Morning vs Evening | Best Time of Day to Workout

When it comes to meticulous programming questions,
not many are more common than, “What time of the day is the best time to work out?” Common wisdom is to simply workout whenever
you can as long as you adhere to the schedule. If there was a time-of-day planning hierarchy
of importance, unquestionably adherence lays the foundation. Following immediately is choosing a time you
personally feel that you can perform the most effectively, be it day, noon, or night. No point in scheduling workouts at times you
know that your performance simply won’t be up to snuff. But, going from here, there still lies some
importance to selecting an explicit time. One notion is to base our workout scheduling
on circadian core body temperature cycles, considering that research have shown that
diurnal peak performance patterns tend to follow similar curves. Based on the data, we should train when our
body is the warmest, which is roughly between 4 to 7pm. But the thing is, findings have shown that
these strength and aerobic performance patterns can be heavily influenced by adaptations to
temporal specificity. Simply put, temporal specificity means, to
achieve the greatest performance improvements, it’s best to always schedule your workouts
around the same time of day, allowing your body to specifically adapt to and prepare
the body for training at that time. This is especially imperative for competitive
athletes. They probably want to train around the same
time of day as their typical events. The general consensus of the research shows
this, with a 2012 review of such studies distinctly issuing this practical application above all
else. Train at the same time of day as much as you
can. However, this is in terms of performance only. The same cannot be said about muscle growth. When looking at muscle growth in the quads,
a 2009 study found a slight trend towards favoring training in the evening between 5
to 7pm. This goes against beliefs at the time that
considered morning workouts superior when testosterone levels are higher. Apparently, acute spikes of test don’t tell
the full story. Comparatively, it was only a .8 percent difference
between morning and evening groups over a span of 10 weeks, drawing no statistical significance. Fast-forward 7 years later, though, we HAVE
new research that might shed some extra light on the matter. Likewise, after 12 weeks, there wasn’t much
of a difference in muscle growth between morning and evening training but trends again favor
the evening (9.3 to 11.3). But unlike the 2009 paper, this study continued
the experiment for an additional 12 weeks. In this second set of 12 weeks, there WAS
a significant difference in growth, with the evening group achieving on average twice as
much growth as the morning group. Throughout the entire 24 weeks, the evening
group had on average, 5.3 percent more total growth. So, let’s recap:
Nothing’s more important than finding time in your schedule to fit training sessions
you can stick to. Make exercise a habit first. Next is choosing a time where you can perform
your best physically and mentally so that you get quality training sessions done. This is based entirely up to personal preference. Then, if possible, try to regularly set each
of your training sessions at around the same time of day. As we know now, your body can benefit to time-specific
training adaptations. And finally, if you still have some wiggle
room, try to make that specific training time in the evening between 4 to 7pm if you want
a slight edge in muscle growth. But do note, it’s not necessary to get all
of the 4 steps done. Simply going to the gym regularly and trying
your best will probably be enough for most. If you are the meticulous programmer though,
that wants to squeeze out every possible “gains” you can muster, then certainly give all four
a shot. Good luck! What time of the day do you find best for
your workouts? Share your thoughts in the comments! As always, thank you for watching and get
your protein!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *