When is the Best Time to Workout?

Feb 19, 2014
When is the Best Time to Workout?

Got a Question on when to Train?

A question that I get asked a lot is, “when is the best time to work out, morning or night?”

Research shows that muscle growth does not seem to be picky regarding what time you train. And anecdotal reports also show that muscle growth is not impacted by when you train. Research does show, however, that strength levels are higher when you train later in the day. Therefore, athletes and those interested in maximal strength and power, may want to consider doing the majority of their training in the later afternoon or early evening.



New research from the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, held this June in Denver, Colorado, shows that there is one other variable that may be affected by the time that you workout – sleep quality.

Researchers from Appalachian State University had male and female subjects run on the treadmill for 30 minutes at either 7:00 am, 1:00 pm, or 7:00 pm. They discovered that when the subjects exercised in the morning, they spent 85% more time in light sleep, 75% more time in deep sleep and increased their sleep cycle frequency by 20%. Plus, they also experienced a greater drop in their blood pressure throughout the day.



Jim’s Take-Home Point

This study shows that morning workouts can dramatically increase sleep quality. So if you are having issues with sleep, consider switching your workouts to the mornings. Or at the very least, start your day with some cardio. And you know that if you follow my advice, that means some HIIT!





Collier, S., et al. Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, 2011.

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