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Morning vs Evening Training

Updated: May 21, 2019

When Is The Best Time To Exercise? 

The optimal time of day to train is something that people often debate about.

There is a science to optimizing your workout time in order to get the biggest benefits.  Research supports the benefits of bothmorning and evening workouts. Overall, the time of the day that you train depends heavily on the type of training you perform.

Research suggests that performing resistance based training (weight training)  in the afternoon can enhance performance, which will allow you to get the most out of your training session. There are also a number of other benefits including increased muscle gain, increased flexibility, decreased risk of injury and a better night sleep. A  Finnish study took 42 men and divided them into groups, two morningtraining groups and two evening training groups, training time did not matter in terms of results for the first 12 weeks. However, after 12 weeks they found more muscle was gained in the evening training groups.

Based on the above study it can be evaluated that training in the evening is preferable for muscle growth. It is however important to note that If you are new to exercise and have been training for less than 12 weeks then you will still see benefits regardless of the time of day. 

Preparations When Training In The Evening

When planning to train in the evening, preparation is key. Research suggests by following specific nutrition protocols, you will be able to get the most out of your evening training sessions. Eating a protein based breakfast is a great way to start the day and to optimise evening training. Eating different protein sources daily can help you to become more lean and will give you energy to fuel your evening training sessions.

Research suggests that when training in the evening it is best not to train on an empty stomach.The ideal meal before an evening session is dependent on the of activity that will be performed. Generally speaking a meal mixed meal carbohydrate (Rice, Potato's) protein e.g meats and pulses and healthy slow digesting mealburn more caloriesgreater fat loss.fats (avocados) may be more suited for exercise activity in the evening. By doing this you will burn more fat and more calories than training on a empty stomach. Research suggests that by consuming a , with a large portion of those calories coming from body fat, resulting in prior to training the body will

Drinking green or black tea leading up to your workout will do wonders for your recovery andreduce post workout soreness (DOMS). One study concluded that green tea reduced markers of inflammation during stressful training sessions. If you find it difficult getting protein into your diet a pre-workout protein shake is a great alternative to insure that you are getting your daily recommended amount. Making these simple changes or additions to your diet can have a huge impact on both your evening training and your progress. 

Aerobic Exercise

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is a science to optimising your workout time in order to get the biggest benefits. Research suggests that aerobic training in the morninghas increased benefits when compared to the same type of training in the evening. Benefits include, increased fat loss, fitness levels and improved mental clarity. Exercising in themorning may be preferred for those who have a heavy schedule throughout the day. Therefore, doing the exercise in the morning may help you perform better during all of your daily tasks and for some may be the only available time to train.

It is, however, very important to mention that actually training in the first place is far moreimportant than the time in which you train. Bare this in mind if your schedule prevents you from training in the morning or evening. Everyone’s schedule is different, so if you only have time in the morning, or if you feel like your motivation to exercise decreases throughout the day, then training in the morning may work perfectly for you. Remember getting in a session is priority number one. 


1.Poliquin Group. (2012). Ten Nutrition Tips for When You Have To Train In The Evening. Retrieved from: http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/884/Ten_Nutrition_Tips_for_When_You_Have_To_Train_In_T.aspx

2.Poliquin Group. (2016). Drink Coffee To Perform Better in the Morning: Greater Strength & Power. Retrieved from: http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1531/Drink_Coffee_To_Perform_Better_in_the_Morning_Grea.aspx



5.Maria Kuusmaa, Moritz Schumann, Milan Sedliak, William J. Kraemer, Robert U. Newton, Jari-Pekka Malinen, Kai Nyman, Arja Hakkinen, Keijo Hakkinen. "Effects of morning versus evening combined strength and endurance training on physical performance, muscle hypertrophy, and serum hormone concentrations," Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2016, Vol. 41, No. 12: pp. 1285-1294

6.Arent, S., Senso, M., Golem, D. and McKeever, K. (2010). The effects of theaflavin-enriched black tea extract on muscle soreness, oxidative stress, inflammation, and endocrine responses to acute anaerobic interval training: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7(1), p.11.

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