T Nation

Morning vs. Afternoon Training

I am an 18 year old beginner, and I have trouble measuring the pros and the cons of training in the morning, or later in the day.

I have heard and felt that training in the evening could interfere with a proper night’s sleep, because the training stimulates awareness and other antagonists to sleep.
How ever, I find it much easier to push my body in the afternoon that within a couple hours after waking up. It’s like my body won’t go as far, or has a hard time getting going if it’s in the morning.

I also wonder if training in the morning isn’t bad for a good recovery, since the muscles will still be active throughout the day. Or maybe is that good because it gives extra stress to the muscles?

What interests me is mass gain, I am not worried about leanness for the moment.
I have naturally high endurance and adrenalin response.
I like to focus on chest and back. I do lots of push ups and pull ups.

What would you guys recommend concerning the time of the day for my training?

Thanks for any suggestions,


I might be wrong but I am pretty sure that training in the morning vs at night has very little affect on recovery. For me though, I simply have decided that I cannot train in the morning. Within the first 2 or 3 hours of waking up, I am significantly weaker and with any sort of cardio I just can’t recover. I would just go with what feels better

You should do barbell squat rack curls and lots of cardio machine work to get the best mass results. Don’t forget your NO XPLODE either, that’s a surefire way to get hyooooge PumPs!

While the morning is better hormonally (test and GH is higher in morning), the evening is better metabolically (after a days worth of nurtition, your glycogen stores should be at their fullest).

The truth of the matter is if you have the option, train at the time of day where you have the most energy and motivation. For that will result in the better gains.

For some that is early morning, some late evening… For me, as i do have that choice, i find i amat the gym between 1 and 4 pm at some point… I just go when i fell like it and i find it tends to be the afternoon.


Like others said, do whatever works for you. If you notice you feel better at one time then do it then. Don’t out think yourself and worry about muscles working after a morning workout or whatever.

It’s also a matter of what you are able to do. I prefer morning training (~9 would be perfect) but I can’t because of work. So I’ve adapted to train at 6 after work…then eat and hit the sack!

Whenever you do it, just make sure you’re pumped and ready to go. Good luck.

I used to train in the morning, when my girl left me. I shifted my day around so I would be up around 4AM and at the gym around 5:30AM with some sort of fuel in the tank, usually a shake with peanut butter and oats. My lifts were weak at first but after the first 2 weeks I got used to the change. My main problem was not having anything in the tank to go in there and get it er done. My two centavos.

I’m a night person so I train at night. I think most people can realize if there a morning, afternoon, or night person. I can’t train in the morning anyways, but if you have the choice pick the time you feel strongest.

i recently made the transition of training in the morning to at night, too be honest there’s little difference for me except nothing was worse than doing a big session of squats or deadlifts then having to go to work afterwards. i generally find i push myself a little harder at night for two reasons, 1. there are more girls in the gym and 2. i find that i can build up all my frustration and release it

[quote] JJ wrote:
While the morning is better hormonally (test and GH is higher in morning),


I think hormonally it can be good either times, if you’re not training in he morning that means your body can use the hormones better for recovery, whereas if you train in the morning you’ll have a better hormonal profile.

BTW not contradicting you just adding to your comments.

Do you. For me, morning is easier because then I can go about my day with that great after-gym feeling.

Thank you all for your opinions so far!

I think I’ll remember and go with this: I’ll train when i feel stronger.
It’s true that that is when i push my body the most, so I’ll stick with that. For me it’s usually after having been awake for 6-7 hours at least, but before the 2 last hours of my day.

CT and CP recommend 2-3 hours after waking when your testosterone’s highest.

Ian King recommends that time or 7-9 hours after waking for highest nueral activation.

I try to do it in the morning during school so that my body can take advantage of the carbs that eat that day to follow temporal nutrition guidelines and eat fat later in the day.

Just train when you can.