Best Time to Workout... What is the Best Time to Exercise?

Do you want to know the best time to workout? My friend, you are not alone. I get this question a lot. My answer is below, and it will surprise you.

People seem to always be looking for a way to “beat the system.” Clearly, this occurs in the burn fat and build muscle game all the time. Otherwise, why would all of those so-called “magic bullet” plans exist in the diet and exercise industry?

That, of course, presupposes that there is a “one-size- fits-all” system. And we all know that there isn’t.

Which brings us to today’s Q&A...


What time of the day is better to work out morning or afternoon?

Jack H.

Jack, thanks for reading, and thanks for the question, my friend.

This is one of those questions that I get a lot. Like all the time.

So, after giving the “what is the best time to workout” question some thought, here is how I am going to answer it...

There is no easy answer to this. I get asked about workouts for busy people as much as, if not more than, I get the what is the best time to exercise question.

That leads me to say, first, any time is the best time. I really just want you to get up and get moving. Whenever you can find time to exercise, do it!

Now, is there a time, if you had a completely flexible schedule (if you do, count me among the jealous), that you could consider the best time to workout?

Sure there is.


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But, my answer won’t completely sort out the "controversy."

Theories About the Best Time to Exercise

Let me begin this way. I buy into the morning being the best time to exercise, but not for the reasons that many people think.

Many people will give you a line about exercise in the morning on an empty stomach and burning more calories from fat. But, from some of the stuff I have read, while you do burn more fat in the morning, the “boost” you get is minimal, and far from a system-beating magic bullet.

There is some evidence that late afternoon or early evening is the best time to exercise. This is because you body temperature is highest during this time, which means you may burn slightly more calories when you workout.

Most people tend to be stronger and have more energy later in the afternoon. This is because of something called the Circadian rhythm, which is just fancy talk for your body’s cyclical patterns during the day.

The Best Time to Workout for Me

Now, here’s the thing. I am going to take this full circle by using myself as an example.

I am not at all a morning person. Not even close. I don’t feel like I can even function in the morning, much less haul my tail to the gym.

I have tried to get into a routine of going to workout in the mornings before work.

The problem was I was very inconsistent, and found myself starting to make excuses to sleep in.

Now I know plenty of people who wake up ready to attack the day. My wife is one of those people, and she exercises in the morning, before she get’s busy with the day. For her, the morning is the best time to workout, but not because it “burns more fat,” but because it fits with her schedule.

It isn’t the best time to exercise for me, because it doesn’t fit with mine. I workout in the late afternoon on most days. It fits with my schedule.

The Best Time to Exercise for You

If you take nothing else from this answer, take this:

Consistent exercise will always beat out inconsistent workouts no matter what time of day they are.

With our lives getting busier and busier (I have a wife, two toddlers, two dogs, a day job and this internet thing myself), the best time to workout is the time that fits into your lifestyle.

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