Lifting on an empty stomach?

  • Hey All,

    Before doing the BFL program I lifted in high school for sport purposes and I researched other lifting programs before settling on the BFL program. It is going great but there is just one thing that bothers me – lifting early in the morning before breakfast. My coaches have always told me to load up on carbs and water before I lift to ensure better performance in my lifts. I went ahead and did my own research and it seems there are more articles, blogs and experts saying that you should have some kind of “pre-workout” meal and advise against lifting before breakfast.

    What’s more is that my brother has competed professionally as a body builder keeps warning me that lifting on an empty stomach could do more harm than good to my muscles. I want to follow Bill’s advice but it is deterring to see an overwhelming group of people urging against lifting on an empty stomach.

    What are your thoughts on all of this? Perhaps it comes down to individual preferance?

    - NickG

  • have you thought of just having your protein shake prior to your work out?  That way you have something in your system.

    I have read a lot about this subject myself so I understand what you feel.

    I would not do any weight trainning without something in.  I just feel crappy and I don't push myself as much as I could if I was not distracted by being hungry and feeling weak.  

  • well I'm confused. i thought it was only important to do the CARDIO HIIT in a fasted state not the weight lifting.

  • I lift at 4am on an empty stomach.  I know for a fact that I am able to lift more (heavier for the same sets) if I workout later in the afternoon and I figured that has to do with having food/energy in my system and my body being awake.  However I still decide to lift first thing in the morning because if I don't do it then I'll come up with some excuse not to do it in the afternoon.  I need to try some tests to see if there is a noticeable difference after having eaten something before my workout... and determine how soon before my workout I should eat it if I do.

    But for the time being... I do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  

  • If you have the BFL book - check out page 65, 4th paragraph down. It says, "By the way, if your primary goal is to lose body fat, consider doing your weight-training workouts in the morning on an empty stomach too."

  • I did my own comparison - eating before lifting helps my form better and I feel like I get the most out of my workout. However, I still do cardio on an empty stomach and wait about an hour after my cardio to eat.

  • Lift in the afternoon if gaining muscle mass is your goal. Testosterone is the highest in the mid to late afternoon. The fasted workouts are for fat loss. You use fat as fuel for workouts instead of carbs.

    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”