I have a quick question about workout time: which do you think is the better time to workout, AM or PM?
The best time to workout is the one you stick to. Remember consistency is the REAL secret to success – more important than which training program or diet you do, is that you’re lifting weights 3x/week and eating whole foods most of the time. Always focus on the big picture that most guys are neglecting.
It frankly amuses me whenever a guy quotes some silly study about this or that time being better to workout. The science is IRRELEVANT here because if you are not making the gym consistently at whatever time some nerd with a phd claims is superior for strength and muscle gains, you won’t be achieving a lot. Again – the best time to workout depends on YOUR schedule in the first place.
Personally, I’ve been training at 6pm for the majority of the past 2 years. This does NOT mean that I’m against morning workouts, quite the opposite, back when I was employed I often trained first thing in the morning because being a tech support involved late shifts so this was the only way for me to train.
Then why do I now train at 6pm? Because I’m exhausted after Squats/Deadlifts. And unless I nap post workout, I will feel sleepy for several hours which kills my productivity. I actually used to nap during my 30min train commute when I was employed. But now that I do StrongLifts full time and after some testing, I know that I get a lot more done when I train in the evening. It’s called priorities.
Which brings us to these bullshit claims that you should feel “refreshed” after your training. Really? If you train hard, you can be sure you’re going to feel like sleeping (and eating) post workout. That’s obviously your body telling you it needs recovery. Okay okay, if you’re just starting StrongLifts 5×5 and Squatting less than 225lb you’re much more likely to feel refreshed post workout. But get past 300/400lb on the Squat/Deadlift and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Keep in mind that I rarely miss workouts. Gym time is 6pm, my training partner is waiting for me, and unless a tsunami hits Belgium I’ll show up. Not bragging, I just know that many guys miss workouts because they had to work longer or something else came in between. If this sounds familiar to you, read on.
Every productivity book recommends doing your most important task first thing in the morning. Why? Because this strategy guarantees that you’ll do what you should be doing to get where you want to be. The fact is that when you train in the morning, it doesn’t matter what happens the rest of the day, you’ve already trained so nothing can go wrong. And less skip workouts yields more success.
If you’re now thinking that I’m not walking the talk, remember I spent a lot of time training in the morning during the past decade. And if I wasn’t such a workaholic I’d go back to morning workouts followed by 30min naps.
I highly recommend any guy who has trouble being consistent with his training to start lifting first thing in the morning. Just make sure you wait at least 1 hour before you go to the gym – your spine hydrates at night which makes it more prone to lower back injuries, it needs 1h after waking up to dehydrate.
Finally, ignore those guys with their silly anecdotes that they’re not strong in the morning, that’s utter crutch nonsense. It doesn’t matter at what time you train, nor whether you’re tired, sore, not in the mood or sick – THE STRENGTH IS ALWAYS THERE. It’s up to you to make the click.