T Nation

When Do You Guys Work Out?


Recently I read an article on bodybuilding.com which talks about the time of working out. It suggest the best time for muscle hypertrophy is in the morning because of the high level of testosterone and best time for strength is in the evening. working out in the afternoon is a balance.

I don't know if it is so. So I was wondering if anyone has been working out in the morning? Do you get a better progress than working out in the afternoon ? Also, how would you plan your diet if you are going to work out in the morning ?



I work out in the morning, which as personal opinion I think works together best with nutrition, but if a person's schedule doesn't allow this that hardly means all is lost. Nothing like it.

In my case my present schedule, which mostly derives from what Christian Thibaudeau has been doing and advocating, is this:

On arising: 5 g L-Leucine and roughly 15 grams of casein hydrolysate. Also 1 serving Superfood but that has nothing to do with the overall protocol, it's just a convenient time to take it.

20 minutes after that: 1 scoop Surge Recovery and 2 scoops whey.

This first part is a hyperamino pulsing protocol. It can only be done properly when blood amino acid levels are low, which apparently causes the pulse to be far more effective.

One hour after that: 1 scoop whey, 2 scoops Surge Workout Fuel, and 1 scoop (serving) Power Drive

At time of workout, which is one hour after that: Two scoops Anaconda plus 1 scoop Surge Recovery

Each 30 minutes into the workout: an amount of drink containing 1 scoop Surge Recovery.

End of workout: 2 scoops Low-Carb Metabolic Drive. I may take to adding a tablespoon of olive oil to this.

Now, that does have the end of workout coming a pretty long while after arising, so many would not be able to do this.

An interesting thing is that with the pre and during workout nutrition being this solid, although I am used to eating every 2 hours and ordinarily when cutting, as I now am, it's pretty rough extending meals or shakes past 2 hours, there is no such problem now with this protocol. I have no problem going several hours before doing the second and last hyperamino pulsing, which this time is followed with a solid food meal an hour after the Surge Recovery and whey.

This is the easiest time I've ever had with cutting while training hard at the same time. Ordinarily training hard, by which I mean 2 hours most or all days of the week, has me requiring more food than is compatible with cutting rapidly.

If not wanting something so complicated, and on top of that not having the Anaconda:

My former protocol was 1 scoop Surge Workout Fuel 1/2 hour before working out, 2 scoops on beginning working out, and if the workout was going past 1 hour an amount at the 1 hour point that would carry me through at the rate of 2 scoops per hour. (So if for example a 1.5 hour workout, then 1 scoop at the 1 hour point.)

I was quite happy with this and it worked very well but I am now sure Tim and CT are right that being more loaded before the workout (not their expression) is better than not being so. Additionally, having a high quality protein hydrolysate provided during the workout is beneficial.

So if I did not have the Anaconda I believe I would change this to:

1 hour before workout: 1 scoop Grow! Whey plus 2 scoops Surge Workout Fuel
At start of workout or a few minutes before: 1 scoop Surge Workout Fuel plus 1 scoop Surge Recovery
Each 1/2 hour point: 1/2 scoop Surge Workout Fuel and 1/2 scoop Surge Recovery
Postworkout: Whey
One hour later: regular meal

Or if not having the regular meal, then Low-Carb Metabolic Drive instead of the whey.

This is personal opinion, not official protocol.


Because decreased tesosterone leads to better strength gains? wth that's BS. It's just personal preference.


In the case of pure strength rather than hypertrophy,it seems less to do with testosterone levels and more to do with Circadian Rythyms (i.e. your 'bodyclock') affected by light levels,sleep,etc. and also CNS activity/alertness.
It will differ for some peeps,but it's widely reported that around 4/5pm is where strength and cardiovascular efficiency peak,not necessarily testosterone levels.
4pm is the time often quoted as the average time of day personal bests and olympic records are broken.

Again,in my opinion,its somewhat personal no matter what any textbook or coach says.
But I would say the same for hypertrophy too,if you try it a few times and you get a crappy CV or resistance session at a certain time of day no matter what,thats YOUR bodyclock and YOUR rythym.

I know my rythym,and I sure as hell know I ain't getting SHIT done before 12pm resistance wise.

Fight it? I wouldn't even take a jab at it......


I usually train at 7 or 8pm. This isn't really by my personal choice. It's because
this is the only time I can use one of the vehicles at my house. Anyways, I've heard about
the circadian rhythms too but I can't really follow it as not everyone's lives can accommodate it.


Aren't Your blood sugar levels higher in the evening also I was told once a long time ago this is the reason its better to train in the evening., or does this have little or no effect.


8 a.m. Don't care why. Works best for me.


I've lifted as early as 5am and as late as 1am and every hour inbetween. but prefer about 7pm.


I know guys who train at like 6/7am,but Jesus,at 8am I can barely scrape together my breakfast whilst trying to remember not to put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge AGAIN.


I highly doubt that it is going to make any significant difference on when you train. Get in a routine, when you are at the gym lift hard, eat right and you are going to make the progress you want. I don't know why people over complicate things, the body is very adaptable.


I tried workoing out at 7am once and it was a disaster.

I lift in the afternoon or night depending on my schedule and also because I can lift a hell of a lot more at those times.


my favorite is around 11 AM, after I have my breakfast and have woken up a bit, but obviously work makes that impossible.

i really doubt when you train matters at all, unless you are training on little sleep or without cafeine in the morning. also training late at night makes it harder for me to sleep.



Has your pre-workout morning nutrition always been in the form of powders? I just can't see that giving me enough energy to get in a productive workout. Maybe the combination of the Surge Workout Fuel and Power Drive makes a difference?

Also, what's the reasoning behind using Metabolic Drive post workout instead of an isolate or hydrosylate? Is it because you're cutting right now (so the slow-digestion is preferred)?



Some people are morning people and some are evening people. I wake up before the alarm clock goes off almost everyday between 4:30 and 5:00 am and usually pass out by 10:00 pm, wife is complete opposite. Thrive on 6-7 hrs sleep a night. Wake up and ready to train within 30 min after coffee on an empty stomach.


No, I used to have a solid meal breakfast first. I am doing it this way now largely because of employing CT's amino pulsing protocol. And cutting has a lot to do with it too. Certainly it can be worked with solid food as well.

If I weren't doing the amino pulsing and also if not cutting, breakfast would be 5 or 6 eggs plus two servings of some German brand of Muesli that I like. I'd then pick up with the SWF/Whey two hours after that.

In the current protocol all the energy needed is definitely provided. As mentioned, I've always until now had a problem when cutting of feeling forced to either cut training way back, or if training the way I want, then needing to eat more to support it.

For illustration, what I'm doing now is like the Wendler 5/3/1 except that it is not, and therefore shouldn't be called 5/3/1. I figure doing just three sets once a week for a given exercise is too soft for my taste. So rather than it being once a week, it's every other day, thus getting through the progression in 6 days rather than 3 weeks. (Or 4 weeks if counting the deload.) Oh and certainly not just one exercise per day for the 5/3/1-like treatment, but two. Then of course additional work for other bodyparts, or in the case of legs, adding to the box squats and Olympic squats, 5 sets, ramped, on the leg press.

And that is not with assistance of AAS, as these are presently off weeks. Nor am I among the genetically gifted.

So absolutely plenty of energy is provided that I can do that while cutting overall.


I wake up at 5.30am and am at the gym at 6.30am, finish at the gym at 8am and am at work by 9am.

It took a lot of getting used to but if you want to be consistent you do what you have to do.

Peri-workout nutrition makes all the difference as well in getting you primed that early in the morning.


I've always wished I could train about mid-day, and not because of anything to do with CNS or testosterone levels or anything like that. But simply because by about 1pm I could have in a solid 3+ meals and I'd also have plenty of time after lifting for many more meals before bed. As is I typically lift then have my PWO shake, PWO meal and then my pre-bed shake.

As, is...I train at whatever time I get off work...usually around 5:00 PM. On the weekend usually around 1pm, I just go by feel. If I feel like I could go hit it heavy and have a good session I'll go, if not I'll wait to get another meal or so in.


Thanks a lot, Bill.

I would love to do this, but I don't have the will power/discipline to force myself up that early.


I hear that. I started training at 6am about 2 months ago, five days a week, and I haven't looked back. Before I was trying to go around 2pm but found myself making excuses and not having much energy. Now I am hitting PR's every week. I do it on an empty stomach too and have no problem with it.

However, I am becoming very intrigued with what Bill talks about above and the upcoming (soon hopefully) Anaconda release. I am going to play around with the protocol, but from what I have read here and on Nate Green's threads, it will be impossible for me to follow to the letter as I need to be out of the gym by 7am and getting up at 4am to mix shakes is out of the question.


It's okay by the way for shakes to be pre-mixed and kept in the refrigerator (many worry about this.)

Also the lengthiness of what I described is due to also having the amino pulsing in there.

I expect if you are up by 5 AM and immediately hit a premixed drink, you can get the full benefits of the protocol for the 6 AM - 7 AM workout. (Minus the amino pulsing which really is a separate thing and can if desired be done at a differing time of day.)