Train Until You’re Beat, Not Dead
It’s the age-old question: How many sets do you need, and how much time should you spend in the gym each day? The answer varies from person to person, but when burning fat is the primary goal, a good rule of thumb is to train until you’re pretty beat up, but not to the point where you’re flattened and thoroughly exhausted. That type of kamikaze training may satisfy your pysche, but it does a number on your anabolic hormones.
Serious fat loss requires you to retain muscle mass, the body’s primary metabolic driver. If you go overboard in the gym, testosterone and growth hormone go into free fall, and your metabolism follows suit.
Do This: Go ahead, train as intensely as you like, just don’t go longer than 75 minutes in any one workout. Do as many sets and reps as you can during this time, using shorter rest periods (60 seconds max), but when your 60-75 minutes end, finish up and go drink your protein/carb shake.
Do Cardio at the Right Time
Cardio exerts two benefits: it burns calories and affects hormone levels in the body. Specifically, cardio helps raise levels of norepinephrine. Yet when you do cardio makes a big difference in how your body handles the hormonal changes. Cardio on an empty stomach allows norepinephrine to readily target fat cells, which triggers maximal fat-burning. On the flip side, if you eat before doing cardio, and particularly if you eat carbs, the fat-blocking hormone insulin rises, making your body less effective at burning fat.
Do This: To ensure that your body is in optimal fat-burning mode, do 30-60 minutes of cardio first thing in the morning before breakfast 4-6 days per week. Feel free, however, to drink your morning coffee (without cream or sugar) and take 6-10 grams of mixed amino acids or a small amount of whey protein powder mixed in water beforehand. The caffeine will help you burn more fat, as will the amino acids (whether from a supplement or whey protein), as research from Kanazawa University in Japan has found. The aminos will also help prevent muscle breakdown during cardio.
For more info go to Thetrainingfloor.org