This is one common question for all those who are hitting the gym. And the shortest, most honest answer is: whenever you feel like it.
Your motivation, as well as your energy barometer, vary along the day. So you have to find that particular time which suits you best before trying to put together a workout schedule.
What is your Chronotype?
The first and most important thing to take into account is your body clock (or, as experts call it- your circadian rhythm), because this is what puts us in motion, dictates our performance and makes or breaks our health.
Some of us are morning larks, while others are night owls. There is nothing wrong with it. You just need to understand how your body functions so you can determine the best time for your daily workout.
Here’s a nice quiz which will reveal what your chronotype is and help you understand how you function.
Your Personal Life
The next thing that’s going to come under scrutiny is your personal life. What are your working hours? Are you spending enough time with your family?
At first glance, it may seem that there is no more time left between your job obligations and the time you spend with your loved ones and this is when we lose heart and start making excuses.
It’s a common misconception that in order to obtain the best results, you need to spend a ridiculous amount of time in the gym or that you have to train daily.
Dorian Yates tells us that once you get the perfect workout plan, a 45-minute training session scheduled 3 times a week can make all the difference in the world.
When it comes to training, most people tend to choose between Progressive Overload and HIT Training. Can't decide which one is better for you? Check it out.
With all this in mind, let’s take a closer look at how each moment of the day impacts your mental focus and your physical performance.
A morning workout can be a headache for a lot of people, yet it comes with plenty of perks (including the fact that gyms are the least crowded before noon).
While the early hour might be something of an inconvenience, it has been proven that working out in the morning is extremely efficient for weight loss, because at this time you have a hormonal profile that leads to better metabolism of fat.If building muscle is your main goal, then morning workouts are a good choice for you too. In the morning the testosterone levels are at their daily peak, and this is a core element in strength training.
Besides, you can benefit from the greater mental focus and boost your energy for the rest of the day.
Not to mention that, far from getting in the way of your productivity, morning training is more likely to enhance it.
You might need to warm up for a little longer just to make sure that everything happens according to plan but the good news is that once you’re done, nothing will stand in your way.
If you deal with tension in your muscles and joints in the morning, afternoon sessions are just as good. Should you have a generous lunch break, you can productively use it for a workout.
This helps alleviate stress and refills your batteries, so you will get back to work with renewed motivation and energy.
What is more - by the time you hit the gym you have already eaten a meal or two, which means that blood sugar is a bit higher. Thus, making it good for working out at increased intensities.
Additionally, both morning and afternoon workouts can work wonders on your body clock. Training provides you with greater energy in the morning and allowing you to go to sleep earlier.
On the other hand, we tend to be more flexible, more enduring and have a faster reaction time in the second part of the day. This makes it an obvious choice for most people.
However, not all of us are lucky enough to have a gym in the immediate vicinity of their office building. Similarly, lunch breaks don’t last more than an hour. More often than not, it becomes virtually impossible to squeeze in both a training session and a meal.
This, along with the fact that it’s the time when we’re most alert and focused, makes evening workouts the most widespread choice.
We tend to perceive evenings as a personal reward at the end of a long, stressful day.
If we manage to integrate our workouts in this kind of life philosophy, by associating them with the sense of relief and happiness that we allow ourselves to feel near the end of the day, then we will become more aware of the positive effects they have on our body, therefore growing more focused towards our goals.
Delays in your sleeping patterns won’t be an issue as long as you don’t go straight to bed after you finish your workout.
Take some time to relax and allow your body to wind down after your training session. By doing this, you won’t feel any changes in terms of sleep quality.
Obviously, there are many other things that we didn’t account for, such as a last-minute change of plans, an appointment to the doctor or some errands that you have to run right when you were supposed to be training.
Then it’s good to have a plan B.
Alternating workout times can be beneficial. It allows you to better integrate all the individual advantages which come with every specific time discussed above.
Sure, predictability is a wonderful thing but diversity is what builds flexibility and fights the aftermaths of routine.
In conclusion, it all comes down to what’s best for you and your schedule. The time doesn’t matter as much as your will to set things in motion.
As long as you’re consistent in your training, have a good nutrition plan and are able to ensure proper training stimulus, it’s up to you whether you should train in the morning, afternoon or evening.
If you're looking for a way to boost your nutrition, you can always try the DY Nutrition Hydrolysed Protein. This type of protein has the highest grade of absorption with zero fat and sugar.
There is no universal answer to this question but the key is to match the physiology with your behavior.
Listen to your body. Sleep well, give yourself enough time to recover between an intensive workout session and everything else should fall into place.