Is the morning the best time to workout?

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Is the morning the best time to workout?

Post by meckhert » Fri May 12, 2006 1:09 pm

I have read that the best time to do weight training (for weight loss) is in the mornings. The reasoning is that after a weight session, your body continues to burn calories for hours afterwards. Also, I have read that you should not eat for about 1 hour after your workout in order to maximize the amount of fat that is burned.

I read both of these in Bill Phillips Body-For-Life book, and I was wondering if these are views shared by others in the fitness community.

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Post by Matt Z » Fri May 12, 2006 2:08 pm

I read an article in Muscle and Fitness that said the opposite. Supposedly, study participants who trained (weights and cardio) in the evening experienced more fat loss than those who trained in the morning, while strength gains were equal. The authors of the study theorized that exercising in the evening elevated participants metabolisms at a time of day when metabolism normally slows down. However, the difference was only slight.

My advice is to train when it's most convenient, and/or when you have the most energy. You'll be able to train a lot harder this way, and you'll miss a lot fewer workouts, which will make a much bigger difference in the results you get.

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Post by northernbelle » Fri May 12, 2006 2:35 pm

The best time to exercise is when you can and when you feel good.

While I was working, I trained in the evening. Sometimes I was tired after a particularly busy day, but I trained anyways.

Now that I am retired, I can train at mid-morning. That's when I feel best. There is NO way that I can or will get up at 6 am.

As for eating after workouts, you can wait for an hour after cardio; but everything I have read says to eat some protein or take a protein drink within 30 minutes after lifting, then eat a meal about an hour or two later. This is so that your body doesn't use lean mass to replace the glycogen. I also cannot workout without eating beforehand (about an hour and a half).

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Post by kevin harris » Fri May 12, 2006 9:25 pm

after weight training you burn more calories, rather you burn more fat for the next few days.

as for training in the morning, as was mentioned above, do what feels right for you
i love a morning workout because it makes me feel like gold the rest of the day, scientifically you are more rested in the morning, hence better performance.
but that isnt true in every case, my wife needs 2 pots of coffee before she is a ble to speak!!!
if you are a morning person and have time---go for it, and enjoy the pump the rest of the day

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Fri May 12, 2006 9:50 pm


It is the influence of circadian rhythms
on body temperature that seems to yield
the most control over the quality of a
workout. When body temperature is at its
highest, your workouts will likely be more
productive; when your temperature is low,
chances are your exercise session may be
less than optimal. Body temperature is at
its lowest about one to three hours before
most of us wake up in the morning, in
contrast to late afternoon when body
temperature reaches its peak. (To determine
your own circadian peak, refer to
the box to the right.) Studies have consistently
shown that exercise during these
late-in-the-day hours produces better performance
and more power. Muscles are
warm and more flexible, perceived exertion
is low, reaction time is quicker,
strength is at its peak, and resting heart
rate and blood pressure are low.
Heart attacks occur most often in the morning, when blood pressure is highest. Although healthy individuals shouldn't worry about exercising in the morning, those with cardio risk factors should use caution.


Post by O » Sun May 14, 2006 6:54 pm

The risk of spinal injuries involving the discs is higher within 2 hours of arising from bed. So I wouldn't be flexing, rotating or hyperextending the spine during that time.

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Post by Merc82nd » Mon May 15, 2006 6:51 am

I used to run in the mornings, swim for lunch and then lift weights in the afternoon. That might sound a bit extreme to some, but it felt great for me as it kept all those endorphins pumping into my body. There is nothing that beats the feeling of completing a good run in the morning; however, it is not something everybody will like. Experiment with different times to feel which is right for you. The most important thing is that you warm your body and heart up with stretches and light rotations to get the synovial fluid in your joints released and your heart and muscles warmed up. Give each about 1-2 weeks worth of a try and change your diet to reflect the times you exercise. Good luck, and let us know if which you prefer.


Post by Ironman » Mon May 15, 2006 9:03 am

That would make sense to me. I have noticed, I don't have much felxibility in the morning. Come to think of it, it is about 2 hours.... That's wild, I thought that was just some quirky thing about me. I didn't know everyone was like that.

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Post by TimD » Mon May 15, 2006 9:45 am

Ironman, it's not just you. O brought up a good point. With my arthritus, and the difficulty of putting on my socks in the morning, I have to get up, get moving, THEN shower and take the socks off and on. I trie it a couple of time with rising, showering, dressing in 10 minutes,, and I got my erectors way out of whack.

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