There's a lot of controversy around when to do cardio, when not to, what time of the day is optimal, what type of cardio you should do, etc.
It's been debated to death, but I'm going to break it down for you.
When you do cardio, the goal is to tap into stored fat and burn as much of it as possible.
To tap directly into stored fat, your body needs to be depleted of glycogen (stored carbohydrates).
This is because when your body burns calories, if your glycogen isn't depleted, your body will dip into stored glycogen and burn that for energy.
The result of this is less overall fat loss.
The two optimal times of day to do cardio are when your glycogen stores are depleted, upon waking up and post-workout.
The reason your glycogen stores are depleted post-workout is because when you are lifting weights, your body taps into that stored glycogen and burns most of it up.
Once you hit your cardio session post-workout, you'll be in a more optimal position to start tapping right into that stored fat.
Now, onto why you shouldn't do cardio pre-workout.
Your weight training sessions demand a lot of energy, and a high level of energy demands stored carbohydrates to perform at maximum capacity.
If you do a cardio session pre-workout, not only will you burn less fat, you'll also deplete those glycogen stores, diminishing the very source of energy you need to weight train effectively.
If you do a hard cardio session pre-workout, you'll burn through a lot of your stored energy and when you get to lifting weights, your body has to tap into stored muscle to get the energy to fuel your workout.
This is a less than optimal outcome for fat-burning potential. Plus, you'll be putting yourself at a greater potential for muscle loss.
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