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Is the morning the best time to lift weights? What does the research say about training in the evening instead? How big of a difference is there in muscle growth and performance between early morning and night workouts? What role does personal preference play? I’ll answer all these questions and more in this podcast.
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Hello Fitness friend. I’m Mike Matthews. This is Muscle for Life and thank you for joining me today for another short episode, one of these little mini episodes that I have been recording every other week and that people have been liking just to mix up the duration of the episodes because the interviews tend to run a bit long.
45 to 60 plus minutes. The monologues maybe 20 to 40 minutes, and so I thought people might appreciate. Three, five minute episodes that get right to the point. So let’s talk about when you train. So if you want to train with some of the fittest, healthiest, and most consistent people in your gym, start going between five and 6:00 AM Seriously, that is almost always the most.
Productive and motivating and upbeat crowd in just about any gym I’ve ever been in, but you might be wondering if that is the best time to lift weights. On the whole, most studies show that you will probably gain muscle and strength slightly faster if you train in the afternoon or the early evening versus the morning.
For example, a study conducted by scientists at the University of YaaS. Split 52 untrained men between the ages of 26 and 37 years old into two groups. One group that lifted weights in the morning and one group that lifted weights in the evening. And all of the participants trained several times per week for 24 weeks.
And while both groups did improve their strength equally, the evening group gained slightly more muscle mass than the morning group. The researchers also found that the difference in muscle growth between the two groups only became apparent about halfway through the study, and that indicates that it might take a few months for any benefits of evening training to become apparent.
Now, this study and several others like it form a strong argument for training in the evenings that is going to be generally superior to training in the morning. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that early workouts are going to hinder your ability to effectively gain muscle and strength. While most studies do show that people are usually weaker in the morning than they are in the evening, research also shows that if you consistently train in the morning, this handicap disappear over time.
And specifically, if you switch from training in the evening to training in the morning, you can expect your strength. Probably about five to 10%. At first, you are probably going to have to take weight off of the bar to hit your reps, for example, but you will also find that strength returns to more or less normal after about a month or so.
What’s more? Your personal preferences play a role in your workout performance and results. And this is an I. Point in a study conducted by scientists at Sanford University, researchers found that when college-aged experienced weightlifters, who preferred to train in the morning did so they exhibited slightly more physical fatigue than when they trained in the evening.
So they were. Measuring bar velocity. And so what the researchers found is you had these guys, they liked training in the morning. They were a little bit more fatigued at the end of their sets and these little workouts that were put together for the research in their early training. But what was interesting is these same guys also.
Reported more motivation to workout. They enjoyed their workouts more and they reported a lower perception of effort. They said that the workouts felt easier, even though they exhibited a little bit more physical fatigue at the end of those workouts, again, as measured by bar velocity on the bench press in particular.
So where does all this leave us? While there may be a physiological benefit to training in the evening, Basically all of us, we may be able to perform a little bit better in evening workouts versus morning workouts. It appears to be a minor effect that has basically no relevance to just about all of us.
Maybe if you were a natural bodybuilder and you have achieved. Basically all of your genetic potential for muscle and strength gain, and you are trying to squeeze out every last ounce of muscle and strength that you possibly can, then that might be a little bit different. The discussion might be different, the recommendation might be different.
It might make sense to force yourself to train in the late afternoon, early evening, even if you would prefer to train in the morning, but that’s probably not you. That’s not me. And for most of us, If we are going to perform a little bit worse in our morning workouts, it’s not going to be enough to get in the way of making progress, and it is going to be less important than when we want to work out.
It’s going to be less important than working out at the time that works best for us that we enjoy the most. And if the morning. Is that for you? Then that is reason enough to start training in the. I’ve worked with tens of thousands of people over the years, and the biggest thing I see with the people I have helped the most is they’re often missing just one crucial piece of the puzzle.
And if you are having trouble reaching your. Fitness goals as quickly as you’d like. I’m gonna guess it is the same thing with you. You are probably doing a lot of things right, but dollars to donuts, there’s something you’re not doing right, and that is what is giving you most of the grief. Maybe it’s your calories, maybe it’s your macros.
Maybe it’s your exercise selection. Maybe it’s food choices. Maybe you are not progressively overloading your muscles and whatever it is. Here’s what’s important. Once you, I. That one thing. Once you figure it out, that’s when everything finally clicks. That’s when you start making serious progress. It’s like typing in your password to log into your computer.
You can have all the letters, numbers, and. Symbols write except just one. And what happens? You can’t log in, right? But as soon as you get that last remaining character voila, you’re in business. And I bet the same can be said about the body you really want. You are probably just one major shift, one important insight, one powerful new behavior away from Easy street.
And that’s why I offer v i p one-on-one coaching where my team and I can help you do exactly that. This is high level coaching where we look at everything you’re doing and we help you figure out that one thing that is missing for you. And it can be a couple of things too. That’s fine. There’s no extra charge for that.
But once we figure it out, that’s when you start making real progress. That’s when you start looking better and feeling. So if you’re ready to make more progress in the next three months than maybe you did in the last three years, and yes, that has happened for many of our clients, head on over to Muscle For life.show/vip.
That’s Muscle o r, life Show slash vip, and schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call. It’s just a friendly chat where we get to learn about you. And your goals and your lifestyle, and then determine whether our program is right for you. Because sometimes we do speak with people who just aren’t a good fit for our service, but we almost always have other experts and other resources to refer those people to.
So if you are still listening to me and you are even slightly interested, go schedule your free consultation. Call [email protected] slash vi. I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes.
And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you. And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you. Ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share.
Shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f o r life.com and let me know what I could do better or just what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future. I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you.