Cardio or weights, HIIT or steady-state, morning or evening? These are almost certainly a bunch of perplexions that you’ve faced in recent weeks when planning your workout. But worry no more if you struggle to get up for the gym on the regular. You may simply be genetically wired as a night owl.
New science from Rockefeller University found a specific genetic mutation affecting certain people, hard-wiring them to prefer late nights to early mornings. But are you working against your own body? We hammer out the benefits of pre-dawn deads vs after-dark dumbbell work.
It’s a score that has refused to be settled for years: the early bird gym larks versus the weights room night owls. Thankfully, MH has a brief history of time.
Morning workout: 35% – Testosterone which fuels energy and muscle gains, soars in the AM when levels are a third higher.
Evening workout: 75% – Cortisol, the muscle-eating homrone, climbs by 3/4 in the AM, but normalises at night.
Morning workout: An Appalachian State Uni study showed those who lift at 7am power down faster at night – and produce more HGH – than evening trainers.
Evening workout: The same study found evening gym time raises body heat like a warm bath and promotes sound slumber. Late night training myth, busted.
Morning workout: Dwayne “The Rock’ Johnson works out long before the cock’s crow, at 4.30am.
Evening workout: Sports records are almost exclusively broken after the sun’s gone down. We’re looking at you Usain Bolt.
Morning workout: Extra energy, extra tesosterone, increased metabolism, super sleep.
Evening workout: Longer lie-in, max strength, stress relief, pub evasion.
Burn ‘n’ build
Morning workout: Do your cardio at the crack of dawn and you’ll burn 20% more fat, reports a British Journal of Nutrition Study.
Evening workout: Go for a strength PB. After work, your anaerobic capacity is 7% higher, says Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.