Right, it’s well and truly January now, so it’s time to get back into the gym. But when is the best time to work out in order to maximise our efforts and get the most results? Are you a morning bird, or a night owl, and is there an ideal to train despite your personal preference?
I know it’s still dark and depressing, but getting up early to get your work out done and out of the way could be the best way to reach your goals faster.
British and National wrestling champion, and owner of Right Path Fitness, Keith McNiven offers opinion on why the morning is the best time to work out. He may be a hetero, but it’s fair to say he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to getting your ass to the gym.
“If we start our days right, i.e. by working out in the morning, it sets the whole day off on a high! We are able to be more productive throughout the day from the motivation we have in the morning.”
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1. Easier to follow high-volume training systems
Trying to do a tri-set or a giant set is all but impossible in a packed gym. This guy over here wants to work on his glutes. That girl over there wants to steal your dumbbells. Others cast an evil eye your way for hogging so much equipment.
They would have a point — if the gym was crowded. But it’s not, because you were ready to rise and grind before everyone else. It’s much easier to complete these types of training programs when the facility is less crowded. Which is usually the case in the morning.
2. Your hormones are working to your advantage
In the early morning hours, crucial hormones (i.e., testosterone) that help build muscle mass are elevated in the body. By exercising in the morning, you’re taking advantage of these naturally circulating hormones as they’re peaking, rather than later in the day when they’re lower.
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3. Leave you more time the rest of the day
Clearly there’s a trade-off between the amount of time you spend in the gym and the amount of time you can spend at home. Which is why slicing off a small segment, like you can in the morning, is usually better than in the evening, when you have to fight rush hour, navigate a crowded gym environment, get home to shower, and allot whatever’s left for your friends, family, and social life.
4. You’re less like to skip workouts
It may take a cup of coffee to get your morning going, but once you’re up, there are few distractions on your way to the gym. But later in the day, any number of distractions can sabotage your workout: less motivation, fatigue, the gang is going out for some drinks, an overdue report for work or school.
If you’ve already completed your workout, you can simply roll with whatever obstacles come up later in the evening without feeling bad that you missed another day. You’re far more likely to be consistent with your training if you get it done early in the day rather than waiting for later.
5. Your metabolic rate will receive a quick boost
Without a doubt, exercise can boost your metabolic rate. The degree depends on your current fitness level and the kind of activity you choose. All other things being equal, working out in the morning will help to boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories for the rest of the day.
This phenomenon is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. Be sure to check out Right Path Fitness for more info and advice.