The best time of day to train is the time that you feel you are the strongest, most motivated, and energized—and can feel that way on a consistent basis. For me, the best time of day is 4:30 a.m. Now, I know of many scientific studies that believe your natural growth hormone levels are at their peak in the morning and conclude that a person will build muscle most effectively at that time. However, that is not the reason I train at 4:30 a.m. I train at this time because of the way I prioritize my focus and energy.
To explain, I will refer to my life when I made my living working in retail management for fifteen years. Let me tell you, my job was tough at times. Retail management is both physically challenging and mentally stressful. How do you think all of that merchandise you see in a store gets on the sales floor? Employees put it all there! And when that merchandise sells down, those employees replace it over and over again; week after week; month after month. It is quite physical work at times. As a manager, it was my responsibility to organize the members of the crew and make sure all of this work was done. Dealing with different personalities, different levels of motivation, and continuous time constraints made my job extremely nerve-wracking at times as well. I eventually realized that I was giving the very best of my mental and physical abilities to my employer. I was running on the leftover “fumes” when I went to the gym after work. Some of my workouts were better than others, but a significant portion of my mental and physical abilities were exhausted at work. That is when I decided to put my personal life, goals, dreams, and bodybuilding career, first, and started training before I went to work. The gains I’ve made in muscle mass and in my performance in the gym have been incredible since then. Although I still gave my employer 100 percent of my effort when I was at work, I gave my bodybuilding career top priority. I can say with the utmost confidence that I would never have accomplished what I have as a bodybuilder and as a businessman if I didn’t take care of myself first. I still did a good job at work because it was important for me to do so for my employer. That’s what he was paying me to do. Unfortunately, many of us see our bodybuilding and training efforts as something extra. If anything gets eliminated because we don’t have enough energy, it usually is our training—and not our work.
If you train at night, taking advantage of the most sophisticated, cutting edge nutritional mass building strategies at the same time can become challenging because the time remaining in the day is much shorter than the time you would have if you trained in the morning. This is just one more reason I suggest to those who are serious about their bodybuilding efforts to train in the mornings.