Welcome back back to “Am or PM Workouts”, In the last blog we talked about some of the pros and cons of working out in the AM/morning. Some of the big highlights, where better consistency as a positive aspect and perhaps being weaker in your lifts as a negative. So, now let’s talk about PM workouts. PM workouts are pretty much described as anything in the early afternoon, say on your lunch break or evenings after work or dinner. What can be some pros and cons of working out around these times? Let’s dive in.
- The biggest benefit of PM workouts that I see is that you typically are more fueled for the workouts. Meaning you probably got a chance to eat one or two meals before you actually get to the gym. This can lead to more strength and better pumps in the gym due to higher storage of glycogen in the muscles.
- Number two of the list, reduced risk of injury. You are more awake and more alert. Being so, your CNS(Central Nervous System) is more prepared to take on more challenging tasks and load. Your reaction time is higher to help you avoid clumsy lifting and prevent injury from usual tasks.
- Better chances to build muscle. This one is in line with number 1. You are typically stronger during the day due to the fuel you provide yourself and due to the body already being in motion, so you are more connected to your lifts and movements. This can lead to better strength and muscle building improvements within your workouts.
All that sounds pretty good right? I personally like to workout around lunch time after my second meal for the day. Plenty of carbs for energy and protein to repair the damage that is done. But let’s get into the Cons to see just what workout time is best for you.
- People who tend to workout in the afternoon or evening tend to be less consistent and fall off the rails a lot easier. Not just with workouts but with nutrition. Failing one tends to lead to a domino effect. Example; I forgot to pack lunch so I got fast food and feel sluggish. I tell myself I’ll go to the gym after work but my mind is already flipped and I decide, well I messed up today already I’ll just try again tomorrow.
- This leads us into number two. When we don’t prioritize our workouts right in the morning, it gives life more chances to derail us from our goal of hitting the gym. You got asked to stay late at work, your kids need a ride to soccer practice, dinner needs to be made, you forgot to go to the store, you can’t find a babysitter. I have heard it all! As a fitness professional for seven years I have heard every “excuse” in the book to avoid getting it done. Hell, I even use them here and there.
- The last one is for the late night gym goers. Some people try to go to the gym late at night, heck for some people it’s the only time they can go. Unfortunately working out too late can have negative effects especially on your sleep. Exercise increases the production of hormones like dopamine and serotonin. These hormones known as the happy hormones typically give us an energetic effect. We feel awake, alive and energized, which does not bode well for the individual who is already having trouble sleeping. So take that into consideration if you feel like you have a hard time falling asleep or you toss and turn a lot.
I hoped this little mini series on the Pros & Cons of working out in the AM or Pm was helpful and gave you some good tools to look for when deciding or changing your workout routine. If you missed part one on AM Workouts go ahead and check it out. Enjoy!