The Best Time to Workout

This is post by NoBull Author, Mike Boyle
best time to workout

Should you workout in the morning, afternoon or at night to gain muscle?   A lot of people recommend that you should train first thing in the morning, after a good nights rest.  Others suggest that you train later in the day when your body is fully awake.  So what is the best time to workout?

Everyone’s body is different.  Lots of people like to train right after they wake-up, while others prefer to train later in the day.  You should schedule your workout based on your personal preferences.  When it comes to working out for gaining muscle, you should listen to your body and workout accordingly.

The truth is when it comes to working out for gaining muscle, there is no perfect time.  The best time to workout is going to depend on your personal needs.  If your a morning person, you probably enjoy training in the morning, while others feel more comfortable working out later in the day.

Myself personal I like to train later in the day, I usually start my workout between 5:30pm-6:00pm.  This is when I feel the strongest and have the most energy to handle heavy weights.  While I don’t mind doing cardio first thing in the morning, i feel my workouts really suffer by training to early.

While there is no proof that either morning or evening workouts gain more muscle then the other.  What is more important is making sure you are getting the proper nutrients and rest needed to gain muscle.

A lot goes into gaining muscle, there are many components that come into play.  You want to make sure you are getting in 5-7 solid bodybuilding style meals per day. At the end of the day, if you want to gain weight and pack on muscle you need to eat more calories than your burn throughout the day.  If you don’t get enough quality protein, carbohydrates and fats per day, you will not grow any muscle.

Probably the most overlooked factor of gaining muscle is proper rest.  When you workout you put your body under significant stress and break down the muscle fibers.  It is stated in the book “Periodization for Strength Training” that rest permits energy to return to the muscles and allows the nervous system to also bounce back. Rest gives you a chance to re-feed the muscles with protein to restore a positive net protein balance thus progressing muscle strength, size and endurance.

Drink water, and lots of it!  One of the most overlooked factors of muscle gain is water consumption.  Since water makes up about 70% of our bodies, this should be a no-brainer.  If your body is dehydrated, your muscles will also suffer as well.  Its important to drink water through the day and get even more during your workout.

The key to successfully gaining weight is eating enough calories, training hard, resting and water consumption.  When trying to gain muscle, I will train sometimes 6-7-8 days in a row.  While I don’t recommend you do this.  I believe I can because I incorporate a proper diet, enough rest and plenty of water into my everyday routine.

According to a study on mice (who knew mice hit the weights) they found the best time to workout was in the afternoon.

An interesting New York Times article that includes a study from 2012 goes against what most people are told.  “Everybody is different.”  Maybe not so much.

Why the Afternoon May Be the Best Time to Workout

NoBull Author Mike Boyle

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One Response to "The Best Time to Workout"

  1. Marc:
    February 16, 2012 02:40 pm

    I’m more of a afternoon workout person. This allows me to eat, fuel up, hydrate and think about the work ahead. I’ve tried early morning workouts and without a pot of coffee before, I really dislike lifting heavy so early! I agree, the best time to workout is whatever works for you. Minding the many guidelines you point out above.

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