The Worst Time Of The Day To Go To The Gym

Is there an optimal time during the day to go to the gym? You might believe that the best way to start your day is with a sweat sesh, which can boost energy levels and improve mood, and by getting it done early, enable you to stay focused on the rest of the day's tasks (via Healthline).

There are those who would argue that nighttime gym sessions are better, and according to a 2019 study published in the journal of Experimental Physiology, they would have a decent argument. The study found that, over time, a high intensity evening exercise routine might curb hunger by reducing the hormone responsible for feeling hungry, ghrelin. Furthermore, the same study found no sleep disruptions caused by an evening workout.

Perhaps you enjoy an afternoon workout when you may be feeling most awake and energetic. CNET reports that a workout between 12-4 p.m. might be most beneficial, as your hormone levels are higher, which can boost muscle gains. A study published in the journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism suggests that physical attributes like muscle strength and endurance peak later in the day, making for a more efficient exercise experience.

While there are separate benefits to working out in the morning, afternoon, and evening, you might want to avoid the gym altogether during specific times of the day.

Try to avoid the gym during peak hours

The truth is, anytime of the day is a good time to get in a workout because being active is much healthier than being sedentary. Whether your schedule allows you to get to the gym at 4 a.m. or 9 p.m., getting it in when you can is what matters most. 

As for having a flexible schedule and hitting the gym, there are hours called "peak times" that you should avoid if you can. These are the hours when the gym is busiest, and chances of getting on your favorite cardio machine are slim. You will also have longer wait times for the free weights and cable machines, which can lengthen your rest time between exercises and increase the duration spent in the gym.

According to Mamamia, the peak hours for gyms, especially in busy cities, is early morning (6:30-8), lunchtime (11-1), and right after work (5-7:30). Romper shares that the evening gym rush, between 5 and 8, is busiest, as people leave work and head to the gym before going home. Muscle & Fitness reports that the best time to hit the gym is between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., or after the post-workday rush, from 8-9 p.m.