Do You Lift Weights? Here’s the Best Time to Do it

Here’s the Best Time to Do it To Lift Weights (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Early Morning Weight Training

There are some obvious benefits to getting your workout done first thing in the morning. For a start, there are likely to be no distractions when you jump out of bed, grab your gym bag, and head out the door. Contrast that to trying to get to the gym later in the day when all sorts of obstacles are likely to interrupt your best-laid plans.

Early morning workouts set you up for a great day ahead (Image Source: Shutterstock)

More Testosterone

Testosterone is the key hormone for fueling your training energy and promoting muscle growth.

5 Secrets to Naturally Boost Testosterone and How to Check Testosterone Levels From Home

Enhanced Fat Burn

Working out early in the morning will also force the body to rely on fat rather than glycogen to fuel your training. This is especially the case when you don’t eat before your morning workout. If your last meal was your dinner the previous evening, your muscle cells will have low levels of glycogen, which is the body’s go-to energy source. In its absence, it will have to call on stored body fat to produce energy for the workout.

The body needs to take in more oxygen (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Evening Weightlifting

There’s no denying that there are definite benefits to working out early in the morning. But there are also some pretty compelling science-backed reasons to hit the gym later in the day.

Body Temperature

As the day progresses, your body temperature rises, peaking in the afternoon. This is when your muscle function and strength levels are optimized. In contrast, the body temperature is at its lowest first thing in the morning. This may require an extra period of warm-up time.

Faster Reaction Time

Research shows that our reaction time is at its fastest in the evening. This becomes a factor when you are doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. In the evening, your blood pressure and heart rate will also be at their lowest.

Reaction time is at its fastest in the evening (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What About Sleep Interruption?

Some people avoid working out in the late afternoon or evening because they think it will interrupt their sleep. However, research on this is inconclusive. While some studies suggest that an evening workout can hinder a person’s ability to get to sleep, others have shown the opposite. According to one study, people who did their weight training in the evening actually experienced better quality and quantity of sleep than those who worked out at 7 a.m.

Pre-Workout Meal

Ideally, you should fuel your workout with a whole food meal a couple of hours ahead of time. This meal should mix medium-release carbs with fast-acting protein. This will anabolically prime your muscles for maximum explosive energy and power. Thirty minutes before the workout, you can also have a protein drink that contains energy, muscle, and mood-enhancing ingredients.

10 Best Foods To Eat Before Workout — Pre-workout Meal Ideas

The Verdict

It’s clear from our objective analysis of the scientific evidence that there are benefits to working out at either end of the day. If you are weight training for fat loss, you are probably better off training in the morning when your body is more likely to use fat to fuel the workout. For pure strength and muscle gains, though, the evening is probably the better option.

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