T Nation

Benefits of Evening Training

Sorry…one more musing from me…

Do you think there is a benefit to training in the evening since your metabolism is slowing then and it gives you a boost before bed…then when you sleep your muscles will be healing? That is another thing I noticed as a pattern in the two times I made lean gains…I was doing cardio or weights in the morning PLUS an evening weight session. I just hate lifting later. So I switched to working out right after waking. Maybe this is not optimal though…

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
Sorry…one more musing from me…

Do you think there is a benefit to training in the evening since your metabolism is slowing then and it gives you a boost before bed…then when you sleep your muscles will be healing? That is another thing I noticed as a pattern in the two times I made lean gains…I was doing cardio or weights in the morning PLUS an evening weight session. I just hate lifting later. So I switched to working out right after waking. Maybe this is not optimal though…

[/quote]

taking into account that fact that everyone has their own circadian cycle:

for evening workouts, you won’t be able to go too hard/long. not unless you want to mess up your sleep schedule. i’ve had this happen to me too many times: its a great time to workout, no doubt, providing a nice transition between work and home life, but you won’t find it a good time to hit PRs or do hardcore cardio. the elevated metabolism resulting from the activity actually keeps you awake: you might find yourself dog-tired, but you’ll still be staring at the ceiling come 3am…

morning workouts elevate the metabolism early during the day, and keeps it going until you retire. however, due to the fact that its morning and the body is ‘waking up’, its discouraged to go heavy during the early AM too.

your optimal time would be after noon, when the body is warmed up enough to tackle the big pies.

then again,the definition of ‘optimal’ changes when the variable of different goals are introduced.

i’ve always lifted later on the day…when i started it used to be around 6 or 7 pm, and for a while now the earliest i start is 8 pm and the latest is 9…for a while on saturdays i would do two sessions a day, but the morning one always took a lot longer for me to get into…almost like i wasn’t really ready to lift yet…

i’m not saying that lifting in the morning is not good, but your body gets used to lifting at a certain time and it’s ready for what’s coming…whether it’s morning or night…i always say that between 8 and 11, i’m always the strongest…because that’s what i’ve gotten used to…

…and you know, it is nice to go lift and than rest…it’s also nice to skip the crowds, but on the other hand…sometimes you’re just laying in bed trying to fall asleep but can’t 'cause you’re all pumped up and with a full stomach from your postworkout meal…so there’s some pro’s and con’s…but if it’s worked for you in the past give it a try again and see how it goes…

I’ve heard that evenings are better for strength and moring are better for gaining more muscle.

I used to train around 10:00 at night, as it was the only way I could fit lifting into my school schedule without skipping meals or classes, or ditching friends.

I’m trying to get in earlier now, though, as I found that after lifting I’ll only really have time for a PWO shake and a quick meal before either my roommate passes out or my friends swing by to pick me up…I figure if I start lifting earlier I can take better advantage of my post-workout anabolism and stuff even more food down before hitting the hay, and I won’t be kept up at night with pumped muscles and a growling stomach.

As far as energy or quality of workouts, I do MUCH better in the afternoon or evening (both are the same) than in the morning (I doze off mid-squat).

[quote]the judo kid wrote:
I’ve heard that evenings are better for strength and moring are better for gaining more muscle.[/quote]

I would worry more about convenience, preference, and what you can stick to rather than what is supposedly “better”. I put 20 lbs on my frame and more on the bar first semester while lifting later at night. Only after diet, diet, training, recovery, and diet are in check would I maybe (read: probably not) waste time worrying what some other people say is the “best” time my highly individualized self should lift for a goal.

But I’m crazy like that.

I like to train in the evening because I feel more active.
I usually go to the gym at around 19 or 20 PM.

But I don’t think it matters that much…

I believe that its more personal preference than anything else. I prefer the evening personally, but I don’t always have a choice when the schedule allows my training.

When I train early, even the warm ups just feel heavy.

Although articles & writeups have been published in the past for the benefits of training at certain times,i strongly believe it’s a personal choice of the individual. In my own case I have always been a evening person. Because of my busy schedule and work I had the oppurtunity of working out at different times like the early mornings, mid mornings and the afternoons. Although i did have productive workouts on these times, it wasn’t remotely close to the evening workouts. Hence once again somehow i have managed to spare sometime and workout in the evenings.

Like someone said previously i feel that working out too late i found myself awake half the night inspite of a very excruciating and intense workout. Hence i prefer working out earlier in the evening like about 7pm or so. Secondly I also noticed that most gyms can be quite crowded in the evenings which can be a huge disadvantage at times if the gym happens to be small. Moral of the story, you should workout when you feel the strongest and most active rather going with the theories and stuff.Peace.