Some people have argued that morning is the best time to hit the gym but for me personally this has not worked out. I am not a morning person, when I get up I am usually hungry and after breakfast I do not think I can hit the gym right away. I seem to have better energy before the lunch time but that is office time so cant go to the gym during those hours.

After lunch the energy goes down and in the evening I am very tired after the long commute. I am really trying to figure out best routine but nothing seems to be working.

Anyone in similar situation? How did you figure out your routine?

EDIT: This is for weight training only, I am not trying to loose weight but gain some.

2 Answers 2


There really isn't a convenient time to workout no matter who you are. It's a lot of work, you get sweaty, you need to change your clothes, and it usually involves going somewhere other than your home or work.

I try to do strength training three days a week, usually around ~3pm. The gym is empty, I can actually get in and out much faster than the busier times, and it's easier to stay focused. I've talked to my employer and explained that on those days I get into work earlier, work through lunch, and am putting in the same hours I would on any other day.

Lifting early in the morning is something that you should figure out, if only because it's going to happen sometimes. If you end up on a program (Madcow, Texas, Bill Starr, 5/3/1) you'll end up with days where you really need to lift an exact set of weights with an exact set of reps and sets. You can screw up weeks of training by moving the days around. On those days you need to get your ass out of bed at 4am, have some coffee, maybe splash some preworkout in, crank up the headset, and get yourself into the gym by 5am. It sucks and no one wants to do it but that's life in the big city.

I'd see if you can get any flexibility with your job. Take a longer lunch, work through lunch, show up earlier, leave later, whatever.

Regarding energy levels, if you get your diet nailed in you should be okay for evening workouts although I'd toss in a couple of caveats:

  • For me evening workouts, especially heavy days, tend to screw up my sleep.
  • Pre-workout supplements are definite no-no for evening lifting because it will hose your sleep up. You can get away with it once in a while, but two scoops of jack3d at 8pm isn't a smart move for getting a solid night of rest.

Maybe try getting to bed earlier too, which really will make early morning workouts better (if you need to go that route).

A home gym can work as well. Drop the cash on a squat rack, barbell, weights, and a pullup bar. There's not much you can't do with all that.

  • Lots of things to think about, thanks for detailed reply. So I like the 3 pm time, do you usually have your lunch few hours before this ? What time you have dinner and how does this effect your sleep time? I have tried this before but after taking hot after gym shower, I felt very sleepy in the office :)
    – Ved
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 22:45
  • re: lunch, I ~600 calories at breakfast around 0730, a quest bar at 1000-ish, and then a few hundred calories of yogurt (or some chicken or something) for lunch at noon. we have family dinner around six so I like to show up hungry to that and I eat whatever is on the table. I always feel pretty pumped after working out. Sometimes a little woozy, but that goes away.
    – Eric
    Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 3:16

For your case, go easy on the complex carbs and sugars with your lunch.
On your commute, have a pre-workout bar/snack about an hour away from the gym.
Have a cup of coffee (or similar caffeine intake) about 15min from workout start.

After heavy lifting, have a nice post-workout meal.

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