When to work out
Proven - it's better to exercise than not, but when is the best time to hit the gym?
It depends on what your goal is at the gym and how much time you have to fit in your work out. In a perfect world, you could fit your exercise session in first thing on getting up. Exercising first thing starts the metabolism going – thus starting that fat burning and it is also the optimum time to begin building more muscle. According to research when you wake up your glycogen levels are low so you will start burning fat sooner and your testosterone levels are also higher at that time, which helps build more muscle. Unfortunately, not everyone can do this based on gym opening hours, work times etc. An important factor to remember any workout is better than no workout and no matter what time of day you work out you MUST control your caloric intake in the hours following.
You also need to remember that if you do not have time in the morning to complete your full work out then it will not be as beneficial as hitting the gym that evening and completing the workout in full. As long as you have controlled your food intake throughout the day and are fuelled correctly for your activity it will be much more productive completing it in full and properly (ie correct number of reps or correct speed of reps, not rushed ie so you don’t activate the muscle fibres correctly). You may also find that if you want to complete a hard cardio session you may benefit from doing this in the evening once you have fuelled your body – fuelling yourself will mean you can push yourself harder to reach your goals.
Another factor is to remember that exercise increases your appetite (roughly 30mins after), so if you struggle to resist the temptation of a sneaky snack of the wrong type when hunger does hit then you may benefit from exercising at the end of the day, when you know you can go home to a healthy meal and then head to bed to ensure that you don’t take on any further calories. Everyone is different and lifestyles affect everyone differently so in answer to the question, realistically the optimum time to work out is what best suits you for when YOU will benefit the most. There has been research stating the best times based on the bodies natural processes, however, if this means that you will then over compensate in other areas (ie that sneaky mars bar) it is NOT the best time for you.
If you have the option to experiment working out at different times duringthe day, do so to find out which routine is most effective for you and your lifestyle and if indeed you get better results at a certain time of the day then definitely try it – again it is about if you can then maintain that routine. And finally, remember that protein shake within 30minutes of exercise – it will help stave off hunger pains and will get straight to those muscles to start repairing them.