When Are You At Your Best?

noon-thumb-520x390-1666.jpg

This is a question thrown around alot to strength coaches and even just trainers on a day-to-day basis.

"When is a best time for training..?"

Well, I'm going to answer this with a question. Are you free enough to train anytime during the day? Even if you are not, here are some things to think about when deciding at which point of your schedule you are putting your training sessions in.

Morning Sessions

Good points:

  1. Body's metabolism is at a high because you just woke up and the body has been hungry for at least 6 hours.
  2. You can get your session done and out of the way so that if you have a busy day, you know you have done the required activity for the day.
  3. Body should be well-recovered and ready for a training session.
  4. The gym will be at the quietest because everyone else might be lazy and prefer to sleep in.

Bad points:

  1. Muscles, ligaments and tendons are at their coldest so they're highly prone to getting strained or sprained or even torn.
  2. Cognition might be low due to the process of waking up and concentration may not be there to perform complex movements properly.

So Yes or No?

Yes if you do not have the time to spare in the rest of the day for a quick session at the gym, provided you spend a decent amount of time warming up to allow your core temperature to go up, your muscles, ligaments and tendons to get to the right temperature to reduce the risk of injury.

Mid-Day Sessions

Good Points:

  1. Body has been awake for several hours so the muscular and ligamentous structures are warmed up and the risk of injury is reduced.
  2. Gym should be quiet and this allows you more time and availability of equipment to go through your program with better focus and concentration.

Bad Points:

  1. Unless we are our own bosses or we have a very flexible work schedule, majority of us cannot afford the time to do mid-day sessions except during lunchtime.
  2. More difficult to get training partners in with you as it will be difficult to coordinate both schedules which means less motivating and difficulty pushing heavy weight.

Yes or No?

For me this is a yes because your body is naturally more accustomed to getting work done. I usually do my sessions later in the afternoon as my body is more warmed up through the day and I can also sense where I need to get more mobility or stretching done before training.

Evening/Night Sessions

Good Points:

  1. Probably a quieter period of the gym where most would have already gone home to have dinner so better availability of equipment for your own use.
  2. A good workout is a good way to look forward to the end of the day and finish off a day's work.
  3. Body is much accustomed to the day and has already been functioning for the longest period of the day.

Bad Points:

  1. Completing a day's work can take a toll on your concentration and zap your physical as well as mental energy levels.
  2. A workout too close to the time you sleep is not ideal as your heart rate would require a certain duration to get back to resting levels after a workout.
  3. Working out late means dinner will be late as well if you go to the gym straight after work. A late dinner would lead to indigestion or incomplete digestion which results in possible weight gain if you sleep too soon after dinner.

Yes or No?

Provided you can set a timing where you have a two-hour gap between dinner and sleep and you complete your workout before that, this to me is a no as the risk of putting your body in a compromising state is higher.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, it really depends on your schedule, the program you are doing and the environment of the gym you are in. Match those three factors up and you will find a suitable timing for your workouts!

Stay Strong and Keep Training,

The Training Geek.