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I'm a member of a local gym which I attend three/four times at week, after my work schedule is finished. Lately I've been waking up early in the morning, early enough that I'm thinking to go at the gym in the morning before going to work.

My workout routine is quite standard, I do some cardio as warm up, then I lift weights, and some abs exercises in the end. By standard routine I mean I'm not one of those guys who have a "massive" body and "massive" strength (I'm in shape and I can lift enough and I'm happy with that).

For example where a "tough guy" could lift I don't know... 40 kg I could lift 28 kg.

I don't have any kind of physical problems, literally I get there because I wanna keep my body in shape.

I don't know how hard should I go for an early gym session. Is there anything I should keep in mind? Can I follow more or less the same routine (specifically in terms of intensity) I usually follows in the evening? Should I do more? Should I do less?

  • Do you have specific concerns? As written, any answer to your question will be opinion based. – rrirower Mar 20 '17 at 13:07
  • The concern is if it make sense to work out in the same way I would do in the evening (in terms of effectiveness etc). I assume the body state in the morning, right after you jump out of the bed, is not the same as after a whole day. – user8469759 Mar 20 '17 at 13:24
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    It is. Unless you are performing at an Olympic level you don't need to worry about when you train. – Gunge Mar 20 '17 at 14:42
  • How you train is going to depend on what your goals are. Can you specify them? – MJB Mar 22 '17 at 14:38
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From research and personal experience there is no difference.

I came accross this paper where they analyzed the differences between people working out in the morning (7-9 am) and people working out in the afternoon (5-7 pm). They found no statistical difference between the two in terms of hypertrophy. So research tells you to go all out as you would do in the evening.

My personal experience is this:

I have been working out in the morning for 3 years and a half now. My sport is powerlifting (I tend to handle heavier weights and not do cardio/high reps). As a student in a medium-sized town there was no gym available in the morning before 9 so I bought a small rack, a barbell and some weights for my dorm room. I woke up at 5, ate and started warming up around 5.30. I usually hit my top set around 6.

I never had any issues although I have to admit that eating enough in a short amount of time and working out on a full stomach is not ideal.

I now work and take transportation to go to the gym before starting the workout. I therefore have 1 hour and 15 minutes between my meal and my workout. It feels great, I don't feel full anymore and it fits the schedule perfectly.

In summary, research shows that there are no differences in terms of efficiency of the workout. And as long as you have enough time between your meal and your workout you should be fine.

I hope this helps !

  • "though I have to admit that eating enough in a short amount of time and working out on a full stomach is not ideal." Are you kidding? Especially with powerlifting, I don't understand how people can do that; Maybe your breakfast is light... – Sebas Mar 28 '17 at 13:48
  • Since I was on the budget my breakfast consisted of 100g of rice (uncooked weight), spinach, butter and whey protein. As soon as I ended eating breakfast I started warming up. It doesn't feel great. I like the fact that I can wait an hour now. Just personal opinion. – Idri K Mar 29 '17 at 1:34
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Short answer: Go as hard as you can go!

Long Answer: The level of effort that you put in would depend on how much you've had to eat. I found it easier sometimes when I lifted at night because I had eaten several meals before lifting heavy weights.

Some people have a difficult time not eating much, then hitting the gym and lifting weights as far as energy availability and focus is concerned.

However, if you can muster up the energy by eating early enough; your circadian rhythm and science shows it is better to work out in the morning hours. Especially with high intensity as your test and growth hormone levels are naturally higher. This is increased further by performing heavy compound exercises like squatting, deadlifting, bench pressing, shoulder pressing, or bent-over rows.

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This is a tip. I'm terrible at waking up so when I lift at 6am coffee or pre workout does wonders for me.

Also stretching is very neccesary when lifting and running in the morning. Save yourself alot of injury and grief.

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