By WFF Pro bodybuilder Henk ‘The Tank’ Smith
People often debate whether training in the morning or evening is best for you.
Most people prefer to get it done and out of the way in the morning. Others like to blow off steam in the evenings after work. Important considerations such as our work obligations, studies and family time can also influence when we plan our trips to the gym.
From science we know that the optimal body temperature for training is in the late afternoon to early evening. During this time you have optimal joint mobility, muscular blood flow, glucose metabolism and nerve conduction velocity.
Scientists have also found that more muscle was built when training was performed in the evening versus the morning.
Going to the gym in the evening your body takes a good 4 to 5 hours after your session to completely relax again as you activate your metabolism when you train. This might pose a problem for some people, especially when you have a long and frustrating history with insomnia. If your sessions last longer than an hour you can train a bit earlier to solve this problem.
A good rule is actually to train when you perform at your best. The time of day when your resting heart rate peaks is often the best time to hit the weights.
Not having time to train is just a lame excuse. The things you make time for are the things that are important in your life.
A lot of bodybuilders also don’t perform cardio sessions in the off-season as they feel that it will interfere with gaining additional muscle. The truth is actually that cardio, done 3 to 4 times a week, can actually help you build muscle while keeping off body fat.
A fit body responds much better to adding lean muscle tissue. If you do cardio you also won’t have to shed so much when you are dieting for a contest.