4

votes

What time of day to exercise?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 14, 2010 at 10:13 PM

To this point I have only been doing a very light workout, pushups, situps, pullups and squats 3-4 times a week. With what I have been doing I have lost nearly 20 lbs, but only gained minimal muscle. I want to start a program, looking at tacfit with prasara yoga, to push myself more.

My problem is fitting in a full workout at a convenient time. The best time would probably be early morning, before taking the kids to school, or evening. The problem with mornings is, I am not a morning person and have enough trouble getting up to get the kids to school on time. With evening, I don't like to work out on a full stomach and I have seen reports that evening exercise can effect sleep. There seem to be varying reasons to exercise at certain times of day. What is the best time to work out? DO I force myself to wake up way before the sun, risk effecting a good night's sleep or some other alternative? Has anyone played with this idea and had better success one way or the other?

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6082)

on April 28, 2010
at 08:44 PM

Working out before breakfast happens during a protein deficit as well, so you have a catabolic action happening.

A72aa4efe082e991bf473f395c717767

(4)

on April 27, 2010
at 09:24 PM

yeah man, i was definitely going on the assumption that working out before breakfast or an empty stomach would therefore force you to burn more of your bodys stored fats. creating a calorie deficit before you start the day

0fd24d837dbad54740f53cc5f72068a0

(285)

on April 25, 2010
at 08:49 PM

I didn't vote, but one explanation might be the fallacy that cardio actually burns fat. Running or lifting weights, you are still using glucose as a fuel source. Fat burning comes into play when you consume few carbs and force your body to produce it's own glucose via gluconegenesis....or at least I have read.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on April 25, 2010
at 12:41 AM

I don't think it's fair that you got 2 down votes without explanation, so I cancelled one with an up vote.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2010
at 06:59 PM

Couldn't agree more. Combine them and try various times. For me, working out around 6-7pm works well

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9 Answers

2
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 14, 2010
at 11:01 PM

I suggest combining your 3 to 4 light workouts into 1 or 2 heavier workouts in the morning. Then you don't have to get up every morning. Just once or twice a week!

Regarding whether an evening workout would affect your sleep, you just have to try it! I've heard anecdotal evidence to suggest that both positive and negative effects are possible.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2010
at 06:59 PM

Couldn't agree more. Combine them and try various times. For me, working out around 6-7pm works well

1
81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 12, 2012
at 07:39 PM

When to work out/eat/whatever? I think we find ourselves in a paralysis by analysis. So much information saying so many different things. We find ourselves invested in finding the 'perfect' diet/workout/supplement/socks for running (sponge bob square pants socks by the way). We are worrying about that last 1-2% of the equation. The most important thing is that you find a time that you CAN work out and work out! Eat a healthy diet and get enough rest. That is 98% of it. Once you get that right, then worry about the rest.

You refer to your workouts as light. Strength adaptation occurs in response to heavy resistance. I would look into 3 heavy days with BB squatting everyday 3x5 to gain strength if that is your goal. If you want to take it farther, look up Starting Strength by Mark Rippitoe.

1
1340fe0b7e7b01683ea33042092e05d6

on April 16, 2010
at 02:10 PM

Could you post a little detail about your daily activities? Do you have enough time to get a quick but intense weight lifting session in at lunch time? 20-30 minutes at the most, enough time to shower and get back to the schedule?

It really is whenever is best for you. This is the answer that no one wants to hear, but lots of self-experimentation is warranted in this situation.

I know some who workout @ 2100hrs and go to bed right afterwards, but they sleep in until 0900/1000. And others who work out at 0'dark-thirty in the morning, and love it.

One thing I've noticed over time with Paleo way of life is that, I value sleep, immensely. So early morning workouts are usually reserved for quick sprints or walks. For some reason I do not feel like lifting weights in the morning.

The other thing I notice is other than the morning, I have no problems working out in later morning hours to late evening. When the schedule allows, I let my body dictate when I go. Especially on the weekends. I know this is ideal for all lifestyles, and I fully acknowledged I am married young adult with no children.

I'd recommend mentally or physically(writing down) your energy levels for a week after working out in the evening, and do it again in the morning and report back.

Good Luck!

1
D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on April 16, 2010
at 12:41 PM

Work out when you feel strongest.

As for a particular program, have a look at StrongLifts 5x5 at http://stronglifts.com/stronglifts-5x5-beginner-strength-training-program/ (w/ a free PDF containing the program)

1
6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on April 15, 2010
at 12:58 AM

I find that between 2pm and 6pm works well for me. I had always wondered why, since people seem to like to work out in the morning, but I've always hated it. There is apparently some science behind it that I saw on a BBC show called "The Secret Life of Your Bodyclock". The show is no longer available to watch on their website (sadly). It was on about a year ago.

0
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 12, 2012
at 03:29 PM

I would say play with your variables a bit. Maybe do some mornings, and some evenings. For building muscle, do heavier weight, higher intensity. Also if you can add some sprint intervals in there occasionally, that will stimulate HGH. But move things around a bit, and vary your workout also. I tell my clients that structure is good, but too much structure is not good. Moderation in moderation. There is no true "best time" for all people. I prefer mornings if I want to do a super long hike, but afternoons for heavy weights, and evenings for HIIT. But I am not you. Experiment.

0
C425374609543b14e4bc8dbb35f420bf

on July 12, 2012
at 03:23 PM

Ultimately the best time of day for you to workout is when you are able to fit it in. There are factors which may influence the time of day you pick. Take a look at When is the best time to exercise? over at The Body Blogger for more information.

0
C76eced60ac16a6a95551cf2f319820f

(401)

on April 15, 2010
at 10:43 PM

I would suggest doing it at any time it's convenient. The premise that our bodies are better at running around at a certain time of day just makes no sense to me, considering that the appearence of horse meat or otherwise probably didn't appear at 9am on the dot each day.

-2
A72aa4efe082e991bf473f395c717767

(4)

on April 14, 2010
at 10:45 PM

Morning time is better for Cardio Work, effectively burning more fat. As you highlighted the desire to put on more muscle - I would suggest an afternoon / evening workout whereby your body has more stored energy to facilitate such activity. As for the sleep side of things, ive never seen a problem getting to sleep after training in an evening, if anything i feel more exhausted and am likely to sleep better. If following a reasonably strict Paleo Diet (like myself), i shouldn't have thought there would be any complications!

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6082)

on April 28, 2010
at 08:44 PM

Working out before breakfast happens during a protein deficit as well, so you have a catabolic action happening.

0fd24d837dbad54740f53cc5f72068a0

(285)

on April 25, 2010
at 08:49 PM

I didn't vote, but one explanation might be the fallacy that cardio actually burns fat. Running or lifting weights, you are still using glucose as a fuel source. Fat burning comes into play when you consume few carbs and force your body to produce it's own glucose via gluconegenesis....or at least I have read.

A72aa4efe082e991bf473f395c717767

(4)

on April 27, 2010
at 09:24 PM

yeah man, i was definitely going on the assumption that working out before breakfast or an empty stomach would therefore force you to burn more of your bodys stored fats. creating a calorie deficit before you start the day

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on April 25, 2010
at 12:41 AM

I don't think it's fair that you got 2 down votes without explanation, so I cancelled one with an up vote.

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