Workout Results: Is Evening Training Better for Performance? Thomas DeLauer
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why is it that most sports or performance records are broken in the evening time and not in the morning well in this video I’m gonna break down the science and I’m gonna teach you exactly why your performance might improve in the morning but while your body composition might still have a better result in the evening time hey if you haven’t already make sure you hit that subscribe button make sure you turn on the little bell so you can get notifications whenever I go live as well you got new videos coming out every Tuesday every Friday and every Sunday at 7 a.m. Pacific time plus loads of other videos sprinkled in throughout the week as well so no better way to truly start this video off than by referencing a reputable study this study was published in the Journal of applied physiology nutrition and metabolism and it was taking a look at test subjects that trained either in the morning or in the evening so what they did is they took 42 participants and they broke them up into either a morning group that trained between 6:30 and 10:00 a.m. or an evening group that trained between 4:30 and 8:00 p.m. and what they had them do is they had them do a traditional style one repetition maximum test so they had them do leg press for a 1 rep max then they have them perform a certain level of wattage for a time on a stationary bike to see overall what their time to exhaustion would be so at the end of a 24 week study the results were pretty interesting they found that the time to exhaustion between the two groups didn’t change all that much the morning group had an increase in time to exhaustion of 18 percent up to 27 percent whereas the group that trained in the evening had an increase of 16 to 28 percent so it was a very very marginal difference yet slightly better for the evening group where it got interesting was with the one repetition max you see the group that train in the morning had an increase from 14 percent to 19 percent with their one repetition max whereas the evening group ended up having a pretty significant difference their improvement was from 18 to 24 percent so we’re talking over a five-point difference for the most part that’s pretty impressive when you look at the big picture so when we look at the muscle mass side of things though there was still an increase on the evening training side but not that much more than the morning side so what are you wondering here you’re probably thinking what the heck Thomas is always talking about the benefits of training in the morning but here he is saying that you’re going to have more performance and more muscle mass by training in the evening well there’s a lot more to it than just this and if you stick with me through the rest of this video I’m gonna explain what’s truly happening from a physiological standpoint to justify why people might perform better in the evening time but before I get into the next part of this video there’s another study that on a reference that was published in the Journal of chronobiology International and this journal was really interesting in the way that it looked at repeated a.m. training to blunt the diurnal variation of evening performance boost so what that means is that typically we’re seeing improvements in performance in the evening versus the morning but if you were to take some of those training in the evening and have them shifted up to where they start repeatedly training in the morning they can disrupt that diurnal variation so basically what it means is right off the press we are more conditioned to perform better in the evening but if we repeatedly conditioned ourselves to train in the morning we can disrupt that diurnal variation and become morning people that is what I found interesting so that’s a perfect segue into why the heck this happens a lot of it has to do with our sleep/wake cycle and it has to do with our core body temperature you see when we wake up our body temperature is at its lowest and it starts to rise slowly throughout the course of the day and it Peaks in the early evening time now when our body temperature is elevated we have all these different improvements that occur within the body we have increases in strength increases in power we have increases in mobility and a lot of it has to do with an increase in blood flow but a lot of it also has to do with an increase in nerve conduction you see when we have an increase in nerve conduction variability it means that we can send a signal to an area of our body a lot better simply because our core body temperature is slightly skewed a little bit higher so nerve conduction is very very critical to performance it’s not necessarily as critical to body composition but they do kind of go hand in hand if you can perform better than eventually you might end up a better body composition but I digress so if you have a better nerve response you’re gonna be able to react better so you’re gonna perform better in a sport setting and considering the improvements in blood flow you’re probably going to be able to get a little bit more oxygen to the muscle as well so we have to remember that these enzymatic functions that occur within the body are very sensitive to very my new changes in temperature so if we have even just a 0.1 degree increase in core body temperature it dramatically change how enzymes react within our bodies they’re very powerful catalyst and the temperature affects them dramatically so if it’s a little bit warmer enzymatic functions might work a little bit differently so that segues into training in the morning you may not have as much power and strength training in the morning but I still argue that the body composition effects are stronger in the morning and they’re not necessarily stronger just because of the time of day you see training in the morning is truly beneficial because you’re more than likely going to train fast it and that’s where I think the benefit really lands if you were to train in a fed state in the morning or a fed state in the evening you may as well just train in the evening because honestly it’s being fed that ultimately disrupts the fat burning process so if the fat-burning situation is out of the equation and you just want to look at performance then train in the evening hands down probably the best way to go but when it comes down to fat burning morning is powerful so there was a study that was published in the Journal of physiology that took a look at this and it’s pretty intriguing there are nine participants and they broke these nine participants up into either training in a fasted state in the morning or training with food in their system in the morning so both groups train in the morning just one was fasted and one was not well the results indicated that the fasted group definitely burned more fat you see we have these things called intra Maya cellular lipids they’re little molecules little droplets of fat that are inside our muscles and what this study concluded was that when we trained in a fasted state we were able to evacuate these lipids out of the muscle and into the bloodstream to be used for fuel whereas if we had fed ourselves it’s stopped it halted that process so we weren’t able to utilize those intra – cellular lipids in fact the study found by doing a biopsy that intra- cellular lipids went from 18 percent down to 16 percent in the fasted group meaning that their stores of fat inside the muscle went from 18 percent down to 6 percent well what’s going to happen is the next day the body’s going to take the fat from the adipose tissue and it’s gonna put it into the muscle as an inter – cellular lipid and the body’s gonna burn that during a workout so definitely you get more of a body composition effect when you train in a fasted state versus in a fed state so ideally if you could go fasted throughout the course of the day and train in the evening when your core body temperature is up and you’re still fasted that would be a win-win but not everyone can do that but there’s one other piece of the study that was also interesting they found that glycogen synthesis increased three times in the fasted group meaning that the group that trained in a fasted State was able to utilize three times more of the glycogen than if they had been fed meaning their muscles were able to absorb carbohydrates or absorb protein in the form of carbohydrates allowing them to recover and have more energy for the next day’s work out so again if you combine the fact that if you train in the morning consistently you can disrupt that diurnal variation along with the fact that you’re going to burn more fat that might be the way to go to just get yourself conditioned to training in the morning but if you’re trying to set a world record or you’re trying to benchpress another 15 pounds you might want to train in the evening time when your core body temperature is a little bit more elevated as always make sure that you’re keeping it locked in here on this channel if you have ideas for future videos or you want to know more about nutrient timing and workout timing just hit them down in the comment section below and we’ll look into doing a video I’ll see you soon
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Workout Results: Is Evening Training Better for Performance? Thomas DeLauer…
Study – Morning vs Evening Performance:
A study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism studied the effectiveness of a training program performed in the morning between 6:30am – 10am or in the evening between 4:30pm – 8pm for a 24 week period.
This study investigated the effects of 24 weeks of morning versus evening same-session combined strength (S) and endurance (E) training on physical performance, muscle hypertrophy, and resting serum testosterone and cortisol diurnal concentrations. 42 young men were matched and assigned to a morning (m) or evening (e)
All groups similarly increased 1RM in the morning (14%–19%) and evening (18%–24%) – however, during the training weeks 13–24 the evening groups did gain more muscle mass. Time to exhaustion increased in all groups in the morning (16%–28%) and evening (18%–27%) (1)
Review of a secondary study:
Published in the Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Researchers studied how training in the morning vs the evening affected strength development.
34 subjects were divided into 4 groups:
– 2 groups in the morning with 1 group doing eccentric work and the other doing concentric work (trained elbow flexors)
– Other 2 groups in the evening with 1 group doing eccentric work and the other doing concentric work (trained elbow flexors)
After 6 weeks, strength gains were significantly greater in the evening for eccentric exercise: 29% vs 23%
For concentric training, the trend was the same but less pronounced in favor of evening training with 23% vs 21% (2)
Why is this? Core Body Temperature Explanation:
Core body temperature is low at night, rises quickly upon awakening and reaches a maximum in the early evening, and lowers before bedtime. The optimal body temperature for strength training normally occurs in the late afternoon to early evening 3:30pm till 8:30pm. During this time window, one has an optimal nerve conduction velocity, joint mobility, glucose metabolism and muscular blood flow – this is because core body temperature is the temperature at which your central organs operate. Enzymatic reactions are extremely sensitive to minor variations in your core body temperature – for the biological systems involved in high intensity physical exercise, the optimal temperature is relatively high. Most people can achieve higher muscle activation levels in the evening compared to the morning – we more quickly adapt to heat stress than we do to hypoxia. As a result, core body temperature correlates with exercise performance – people are normally strongest when their core body temperature reaches its daily peak. Additionally, a study published in- looked at rats exercising by running 5 days/wk up a 6% grade at 20 m/min for 60 min in either 73 degrees F or 39-46 degrees F. HSP 70 increased 12.3-fold in the 73 degrees group compared to sedentary control group and was unchanged in the cold room runners (3)
1) Effects of morning versus evening combined strength and endurance training on physical performance, muscle hypertrophy, and serum hormone concentrations – Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. (2016, August 29). Retrieved from
2) Effect of Time of Day and Concentric or Eccentric Strength Training on Muscle Strength – ProQuest. (n.d.). Retrieved from
3) Harris MB and Starnes JW. (n.d.). Effects of body temperature during exercise training on myocardial adaptations. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved ft
4) Hayes LD , et al. (n.d.). Interactions of cortisol, testosterone, and resistance training: influence of circadian rhythms. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
5) Sedliak M , et al. (n.d.). Muscle strength, resting muscle tone and EMG activation in untrained men: interaction effect of time of day and test order-related confounding fact… – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
6) Circadian Rhythms in Exercise Performance: Implications for Hormonal and Muscular Adaptation. (n.d.). Retrieved from
7) Effect of Time of Day on Performance, Hormonal and Metabolic Response during a 1000-M Cycling Time Trial. (n.d.). Retrieved from
8) Exercise in the fasted state facilitates fibre type-specific intramyocellular lipid breakdown and stimulates glycogen resynthesis in humans. (15, April). Retrieved from 5