T Nation

Training Opinions Request


First, a bit of a foreword. I started reading T-Nation a few months ago and love it. I read the menshealth forums for a while, but they just bash on anyone with a different opinion, and most don't know what they're talking about, so I'm hoping you guys will keep an open mind.

I'm 20, student, working full time every other semester (makes lifing schedules tough), been lifting more seriously for about a year and a half. Anyway, here are a couple of my open questions. I'm basically on the fence about these things right now, so any input is appreciated.

  1. Early morning vs. not-early morning training

I've read a few places saying that test levels are highest in the AM, making that an advantage. Yesterday I read something in at T-Nation archive article that said your CNS hasn't woken up yet until afternoon, and to avoid early lifting.

  1. Different times of day

Hearing that lifting at the same time of day each time you train can be beneficial so your body can get the most out of it. But, wouldn't changing times (my spring schedule has strange hours for class) daily kind of keep your body guessing, so you can't adapt?

  1. Volume & Intensity

I do total body training right now (thats another discussion entirely), but I hear the arguments about high intensity (very limited rest between sets of high reps) and heavy lifting to grow and etc. Lately, I've been doing heavier weights & low/medium reps for some stuff, supersetted with antagonistic movements, most all compount movements with very very low rest. It dominates my body, and I personally feel like its a good workout. Has anyone else tried this? I don't usually hear of things like that, and am curious why.

Sorry for being long winded, but I've been pondering that stuff a while. Thanks guys (and/or girls)


1) Ideally in my mind you'd train a few hours after you wake up. Does it really matter in the long run? Probably not. I don't really think test levels or GH output or any of that is going to be the deciding factor on whether or not I succeed.

The more meals after I get in training the better I seem to recover. Training at 10PM only allows me a post workout shake and one other meal, if I am forced to train then I am usually extremely sore the next days. Training in the morning with 5-6 meals afterwards leaves me MUCH better off(still pretty darn sore though haha).

2)Try to train around the same time of the day if possible. If say you lift on Monday at 9PM, chest shoulders triceps and go back Thursday for the same muscles at 6AM well you've short changed yourself 15 hours of recovery in my thought process. If you squatted 225x10 at three in the afternoon and then try to best that at five in the morning your performance might be different(likely will). Do you have to be really anal about it, no. I train between 2-4PM because that's when my schedule allows me to.

3)Whatever you think is going to allow you to progress the longest and fartherst. I prefer lower volume higher frequency but some people thrive on high volume low frequency and everything in between. It's the long term progression in weights that's the key.


I agree. Also, as far as the CNS not being awake until later in the day, this does have some truth to it. However, the CNS can be awakened through a proper warm up.

So, basically you're going to need a more intensive and complete warm up earlier in the day than you would later in the day (when your body/CNS is already awake from performing your daily routine). But, that's really the extent of it.

Right, most people train at the same time week in and week out because that's what their schedule allows. If you've got all the time in the world, then just try training at different times during the day and see which you like best.

But, once you find a time that works, try to keep that general time consistently. It really doesn't matter if on Monday you prefer training chest at 6AM, and on Tuesday you like training legs at 4PM, and on Wednesday you like training back at noon. Just so long as you keep those times relatively consistent.

Personally I've tried just about everything out there; high volume/high intensity/low frequency, high volume/low intensity/low frequency, low volume/high intensity/low frequency, low volume/high intensity/higher frequency, etc...etc...etc...

Really there are so many options out there and everybody responds differently to different programs. One other thing to consider is that some programs are directed towards advanced trainees (those who have been doing this for a while and have built a decent strength base), while others are designed with beginners in mind.

If you're a beginner, you should stick to beginner programs. Even though the advanced programs would still work (in theory), you probably don't have the experience, work capacity, and/or strength to make them really worthwhile.

Right now I'm doing low volume/high intensity/higher frequency and am enjoying it a lot. But, once again that's just me and where I am in my development right now.

Hope this helps.