Is it best to workout at 630am or 900pm ?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 28, 2007 2:56 AM GMT
    I am getting back to the gym, however I don't like to workout when the gym is jam-packed of people. With my schedule, I can really only go in the morning or at night. I have trouble getting up in the morning to go work out, but also have trouble going at night because I am also tired. Any solutions, along with thoughts on the better time to do my workout? Thanks.
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    Nov 28, 2007 7:59 AM GMT
    First, congratulations on getting back to the gym. That's a great first step.

    It's not about the time. It's about making the commitment, eating good food, getting enough sleep, and showing up regularly and CONSISTENTLY over time (mark it on a calendar so that you don't fool yourself into thinking you're going more than you are) and working out hard (to failure) and smart (good form, variability) and working big muscle groups.

    I personally think that those things count for a heck of a lot more than what time of day.

    I would say Pick a time that will allow you to be most consistent. I know some people who work out at all hours that have great results...and others who work out at all hours (poorly and inconsistently and without enough rest) that get zero results.

    My suggestion: focus on what really matters, don't worry about the small stuff like timing.

    Another bit that might help: figure out why you're "getting back to the gym". What made you stop? Why are you coming back? Remove the things that made you stop and focus on the things motivating you to come back.

    I hope you find what you're looking for and get the results you want.

    Best of luck.

  • EricLA

    Posts: 3462

    Nov 28, 2007 8:17 AM GMT
    There really isn't a best time, it's really what works for you. I would LOVE to work out in the morning. I think it would get me more energized for the day. But, there's no way I could ever wake up early to get to the gym before work.

    Find a time that works for you.

    If you're not working out to lose weight, but rather building muscle etc., you do want to make sure to eat something (preferably with protein) a bit before your workout, so your body has fuel for the workout.

    I work out twice during the work-week. I have a dog, so I come home after work and give her a walk and make and eat dinner. So, I don't get to the gym until 8:30 or 9:00pm. I work out for about an hour or so. I also workout once during the weekend, but I fit it in when it's convenient with the other things I'm doing.
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    Nov 28, 2007 11:44 AM GMT
    normally peak / most effective - 11am, plus-minus an hour

    but in case of these two options i'd choose morning -
    'cause you have to eat a lot after training anyway
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    Nov 28, 2007 12:36 PM GMT
    I like going early in the morning, but I understand that some people feel tired for the rest of the day if they do. I don't, it wakes me up and gets me going for the rest of the day.

    yay morning! now I'm off to the gym icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 28, 2007 1:02 PM GMT
    For me, I like working out at night. Helps me sleep. I'd go with 9:00 pm.
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    Nov 28, 2007 1:47 PM GMT
    I've read to avoid the early workout unless you can be up for at least an hour before hitting the gym. It takes that hour for the body to fully wake up, you will be more injury prone, and obtain less results from a workout right after waking.

    I like night workouts because you don't find all the overweight family folks at 10-12PM.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 28, 2007 1:54 PM GMT
    i've tried early morning at 7:00am. which make me feel great the rest of the day. But it's tiresome after a while. so I go after work now.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 28, 2007 2:02 PM GMT
    Found a good article at about this subject:

  • foxysteve

    Posts: 11

    Nov 28, 2007 2:46 PM GMT
    It's also about energy, isn't it? Don't deny your natural innate biorhythms, those pesky circadian things. To help get going early, don't eat anything past 7pm the night before, hit the pillow waaay before Leno, then you'll arise hungry and eager to wake up and re-fuel. Never train on a totally empty stomach, about an hour after a meal is ideal. So early morning food needs to be fast, easy, nutritious. Instant organic oatmeal with raisins, figs and nuts, no sugar, just real maple syrup, honey or molasses. Or a few hard hard boiled eggs made in advance, a quality muffin and protein smoothie .... to give you stamina till your after workout smoothie, sit-down meal or whatever.

    Training at night leads to late night eating and trying to sleep on a full stomach. Not good.

    Or... quit your day job ;-)

    Steve, The Cooking Buff
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 28, 2007 3:17 PM GMT
    The answer is: When you'll go.

    It can be "ideal" at whatever time it wants, but the true ideal is the time you'll actually be there one hundred percent, not whining that it's early or that you're tired and want to go home.

    Pick the time you're able to make the commitment for. Because if you're not THERE, it doesn't matter what's "best."
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    Nov 28, 2007 4:10 PM GMT
    I'm with the general consensus here: time of day is far less important than that you physically be present. Go with what works for you.

    For me, I hate having the gym really crowded, because I notice I get perhaps even unreasonably mad at people taking up multiple pieces of equipment and weights when it's crowded. I care less when there are only a few people there. Since I already don't really enjoy working out, I don't want to be there when things will trigger a worse mood, as I don't want to give myself an excuse to go home early. With my gym, that means primarily early morning or middle of the day.

    (I did chew out a guy last night who came up and took my one set of dumbbell from me while I was using them, then grabbed another set, took them all over to a bench, and then proceeded to go over and start using doing chin-ups without any of the weights. Grr. The plan was to just quietly but obviously take my dumbbells back, but when he complained that he was using them, he got a short rant about the fact there were about 50 other people on the weight floor and therefore he couldn't take everything at once, particularly things which were already in use. This reinforced my desire to not go in the evening.)

    Making sure you can eat pretty much right after a workout is key. The advice about eating before you go makes some sense as well, but be willing to alter that based on your own experiences--if I try to run within a few hours of eating anything, I'll get nauseous and risk losing what I've eaten anyway. As a general rule, you don't want to be working your abs shortly after having eaten either. But the bottom line is getting in the gym regularly, even if the time of day varies wildly from one trip to the next.
  • irishboxers

    Posts: 357

    Nov 28, 2007 4:11 PM GMT
    I went after work for a year because I joined the gym 300 feet from my office (the trick was never even going near the car -- just go straight from work). The last few weeks I started going to a spinning class at 6am M-W-F and it really jump started my body into some new results. Doesn't have much to do with the time of day, just breaking out of a rut. Also doesn't hurt to wake your metabolism up and burn 900 calories before 8am.

    I can echo what a bunch of guys have said: go when you can go consistently. If it's after work, during lunch, in the morning, whenever, just make it a habit. Once it's part of your daily routine, build from there and change it up however you like.

    The tired thing will go away once your body becomes addicted to the endorphins: you'll actually look forward to the gym! :-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 28, 2007 4:34 PM GMT
    I find it hard to fall asleep if my adrenaline has been pumping within four hours earlier. Morning is better for me, plus I think it has metabolic benefits.

    Strange though, this rule doesn't apply to adrenaline from sex. I fall asleep easier after sex. :-/
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    Nov 28, 2007 5:16 PM GMT
    Under ideal conditions kreawiz is correct since your body is at the ideal condition for a workout in the late morning as far as metabolism and body temperature goes. However in the real world the consensus is right - you do it when you can.

    From my own experience, as RuggerATX confirmed, late at night tends to be less conducive to good sleep if you get your metabolism revved up before bed. (This is presuming that your not going to be up until 3 or 4 in the morning.)

    Of course, your mileage may vary. Personally, I'm more effective at a morning workout.
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    Nov 28, 2007 5:23 PM GMT
    I think it totally depends on what works for you. I am at work at 6am sometimes so there is no way i am waking up in the wee hours of the morning to hit the gym. I prefer evenings during the week and early afternoons on the weekends or days off from work. It works for me. It does help me sleep better and I dont over eat afterwards. Its called willpower. If you believe you can do it at anytime of the day, then you WILL! Good luck man!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 29, 2007 1:35 AM GMT
    I workout at 7am, and find it energises me for the day, but then I find I have a nanna-nap at about 7pm every night (for an hour or so.)

    I wake at 5am to get breakfast, showered and cycle to the gym, so I guess having an early evening snooze is inevitable. It can be a bit of a pain if I have evening commitments or am going out with friends etc.

    I agree with the above posts, though, the best time to go to the gym is when you will actually go.

    For a while I would sometimes go in the morning and other times go at night, but that got me all out of routine and I didn't like it, so I would suggest you find the best time that suits you and stick to it.

    pete icon_smile.gif