It's a score that has refused to be settled for years: the early bird gym larks versus the weights room night owls. Who is better? Who is doing it right?
Should we all rise with the dawn and storm through a session before the rest of the world awakes? Or is it better to refresh your brain and body for the evening ahead with a 45-minute safari around the gym after a long day at work?
The truth is the best workout is the one you actually do. More important than any science or subjective opinion on when you should train are the dull practicalities of your day-to-day. When can you actually get to the gym? When will you enjoy it? At what time does exercise most make you find your feel good?
The key, as ever, is balance: training and eating in a way that makes you happiest – whether that means a 7am spin session fuelled by an espresso or a 7pm weights workout fuelled by cake.
Still not sure? The battle between the larks and the owls is long. Here's the benefits breakdown.
Morning workout: Testosterone, which fuels energy and muscle gains, soars in the AM: levels are a third higher.
Evening workout: Cortisol, the muscle-eating hormone, climbs by 75% in the morning, but normalises at night.
Morning workout: An Appalachian State Uni study showed those who lift at 7am power down faster at night – and produce more human growth hormone – than evening trainers.
Evening workout: The same study found evening gym time raises body heat like a warm bath and promotes sound slumber. Late night training myth, busted.
Morning workout: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson works out long before the cock's crow, at 4.30am.
Evening workout: Sports records are almost exclusively broken after the sun's gone down. We're looking at you Usain Bolt.
Morning workout: Extra energy, extra testosterone, increased metabolism, super sleep.
Evening workout: Longer lie-in, max strength, stress relief, pub evasion.
Morning workout: Do your cardio at the crack of dawn and you'll burn 20% more fat, reports a British Journal of Nutrition Study.
Evening workout: Go for a strength PB. After work, your anaerobic capacity is 7% higher, says Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Energy is key, your mental energy, physical energy and your surrounding energy is important. As Paul said, “consistency is the most important thing for results. So if you find that you are more consistent in the morning, then that’s the best time of the day for you to workout. Or the opposite, if you’re better off in the evening than you will be more consistent at that time. There is no correct answer; it’s what works best for the individual."
At the end, studies or social thoughts on what works best might not be best for you. Be in tune with yourself. You know you better than anyone. You can also test this theory for yourself if you are unsure. Switch it up to see which part of the day works best for you (like Markie mentioned). You may be surprised what you uncover. Listen to your mind and body! That’s where you will find your best workout. Let’s get it!
Source: https://www.menshealth.com/uk/building-muscle/a755788/morning-vs-evening-workouts-which-is-better/; https://realresultsfitness.com/morning-workout-vs-evening-workout/