This Is The Best Time Of The Day To Go To The Gym

When looking for the best time of the day to go to the gym, it can depend on what you're looking to get out of it. Do you want to avoid crowds or get the most out of your workout? There are certain times when the gym is less likely to be packed, and there are better times of the day to exercise for your fitness. Maybe you want both. You can choose the best time to go to your gym based on both advantages — get more out of your workout routine and exercise when there are fewer people there.

Healthline points out there are different advantages to working out in the morning, afternoon, and evening, depending on your schedule and which time you prefer to hit the gym. Each one has benefits for your fitness. So first, check out these benefits to see which time is the best for you. Then, look at which days the gym is likely to be emptier so you can have the gym all to yourself — or almost. 

For fitness in the morning

Getting a workout in first thing has health benefits. You'll feel great and be ready for your day with one task checked off your list. Your endorphins will be running high when you're starting your work or school day. Once your endorphins are released, you'll feel less stressed and good overall (via Healthline).

You'll be giving your metabolism a boost, too, according to Healthline. As you eat throughout the day, your body will continue to burn calories. If you're looking to slim down, burning calories during the day is more effective than burning calories while you sleep. Furthermore, you'll find yourself burning up to 20% more fat if you work out on an empty stomach.

Morning workouts will allow you better control your schedule as you free up time throughout the remainder of the day. For example, imagine you have an emergency staff meeting at work that runs into your evening Zumba class. If you attended the morning Zumba class instead, potential disruptions at work or school wouldn't impact your exercise goals. In addition, you can experience better sleep quality if you hit the gym at 7 a.m. or earlier (via Time).

If mornings aren't your thing, don't drag yourself to the gym. It's possible to waste time at the gym. Per Healthline, you could perform with such low intensity that you're not being effective. Night owls, don't fret, as there are benefits to working out in the afternoon or evening.

For fitness in the afternoon

Lunchtime workouts are best for intense or long workouts. Whether you hit the gym at lunch or later in the afternoon, you likely have already eaten breakfast and a snack before your session. That will provide adequate fuel for a high-intensity workout. On top of a performance boost, midday workouts also offer an energy boost. Like morning workouts, afternoon workouts energize your body's internal clock, so you can avoid that groggy afternoon slump (via Time).

The afternoon can span from noon until 6 p.m., but that doesn't mean a borderline evening workout is ideal. If you find yourself tired in the afternoon, you're better off working out between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. That way, your lunch can settle and increase your sugar levels to sufficiently supply your workout (via Byrdie). 

After spending hours at work or school, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed in the afternoon. Taking a break to get active is a great way to relieve stress and take a break from your workload. Increasing your heart rate significantly to feel refreshed sounds like an oxymoron, but midday sweat sessions can lift your spirits.

Being able to step away from work or school isn't be feasible for everyone. While scheduling your exercise plan among your other priorities is a relatively easy process, it's not too tricky for your day to get away from you. Those with a more demanding morning to afternoon schedule may want to consider evening workouts.

For fitness in the evening

Evening gym sessions are perfect for strength training. Hormones, especially testosterone, are critical when it comes to building muscle. According to CNET, an increase in hormone production later in the day can lead to more significant gains. Even if you're not doing any heavy lifting, your body spent all day warming up. Your body's temperature rises throughout the day, making it easier to work out in the evening. Although you still need to warm up, it'll be easier for your body and mind to get tuned into your exercise routine (via CNET).

Bad habits rear their heads when the sun goes down, because you'll usually want to just relax and unwind. However, if you're a night owl, you likely won't find a problem getting to the gym. It's better to work out at night than not at all. Just make sure you're not working out too close to bedtime. With an elevated heart rate and warmer body temperature, it's difficult to go to sleep and get a good night's rest. So get your workout in at least two hours before bed (via Byrdie).

To avoid crowds

It's frustrating to get pumped for the gym and find that all the machines are occupied upon your arrival. You'll either have to modify your workout or wait for machines. Also, if you're shy or new to a gym, you might find yourself overwhelmed when the gym is packed. 

The morning and the evening will be the most crowded. Some working professionals prefer to get their sweat session in before they start their workday. The busiest time of the morning spans from 5:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The busiest evening time ranges from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Considering the morning and evening rushes, the best time to hit the gym is between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Since each gym is different, it's essential to pay attention to the trends of your respective gym (via Steel).  

Gyms are most packed on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (via Boston Rock Gym). Sunday is the best day to burn calories, out of the remaining days, because most people use Sunday as a rest day, per Steel. For your weekday routine, Tuesdays and Thursdays are your best days to visit the gym.

For the best chance of avoiding crowds, try a 24-hour gym. Since a 24-hour gym is literally opened all day and night, these gyms are usually less crowded around the clock. It's no wonder that 40 percent of personal trainers at gyms work out between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., according to Boston Rock Gym.