T Nation

Best Time to Train?


So I wake up at 4:30 a.m. start work at 6 a.m. - the only time I can go to the gym is on my lunch break, which is fine. I normally take lunch around 1, but lately with the work schedule, etc skipping the gym has gotten a little easy. Like today, it's 1:32 and instead of training I'm putting up a post here about training...

Is there a time that is better or worse to lift? I recall way back when seeing some articles about this, but I'm thinking if I move my time up I might be better off dealing with stuff that comes up throughout the day...


I subscribe to the theory that you train at the time of the day that correlates with your energy levels. Personally, I feel best around 4:00 in the afternoon, so this is when I train.

I've tried the early morning routine and it simply does not work. My energy levels in the morning are garbage.

Experiment a bit until you find the sweet spot...


It sounds like you're pressed for time, so.... whenever you can.

Poliquin has said 3 hours and 10 hours after you wake up are the best times to train.


Well, I work from 6 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. - I work 45 miles from where I live, and my gym is a block or so away from where I work. Going home and coming back to the gym isn't an option. For last 8ish years now I've been going around 1 p.m. - however the job has changed some, as well as my life outside of work and the gym.

Last week one day, I had my protien shake ready to go and I got a call had to work on something. Was there from 12:50 - 2:45, left work close to 3, no lunch, no gym and at that point had to get home to get the kids...

I'm thinking if I went to the gym earlier on a regular basis, if something came up that I had to miss it, I could make it up later at that point, I'm thinking if I went around 10-10:30 a.m. I'd be up 6 hours by then, probably have 2-3 meals in by then as well... Energy at this time is, ehhh... I'm typically a night person, but again with the location of the gym to my house, this isn't an option...

Pressed for time... Yeah, you could say that. On top of work and the gym, married with a 3 1/2 year old, a 15 month old, play in band, own a home, etc. etc. etc.


It depends on how regular your schedule is. Tom8658 is right if your schedule is regular and fairly in tune with the sun (i.e. normal). Hormones and energy levels rise and fall throughout the day.


The best time?? When you can.

I know Ian King and Poliquin have said CNS is primed 3 hrs and 10-11 hrs after waking. CT has said testosterone is highest in morning. Lowery states that carb tolerance/insulin sensitivity is highest in morning (outside of lifting, that is). If you're planning two a days (just for example), you'd want to lift in the morning and then have at about 6 hrs before going again. So I guess the best time would be about three hours after you wake up...which is when I train. But I'm a student who choose my classes around when I want to lift.

So the bottom line is to lift when you can.


I lift on my around 1pm then go back to work. Really works for me. Tried lifting before work and I couldnt put up near as much weight. After 5 at my gym gets congested and my workouts suffer. Do whats works for you.


Hormone wise, morning. CNS wise 6-8hours later (I think).

I subscribe to the when you have the energy, motivation, and time method.

What the hell does it matter what your hormone profile or CNS is doing if you are going to have crap for effort or to little time to get a good one in?

Training hard is way more important Than anything else.


Agreed. Train when your body and mind feel the most up to it, to get the best results


I find the best time is when all the hot chicks are there! I was just kidding until I acually thought about it, I tend to work out harder to impress the women. Dont bullshit me man you do it to. Be honest with yourself you'll live longer!


Whenever I feel everything hit my system. And I eat my 3 cheerios! Then I'm ready for war. Doesn't matter if its 3 AM or 9PM. Its user specific.


I remember a good article about it, having a look but no idea how long ago it was.


Thanks for the replies... I think I'm going to try to go a bit earlier, and arrange my schedule some... Most of my issue is I have a hard time pulling myself away from work when I'm in the middle of something, so if I got earlier in the day it will give me the flexiblity I may need...