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By: Kate Ter Haar

The Pros and Cons of When You Workout

You know that getting in your workout is important, even if you’re a time crunched triathlete. But maybe you didn’t know that when you workout can be just as important as what you do during your workout.

Working out in the MORNING


  • Morning workouts are good for fat burning (if done on an empty stomach)
  • Completing a workout in the morning gets it off the “to do list”. I know many triathletes who simply can’t relax until they complete their training for the day.
  • Most endurance competitions are early in the morning, therefore your body will be used to hard efforts in the morning.
  • Morning workouts help with consistency. It’s difficult to procrastinate a workout if you commit to it every morning.
  • Some research shows that morning workouts can produce better sleep when compared to working out in the afternoon or evening.
  • Masters swim sessions and spinning classes are typically only available in the morning.
  • Above all morning workouts are simply convenient to do before work.


  • Your mind and your body aren’t fully awake therefore a proper warm-up is a must.
  • Not consuming a good pre-workout meal can negatively affect hard workouts.
  • You are at your highest risk for a heart attack in the morning. Working out doesn’t help this risk.
  • Its common to feel rushed through the workout so you can get to work.

Working out in the AFTERNOON


  • Your body has the best coordination, making things like swimming or other technique drills smoother.
  • Your body is at its fastest reaction time, allowing you to feel “sharp” during your workout.
  • Your body is at its greatest cardiovascular efficiency and muscle strength. Many Olympics athletes claim to have their best performance in the afternoon.
  • You have time consume and digest a proper meal or meals before your workout.
  • The afternoon is typically the warmest part of the day making cold winter workouts just a little bit warmer.


  • Many people have work or other obligations in the afternoon making afternoon workouts inconvenient.
  • Group workouts typically aren’t scheduled in the afternoon. Most group workouts are in the morning or evening.
  • Afternoon workouts are complicated to organize as they are in the middle of the day. Even if you’re off work doing a workout in the middle of the day can be hard to organize around your other daily tasks.

Working out in the EVENING


  • Convenient to do after workout. Many people go straight from work to gym.
  • Working out after work is a great way to let off steam before you go home. Many people find a workout after work relaxes them.
  • When jumping into an evening workout your body is warmed up from the day already. Therefore, you don’t need much of a warm-up before a workout.
  • The evening is usually the coolest part of the day making it nice during hot summer months.
  • You have time consume and digest proper meals before your workout.


  • Gyms are packed. Everyone else in your gym likes to workout after work too.
  • During winter months it’s typically dark outside making running and biking difficult and even unsafe.
  • Evening workouts can cause disrupted sleep. When you finished a workout your heart rate is up and typically you feel energized, this is not good if you need to get to sleep within a few hours.
  • Eating after a evening workout can be tricky, as you need to replenish your body but you have to go to bed therefore you don’t want to eat too much.


Scientifically speaking the best time to workout is in the afternoon. However, they’re a many pros to working out in morning and evening that favor you and your specific goals. I recommend trying different times to workout to you can and see what works best for you. Maybe certain workouts work better at different times? I personally notice I swim better in the afternoon but run better in the morning. See what works for you and do your best to schedule your training around it.

About The Author

Brad Haag is a Triathlon Coach, Personal Trainer, and a National Qualifying Triathlete. As a graduate of Ben Greenfield’s Superhuman Coach program, Brad specializes in coaching endurance and warrior class athletes to peak performance. He can be found at HaagsAthletics.com or as a featured coach at PacificFit.net

About Eric H. Doss

Eric is a triathlete and writer. He has competed in all distances of triathlons, from sprints to full Ironman distance races. He founded FitEgg.com in 2009 to meet the increasing need for professional, unbiased reviews of triathlon gear.

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