Workout Tips

The Lift Doctor: Burning Fat and Building Strength

Our Lift Doctor answers your questions about shedding fat and building strength.

The Lift Doctor: Burning Fat and Building Strength

Question 1: “Is morning cardio more effective in burning fat quickly with an empty stomach?” –Yussuf Khan

Yes, in fact, fasted cardio in the morning has been used for years by bodybuilders. I remember seeing old videos of Ronnie Coleman waking up early in the morning, walking on the treadmill for about 45 minutes, eating a big ass meal replacement shake, and then going back to bed. It is as simple as increasing your activity throughout the day and monitoring your calories in, if you want to lose fat. And cardio in the morning is an additional training session that you’re adding to your weekly program.

But here is the killer. Fasted cardio must be low-to-moderate intensity. Any type of heavy activity in a fasted state, when your glycogen stores are low, can potentially be catabolic or muscle-wasting. You won’t have the energy to hit anything heavy or high-intensity anyway. Activities like walking, low volume bodyweight training, yoga, or dynamic mobility, are perfect for your additional morning ‘cardio’ sessions. They will increase your total activity for the day, help you lose fat, and jump start your day with something positive!

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