T Nation

Morning vs. Evening Workouts


So, I was having problems going to bed after lifting at night.. Sometimes Id stay up till 3-4am doing what people do between midnight and 4am, and so I'm trying to start workouts in the morning....


My body's still f#$%ing asleep. Even if I jog/run 2mi to the gym, I still feel dead. And it takes so much time to warm up to maximum, that I feel like #1) more likely to injure myself and #2) takes too long for my body to warm and wake up.

Anyone else have/had this problem have any advice for making morning workouts work??

Coffee? More Sugar? More Cardio??? Evening meals that help????



Can you work out in the afternoon? I've tried morning and night, and didn't like either. Too drowsy in the morning, too tired at night. Afternoons were a good compromise.


Morning workouts just plain suck. I think I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% weaker in the morning. Just. Can't. Get. Going. Cardio seems to be fine, though. Not exactly going for max performance there.

What time did you train before? Any way you can train at least four hours before bed?


I workout at 5:30 every morning. I wake up extremely stiff. I usually do some ballistic type stretching (i.e., bouncing around). I then do 10 minutes of cardio (light to moderate stuff). I then do 10 minutes of basic, basic yoga. Maybe a little foam rolling or extra ballistic stretching.

I start out really light with my main compound movement and ramp up from there. I might do 5-6 ramping sets (there was a good article on here about ramping). I then perform 5 or 6 circuits. My first two to three circuits are generally my main compound movement followed by two ancillary movements. I then do two to three circuits substituting for all three movements. I finish with a couple sets of a secondary compound movement (These are generally max effort to failure)

I foam roll and static strecth following my workout. And then take a show alternating between cold and hot water to get the blood circulating. I wish my gym had hot and cold tubs.

If this doesn't work, I would suggest you wake up, perform a few basic exercises, take a hot shower to relax the muscles, jog to the gym, do a light cool down, and start.

Note: I can't eat before my workouts. It makes me feel sick. So I make sure to eat a filling meal the night before.



Ok....sorry sometimes posting replies doesnt work... so I respond individually.

I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one who's body is not responsive to lifting heavy shit in the morning.

I was training in between 8pm - 10pm or 10pm-12am night. This truly is my peak performance time. Then I would go home, feeling really great about myself, and super frigging AWAKE. Hence, staying up until 4am. I've been fighting my circadian rythem or whatever for 3-4 months burning both ends of the candle, which doesnt help my performance in the gym or the lab.

There's no way I could get up at 5am and take 3 hours to roll on foam and take alternating showers. This would be ideal, but I don't have the time, unfortunately. Ramping is what I've been doing in the morning, but still never can get to my max, even if I take 45min to get there and shower/jog. I guess there's no short cuts in this game, huh? It's just really surprising to me because I didn't think time of day would make THIS MUCH of a difference!!!

But if thats how it is for a lot of people, ce la vie. I'll do all the really hard stuff on Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun, and try to go Tuesday morning or something and fuck off on Monday and Wednesday.

Thanks for reading my post. Any other ideas are very welcome!

Thanks for your thoughts...I welcome any/all ideas.


I love waking up while it's still dark, and cold outside; throwing on a hoodie; knocking back breakfast; then heading to the battlefield.

There's something exhilarating about combating the elements. No one else is in the gym, they aren't as dedicated as you; It's you and the bar; alone; No distraction; Accountable only to yourself.

... Yah, I like going in the morning.

(Another plus is that T levels are statistically highest in the morning.)


Pfff... morning people. I hate you bastards.


I used to HATE the mornings...still do actually, but I've gotten my mind and body accustomed to lifting early (up at 4:30am). It will just take time and consistency. Eventually, it will feel and be normal.


I'm in and out in about 1:45 minutes. The shower is easy. You turn it all the way to hot, let it run for a couple of minutes, switch to cold, another couple of minutes, back to hot for a couple of minutes.

I also do circuits to keep my workouts quick. Bench press, no rest, curls, no rest, tricep press downs, rest. Repeat. Once, I'm lifting it goes quick.





Yep, just make sure you are in bed LIGHT OFF ASLEEP by 10pm. i always feel great for the rest of the day aswell


For the initial couple of years into weight training, I used to work out in the evenings. During this time, I just could not push any weights if I did a morning workout.

However, due to work I had to shift to evening workouts, and now I am very comfortable with working out in the mornings.

Sleep early, and get up early. Ur body will slowly get used to the morning hours.


Okay... sounds like I just need to keep trying.. I LOVE being in there when no one else is around too. Especially in my gym, where all the skinny legged twats are constantly approaching me with "advice" on how to make weightlifting "easier"...fuckers.

I'll will keep trying for a month and see if I cant get her going...If after a month I still feel like shit though, I'm not going to keep fighting.

Yeah, 1hr 30min is usually the time I need.

Thanks for the recs......

p.s. I'm not into stuff like Spike or other stimulant supps. I have an addictive personality so I have to watch myself. Even with the coffee things easily get out of hand. Know your limits, right?


You just need to get addicted to waking up early and lifting! :wink:


I don't know for sure, but I've read several times that T-levels are highest in the afternoon, around 3 oclock. Its based on your internal clock. Also, grip strength is highest around 3 PM, learned that in Psych last week lol.


I've been trying to learn as much as i can off this site and I recall reading that Thib's said you t levels are highest 3 hours after waking up and then again 7 hours later.

Don't quote me on it but I am pretty sure thats what he said in one of the many pages of questions asked at him.


Hi. I used to have between choosing a night time workout or a morning workout, and then the guilt feeling of missing a workout, which sucks.

I just found that the best time to workout for me is when I "feel" as though I have a lot of energy. If you'll notice, there's a pattern to when you energy levels spike ie when they seem to be extremely low and extremely high, or at least this seems to apply to me.

If you have lots of responsibilities, then that will determine when you are available to workout. In general, I find that when I workout in the morning, I get really sweaty... and that's okay... if I don't have to rush to get to work or some other engagement.

In the evening, as you've already experienced, when you workout too close to your normal(conditioned) bedtime, you disrupt that pattern with the surge of hormones being released by the exercising. Adrenaline is a definite hindrance to the chemicals that are responsible for you falling asleep and alpha brainwave...:slight_smile:

In a nutshell....

Maybe you can find that block of time during your day when you have absolutely nothing to do and work out then. As a workout routine is just that - a routine - your body will most likely be conditioned to want to work out during a regular time. However if that "regular" time is in conflict with your daily routine and other agendas, then you'll have a really good reason to...

Establish a new pattern.

Hope this helps:)



Try better sleep. I myself use Spike very rarely. I'm at the gym as soon as it opens every morning. So I'm just used to it.

Maybe try getting some help with your sleep until you can get used to the time. BTW, I'm not an addict, but I am a massive fan of Z-12. Probably one of the best supplements Biotest make, along with HOT-ROX.