Exercise! - What is the best time of day to exercise for optimal weight loss?

08-14-2013, 12:46 AM
Just curious what people find to be the best time to workout during the day. I'm just starting to use the gym so I'd like to figure out the best time to go to boost my metabolism and burn the most. I'm a university student so I walk all over campus and plan on going to the gym 3x a week to lift for an hour and some other stuff. Anyway I was wondering what the best time of day would be best to plan my gym visits? I could do mornings or later evenings (7:30 or so) easily. Or I could plan it out and do it mid afternoons. I like the morning best as I could just work out, shower, and hit my classes after. Or evening would be okay too but working out that late might keep me up. Midday I'd only do if it has optimal benefits because it would be harder to fit in. Regardless of my circumstances, I want to visit the gym and get the max out of my visit...so when is the best time to hit the gym?

08-14-2013, 01:48 AM
Diet is a lot more important for weight loss than exercise. I would not overthink this and just go with what works best.

08-14-2013, 03:51 AM
When you'll go is the best time.

08-14-2013, 08:34 AM
When you'll go is the best time.

This is my answer too. :cool:

Even if there are marginal differences in performance that are measurable when one exercises at different times a day - and I doubt there are, that would not vary so much from person to person or be so dependent upon tons of other factors as to be really, really difficult to predict - even if there were such marginal differences, they would certainly be cancelled out by missing half your planned workouts because the "optimal" time is a time that doesn't fit well with your lifestyle or schedule.

Exercise at the time that makes most sense to you given the other constraints in your life. The best workout is the one you will actually do. The best time is the time you will actually do it.

08-14-2013, 01:26 PM
Personally I tell people if at all possible exercise as early in the morning as possible, so this way it's over and done with.... This way if something comes up later in the day your workout is out of the way.... Also I like to do a few runs first thing in the morning while in a "fasted" state to maximize my utilization of burning fat as the energy source for that particular workout.... And even though I'm so not a "morning" person.... Once I just get out there and get going.... I really do feel more energized throughout the day....

08-14-2013, 01:42 PM
Whenever you can fit it into your schedule. Any exercise is better than no exercise. :)

08-14-2013, 04:09 PM
There is no optimal time of day for exercising--it's just showing up and working out that counts. Whatever time of day that is more convenient for you works best--and if it's 1 a.m. in the morning you're going to burn just as many calories as you would at 7 a.m.


08-14-2013, 06:47 PM
When you'll go is the best time.

This cannot be emphasized enough.

Maybe there are differences in performance--maybe. But most of us are not training to be Olympians, so it don't mean anything. I have never heard of anyone not being able to lose weight because they worked out when the moon was out.

08-14-2013, 08:22 PM
Yeah, I agree that any difference in performance will be negligible in the grand scheme of weight loss.

I personally have my greatest strength and endurance in the late afternoon/early evening. I like to work out then for that reason and also b/c exercise acts as an appetite suppressant for me. Night is my hardest time to resist overeating, so timing my exercise like this helps me when I most need it.

Even so, I let my schedule and practical factors influence when I exercise. Whenever I can guarantee fitting it in is when I do it. The added benefit of working out during my own personal ideal time is soooooo not great enough to make up for becoming inconsistent, which would happen to me if I tried to force a time that I can't reliably do.

So, I'd suggest that since morning or evening work for you schedule-wise, try both. Maybe do each one for two weeks and see which one you like better. Or mix it up depending on the day. Experimenting is the best way to find what's personally best for you.

08-14-2013, 09:49 PM
When you'll go is the best time.


I don't think there is one single "optimal time" to exercise. Would it be different for a morning person vs a night owl? What about people who work nights? Everyone's body is running on a different clock that I don't think there is one right time of day.

The best time is when you can go. If you like getting up early and getting your workout done, then great. If you can't get up in the mornings and would rather go in the evening, then awesome. If you can only get exercise in short time periods throughout the day, then that's awesome too.

The important part is that you actually exercise.

08-15-2013, 02:59 PM
Again, whenever you will go is best.

personally I like to go in the morning, it gets it out of the way and after I cool down and shower I feel like I have more energy for the rest of the day. But I know others that the gym drains them of energy so they go in the evening so they can go home and crash for the evening.

Experiment and find out what works best for you :)

Good luck!

08-15-2013, 03:11 PM
It's so different for everyone. Personally, I hate exercising in the morning. I feel so sluggish and lack energy. Early evening for me works best. I have lots of energy and it works well with my schedule.

08-15-2013, 05:09 PM
It's so different for everyone. Personally, I hate exercising in the morning. I feel so sluggish and lack energy. Early evening for me works best. I have lots of energy and it works well with my schedule.

Yes--I prefer mornings--but sometimes the morning class won't work due to other schedules I have to maintain--so I just catch the evening class--and there is really no difference.

08-17-2013, 11:06 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys! Sounds like what I'm doing is good so I think I'll stick to the mornings for now as it fits best with my schedule. Honestly, some days I don't feel like working out so I guess its harder work for me to just get to the gym versus the workout itself. But I'm working on it, and in any case I'm getting well over the 10,000 recommended steps daily with all my classes. That's gotta be helping a bit too I figure. Thanks again. :D

10-17-2013, 01:07 AM
Best time to exercise is when you go. Simple and true

For me, I fix my workouts in a few hours after dinner. After a nice workout, I get a little more energy which allows me to be more productive and get some more work done.

I've tried early mornings but I'm just not a morning person.

10-23-2013, 01:31 PM
Personally I tell people if at all possible exercise as early in the morning as possible, so this way it's over and done with....

Agree with this if it is possible. But if not then anytime of the day is fine.