WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY TO WORK OUT ?

fitness morning workout

Some people swear by this early 6 a.m. workouts, and I’m not talking just about going out for a jog, but heavy weight training too. A good example would be Arnold Schwarzenegger who always praised that early morning workouts saying that it brings on much better results for him. On the other hand you get people like me that totally can not feel it, yes, a little jog is nice, it will wake you up and make you feel better for the rest of the day, but lifting heavy weights? Ney, we are not in that group, you feel like an old unoiled car that needs to work at low revs for some time before you can rev it up, and no warm-up can fix it, you just need this half a day to perform at your best. I guess everyone is slightly different, but let’s stop guessing and see what science has got to say about it.


Science

In order to run the fastest, move the most weight or perform any fitness training that needs your best, you have to be at your best, both, mentally and physically. But when is your body at its best? The biggest environmental cue which is recognised by our bodies and reacts to it, is light. This bodily systems that are regulated by and based on time of day are referred to as our circadian rhythm. We should take into consideration that everyone’s biological rhythms & their consistencies are different. These consistencies are very important in preventing unwanted stress and injuries, and also improving your performance in various fitness activities, and out of all inconsistencies that we could quote here, the biggest difference between peoples’ circadian rhythm, tends to be their waking time. The same as we did in the first paragraph science divides us into “larks”, those early full of energy enthusiastic birds and “owls”, those old cars that take a few hours to get functioning and feel alert. But these two groups of people actually form a minority. Most of people, and that is about 60% to 70% of population, fall somewhere in between the larks and the owls group.


Circadian Rhythm

exercise and body clock rythm
 

Morning
  • Peak of Testosterone levels.
  • Increased mental alertness in the late morning.
  • Memory at its best.
  • Body temperature is lower.

Scientifically, morning could be best potential for building muscle because testosterone is a key in protein synthesis and rebuilding damaged muscle fibres. Also greater mental focus may allow for this mind-muscle connection and at the same time greater efficiency of muscle work done.
 

Afternoon
  • Your tolerance for pain is at its highest.
  • Low energy levels very often come on at around noon.
  • In the late afternoon, adrenalin and body temperature rise
  • Late afternoon is period of optimum balance between mental and physical functions.

Training in the afternoon could be a good balance for those who have issues in the morning and night sections.
 

Evening
      • Body temperature, coordination and stamina are at a peak.
      • Best lung performance
      • Strength and flexibility are at their greatest.
      • Mental focus is somewhat waning.

      Strength, stamina, flexibility, many of the above points will find their funs in the martial arts practitioners. This time of day also increases ability to absorb nutrients on a cellular level, so make sure the adequate nutrition is in place after a workout, otherwise you will make your body fast while you sleep.
       

      Night
          • Around 9pm, your body will start producing additional melatonin, preparing you for sleep.
          • Bodily processes usually are slowing down in preparation for sleep.

      Late evening is usually not the best time for any kind of fitness training, unless you lead different kind of life and this is the only choice left for you.


      So, What Is The Best Time To Train ?

      Based purely on circadian rhythm information, the obvious choice would be afternoon. It contains a nice balance of all the aspects and issues presented. The only real drawback I could think of might be that this time of day is for most people impossible to schedule due to commitments like work or school. But in practice everyone is different. Notice that many of the mentioned systems won’t peak up performance at the same times of day and on top of that, each of them might peak up at completely different times in certain individuals. We also need to consider available time, when equipment is most freely accessible and other different factors that might be in our way. The most important thing is not to place undue stress upon yourself and worry too much about when to train, your body will figure things out no matter what time it is. So the best advice would be to train whenever you can and if you can afford, figure out and add your best circadian rhythm. For high levels of competition, it is essential to take a further look at this information and consider many other additional factors which might also be dependent on sport activities as well as individuals.



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