Keeping fit, getting in shape, or even just finding the time to workout at all can be pretty difficult for many of us, due to family and work commitments, as well as various other personal circumstances in the process as well. We know that we should exercise and workout, yet many of us simply can’t find the time. For those of us that are flexible with timing and can find the time to exercise on a regular basis, the next thing that can potentially cause problems for them is knowing how to maximise their training so that they see the results they may have been hoping to see. Training and working out on a regular basis is about so much more than simply just lifting weights when our schedules permit us, it’s an extremely complex process that takes years to fully understand and appreciate. One topic that has sparked a number of online heated debates over the years is what is the optimal time to exercise and work out in order to maximise your results? Some people swear that early morning training is key, others claim midday is ideal, whilst others say the later the better. As always, things are never straight forward when it comes to training and working out, so who do we believe? If you’re looking to really get the most from your training and are looking for the perfect time to work out, below we’ll be taking a look at a few of the pros and cons of working out at different times during the day.
Working out early in the morning
When it comes to working out, some people prefer to work out early in the morning, before they even head to work or go about their day to day business. Typically those training early in the morning will wake up, hop into the shower, get dressed, grab some breakfast and perhaps an early morning coffee, and then head to the gym to get an early workout in. There are a number of reasons for people training early in the day, with some people finding that that is the only time they can find the time due to work, family, and personal commitments, whilst others do so out of choice, because by training early, they’ve gotten their workout out of the way, leaving the rest of the day free to do as they please (once they’ve finished work and other grown up responsibilities of course). Training early is beneficial in the sense that it does indeed free up the rest of your day, so that when you do sit down to relax in the evening, you can do so without having to worry about heading back out to the gym later. There’s also the added bonus that you won’t be tired from working all day either. However, there are downsides to early morning training, with the most obvious one being a distinct lack of energy. Ok, you may have slept all night, but when we wake up it takes us a while to begin functioning correctly and to actually feel awake and invigorated. On top of that, there’s a lack of energy from food in our system. Even if we eat breakfast before heading to the gym, we still don’t have as much energy from food as we would if we’d been awake for several hours and had eaten another two or three times since waking. This can leave us feeling sluggish and not as strong as we should be in the gym.
Working out in the afternoon
For those of you that can work out in the afternoon, you may find that this could be pretty beneficial because often the gym will be quieter than it would during busy peak hours. When interviewed, a large majority of gym-goers admitted that working out in the afternoon I.E between 1pm and 5pm, was their favourite time to work out. The main reason for this is that it is still early so you can free up your evening to relax and socialise without having to worry about finding the time to squeeze a workout in, and you’ve also had the time to fully wake up and get several meals and energy sources inside of you, which means that when you do hit the gym, your strength and energy levels are through the roof. The main downside to this is that if you do work a 9 – 5, you’ll struggle to find the time to train, unless you have a gym close by, in which you could squeeze a session in on your lunch break.
Working out at night
Some people actually prefer working out at night compared with early in the day, especially if their gym gets busy during peak hours. Some gyms are open 24 hours a day, which is ideal for people who, work unsociable hours, are “night owls” or who simply prefer training late at night. Believe it or not, but some people find that working out late at night, heading home, showering and going to bed, actually helps them to sleep. Some people however, are forced to work out at night because that’s the only time they can spare. Whilst training at night does have its advantages, especially when it comes to avoiding large crowds in the gym, it also has its disadvantages in that the longer you’ve been awake, the more tired you will become as your metabolism slows down late at night as our bodies are used to winding down and getting ready for bed. If you are tired at night, your workouts can suffer and you can’t rely on stimulants such as caffeine because then they will keep you awake for the rest of the night. If your body responds well to working out at night, and you know it doesn’t bother you, you can enjoy free-reign of the gym and can put yourself through a heck of a workout.