What’s the Best Time of Day to Workout?

Here’s a common gym-related question: what’s the best time of the day to workout?

The short answer? It’s always a good time to workout!

Most people don’t workout at all so it’s better to train at any time than to skip a workout because the timing isn’t “perfect.”

These days, people are incredibly busy and time is precious. Parents are always taking kids somewhere, shift workers are managing wild schedules, some people face long commutes before and after work, and so on. The phrase, “I don’t have time” is very common.

So our advice is to workout whenever you can. The time doesn’t really matter in the big picture.

But here’s a tip — it’s sometimes better to get a workout in earlier in the day so unexpected issues later on don’t force you to skip training.

Another tip — no matter what time you plan to train, schedule your workouts and block them off in your calendar so they’re locked in!

If you already workout consistently, have all the other big pieces in place so you want the nitty gritty details, then read on…

Other Considerations for Working Out

The simple advice is sound and great for everyone! Sometimes, though, we get asked for more detail, so here it is:

Working out later in the day can affect sleep for some people. If you’re one of them, you probably shouldn’t do high intensity workouts right before bed. Try to get your workouts in earlier in the day so you can gear down and get the sleep you need to recover.

Other people really don’t like training after a meal because it upsets their stomachs. We recommend a gap of one or two hours between a big meal and a training session. If you have a smaller snack, you can likely leave a smaller gap before training.

And in some cases, a little food before a workout is OK as long as it’s reasonable amounts of carbohydrates and protein for your body to easily process. Fatty foods like chicken wings are a mistake before training but a banana and protein shake are fine for many people.

Some studies have even suggested that your body will perform best in the afternoon, when body temperatures tend to peak. You also might have heard about studies that suggest morning workouts and “fasted training” burn more fat.

Here’s the thing to remember about studies and research: the body is complicated and individual physiology makes it very hard to isolate all factors. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the results of many studies conflict with the results of personal experience. Moreover, the benefits of working out at certain times [vs other times] have such tiny benefits that they’re nearly irrelevant.

It’s hard to make firm conclusions. And, even if it were clear that training exactly at 1:43pm is best, how many busy people can train at that exact time?

One More Thing to Consider

Your mental state affects your workouts as well. For example, if you’re a morning person who always crashes in the afternoon, it doesn’t really matter if a study says you might be a little stronger at 3pm. Or, if you hate mornings, any benefits of early morning training will probably be wiped out by your distaste of the wee hours.

With all that in mind, the best advice we can give is to workout whenever you can and whenever you feel best. Experiment to find which time slots suit your schedule, your body, and your mind!

The best news — we have a ton of options for you to train when you feel best! Group classes run throughout the day and personal training is booked at YOUR convenience.

We’d be happy to help you figure out when you should train to get the best results but our first step is to help you train, period. We will find out what you want to accomplish and then provide a plan that takes your preferences and schedule into account.

To book a consult today, click HERE.

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