Most of us have a time that we prefer to train. For some it’s in the morning, others in the afternoon, and still others prefer the evening. But is there a difference?
When it comes to strength training here’s what our mates over at Eleiko had to say:
It has been well established that maximal voluntary contraction, or maximum isometric strength, peaks in the evening between 16:00-20:00 (4:00-8:00 pm). Exercise performance for a variety of tasks have also been shown to be better in the evening.
However, there are also huge benefits that come when training in the morning.
Morning workouts have an ‘edge’.
From research, we discovered that working out in the morning — especially on an empty stomach — is the best way to burn stored fat, making it ideal for weight loss.
That’s largely because the body’s hormonal composition in the morning is set up to support that goal, says Anthony Hackney, a professor in the Department of exercise and Sport Science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
“In the early morning hours, you have a hormonal profile that would predispose you to better metabolism of fat,” Hackney says. People naturally have elevated levels of cortisol and growth hormone in the morning—both of which are involved in metabolism—so you’ll “draw more of your energy from your fat reserves,” Hackney says. That can potentially help with weight loss.
Training in the morning can make you more productive: Research has found that exercising in the morning has a beneficial effect on energy levels, alertness, focus and decision-making, which can translate to a more productive work day.
It also may boost your mood throughout the day: Morning workouts are a great way to start each day on a high note -- the endorphins or "happy chemicals" your body produces in response to exercise can keep your mood elevated long past your hour-long workout. The sense of accomplishment you get after completing a workout can also set you up for an optimistic day.
However, for all the night owls out there, late-day exercise can relieve stress: Exercise is always a good way to relieve stress, but working out at night can really help you blow off some steam. The surge of endorphins you get during and after exercise can be a sweet nightcap that helps you wind down before bed.
On top of this, your physical performance might improve: Research shows that most people function better, physically speaking, later in the day. Muscle strength, flexibility, power output and endurance are all better in the evening than they are in the morning. Plus, people who exercise in the evening take up to 20% longer to reach the point of exhaustion.
So overall, it would seem that the best time to work out is whenever you can. Unfortunately, our lives seem to get busier and busier and to be realistic, we don't all have schedules that allow for a 90-minute workout, green smoothies and afternoon walks.
If time is your biggest issue, then you can always look to bring your workout into the comfort of your own home with a home-based gym workout.
✔ No commute
✔ Your workout - your rules
✔ Based entirely on your busy schedule
At Blue Fitness we work with over 20 of the leading brands within the Fitness Industry to bring you the best commercial and consumer fitness equipment, so if you are confused about what exercise equipment would be best for you and your schedule, connect with us now - we would love to help!