When is the best time to train?
Speaking about what time is best for training, it is important to divide strength training in the gym for muscle growth and training for fat burning and weight loss. These are fundamentally different activities, implying various metabolic processes - that is why it is extremely difficult for the body to burn fat and build muscle at the same time.
Weight loss training is aerobic (that is, requiring oxygen consumption by cells), and strength training for muscle growth is anaerobic. The effectiveness of cardio for burning fat increases with a low level of glucose in the blood (this literally makes the body waste fat stores), while strength training is impossible under such conditions.
In other words, morning workouts are an ideal choice for fat burning and increasing endurance, while training for gaining muscle mass is recommended in the afternoon. However, you can swing in the early morning - just follow the tips described in our material (for example, take a portion of the gainer before training).
Why is it hard to train in the morning?
Strength training early in the morning for most people is much more complicated than training in the afternoon. The main reason for this is that in the morning the body simply does not have enough energy - glycogen stores in the muscles and blood sugar levels are minimal, and the energy of fat stores cannot be used to perform strength exercises.
Suppose you are doing basic exercises with a barbell - a minute ago the body did not know about the impending load, but now it needs energy. The source of this "fast" energy can be exclusively glycogen stores from the muscles working in this movement, but not fat depots. In order to get energy from fat, the body will need at least 15-20 minutes.
How to swing in the morning?
If you train early in the morning without adequate glycogen stores, your blood sugar will drop, making your workout harder and leading to blurred consciousness or even fainting. For full strength training for muscle growth, the body needs at least 100-150 g of carbohydrates stored in the form of glycogen directly in the muscles.
A hearty breakfast an hour and a half before weight training will help to saturate the muscles with energy, but in real life not all athletes have time for such a breakfast. The situation is aggravated by the fact that for a successful mass gain at the end of the training, the body again needs calories to close the carbohydrate window - or a second breakfast in the case of morning exercises.
Strength training early in the morning
For strength training in the early morning (especially when there is no time for a hearty breakfast), it is crucial to take a portion of the gainer immediately after waking up - otherwise the body simply will not have enough energy. By the time you arrive at the gym, carbohydrates from sports nutrition have already been assimilated and their energy will enter the bloodstream.
However, after the end of the morning strength training, it is still important to have a full breakfast and provide muscles not only with carbohydrates and proteins, but also with vitamins and minerals. Also remember that the body will need about 1-2 weeks to get used to such a training regimen, and do not despair if the first days seem too heavy for you.
Fat Burning Morning Workouts
Once again, we recall that fat burning occurs exclusively with a low level of glucose in the blood. The reason lies in the fact that insulin increased by sugar is necessary for the formation of energy reserves, while the hormone adrenaline is needed to remove this energy from cells (1) . At the same time, insulin and adrenaline cannot be synthesized by the body at the same time.
For this reason, cardio with a fat burning pulse lasting at least 30-40 minutes is recommended for weight loss - in this case, the body first spends glycogen and carbohydrate stores, lowering insulin levels, and then adrenaline increases, which activates fat burning processes. The good news is that in the morning this process is much faster.
Cardio on an empty stomach
In most cases, immediately after waking up, the glycogen reserves in the body are minimal - that is why the slow cardio performed in the early morning leads to the fastest weight loss. At the same time, any breakfast (even a protein-isolate not containing carbohydrates) will cause the body to first burn the calories of this breakfast, and in general fat reserves.
The main rules of morning workouts for weight loss are an empty stomach and the most moderate pace of the load (running is definitely not recommended) lasting at least 30-40 minutes. Immediately after the end of such a fat burning workout, it is recommended to take 2-3 capsules of BCAA amino acids , while a full breakfast is acceptable no earlier than half an hour later.
Is it possible to train in the evening?
Unfortunately, late evening is the worst time for both strength training and weight loss training. Fat burning training will be ineffective due to the presence of blood sugar (glucose levels decrease only 4-5 hours after the last meal), and strength training can cause sleep problems due to overexcitation of the central nervous system.
If you have absolutely no other choice, and you can go to the gym only in the evening, plan a plentiful meal 2 hours before the evening training for muscle growth, so that after it there is only a light dinner. Also carefully study the composition of sports nutrition, making sure that it does not have caffeine and other stimulants that disturb sleep.
Morning workouts on an empty stomach are best for weight loss, but before a strength training for muscle growth in the morning, it is recommended to take a portion of the gainer. Late evening workouts are the worst option - the presence of glucose in the blood will block fat burning, and total fatigue per day will not allow you to conduct a strength training with maximum impact.
- The Stubborn Fat Solution, Lyle McDonald, source