Welcome back to GSI!
In our last article you got an overview of the different types of cardio, plus you learned that you should incorporate all three of the main forms into your weekly routines. But if you’re like most guys who want to lose weight, you probably still have some questions. Here are your answers…
As mentioned in my Controversial Cardio post, you should start out by doing two to three sessions for 20 minutes per session. As your fitness level increases, you can up the duration and intensity. You can do the same thing if you hit a plateau.
For example: Start with two sessions per week, 20 minutes per session. Increase your session by five minutes each week until you’re doing cardio for 45 minutes per session. Add in another weekly session (three total) if you plateau. Then start upping the intensity of your cardio each week.
Q:Should You Do Cardio on an Empty Stomach?
Some people suggest that you should do cardio on a completely empty stomach, because then your body will use your stored glycogen and then fat cells for energy, rather than using any readily available sugar. That may be true, but even the experts are still in disagreement about this one.
So here’s what I suggest:
Never do high-intensity cardio on an empty stomach. You need fuel in order to perform your best, so it’s best to eat about an hour or so beforehand.
Test and see. If you’re getting good results when you eat before doing cardio, stick with it. It’s better to have fuel in your body when you’re working out. If you hit a plateau, you may consider doing empty-stomach cardio in the morning.
Q:What’s the Best Time of the Day to Do Cardio?
In other words, should you do morning, afternoon or evening cardio?
The answer for this one is simple:
Do it at the time of the day when you feel the most energetic (and you’re most motivated to do cardio). If, for example, you’re not a morning person, then don’t try to do morning cardio. It will be too easy for you to “blow off” and start skipping cardio sessions.
In other words, don’t give yourself an excuse to not do cardio. And choose the best time of the day for you.
Q:Can You Do Cardio On the Same Day as Weights?
Yes, you can do cardio on the same day as weights.
It’s really not preferable to do cardio on the same day as weights. If you do it, then do your cardio AFTER your weights. Here’s why:
Your energy stores are depleted. If you do weights first, then you’ll use up the stored glycogen in your muscles. The next thing your body will look to tap into for energy is fat stores. And that means your body will start burning fat.
You won’t skimp on your lifting. If you do cardio before lifting, you’ll use up a lot of energy. By the time you get to your weights, you won’t be doing 100% output. And if you’re not truly lifting to muscle failure (rather, you’re just exhausted from cardio), then you won’t get good results.
One final note: Do NOT do weight training and HIIT on the same day. That’s too taxing on the body. Plus, you won’t be able to perform HIIT the right way if you’ve depleted your energy lifting weights.
That’s it for now. Keep looking for more slightly interesting articles.