.The important thing is that you just do it.
However, whether early morning cardio has scientific advantages for burning fat or not I still feel this is the best strategy to employ when looking to get lean.
I think the discipline and mental edge morning workouts give you are setting yourself up for success and it’s no coincidence that many of the top fitness professionals, athletes and high performing individuals all get their workouts done in the morning.
Morning exercise may not work for everybody but in my book, it’s a sure-fire way to boost and increase the results from your workouts plus you get to feel great all day.
Why not give it a try for the next 7 days?
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