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Everyone is different. We all have different time schedules, different commitments and different sleeping patterns. It’s no wonder that we will all fit in our own training sessions when it best suits us. But what if there was an optimal time of day to train? What time of day gives us maximum benefits for the effort we put in? Well let’s break it down.

Morning risers

There are the select few who wake up in the best mood and are rearing to go. There are many benefits to getting up early and starting your day off with some exercise. First off, you get it done as the day starts, this means that you are less likely to schedule anything in your training time later on in the day, and ultimately missing training sessions.

Exercising first thing in the day also helps to increase your metabolism throughout the day. This helps to burn more calories during the day more than if you had slept in. Your heart rate stays elevated for 24 hours post exercise, so this is a great way to make the most of your training session. This is called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption).

Our hormone levels are also higher in the mornings. Men have a higher level of testosterone in the morning compared to later in the day. This will help to increase your muscle mass and push a little harder.

Training in the morning can help to improve your overall mood. As we exercise, we release endorphins that help us feel great. Knowing that you have done your training session for the day also makes one feel good and able to cope with the stress of life and work.

End of day Trainers

Not everyone is a morning person, or some of us are, but due to work and traffic, training in the morning is not an option. So getting our workout has to be done after work. Just like training in the morning, there are benefits to exercising later in the day.

On weekends, one gets to sleep in. After a week of hard work and early mornings, many people opt for a lie in, and train later in the day. This can be beneficial for you as you are able to recover on sleep and re-energise from your work week. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get a good training session in later on.

There is a possibility that you may burn more body fat if you lift more weights in the evening compared to the morning. This is said because while your body is used to “settling down” for the night, a weights session in the evenings helps to increase the energy you are expending when it’s used to using very little energy in the evenings.

Training at night is also better for your recovery. Even after training at night, your body still is set on going to sleep as you will be fatigued from your session and from the long day you have had. As we sleep, our body repairs itself though the production of growth hormone. This helps your body repair your muscles and helps with growth. Leaving you feeling stronger and ready for the next day.

The best part of training in the evenings is that you get to take your time. You are not rushed by the thought that you have to get to work, miss the traffic, or that there are time limits on the machines because the gym is lively and full in the mornings. In the evenings you are not rushed to be home by a specific time. You can take your session at the pace you enjoy.

Whether you are an early riser or evening gym bunny, the important thing to remember is that regardless of the reasons for the above mentioned benefits, we all have to fit in sessions wherever we can. Life, commitments, work, and social engagements, they all limit the time we have in your busy schedule. If you find you get more time in the mornings, use it. If you can only get to gym after the kids have gone to sleep, that suits you. The benefits of exercising at any time of the day far outweigh the individual reasons as to why you are training at a specific time of day. So regardless of the time of day, get out when you can. You will feel better for it.