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?
These are great questions but it will be goal dependent.
Regarding training on an empty stomach – a lot of what you hear saying its bad it not supported anywhere to be “harmful”. On the other hand, it may not be effective in reaching your goals. For example, see below for the Train Low – Complete High theory.
Train Low – Compete High. That is to train in a glycogen depleted state and you perform/compete after you fuel muscle glycogen stores. This has been reported to be an effective strategy for endurance performances.
However, if your goal is maximize lean muscle tissue – train low, perform high is not an effective strategy.
Regarding the Concurrent training.
Concurrent training is very difficult to address and largely overlooked in program design. Why – because they are competing adaptations and people do not realize they are very difficult to combine aerobic and anaerobic training without hindering goal attainment. If your goal is to put on lean muscle mass (bulking) performing ANY cardio will limit this goal. However, there are certain strategies to apply to limit the competing adaption (i.e. cycling sprints) which are as close as to weight training adaptations (biomechanically and physiologically) as you can get.
Performing cardiovascular exercise before training will alter neural activity to the working muscle. In other words, your resistance training will be sacrificed by performing cardiovascular exercise first.
Hope that helps you make some more informed decisions based on your exercise goals.
If you have any other questions feel free to shoot me an email – I have power points on concurrent training as well as numerous studies on the effectiveness of the train low – compete high theory.
Fuel the Movement,
There are a body of experts who will tell you that during a base building period; say your “off season” and pre-season time that exercising to build a foundation on an empty stomach will help you become more efficient at burning fat.
That said, it implies that you need to do that so that your endurance is better and those doing it are reaching for long distance experiences where they want to have to take in less food and avoid stomach issues along the way.
It doesn’t sound like that’s a good fit for you.
If you did well with your race, and it sounds like you did, are moving back into a body build focus, I’d recommend fueling for both. Now that you have the foundation, you’d tend to risk loss of lean without proper fueling.
A little time off or easy period makes sense also if the race was a new reach for you. Allow your body the recovery it needs, then fuel it sensibly for workouts and you can observe the results and tweak where necessary!
To eat or not to eat is a personal decision. I would suggest something light and easy to digest in the form of protein.
As for the order of exercising I don’t think it matters as long as your are not getting fatigued on either end, I would pay close attention to over training symptoms as well, make sure you get adequate rest.
Working out on an empty stomach as a bodybuilder.. probably not a good idea.
Feed your body first after you wake in the morning, let it settle and hit the weights hard!
Your cardio is pirmarily for fat and weight control (cardiovascular benefits as well).
If youre running marathon/s etc….why bodybuild?…counter-productive.
Bodybuilding as you know is an extreme sport…even nutritionally.
Hi Brenda. That’s really a tough question to answer categorically (re “the same success”). It depends. As far as your question goes regarding the ORDER of exercise, strength training first may actually afford you at least the ability to perform better (give better effort) since you will not be pre-fatigued from a cardio workout first. But even that answer is NOT true for everyone. Each person, each athlete is different, so you may wish to experiment a bit to see under which method you think or feel you’re getting your best workouts.
As far as exercising on an empty stomach, in my opinion – not good. I ALWAYS ask my athletes (and regular clients for that matter) to have eaten something a bit before their workout (how soon before is a personal preference) so that they have the energy to perform.
I hope that this helps.