When is the best time to do Cardio !!!!


Some people wake up at 4:00am just to do their cardio. Then later in the day they do their weightlifting routine. Others do their cardio before or after their workout routine. Some run at midnight to avoid heat. 

When is the best time to do cardio?

Should cardio be done near the time of weightlifting or should there be a certain amount of hours between the two?

Can someone add cardio to their weight training and still gain size and muscle mass?

Is it better to do cardio after eating, or on an empty stomach? Why?

What is your favorite type of cardio? (HIIT, Interval, etc...)

BONUS QUESTION: What is the most effective cardio exercise?


Cardio exercise without question is an essential part of any training routine whether it be a bodybuilding, strength training, sports training or most obviously a running workout schedule. It increases our endurance levels and is also an important factor in preventing all sorts of heart problems and diseases.

But its not as easy as just going outside and mindlessly running around for a few minutes and getting results. Its the same as weightlifting. 


You dont just go in a gym and start curling the heaviest weight you see using horrible form. There are many different opinions on how to properly do cardio to achieve certain goals.

Some of these views are totally wrong and can mislead you and instead of moving you forward will actually set you back in the wrong direction. This is why it is so important to know what certain types of cardio are doing to your body and how to do it properly. Just like weightlifting.


There is no set time where you make the best gains to do cardio. It ranges for everyone, for example if you feel like total crap in the morning and you need an hour or two to feel fully energized, then you obviously arent a morning person so then dont do it in the morning. Listen to your body, you wouldnt pump iron if you were half-awake.

Like I said everyones body is different. So basically the best time for you to do your cardio exercise is when you feel it is the best time to do it, and stick to that time. But there is still more to this, there are still a few guidelines you should follow so that you dont end up setting yourself back. These will help you understand when to perform your cardio for better results, or the results you want.


First of all NO! Cardio in the morning is probably the most stupid idea I have ever heard. This isnt just my opinion but the most knowledgeable trainers and exercise experts agree that cardio in the morning on an empty stomach is not good for you body.

Well, you might ask, what if I want to burn fat? I have low glycogen stores in the morning and my energy levels are low because I dont have carbohydrates, so then I will tap into my fat stores right? This is TOTALLY wrong. The complete opposite happens.

Let me enlighten you. Fat burn doesnt occur during cardio exercise, but about two hours after. Instead your body will look at your tasty muscles for energy meaning. Bye bye muscles. This is a bodybuilders worst nightmare.

So unless your goal is to become scrawny and lose muscle then by all means do cardio in the morning. Its also common sense not to do it on an empty stomach.

You wont have a satisfactory amount of energy meaning decreases performance which = crappier results. And if you think about it, your body has just fasted for eight hours and it needs something to eat to refuel itself.

Not feeding your body and doing exercise is like going into war without any ammunition.

Dont Get Me Wrong Yes, dont get me wrong, it isnt that doing cardio in the morning is bad, but doing it on an empty stomach is bad unless you want to lose muscle instead of fat.

So when you wake up at 5:00 A.M at least have something light to eat and wait at least 30-45 minutes before performing your cardio. Like I said earlier if youre a morning person and you feel best in the morning then keep doing it in the morning, just make sure you dont do it on an empty stomach.


Again this is also a HUGE NO! Not unless you dont want good results from pumping iron, then I guess you're wasting your time in the gym if you go all out and perform cardio before your workouts.

But for a lot of people, especially women, they dont want to gain serious mass, so then if your weight workout is relatively low intensity and doesnt leave you feeling like you just got hit by a car, then by all means you can do cardio before your workout.

But for most of the guys, they want some serious mass, and let me tell you that the last few reps (Say the last 3-2 reps) where you struggle and sweat is where you stimulate your muscles to grow. But when you run before working out, an intense cardio workout totally or almost depletes your glycogen stores.

When weightlifting, you dont use as much of your glycogen stores, but you still need quite a bit (This might come as a surprise to some people but its true).

So if you have no glycogen stores which is your muscles source of energy and your pushing yourself to max, the energy wont be there to push those last few grueling reps meaning a way less effective workout.

Another reason why this is such a big NO is because during a hard cardio session, protein synthesis drops low and protein breakdown goes up. During a weight lifting session, protein synthesis either goes up a little or stays the same while protein breakdown goes up.

After your cardio session while protein synthesis drops (Meaning your bodys ability to build muscle), and you hit the weights, the result will be that your bodies ability to build muscle will be impaired because of your cardio training depending on how intense your cardio was.