Workout timing may not seem like an important factor to one’s success when it comes to building muscle or weight loss and many people will tell you that the most important thing is that you just workout, but they are half right because the time of day you workout can influence how you feel when exercising.
One of the most important things all experts say, is to chose a time of day you can stick with so that exercise becomes a habit. As consistency is of upmost importance when it comes to working out and progressing. Although, ultimately what it comes down to is your daily schedule and commitments.
Morning workouts have the best potential for building muscle because your testosterone is at its daily peak. You will also have a greater mental focus and be more alert which should help with your mind to muscle connection when doing any exercise. Furthermore, if fat loss is your goal then training in the morning may force your body to use the fat for energy first unless you ate a massive breakfast.
If consistency is your biggest problem then working out in morning will be the best time for you because usually other things later on in the day will squeeze it out of your schedule. The thinking here is to get your workout in before other time pressures/commitments interfere, plus a full day’s work can take a serious toll on your willpower and you might just end up not even going to the gym.
The only bad thing about morning workouts is that your body temperature is still low so you will have to warm up and stretch a lot more before you get into your actual workout because a cold body leaves muscles stiff, inefficient and susceptible to injuries.
This may come to a surprise to you, but afternoon workouts have the best potential for breaking plateaus because your pain threshold is the highest and the limits of your body can be pushed further than usual. It may also be easier to get your body into a rhythm because you won’t be fighting off your grogginess like many do in the morning.
If it is later in the afternoon your body’s adrenaline and temperature starts to rise meaning you’ll have a lot more energy for your workout. Maybe the best thing about afternoon workouts is that you will have an optimum balance of both mental and physical function.
The only negative about afternoon workouts is that this tends to be the time where most gyms become packed so it may be harder to get in all the specific exercises desired in a reasonable amount of time, as there may be waiting times for equipment.
If you choose to workout in the evening your body’s coordination, stamina and temperature is at it’s peak. Your lungs performance will also be at it’s best and flexibility/strength is at it’s greatest, this is the time of day when the body is in peak condition for physical activity.
Although, this is the time where you’re in peak condition for physical activity there are definitely a few drawbacks. The first is that if you’re working out too late this could affect your body’s natural time of slowing things down for sleep and once you finish your workout you have to eat the right foods which also sabotages your body’s urge to sleep. Even if you choose not to eat after your workout your body will end up fasting for 7-9 hours without adequate amounts of protein/carbs to build back the muscle tissue you broke down which is terrible for muscle growth and progress in the gym. Secondly, your mental focus is waning and depending on how worn out you are from school, work or other daily activities your workout may not be as effective.
As you can see no matter what time you workout there will always be both negatives and positives, but the most important thing is to workout consistently until it becomes a habit. Once you reach that point you may want variety and you can end up working out at a different time everyday.
As always if you have anymore questions about workout times please leave a comment about it down below.