The short answer is whenever works best for you. That wouldn’t be much of a blog though so here are a few things to consider if something isn’t working!
When have you the most energy?
Do you start your day early feeling fresh and gradually lose energy as the day goes on? Or are you definitely not a morning person and peak in the evening? This can make a huge difference, not only to the quality of the session you have but also whether or not you actually go to the gym! Some people are just more suited/wired to get their workouts done early in the morning while other people need to wait until later in the day when their energy has picked up. And of course there are those that might not be bothered whichever time! Have a think yourself, do you have better sessions at a certain time or maybe you often end up skipping workouts at a certain time? If so then maybe you need to keep that in mind whenever planning a training session.
Before or after work?
How tough is your job? How many days do you work? With some jobs it would be a big ask to do a session at the end of a long day e.g. manual work or shift work. While other jobs may be more mentally taxing and a good workout afterwards can leave you feeling great! You are going to get a lot more out of a session done before work than done after a 13 hour shift.
See what works for you, most gyms open early 6:30 or 7am that should be enough time to get a session done and get ready for work? If the quality of your session is going to suck after work then you should consider an early session.
Have you a few days off?
Not everyone is doing a Monday to Friday, nine to five job. If you have your days off spread over the week then they could be perfect chances to go to the gym feeling fresh and have a great session. Whenever you know your roster pick what days you’ll train in advance.
When will the gym be busiest?
Not only is it annoying waiting for equipment in a crowded in gym it also adds to how long your session is going to take! Get to know the busy times at your gym and see if there is a quieter time that would suit you to get your session done more efficiently. Getting the same amount of work done without all the waiting for equipment will take up a lot less of your day.
Plan around your meals
Ideally you would have a small meal 1-2 hours before you train. Just something to keep the body fueled and make sure you don’t run out of energy mid session. There is nothing worse than trying to train on an empty stomach and suddenly feeling sick and dizzy.
After your session you are going to want to re-fuel again, some protein and carbs to help restore your energy and then a larger meal 2-4 hours later. Breakfast – train – lunch – dinner fits well here I find but this might not work around your schedule. Have a look at it and try to avoid long periods before or after a workout without eating something. Have a snack ready for after the gym to keep you going until your next meal. e.g. protein shake or bar.
Are you just making excuses?
The two biggest examples I see here are
1) snoozing your alarm for a morning session.
2) having all day to think up an excuse or make work for yourself before an evening session.
If you keep missing sessions because of these examples or any other reason maybe you need plan when you train better. Pick a different time or day that works and stick with it.
Set an appointment
For some people a “train whenever I get to the gym” mentality doesn’t work. You put it off and off and never go. A better solution is to have a set time to train. This can be done loads of ways, arrange to meet your training buddy at set time, book in for a gym class or book a personal training session. You can’t be late for these things and have made a commitment to be there at a set time so that should motivate you to get there. Add to this motivation by pre-paying so you know it’s a waste if you’re a no show.
There we have it, a few things to consider when trying to get yourself to the gym and get the best quality workout you can while you are there. If you can think of any I’ve left out comment below or message me. And any shares are appreciated!