T Nation

Training Right Before Bed?

Im currently working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, plus taking graduate courses online, and the only real time I have to train is after work at 10am (I work nights) and right before bed.

Anyone have any opinions about training before bed? Anything you’d recommend?

I usually take casein protein before bed, but I stopped and replaced it with whey so that I could get the post-workout shake in. Im a bit confused about which is more important. I suppose I should prob do a casein/whey mix.

Also, I take a leucine supplement before my lifts. From what I understand, it anabolizes your food. Do you think it’s still doing it’s job if I dont eat a meal for 8 or so hours after I take it? I usually have a carb bar and my whey, though.

Oh, and if youre confused about why Im working about 100 hours a week, it’s because Im in Iraq.

Whey/casein is fine ~ If you are seeing gains then nothing to worry about. Training before bed requires people with more grit and determination. I note this because I also toss in morning training once or twice a week and I see 4-5x more people in the morning then the hours you speak of.

I primarily prefer night training though. It just has a different vibe.

I used to be in a similar situation, I was liftin around midnight or 1am right before bed. I loved it, felt like I was growing and shredding fat simultaneously. Although in retrospect, this was when I first started training seriously, so take that comment with a grain of salt.

Personally, I’ve never liked training at night - before bed (so in your case it would be in the morning - before bed). But if you like it then get after it. You didn’t mention you were on any pre-workout energy supplements, but if you are then you may need to consider ditching, or significantly reducing these. Otherwise you could end up throwing sleep to the curb all together.

Bango

I dont take any pre-workout stuff at all. I eat “dinner” (ie, breakfast) about an hour or two before I go, though.

I usually prefer working out at night as well, though I dunno how I feel about coming home, showerign, and then going straight to bed. Doesnt feel right in terms of the body’s biomechanics somehow. Granted, i dont know anything about that subject, but it just makes more sense to me that you should have 3 meals after working out, rather than passing out. No evidence at all to back that up. Hence me asking.

[quote]jetztodernie wrote:
I dont take any pre-workout stuff at all. I eat “dinner” (ie, breakfast) about an hour or two before I go, though.

I usually prefer working out at night as well, though I dunno how I feel about coming home, showerign, and then going straight to bed. Doesnt feel right in terms of the body’s biomechanics somehow. Granted, i dont know anything about that subject, but it just makes more sense to me that you should have 3 meals after working out, rather than passing out. No evidence at all to back that up. Hence me asking.[/quote]

I think that’s why I’ve never liked training at night. Not only do I feel stronger during the day, early afternoon, but when I’m done training even though I may feel exhausted it is not a sleepy exhaustion. I usually need like 20-30 minutes to just kinda zone out and then I’m ready to go for the rest of the day. Guys who can nap, or sleep right after training have always amazed me.

Bango

Yeah, I’m sometimes on the same boat. I don’t overthink it. Example: One day I got home at 8 pm I ate a beef meal and took a nap, woke up at 10, took my preworkout supps with a larger dose of caffeine and sat around watching Mad Money till everything kicked in. I reached the gym around midnight and trained I think chest and went home. Had my post workout shake with cottage cheese, peanut butter, and ON pro complex and went to bed. I have done this for a couple of weeks with no ill-effect. Cheers

-GB

I usually train about an hour before bed, mainly so I can get my post-workout shake in and then one last, small meal.

However, I have heard that training that soon before bed can be detrimental to your health because lifting releases hormones that will keep you awake, and disturb your sleep-cycle. For this reason, I have started training a few hours earlier. Does anyone have any opinions about this?

a good idea if ur not diggin the night training is to just go to sleep right after work instead of working out and then wake up early and hit the gym after your first meal…then u will have all day for ur body to recover without fasting for 8 hours right after ur body jus got tore up.thats the way i look at it. i would rather feed my body for 8 hours right after training rather than make it fast for 8 hours…

Ryan, that’s what I did originally, but the gym is wayyyyy to busy when I would wake up at like 5pm. It’s pandamonium, because it’s dinner time and a lot of people go to the Gym during their hour or two off.

However, since I found a new gym (ie, my other thread i have up), maybe that gym will be less busy. I’ll have to check it out, but I was talking to a guy who said it can get very busy, just never during the morning. So may be busy.

Im especially curious about the effects that it has on your body. Especially in terms of your eatng habits.

I love lifting at night, because you aren’t really in a rush, as you are in the morning. My only caveat is that having an elevated heart rate when you go to sleep may disturb your sleep, which is vital to gains. But if it doesn’t bother you and you are seeing gains, more power to you.

[quote]ryanw2007 wrote:
a good idea if ur not diggin the night training is to just go to sleep right after work instead of working out and then wake up early and hit the gym after your first meal…then u will have all day for ur body to recover without fasting for 8 hours right after ur body jus got tore up.thats the way i look at it. i would rather feed my body for 8 hours right after training rather than make it fast for 8 hours…[/quote]

This has always been my preferred time to train. Wake up, have one or two light meals and then go blast it. I’ve never liked training with too much food in my system because I feel like I’m asking my body to do two things at once. Plus, ryan brings up a good point with the whole feeding after training as opposed to before. Even though I’ve been doing that for years…it never really ocurred to me until you just wrote that.

Of course, I’m blessed with a very flexible work schedule so that I can train in the early afternoons. I understand most people just can’t do that.

Bango

i do my powerlifting stuff at night, but i just started really early in the morning just now and i like that too. maybe since you dont start till 10, if you get home early enough to get 6 hours of sleep, sleep for about 6 hours, wake up, have a shake, train, have another shake, then a meal

I work 7 days a week in a very high stress environment. Defininetely getting more than 6 hours of a sleep. Not to mention the importance of rest to get your gains.

[quote]jimmybango wrote:
I think that’s why I’ve never liked training at night. Not only do I feel stronger during the day, early afternoon, but when I’m done training even though I may feel exhausted it is not a sleepy exhaustion. I usually need like 20-30 minutes to just kinda zone out and then I’m ready to go for the rest of the day. Guys who can nap, or sleep right after training have always amazed me.

Bango[/quote]

A lot of times after a hard training session I’ll come home, sit on my bed and after ten minutes my eyes start getting heavy. No naps though, have class after I train, but the “problem” doesn’t go away. Makes class that much more lame.

[quote]jetztodernie wrote:
Ryan, that’s what I did originally, but the gym is wayyyyy to busy when I would wake up at like 5pm. It’s pandamonium, because it’s dinner time and a lot of people go to the Gym during their hour or two off.

However, since I found a new gym (ie, my other thread i have up), maybe that gym will be less busy. I’ll have to check it out, but I was talking to a guy who said it can get very busy, just never during the morning. So may be busy.

Im especially curious about the effects that it has on your body. Especially in terms of your eatng habits.[/quote]

unfortunetly that is the time i go to the gym everyday. even worse i work out at 24 hour fitness and it is the busy gym in town let alone at 5 pm. i have found to deal with it though i just force my way around the gym. kick people off equipment that they like to use as there station to talk on there cell phone…but moral of the story if u can learn to live with rush hour it will most likely help out on gains and even better solve ur problem!

I prefer training at night, but it will sometimes be a bit harder to get to sleep - not always though.
Go for it. It beats training in the morning any day.

[quote]Artem wrote:
I prefer training at night, but it will sometimes be a bit harder to get to sleep - not always though.
Go for it. It beats training in the morning any day.[/quote]

can i ask why it beats training in the morning? please give him a reason not just because…

I’m in a pretty similiar situation myself. I wake up at around 3-4pm and finish get home around 7:30am most days from work. I do 12 hours shifts, so while not as long, relatively close.

Personally, I would prefer to lift before work, but its just hard for me. I’ve tried, and its busy, and a few times I’ve had to stop workouts before finishing because I’ve run out of time. I have a problem eating food when I wake up, and generally take some time to get going, so working out isn’t ideal.

After work is even more challenging. I just want to sleep, and I have to waste time in peak hour traffic. The workouts I’ve done after work are fucking shit too. My energy levels are really low, and rest periods are way longer then normal and its just a flat out struggle.

As for nutrition, I really don’t think a PWO shake is suitable before bed, even if it has casein. Obviously you have one after a workout but I personally think eating some food at this time is really important. This all cuts into your sleep time too as you wait to get hungry.

I never had any problem sleeping afterwards, I thought I would, but I have cardboard on my windows and my bedroom is almost pitch black throughout the day which helps. By this point I’m just too tired to fuck around staying awake.

I think your body will adjust if you get into a routine. If you start lifting before bed, you will probably get used to it soon enough.

The most important thing is just to have the mentality that missing a workout is not an option.