Is there a best time to workout

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    Apr 24, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    Hi guys

    Not sure if this has been asked before - it so, please point me to the thread!

    I'm a skinny guy trying to gain some form and muscle. Strict Vegetarian. I usually work out in the mornings empty stomach or right before lunch at noon . Recently someone told me that the noon workouts are not a good idea - Is that true? Is there a specific time which is better suited for workouts while trying to gain weight/muscle? I do the empty stomach morning thing only when I know I won't be able to work out rest of the day. So it is noon-time almost always

    I've been seeing some progress but its been quite slow, especially for upper body. I think it has mostly do with my diet and not my workout timing - but any advice is welcome!
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    Apr 24, 2011 4:55 AM GMT
    First off, I don't think you should be working out on an empty stomach. And second, the best time to work out is whenever you want/have time, so you'll actually do it.
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Apr 24, 2011 8:23 AM GMT
    Best thing you can do is speak to your gym instructor and get a programme up. I'm unsure about best times to work out but I know late at night after 8.30pm really isn't a great idea. You should have something in your stomach about 1 - 3 hours before working out, some guys have a pre-gym snack.

    Also: if you are putting muscle on as a strict vegetarian, just get lots of whey protein. I'm a vegetarian and apparently there are vegans who bodybuild!

    Good luck!
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    Apr 24, 2011 8:44 AM GMT
    Cardio on an empty stomach can be good for fat loss.
    Since youre trying to put on muscle, anytime is good. Just get plenty of protein and lots of carbs post workout to gain mass.
    Its not so much the time of day as the frequency of working out that's important. Pair up body parts push/pull, upper/lower, back/chest, etc. And get plenty of rest in between workouts to allow the body to recover.
    Lots of water and sleep too!
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    Apr 24, 2011 10:10 AM GMT
    As a fellow vegetarian myself, i used to be real skinny too at 130lbs. Gaining muscle is slower than those who aren't vegetarian due to the amount of protein available. As far as diet goes, make sure you get a good amount of protein (soy, tofu, beans, nuts etc) in each of your 3 meals. I used to skip breakfast before and was told by my trainer that I have to start eating breakfast in order to gain muscle mass.

    As far as work out time, anytime that you are available is good for you. However you never want to workout on an empty stomach. You should have a small snack prior, which could be a fruit a small sandwich granola bar etc. Then after your workout a protein shake of 50g-100g of protein within 30min after workout. If morning is your best time, snack before and eat breakfast afterwards. Same is true if you workout during noon hour. Your body burns calories even when just lifting weights.

    You want to gain the weight and muscle first, i would advise to also reduce the amount of cardio down to 2-3x week 15min sessions of treadmill or eliptical. Too much cardio will reduce your ability to gain mass. At one point i got as big as 148lbs and i felt chubby for my frame. Then start the leaning process of doing more cardio and core exercises.

    Again start protein shakes if you haven't already. Super important for the muscle recovery process. RJ has a pretty good Muscle building program. Give it a try!

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    Apr 24, 2011 10:28 AM GMT
    when your pregnant.
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    Apr 24, 2011 3:17 PM GMT
    Thanks guys. Appreciate all the detailed responses

    "Then after your workout a protein shake of 50g-100g of protein within 30min after workout."

    I do have a 16oz shake after my workout (milk + whey + 1/2 banana) sold at my gym. But I don't think it has 100g whey protein. Maybe I need to make my own.

    "Its not so much the time of day as the frequency of working out that's important"

    I work out 3-4x a week - 10-15 mins of cardio followed by 45-60 mins of weights.

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    Apr 24, 2011 3:28 PM GMT
    tj9876 saidThanks guys. Appreciate all the detailed responses

    "Then after your workout a protein shake of 50g-100g of protein within 30min after workout."

    I do have a 16oz shake after my workout (milk + whey + 1/2 banana) sold at my gym. But I don't think it has 100g whey protein. Maybe I need to make my own.

    "Its not so much the time of day as the frequency of working out that's important"

    I work out 3-4x a week - 10-15 mins of cardio followed by 45-60 mins of weights.



    You don't need 50g - 100g of protein after a workout. that is like way too much. I don't even think your body can absorb all of that in such a short period of time. I think it can only absorb 40g? Ask xrnchx or muchmoremuscleman or whatever their names are.
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    Apr 24, 2011 9:50 PM GMT
    after a full meal, make sure there was dairy involved. it maximizes your performance
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    Apr 24, 2011 9:57 PM GMT
    According to my medical biochemistry book, it is best to have eaten before lifting to build muscle. To burn fat it is best to do cardio on an empty stomach.
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    Apr 24, 2011 10:29 PM GMT
    The idea that doing cardio on an empty stomach is an old one. It stems from the idea that your body will use the carbohydrates in the food before turning to the fat.

    Whats really important is that if you want to lose weight you decrease your calorie intake against your calorie output. Doing cardio on an empty stomach is just pretty much bullshit.

    Now if you do high intensity cardio your metabolism will ramp up and stay there for a few hours before slowly decreasing. Or you can do low intensity and well have none of that.

    You aren't fat, you will naturally begin to burn extra energy as you do more weight lifting.

    You don't need to warmup for 10 to 15 minutes, it's about getting the blood moving into the muscles your about to use, getting the fluid in the joints moving about (lubrication).. gentle warmup, flog yourself with weights, tiny bit of cardio and then eating a ton of food.
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    Apr 24, 2011 10:58 PM GMT
    I'm fairly new to this, but I have a trainer at the Y and I workout 3 mornings per week, full body. I do an ab routine 6 days a week and cardio 3 days.

    The trainer told me to eat about an hour before working out. I live 43 miles from the Y and he said to eat breakfast and the drive to the Y would be about the right amount of time. However, he wants me to eat within 15 minutes after my workout. He told me that if I can't eat, to at least bring protein bars with me and eat one as soon as I'm finished working out... before getting in the sauna or whirlpool....

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    Apr 24, 2011 11:00 PM GMT
    AvadaKedavra said
    tj9876 saidThanks guys. Appreciate all the detailed responses

    "Then after your workout a protein shake of 50g-100g of protein within 30min after workout."

    I do have a 16oz shake after my workout (milk + whey + 1/2 banana) sold at my gym. But I don't think it has 100g whey protein. Maybe I need to make my own.

    "Its not so much the time of day as the frequency of working out that's important"

    I work out 3-4x a week - 10-15 mins of cardio followed by 45-60 mins of weights.



    You don't need 50g - 100g of protein after a workout. that is like way too much. I don't even think your body can absorb all of that in such a short period of time. I think it can only absorb 40g? Ask xrnchx or muchmoremuscleman or whatever their names are.


    Most protein powders have about 23-25g per scoop. In the past I gone with 2 scoops usually around 50g. I also tried a mass complex protein powder that was 50g per scoop. The guy at General Nutrition was telling me that I need 4 scoops 200g icon_eek.gif . That i know seem excessive. So I was reading articles online, the body can absorb 95% of protein ingested. However, whether it can utilize all of that protein is another question. The only reason i ranged 50-100g is cause for us vegetarians our muscle mass and definition generally is a longer journy that those who aren't. Just giving some advice based on experience. I'm sure there are other methods out there that are just as great!

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    Apr 24, 2011 11:06 PM GMT
    lilTanker saidThe idea that doing cardio on an empty stomach is an old one. It stems from the idea that your body will use the carbohydrates in the food before turning to the fat.

    Whats really important is that if you want to lose weight you decrease your calorie intake against your calorie output. Doing cardio on an empty stomach is just pretty much bullshit.


    There is a balance between glucose oxidation and fatty acid oxidation, which is regulated by citrate. When the muscle cell has adequate energy from glucose, citrate leaves the mitochondria and activates ACC-2, which produces malonyl CoA. Malonyl CoA inhibits carnitine palmitoyl tranferase-1, thereby reducing fatty acid oxidation.

    Carnitine palmitoyl tranferase-1 is what allows fatty acids (from adipose tissue) to cross the mitochondrial membrane to be used for energy in muscle cells. When you have adequate energy from glucose, the carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 is inhibited so that you cannot use fatty acids for energy. When glucose levels fall, the transferase becomes activated and you begin to use fatty acids for energy.

    At least that is the summary of what my biochem book says.
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    Apr 24, 2011 11:18 PM GMT
    dopitt said
    lilTanker saidThe idea that doing cardio on an empty stomach is an old one. It stems from the idea that your body will use the carbohydrates in the food before turning to the fat.

    Whats really important is that if you want to lose weight you decrease your calorie intake against your calorie output. Doing cardio on an empty stomach is just pretty much bullshit.


    There is a balance between glucose oxidation and fatty acid oxidation, which is regulated by citrate. When the muscle cell has adequate energy from glucose, citrate leaves the mitochondria and activates ACC-2, which produces malonyl CoA. Malonyl CoA inhibits carnitine palmitoyl tranferase-1, thereby reducing fatty acid oxidation.

    Carnitine palmitoyl tranferase-1 is what allows fatty acids (from adipose tissue) to cross the mitochondrial membrane to be used for energy in muscle cells. When you have adequate energy from glucose, the carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 is inhibited so that you cannot use fatty acids for energy. When glucose levels fall, the transferase becomes activated and you begin to use fatty acids for energy.

    At least that is the summary of what my biochem book says.

    and it's true, but your talking about the human body here. Fat can and will be burnt BUT the amounts are insignificant. You wont be burning off any statistically significant amounts of fat by doing cardio with an empty stomach. What will happen is the body will turn to the fat to replenish stores of energy if you don't eat after working out. BUT.. still the same effect here.

    Eat less calories and burn more. It's as simple as that.. nothing more, nothing less.
  • turbid2wenty

    Posts: 74

    Apr 24, 2011 11:25 PM GMT
    Trying to find a link for you...I'd read at one point that between 5-8 PM is usually the best time, assuming you have a 'normal' schedule. I believe the idea is that circulation is at its peak, leading to better conditions for the muscles. Too early, and the muscles might not be int he best condition for strain. Too late, and you could mess up circadian rhythms from the increase in body temp and blood pressure.

    I'll find a source...