The Best Time of Day to Lift Weights
Depending on your goals, the time of day when you train can have a big impact on your results. In this video, we’ll cover 5 variables to consider when planning your training schedule. These include:
- Core body temperature
- Hormone levels
- Circadian rhythm
- Your specific schedule
If you’re training for strength and power, lifting in the afternoon to early evening might prove to be the optimal time for you, as core temperature levels reach their peak at this time. In addition, the ratio of cortisol to testosterone seems to be the best. If you’re training to gain muscle, studies show that working out in the afternoon to early evening time can boost muscle gain by a modest amount compared to morning training.
Determining your own circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake schedule can help you find a time of day where you get the most out of your training. If you’re a morning person, you may enjoy an early morning workout and you may feel more alert for the rest of the day. If you’re a night owl, evening training may suit you better. Try not to train within 2-3 hours of bed, though, as this can ramp up your central nervous system and cause your core temperature to remain elevated – both of which can impact sleep.
You might prefer training after eating a few good meals. This can boost energy levels and allow you to train with more intensity for longer. If you’re training in the morning, a boost of caffeine and a good pre-workout meal can offer a similar energy boost to getting a few meals in.
Lastly, and most importantly, is your particular schedule. While afternoon training does offer a few advantages, these advantages are useless if you can’t commit to training in the afternoon or if you’re distracted or tired from work in the afternoon. The best workout is the one you don’t miss. And studies have also shown that your body adjusts to whatever time of day you consistently train at! So, if you have to train early before work, your body will adjust after a few weeks of consistently training at that time.
The main takeaway: train at around the same time every day at a time that works best for YOU! 🙂