Cardio – morning run, uphill running or chilly walk?
After taking a look into specific exercises, before diving deeeeeep into the world of nutrition, lets talk about burning fat with exercise.
Timing of cardio
The best scenario is to train cardio on non-weightlifting days, or at least different time of day. This gives your metabolism a nice boost inbetween. If you can only combain weight- and cardio sessions, do first the weightlifting, then the cardio. You should always be able to do your weightlifting exercises with 100 % power level to get the best out of them, and not to increase your injury risk.
“Fat burning cardio”
There are two more or less recognized and argued ways to get the most out of the cardio.
- Morning cardio
- Short, intense workouts (HIIT, high intensity interval training)
Morning cardio often means around 45-75 min walking/jogging, rather low intensity, before breakfast. According to the theories body burns more fat, when the muscles’ glycocen (carb) stores are empty. On the other hand nowadays the general (and scientific opinion) says, that it takes far longer than one night to empty the mucsles’ carb storages and there is no real reason to torture yourself with empty-stomach morning cardio. But… You can do that also for fun, right? At least I go sometimes jogging in the morning just for fun, to see my city totally empty, to hear the birds and see the sunrise. But yes, that is not for everyone.
HIIT is now THE WAY to give your metabolism an extra boost. HIIT means often just around 20 mins of exercising, but full speed. This could mean a set of jumps for 20-30 seconds, 10 seconds rest, repeating jumping exercise etc etc. Some believe on sprinting, some on uphill-running.
Especially with HIIT including sprinting it is not good to go overboard – three times per week max!
Which one to pick?
Do whatever you like to do, or skip them both! If you want to burn fat, what matters is that you lift weights and eat right, not what kind of cardio you do if you are not trying to squeeze the last % out of your body. I strongly recommend though doing some kind of cardio – life is easier, when climbing to fifth floor (especially if you live there) is not heavy.
If you like running in general and wish to become faster, I warmly recommend adding adding one running-related (jumping, sprinting or uphill) HIIT to your weekly schedule: Recently I have been barely jogging, but started lunch time runs twice per week with some colleagues two weeks ago. Today I made my absolute personal best of all times: over 9 km with an average of 4:56 min/km, traffic lights included!