So when exactly is the best time to weight train, do sprints or any other activity to optimize your Testosterone levels?
There is a lot of information which suggests that morning training is the best time of day to lift in order to optimize your testosterone levels. This is due in large part because of the general acceptance of studies which indicate men’s hormonal profile is cyclic, which means your levels of various hormones rise and fall on a circadian rhythm.
Within that rhythm hormones such as cortisol and testosterone have been shown to be highest in the early morning hours. It stands to reason that training when your testosterone is the highest is going to produce the most results. The fact of the matter is that science is leading the way on what has been primarily an anecdotal nexus between training time and testosterone levels. That being high testosterone = best time to train.
Consider this recent study which, to briefly summarize, took a group of men and performed an analysis on serum testosterone levels at different periods in the day including pre and post training. The net result was that testosterone was still elevated when the subjects trained in the afternoon.
So what exactly does this mean?
Well my friend as it turns out it still is not an exact science. What we take from this study is that weight training in the afternoon still produces the desired effect of elevating testosterone. This enables our to add muscles mass, optimize energy use and storage, improve mood and enhance sexual function. BUT…as the study highlights it is only periodic. Your goal should be to elevate your testosterone levels in general so your baseline serum levels are consistently at a level that optimizes your performance for all functions.
What if you aren’t weight training?
What if your goal is strictly fat loss to optimize body composition? There are a wide range of variables you must consider, first of which is to determine what your primary goal is, because as it turns out our bodies are capable of performing better at specific times based on what we might be trying to achieve. In order to provide you with a specific answer to the question, ” when is the best time to weight train ? ” my answer, based on the studies that I have read, is that in relation to testosterone production…it doesn’t matter. Morning or afternoon, your testosterone levels will elevate as a result of imposing the demands of resistance training on your body.
The variables to consider
Now given that there are a wide range of variables to consider in relation to performance you can tailor your activity based on your optimal body state. For example if you want to push through a new plateau in pull-ups you might want to move that workout to the afternoon as pain tolerance is higher.
Here is a breakdown of your circadian hormonal cycles. MORNING: Testosterone is peaking Mental alertness is also peaking late in the morning. Memory is better. Body temp is lower than normal (which is a favorite of mine because I always run hot!)
- AFTERNOON: Higher than normal pain tolerance Late afternoon body temp is on the rise as is adrenalin Optimal mental/physical peaks are intersecting
- EVENING: Coordination, stamina, body temperature are peaked Better performance in VO2max volume Better than average period for flexibility Strength is higher Mental focus is on the decline.
- NIGHT: Your body is preparing to go to sleep. To optimize Growth Hormone try to take advantage of this cycle and avoid training if you can.
As you can see there are a number of variables to consider as it relates to the best time of day to weight train, but not only that, you should consider what your objective is on the day. The truth of the matter is that it is entirely up to you however you can use this guide as a means to direct your activity relative to what you are trying to achieve.