What Is The Best Time to Workout?The question of what is the best time to workout is a very common question that unfortunately gets answered in a different way, depending of who you ask. In this article I want to give you some specific guidelines so that you can determine what is the best time to workout for you.
In a nutshell:
The Best Time to Workout = The Most Convenient Time for You
While this may sound overly simplistic, this is a practical and true statement. No need to over-complicate matters.
I recommend that if your schedule at work is a steady one, choose whether you want to workout before work (in the morning) or after (in the afternoon). Personally, I like to workout in the morning as I get a nice metabolic boost from it.
The most important thing however to keep in mind is that you choose a time that allows you to create a habit of working out consistently. If you lack motivation, get yourself a workout partner that has the same goals as you and make it a point to meet at the same time every day to get your workouts done.
But Are There Some Workout Times That Yield Slightly Better Results?
To get the absolute fastest results there are certain times that can yield a few more benefits, depending on what your body type is.
If you are a naturally skinny person (a hardgainer) you can benefit more from training in the afternoon, as this allows you to get a few meals in your system, thus increasing your glycogen levels (stored carbohydrates). In this manner, when you hit the weights, you will be able to have better workouts since your glycogen levels will be high.
If you have a slow metabolism (like myself) then you are better off by training in the morning since your glycogen levels will be low, and thus, your body has to rely more heavily on stored body fat for energy.
However, if you can’t adhere to these preferential times, there is no need to worry as the most important thing for getting results is that you get the workouts done consistently!
Now, for competitive bodybuilders and fitness/figure athletes, the rules are a little bit different. If you compete, you will need to make the time to workout a few times a day. Competitors should do cardio first thing in the morning to enhance fat loss and later on do the weight training, either around lunch time or later in the afternoon. That way you get two metabolic boosts and you keep the whole workout time short which will in turn preserves muscle mass.
Once again, going back to the most of us, the best time to train is whenever you can program it on a consistent basis.
What If I Have Rotating Work Schedules?
If you have a rotating work schedule then as long as you have your schedule a week in advance, you can program your workout week as soon as you know at what times you work. That way, every day you will know when you need to be ready to hit the weights.
What if I Work Nights?
Same rule applies as what I just said. In this case, figure out if it is better for you to do the workout before or after work.