Ideal time to train Should I train better in the morning or in the evening?
Endurance or strength training? Circuit training or station workout? Train in the morning or in the evening? What is better for your body and especially for your training results? There are a lot of questions that probably go through your mind when planning your workouts.
At least at the time of training there are scientific studies and numbers that make your planning easier. You have already heard about your biorhythm – your so called "inner clock, which, among other things, affects your sleep? Your muscles also have such a biorhythm, claims a US study from Northwestern University in Chicago. Your body reacts differently to exercise at different times of day. According to a study, the best time to train is during daylight hours, when most people perform at their best. The reason: special proteins that keep the metabolism going when the oxygen level in the muscle cells drops during exercise work more effectively when people are very awake.
But this does not automatically mean that a workout right after sunrise and the first coffee is ideal for all athletes. In a study published in the journal "Current Biology", British researchers recommend to orient oneself to one’s personal sleep-wake rhythm: Early risers are best advised to train during their lunch break, while late risers are more likely to reach their athletic best in the early evening hours.
Early gym bird vs. Weight Room Night Owl
Despite this recommendation, it is often more complicated to determine the perfect time to train better. Because this is individual, depends on your training goals and the type of workout you want to do. You don’t always have to sprint to the gym before sunset. If you want to work out in the morning or in the evening, you should take the following rules to heart:
- Training plan
- Muscle building especially for beginners
- only dumbbells necessary
- all 30 exercises in picture and video
- 24 pages, available on all devices
- training plan
- Muscle building specifically for beginners
- Only dumbbells needed
- all 30 exercises in picture and video
- 24 pages, available on all machines
It’s hard to get started? Not with our highly effective muscle building plan specifically for beginners! Because with this we show you how you can finally gain visible muscle mass all over your body. And the good news is that all you need is a pair of adjustable dumbbells and you can get started right away. Let’s go!
In concrete terms, 3 full-body workouts await you per week. This has the advantage that you can train the crucial muscle groups several times a week. Background: It is far more effective to stimulate your muscles regularly instead of destroying them completely once a week. How to stay motivated for longer, especially as a beginner.
Our plan is the perfect jump start for your muscle building journey. With 3 full-body workouts per week, you can regularly stimulate growth without overtaxing yourself and your body. The smart way! This is the only way to stay on the ball in the long run (or rather. on the dumbbell). All you have to do is get going!
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When should I train better in the morning?
If you want to build muscle and have a normal day-night rhythm: Your testosterone levels favor a morning workout, as long as you sleep at night and don’t work the night shift. Testosterone concentration, according to Prof. Dr. Porst one-third higher in the morning and after sleep, respectively . The power hormone testosterone provides you with energy and supports muscle building.
If you have problems falling asleep: Your sleep rhythm also benefits from training in the morning. Those who swing the dumbbells at 7 a.m. sleep better at night than those who exercise in the evening, as a study by Appalachian State University in the U.S. state of North Carolina shows.
If you want to specifically boost your fat burning: Endurance athletes and weight loss enthusiasts should slip into their sports shoes in the morning, preferably before breakfast: because then you burn up to 20 % more fat, as scientists from Northumbria University have found out. The reason: blood sugar, insulin and glycogen levels are still below normal after waking up, so your body tends to go to the fat reserves.
A role model? Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson works out before the rooster crows. And at 4:30 in the morning.
For even more motivational tips on early morning exercise, check out our article on how to.
When should I train in the evening?
If you have a lot of stress: In that case, your cortisol level is already elevated anyway. Levels of the stress hormone, which can promote muscle breakdown, are three-quarters higher in the morning than in the evening and at night. Therefore, busy people should better schedule their workout in the evening hours. This is what scientists suggest in a 2016 article published in the journal Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism near.
If you want to lift heavy: Your power level is at a low point in the morning and rises evenly throughout the day. Maximum values you can expect in the evening. This means you should check in at the gym in the evening for an effective strength workout. However, this recommendation does not apply to all types of exercise. Your performance at constant endurance loads (such as casual running or cycling) is not affected by the time of day. Scientists come to this conclusion in the journal "BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine".
Important for training in the evening: You should be done with your sports program about two hours before going to bed. Otherwise your circulation will still be running at full speed at night, which in turn will upset your biorhythm and your sleep.
motivation? Sports records – such as those set by sprint legend Usain Bolt – are almost always broken after the sun goes down.
Conclusion: Burn more fat in the morning, less stress in the evening
If you train in the morning, you can achieve good weight loss results, more testosterone for muscle building and better sleep.
Evening workouts offer more power, less stress and the chance to avoid the chip bag in front of the TV or the pub crawl with your buddies.
Ultimately, though, deciding whether to exercise in the morning or evening comes down to your preferences: Plan your sports sessions in a way that best fits into your daily routine. Only if you keep at it with fun and motivation, your training will pay off, no matter what time of day it is.