PHUKET: I’m not going to beat around the bush: the best time to train is in the morning. I wasn’t sure, at first, if I should even cover this topic, as I didn’t want to put people off who can only make time to train in the evenings.
However, if at all possible, try switching some of your workouts to the morning. I highly recommend it.
Here’s why: your body goes through a natural cycle every single day, a cycle of breaking down and building up. The breaking down cycle is called a catabolic state, and the building up cycle is called an anabolic state – also known respectively as the sympathetic and parasympathetic states of your nervous system.
When you wake up in the morning, your body is naturally in a catabolic state. Toward the end of the day, during the evening, your body slowly switches into an anabolic state. Different types of training have different effects on your nervous system. For best results, it’s imperative to match the exercise to your body’s natural state.
For example, weightlifting is catabolic. It rips your muscle fibers on a microscopic level, so getting in a good weight-training session in the morning, while your body is in a catabolic state, will generate better results.
On the other hand, when your body is preparing to go into an anabolic state – a state of resting, repairing, rejuvenating and recovery – jumping into a weight-training session is ill-advised. It forces your body into a catabolic state when it wants to be anabolic. It messes with the cycle, and you will be able to feel it as you trying to unwind in the evening. It will also make it more difficult for you to fall asleep.
Instead of rigorous exercise at night, try light exercises that help your body slip easily into an anabolic state. This includes exercises like yoga, walking and meditation. Theses types of activities should be an integral part of everyone’s workout routine, but they are usually left out.
In case you still aren’t convinced, think about this. Morning training sessions will leave you feeling good all day. Exercise releases the “feel good” hormones – serotonin and dopamine – and helps to clear your mind, increasing focus and mental agility for up to 10 hours after you exercise.
Not to mention, you won’t already be tired from a full day’s work and slowly building up excuses as to why you should skip training that day.
Remember: The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen. So, by all means, if you’re only time to train is in the evening, keep doing it.
But, if you are able to switch a few of your exercises or a few of your training days from evening to morning, I highly recommend it.
Krix Luther is a fully qualified personal trainer with nearly a decade of experience specializing in strength and conditioning. For more information about Krix and his services, click here.
— Krix Luther
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