Q: I read that it is best to do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, so that you burn more fat. Is this true?
Answer: Thanks for the email. It is always worth going over again.
Here's the deal.
9 times out of 10, exercising first thing in the morning wont' help you lose fat faster. On the other hand, it probably won't make you lose muscle (which has always been one of the knocks against early morning cardio).
You might burn a little bit more fat proportionally, but in the big picture, that probably doesn't mean much.
But there's only one way for you to find out. Give it a try for 3-4 weeks. That will be enough time for you to make a solid judgement about this training method and how it works for YOU.
I've found that simply following a program of strength training followed by interval training has worked as well or better (and always faster) than the slow cardio approach.
I want you to think like a bodybuilder. Every bodybuilder knows that they don't gain muscle during a workout. Heck no, during the workout they breakdown the muscle so that it can recover and grow during the post-exercise period.
And that's how fat loss works with strength and interval training. Here's what happens. During the intense, but short workout, you deplete your muscle energy stores and you cause some muscle damage. That makes your body burn a good amount of calories during the workout, but it burns even more calories after your workout during the post-exercise period.
And that increases in calorie and fat burning can last for over 24 hours.
Normal cardio doesnt do that. It only burns calories during the session.
So that's why we dont' bother with normal cardio, let alone cardio on an empty stomach.
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines and all over the Internet, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit http://www.TurbulenceTraining.com