I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked, “When is the best time to exercise?”
When do you prefer to workout?
And are you getting the MOST out of those workouts that you possibly can? Are you burning fat during your workouts?
I remember a few years ago when I was really getting into CrossFit, I loved working out mid-morning or early afternoon. I found that I was able to lift pretty heavy and I felt like my endurance was pretty great. When schedules changed and I could only go at 5:30am, I realized that I wasn’t able to lift quite as heavy anymore…I was still pushing myself and doing all I could but when I went to do a 1 rep max on my back squat I hit the floor and couldn’t get up with a weight that was far from my 1 rep max I had done previously.
This left me assuming that early morning workouts are NOT the best time to workout, but maybe that’s just for me personally? Is that across the board or just me? Well, here’s what I have found during my journey of discovery…
Every person is different! Some thrive on early morning sweat sessions while other would prefer to be dowsed in ice water to getting out of bed for that. If your muscles are tight and unresponsive in the morning and you can’t seem to get past that, then maybe early mornings aren’t the best for you? But if you are working out later in the evening and it seems to be disrupting your sleep schedule, then you might want to reevaluate if that’s the best time of day for you to be sweating it out.
Here’s the deal though…our body’s core temperature increases throughout the day and peaks mid-afternoon. So if you are pushing weight around in the afternoon, chances are you might have more strength and endurance peak at that time of day. The benefit of this is that your chances for injury are lower when your body is warmed up completely 😉 Not to mention that our testosterone is at it’s highest while cortisol is at it’s lowest in the afternoon…and you KNOW that gets me all excited, lol!!! Our bodies need that testosterone for optimal strength while we need our cortisol levels low to keep our fat storage at a minimum.
BUT what about the early morning benefits? One of the biggest perks is the ease of an early morning workout…you’ve heard the phrase “workout early before your brain figures out what’s going on’ and I can’t tell you how true this is!!! If yo workout first thing in the morning, you don’t have time for excuses to get in your way or unexpected events happening in your schedule. AND the part that’s pretty great for those of us looking to burn fat, there’s some studies that have shown greater fat burn for early morning workouts versus later in the day.
So what do I tell people who ask me the best time to workout? My answer is always…when you will actually do it!!!! Our bodies will adapt to a regular workout schedule and we will eventually be at our peak performance when we stick to it! So pick at time that is BEST for your schedule, that is a time when the LEAST amount of distractions can happen and a time when you WILL DO IT 😉
As a wife and mama of 3, health and wellness is Natalie’s passion and she loves being able to help others through this platform. Natalie has been in the industry for 10 years with experience as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and fat loss expert. Her certifications include CPT through the Cooper Institute, AFAA, Power Pilates, CrossFit and several other formats including her nutritional consultant certification through Metabolic Effect.
Natalie loves to share her knowledge and experience with others to help them find a long term and sustainable solution for the fat loss lifestyle. It’s a true gateway into FINDING A BALANCED LIFE…Natalie’s focus is to help women find their perfect fat loss solution through personal metabolism strategies and mindset makeovers.