I’m a light weight body builder who has always done cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Did a 1/2 marathon last year and was very successful. Now going back to body building but I want to change my workouts. I would like to strength train 1st thing in the morning and do cardio later in the afternoon. Will I see the same success?
First, it has been shown that strength training (especially for strength or hypertrophy specifically) should be performed with as much time between the strength training and the cardio training as possible. And at least 4 or more hours between the two whenever possible.
Second, performing any strenuous activity on a truly empty gastrointestinal tract is not productive. If you eat your last meal before 7 pm, most of the contents of the meal will have passed the stomach and small intestine by around midnight. If you get up at 6 am to exercise, there will be very little energy assistance from the GI tract. That leaves it all up to your liver and muscle storage/conversion. These storage/conversion systems are not unable to function well under these conditions, but a little boost from a light meal will help you energize the workout. This can also be achieved with workout beverages. You can use a workout log to find what timing of meals works best for you. Good workout notes are very productive if you know how to use them.
Third, post exercise fuel/refueling has been shown to be the most important factor in productive workouts. A overwhelming amount of research indicates that consuming a meal with 30 minutes of ending a workout will result in the most positive adaptations in the body. The ratios of carbs/protein for strength training and aerobic training vary only slightly. So, trying to sort through what will work best for each individual is not as productive for the post exercise meal as it is for the pre exercise meal. I think it would be good for anyone reading this to put in a little effort and search out the information on what to eat post workout. If you have questions on that after you do a little research, you can contact me through my profile or my website www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com .