When is the Best Time to Train to Burn Fat and Build Muscle?
Last week I asked the Fans on the Facebook page what time of the day they train. The choices were Morning (First Thing), Lunch-Mid Afternoon, Early Evening (Dinner time) or Late Night (after 10pm). We had 55 responses with a wide variety of different training times, but most who answered seemed to be training in the morning. But when is the best time to train if you want to build lean muscle and burn a ton of fat. You may be surprised at the answer. The best time to train is when it’s convenient for you and you can consistently stick with it so you can get the best results. Like anything it comes down to consistency. No matter what you goals are, burn fat, lose weight, increase lean muscle or gain strength you have to be consistent with your training and nutrition if you want to get results. If you can train in the afternoon, at lunch or morning you then choose that time. Research shows that people can teach their body to be ready for exercises at any time of the day. There have been different research studies on the best time of day to train, but there have been many different results. Here are some of the latest findings Here are some of the latest specific research findings: • Late Afternoon is Best for Exercise – Research shows that the optimal time to exercise is when our body temperature is at its highest, which, for most people is 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (body temperature is at its lowest just before waking). • Strength is Greater in the Afternoon – Dr. Hill reported that strength output is 5% higher at around mid-day; anaerobic performance, such as sprinting, improves by 5% in the late afternoon. • Endurance is Greater in the Afternoon – Aerobic capacity (endurance) is approximately 4 percent higher in the afternoon. • Injuries Are Less Likely in the Afternoon - Afternoon exercise is the best if you want to avoid injuries for many reasons. We are most alert; our body temperature is the highest so our muscles are warm and flexible; and our muscle strength is at its greatest. These three factors make it less likely that we will get injured. • Morning Exercisers Are More Consistent – Even though afternoon exercise might be optimal from a physiological standpoint, research also shows that morning exercisers are more likely to stick to it that late-day athletes. • Evening Exercise and Sleep – Most research supports the idea that exercise can improve sleep quality. But does exercising too late in the evening keep you up? Studies have shown improvements in sleep from both morning and afternoon exercise, so it’s not yet clear if evening exercise keeps you up. One study even showed that vigorous exercise half an hour before bedtime did not affect sleep. When using my Metabolic Workouts (HIIT, Spartan Workouts) we are training at a high intensity that creates the Afterburn effect (EPOC) to allow us to continue to burn fat hours after we are complete. We are also increasing the release of growth hormones that will allow us to build lean muscle and burn even more fat. With that in mind, it comes down to preparing yourself, no matter what time of day it is to GET THE METABOLIC WORKOUT DONE on a consistent basis, so you can maximize your results. Bottom line is choose a time that you can stick to and make it part of your daily/weekly schedule. GET IT DONE! Sources: Sports Medicine About.com David W. Hill; Kirk J. Cureton; Mitchell A. Collins, Circadian specificity in exercise training, Ergonomics, Volume 32, Issue 1 January 1989, pages 79 – 92. Youngstedt, S. t al. Is sleep disturbed by vigorous late-night exercise?[, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 31(6):864-869, June 1999. Medarov, B.I. “Hour-to-hour variation of FEV1/FVC” Chest Medarov 126 (4): 744S.