T Nation

Morning vs. Evening Workout

I’ve been going back and forth trying to figure out which time of day to lift. I like working out before work, but I don’t feel that I can lift as much first thing in the morning. I’ve been working out in the evening. I can lift heavier then, but I’ve also gained alot of weight (not all muscle) since doing so.

I was just wanting to see what the rest of T-Nation does in regards to the time of day you lift.

[quote]sjmcconnell wrote:
I’ve been going back and forth trying to figure out which time of day to lift. I like working out before work, but I don’t feel that I can lift as much first thing in the morning. I’ve been working out in the evening. I can lift heavier then, but I’ve also gained alot of weight (not all muscle) since doing so.

I was just wanting to see what the rest of T-Nation does in regards to the time of day you lift.[/quote]

I lift late (8:00pm), for a couple reasons:

I work in a gym, and if I wait until I close it, I have the place all to myself.

I feel like crap if I lift early in the day. I feel like I need a full day’s worth of nutrition in me to get a really good workout.

It’s the way I like to wrap up my day. I really enjoy lifting, and can get out any annoyances from my day through it.

I’ve tried lifting at varying times in the day, and my best results have always come from my evening training.

i work at 6 in the morning and i cant see myself getting up at 4 to eat, get to the gym by 4:30 and trying to squat at 5 in the am when i was up until 11pm the night before because of summer league games.

therefore, i lift in the afternoon as soon as i get out of work. at 2pm the gym is normally empty so i love it.

I do my main workout in the morning. I do a shorter workout at noon. I do something like an active recovery workout at noon, and since doing it, I don’t have as much in the way of muscle soreness, as I used to have. I do heavier lifts like deadlifts and squats at noon, bench I do in the morning. I started doing this because I read on here that it can affect your spine doing these heavy lifts early in the morning.

[quote]Bauer97 wrote:

It’s the way I like to wrap up my day. I really enjoy lifting, and can get out any annoyances from my day through it.

I’ve tried lifting at varying times in the day, and my best results have always come from my evening training.[/quote]

Agreed. I like to workout right after I get done with work. I like to take my frustrations from the day out on the weights. It’s also nice to have that hour or so to yourself.

I also find that when I lift in the evening I have the most energy and I get the best workouts.

Also, i’m not a morning person so that might have something to do with it.

I work out in the morning. I would prefer to workout at 2:00PM.

My family commitment and work obligations make it impossible for me to workout during the day or at night.

ive tryed to workout in the morning before. but i just feel so tired and weak in the morning. at night after i eat dinner i feel like i have all kidns fo energy and am ready to go.

I work out in the morning for a couple of reasons:

  1. Less crowded. Which is especially helpful when doing supersets and you have to go between exercises.
  2. Less chance of missing a workout. Sometimes things come up that cause me to stay late after work. No excuse to miss a workout in the morning :slight_smile:

I make sure to warm up thoroughly before lifting real heavy.

I lift either around 2pm or after work around midnight. I can’t imagine lifting early in the morning; I can barely imagine being awake at all that early. I prefer it this way, and my schedule and lifestyle allow me the oppotunity to lift pretty much whenever I want.

I train in the evening usually around 5:30-6:30 p.m. Workouts take me 75 to 90 minutes for everything.

I can’t train in the morning. I have before, but I don’t like it. I don’t have the strength or energy.

According to Poliquin, the ideal times to train are 3 hours and 8 hours after awakening. According to my own experiences, I’d say he is dead-on accurate. I’ve done both, but I prefer training in the evening.

Also, you don’t want to wake up and begin training too soon in the morning. Your spine needs time to adjust before taking on a heavy load. So give yourself at least an hour after awakening if you train early.

If you are fortunate enough to have an option by all means train when you are strongest. I seem to recall some studies comparing morning vs. evening workouts. The conclusions were that everyone is unique. A lot of people are beat after working all day but just as many don’t have the strength or enery in the morning to get a good workout.

Something to consider from Strong Words 4/12/06

Today’s training tip comes from Stuart McGill:

Not a Good Morning

Full spine bending first thing in the morning is a great way to damage your back. You’re taller when you wake up in the morning than when you go to bed at night. This is because the discs suck up water while you sleep. After rising, just walking around and using the muscles during the day compress your spine and the fluid is squeezed out, decreasing the anular tensions in the disc. So, when you wake up the extra height in the discs are analogous to a water balloon ready to burst. If you bend, you build up much higher stresses in the disc. In fact, the stresses are three times higher than when you perform the same bend two or three hours later. So, heavy bending exercises, good mornings or sit-ups for example, performed first thing in the morning is not a good idea.

I have worked out early morning. afternoon, evening, with my schedule dictating the time. Currently work out mid morning a couple of hours after breakfast and feel good and fueled up for the workout.

D

I’m training for college football while also working an internship for a big company. The best time for me to workout on this working schedule is in the mornings. I’m too tired after an hour commute to hit the gym. I lift every morning from 6:30a.m. - 7:45a.m. and there have been no problems.

However, my ideal workout time would be around 11 a.m. Have a good breakfast, hit the gym, then get out and have a good lunch.

Someone mentioned that they have better workouts at night after fueling themselves with healthy food all day. Wouldn’t your body benefit from that food better post-workout in the recovery stages?

[quote]cardinal25 wrote:

Someone mentioned that they have better workouts at night after fueling themselves with healthy food all day. Wouldn’t your body benefit from that food better post-workout in the recovery stages?[/quote]

I’m assuming you’re referring to my comment.

I’m not really looking at the scientific side of things, just the reality of how I ‘feel’.

I have very low energy, strength, and often get nauseas if I train with anything less than 2 full meals and/or 3-4 hours of being awake.

And, my best workouts have always come near the end of the day, when I have about 5 meals worth of food to work with.

Regarding your logic, I don’t really consider the time following a workout as my only ‘recovery time’.

I’m ‘recovering’ 24 hours a day, or from whenever my last workout was.

Also, although you didn’t state this specifically as a concern, I get a post-workout meal, another meal 1 hour after that, and then another full meal in before I go to sleep, so I’m getting plenty of post-workout recovery nutrition in as well.

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
Something to consider from Strong Words 4/12/06

Today’s training tip comes from Stuart McGill:

Not a Good Morning

Full spine bending first thing in the morning is a great way to damage your back. You’re taller when you wake up in the morning than when you go to bed at night. This is because the discs suck up water while you sleep. After rising, just walking around and using the muscles during the day compress your spine and the fluid is squeezed out, decreasing the anular tensions in the disc. So, when you wake up the extra height in the discs are analogous to a water balloon ready to burst. If you bend, you build up much higher stresses in the disc. In fact, the stresses are three times higher than when you perform the same bend two or three hours later. So, heavy bending exercises, good mornings or sit-ups for example, performed first thing in the morning is not a good idea.

I have worked out early morning. afternoon, evening, with my schedule dictating the time. Currently work out mid morning a couple of hours after breakfast and feel good and fueled up for the workout.

D[/quote]

Thanks for that info. I use to workout first thing in the morning between 5-6am. But then I started working out around 11am-12pm and haven’t gone back to morning workouts since.

I’m lucky if I can get a workout started by 7pm. It’s usually between 8 and 9pm (after the kids are down for the night) when I can start.

I sip half my recovery drink during my workout and slam the rest when I finish it. But what about the protein + carb meal that’s recommended an hour or so afterwards? For me that would mean eating a meal with carbs immediately before bed, something that’s supposed to be a no-no.

Which is more important? Getting the meal down you for recovery or not eating carbs right before bed?

Does anyone here think it makes a difference in staying lean?

I’ve just past through a week of 2-a-day training…

i like training at AM time, when there is sunlight around, and i “feel” tired to go out at night, may be that’s my body’s habit…i always like stay at home at night time…

but workout at the early morning needs more warmup, for elbows, knees, spine, and shoulder joints.

actually i can train more heavy at the morning.

If you can afford the journey/train at home and it’s that much of a dilemma, do half in the morning and half in the evening.

there was quite a bit of research done to find out best time of the day to work out and our daily strength level changes.
Naturally, for number of reasons, you’ll have your peak between 4-6 pm.
however, if you train on regular bases at different times, this peak shifts towards your training ours with time as one of the addaptations.
Athletes who exercise a couple of times a day, tend to have 2 peaks during the day.

One way or the other, probably apart of morning hours workout convience,early workout has got very little going for it! Your body does not like it! :wink:
late afternoon/early evening is going to be a champ!!