Working Out Morning vs Afternoon

Are you an early bird gym goer or someone who prefers to go later in the day? Often it depends on how you fit in the gym around the rest of your social & working life…but if you’ve often wondered if there’s any benefits or negatives to training earlier or later in the day…we’ve outlined some of the pros and cons.

Morning Workouts

  • Pro – Testosterone levels in men are highest in the morning for muscle building
  • Pro – Flexibility. Gives you more of the day to do your own thing
  • Pro – Improve mental health for the full day from endorphin boost
  • Pro – Burn more fat, boost metabolism for the day
  • Con – Cortisol can be high in the morning (stress hormone that can eat at muscle)
  • Con – Less food intake in early workouts, so chance of lower energy levels
  • Con – Muscles and joints can take longer to be ready for exercise early on, warm up more
  • Con – Harder to train early if you’ve slept poorly overnight

Evening Workouts

  • Pro – Better performance from having more meals through the day…more fuelled
  • Pro – Higher body temperature so better flexibility and muscle strength
  • Pro – Blow off steam from stressful days
  • Pro – Moderate exercise can promote better sleep
  • Con – Less consistency as easier to get sidetracked throughout the day
  • Con – Gyms tend to be busier as people finish work etc.
  • Con – Impact on social life
  • Con – High intensity workouts can disrupt sleep patterns due to boosted energy

So you can see from above that there’s good arguments for and against both work out times, it really comes down to how you respond individually. Are you a morning person and have lots of energy in the morning? Then morning workouts may be for you. Do you take a while to wake up and need more fuel to workout? Then evenings could be your answer. Nutrition is also a huge part of your recovery and general energy levels…well fuelled throughout the day can lead to a great workout later on, whereas fuelling well at the back end of a day will also lead to sufficient glycogen stores for the next morning too.

Our best advice is to be flexible. Do what works for you and your life and don’t beat yourself up if you have to skip a day or two here and there…life simply gets in the way sometimes. Just make sure that when you do work out, you make it count every time!

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