Your Circadian Rhythm And Your Testosterone levels: What Is The Best Time Of Day To Workout?
We have all been there, one day you go to the gym to workout and to all falls into place, you look and feel good, your form and and every rep is on point.
Two days later you get in there and it all falls to ruins.. You cannot get a decent rhythm going, your form is atrocious and basically you wonder why you bothered going in the first place.
But what causes these differences, how can we ensure that we get more good days than bad?
“Its all about working out at the best time of day for YOU.”
Our testosterone levels slowly reduce during the day, and this can have a direct effect on our ability to train properly and get the best results from our efforts.
Testosterone production like many of our bodily processes runs on a 24 hour circadian rhythm.
The key is to tap into the testosterone reserves while they are at their peak – this will have a profound effect on our efforts in the gym and ultimately our muscle building goals.
Testosterone production tends to flow this daily pattern:
5.30 – 8.00 am – Our levels are at their peak and now is the best time for big lifts and gaining the most size.
18.30-22.00 pm – Our levels are at their lowest, training between these times generally produces less effective workouts and poor results
Between these times, the levels gradually reduce.
The Best Time For Optimum Performance
Our bodies are complicated machines that react to the day and night cycle.
Dating back to earliest man, it was always during daylight hours that men were out hunting and gathering, during darkness, they rested.
This reaction to light actually regulates our systems, and can be either an advantage or a disadvantage; largely depending on what time we go to the gym and train.
The key to our 24 hour rhythm is what time do we go to bed and wake up – Basically you need to determine if you are you an Owl or a Lark.
Owl – Do you get to bed late, as a result wake later and take time before you are ready for anything ? You are an OWL.
Lark – Get to bed earlier, wake early, feel bright and ready to get going? You are a LARK
Basically those who are Owls, tend to function and perform better later in the day, Larks on the other hand perform better in the morning.
Knowing what type you are is key to determining what is the best time to work out.
Our 24 Hour Circadian Rhythm
MORNING – Our mental alertness is at its peak – possibly boosting our motivation and our readiness for a gruelling workout.
AFTERNOON – Our pain tolerance is usually at its highest – something that can help us push through our physical limits and get more from our workouts.
Our energy levels can dip – its not uncommon to hit the ‘wall’ after lunch time. You need to really draw on your energy reserves to get through your training routine
LATE AFTERNOON-EARLY EVENING – Our strength, flexibility and power levels tend to peak and then start to reduce after around 6pm
Stamina and Lung capacity peaks – this point is especially good to know if you are taking part in HIIT training alongside your weight training
NIGHTTIME – Our body begins to feel tired, the brain starts to release a hormone called Melatonin that begins to wind or calm the body down in readiness for sleep.
Of course Its normal for everybody’s natural rhythm to vary from one another, the key is to work out what is best for you, and plan your training around that.
For most people it should mean either hitting the gym early morning or late afternoon (before 5pm).
The Best Times To Workout
Training in the morning will definitely provide a greater increase in muscle mass due to the additional testosterone available in the morning. Testosterone is crucial to protein synthesis which helps to both grow and repair muscles after workouts.
The increase in concentration will also help us focus more on the task in hand.
there are other points to consider when working out in the morning –
- We tend to burn more fat when our testosterone levels are higher.
- Our moods are generally better due to the extra levels of Serotonin.
- Most gyms are generally quieter in the morning, so no squabbling over the weights or leg press machine.
For those who are finding it hard to get past a plateau, maybe training early afternoon is better, with your pain threshold at its peak, its easier to push through and lift more weight, perform more reps and generally push your body harder and further.
Working out in early evening tends to help you with the biggest lifts, your strength is generally at its peak, so lifting heavier weights will make a huge difference to your muscle building gains.
Working out later in the day could mean that you are not training at your full potential due to your body and its systems being out of sync.
We need to find the right balance between our everyday life and our training cycle.
As a point of interest, I discovered that all world strength records have been set in the early evening.
What Does Research Tell Us?
Lift in the morning and boost your testosterone levels in the afternoon seems to be the order of the day.
If you train with intensity in the morning – perform fast bursts of intense sprinting combined with resistance training will help by:
- Priming the body to be ready to lift weights later in the afternoon
- Muscle growth is increased because additional free testosterone is available in the blood.
Knowing just how your testosterone production and circadian rhythm works is essential, whether you are an Owl or a Lark, discovering the best time of day to work out for you will make all the difference and help you get the body that you are working so hard to build.
Naturally you can also help maintain optimum testosterone levels by taking a quality all natural T-boosting supplement.
I have spent the past 5 years researching and experimenting with various t-boosters.
From my in-depth personal research, and reading countess studies and clinical trials. I have compiled my list of the 5 T-boosting products that I consider to be the best out there.