When is the best time to train?

Are you one of those people who is wondering what the best time to train is? I guess, we all have different opinions on when is the best time. Some say that morning is the best time because exposure to daylight early on in the day will tell your body to power down at night. Another reason is that you feel more focused and have more energy in the morning. While in the afternoon, you feel more tired and may be exhausted.

Let us see below the explanation of Rudy Mawer from TNation

What are Circadian Rhythms

A circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle controlling all the physiological processes of humans and animals. The functions of the circadian clock include organization of sleep/wake patterns, control of your hormones and metabolism, and even athletic performance.

The circadian system becomes responsive and adapts to environmental changes such as light/dark cycles, food intake, and exercise. The most relevant aspects of optimal training time are its effects on regulation of nervous system activity and hormonal production. By understanding these processes, you may have a better idea of when to train and how the time of day may affect your results.

Both of these fluctuate throughout the day, peaking at certain times while being low at others. Here’s a depiction of the typical fluctuations of biochemical and physiological events with a 24-hour period, known as a biorhythm:

Rhythm

As you can see, changes throughout the day may have an impact on our performance levels and influence the hormonal concentrations around training. Although some data suggest that training in the early evening may provide the greatest force and muscle strength, it’s not always as black and white as that.

According to Body Building.com topic of the week, What Is the Best Time of Day to Weight Train?

Larks vs. Owls:

There is some that rise from sleep earlier-waking up enthusiastic and full of energy. Such people are called “larks.” Another type of person, the “owl,” wakes later and more slowly than most, taking a few hours to get functioning and feel alert. Generally speaking, the owl will perform better in the late afternoon, while the lark will perform better in the morning.

Both these types of people actually form a minority, though. Most people, about 60% to 70% of the population, are indifferent. This means they fall somewhere in between the lark and the owl.

The following compilation reviews points of interest for the average circadian rhythm:

Morning:

  • Testosterone is at its daily peak
  • Mental alertness peaks late morning
  • Memory works best
  • Body temperature is still low

Afternoon:

  • Pain tolerance is highest
  • The possible point of low energy around noon
  • Late afternoon, adrenalin and body temperature has a rising trend
  • Late afternoon, there is an optimum period of mental/physical function balance

Evening:

  • Coordination, stamina, body temperature at a peak
  • Lung performance is best
  • Flexibility and strength at their greatest
  • Mental focus is waning

Night:

  • Starting around 9 pm, the body produces additional melatonin, preparing for sleep
  • Bodily processes should be slowing down in preparation for sleep

What is the best time of day to weight train? Why?

From the given information on circadian rhythm, here are some suggestions based on unique goals:

  • Morning – Best potential for building muscle because testosterone is critical in protein synthesis and for rebuilding muscle fiber damaged in weight training. There is also greater mental focus, which may allow for greater mind-muscle connection and greater efficiency of muscle work done.
  • Afternoon – Best potential for breaking plateaus by employing muscle shocking techniques because pain threshold is highest and the limits of the body might be able to be pushed further than usual.
  • Evening – Best potential for strongest performance. This is the time of day when the body is in peak condition for physical activity.

Please bear in mind that there are still lots of scientific and theoretical explanation of what is the best time to train. And it is still up to you to decide. But for me, I believe that what time suits you is the best time for sure. Not to forget that consistency is equally important to training and nutrition.

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