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The Best Time of Day to Workout

Posted by Joel Marion

Okay, I’ll admit it. I suck as a morning person.
In fact, I’ll go as far to say that I just may be legally “broken” until about noon every day.

Now, I don’t generally go to bed until about 2 a.m., so perhaps that is part of the problem. For example, it’s currently 1:13 a.m., and I’m just sitting down to write this blog post.

Pretty standard behavior.

Regardless, whenever I wake up (generally around 10 or so), I suck at being productive. I’m pretty good at eating, but productivity, that comes somewhere around 3 p.m.

The point, you ask?

Well, it should be pretty obvious by now that I’m about to share with you the definitive best time of day to conduct your workouts.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t so obvious.

BUT, here it goes.

If I received a nickel for each time someone asked me a specific fitness related question, then “What is the best time of day to workout?” would undoubtedly be one of my main sources of income.

And generally, being the learned fitness professional I am, I’d respond by going into a lengthy diatribe all about glycogen depletion, diurnal rhythms of fat loss hormones, fat-burning potential, RER, substrate utilization, and a bunch of other sciency terms that no one really cares about.

You see, when someone asks me “What is the best time of day to workout?”, they’re really asking “When will I get the best results?”

That’s it. That’s all anyone cares about. Results.

And in a perfect world, if we’re talking fat loss results, the answer is probably “in the morning”.

Problem is, I suck at mornings, and I’m thinking there are at least a few other people on planet earth who share a similar problem (and perhaps a couple others on Pagliarini, my home planet).

And you know what? If one of them asked me that question, and I responded with “in the morning”, I’d be DEAD WRONG.

Why? Because they, like me, would have a crappy workout in the morning.

I say I’d probably only achieve, or rather I’d only be able to put forth about 75% of the effort in the morning that I’d be able to demonstrate at some point later in the day.

I may even cut the workout short in the morning, because hey, I don’t feel like doing strenuous activity to the point of vomiting upon awakening.

Shoot me.

Does my morning funkiness make me a bad person? I don’t think so, but it does make me something I like to call human.

If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s that thing that makes us all unique and equally imperfect at the same time.

Yes, I’m a “fitness professional”, yes, this is what I do for a living, but the truth is that I’m no different than everyone else out there. There are things about me that are obstacles when it comes to achieving my best body. There are things within my personality that I have to work around to be successful (be it in the gym, in business, in relationships, whatever).

In an ideal world I’d wake up at 5 a.m. each day ready and willing to go sprint my ass off, I probably wouldn’t be fantasizing about Reese’s Peanut Butter cups on an hourly basis, and I’d be totally awesome at being awesome in every single fitness related life-circumstance.

But I’m not. So I don’t work out in the morning, and maybe that costs me 1% fat loss per week.

Actually, and this is what I really want you to GET from this blog post, the fact that I don’t work out in the morning probably INCREASES my fat loss by 25%. Why? Because as I’ve alluded to several times now, I have infinitely better, more productive, more intense workouts in the afternoon.

Get it?

So when is the best time of day to work out? In an ideal world, for several factors, it’s probably in the morning.

But in the real world, the answer is the time of day in which you personally are able to workout out with the utmost intensity, put forth the greatest amount effort, and train with impeccable levels of focus.

Screw the science. That’s the best time of day to workout.

When will you be working out today? Let me know in the comments section below!

Rock on,



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