A Jim of All Trades

Working Out: AM vs PM

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Until very recently, I’ve nearly always exercised in the evenings. I had tried working out in the mornings before, but when doing so I always felt as if I lacked energy and strength. Other than that, it was just harder to make the effort to wake up early and exercise. S0 aside from a few random mornings throughout the years, most of my gym time has taken place in the evenings.

However, about four months ago, I decided to give morning work outs a chance again. There were a few different reasons behind this decision. The largest of which was simply to have more free time. For the past eight plus years I’ve been spending my nights in the gym; it gets a little old after a while and limits what you’re able to accomplish in the evenings. When I was younger and had fewer responsibilities it didn’t matter as much, but now, being married, having a home to maintain, working a full schedule, and having more obligations, my personal time after work has become more valuable to me. So, I decided to start waking up early and going to the gym before work in the mornings. It does mean that I have to go to bed earlier than I used to, but it has indeed allowed me more personal time and flexibility with my schedule.

Now that I’ve been doing it for a little while, I actually prefer it. Before I thought that I lacked strength in the mornings but now I don’t think that’s the case. If I get up early enough I have plenty of time to wake up and to eat some food, which I really think helps raise my energy level. I also make sure to stretch and do some warm up sets before actually getting into working sets. Looking back, I don’t think that I really did this in mornings before; I’d simply wake up, maybe eat something, head to the gym, and start lifting. There are some exercises that don’t go as smoothly as I remember them being in the evenings, but overall I believe that the quality of exercise I’m getting in the mornings is just as good as at night, and just as productive.

There are some other major perks, too. For one, there aren’t as many people there. Quite a few people do come in the AM, but not nearly as many as at night, and the majority use cardio equipment. The weight room doesn’t get much traffic at all. The busiest I’ve seen it would be about average for an evening. There can be a lot of traffic in the evenings though so I definitely like that it’s typically less full and that I don’t have to wait for equipment very often.

Another positive aspect is how most people that get up to work out early in the morning seem to be more determined than those that come in at night. I think the five AM crowd is collectively more motivated and serious about working out, probably because they need to keep on task and get out of there in enough time to get to work. At night, people seem to move at a slower pace and there is more socializing. Don’t get me wrong, I socialize some at the gym too, but when I’m there I’m there to do work. In the morning there are still some socializers and people that you can tell are just going through the motions, but at night there are a lot more people standing around talking, being lazy, and taking up space and equipment. That is a big pet peeve of mine, so I like the AM atmosphere and that there’s little threat of people trying to talk to me excessively or mess up my routine.

Overall I really like the mornings now, though I do have to mention that there are some down sides. The biggest is simply that it’s tough (for me) to wake up really early every morning. I also have to go to bed earlier now, and it makes for a long day till I’m done with work and whatever I have going on in the evening. But, I feel that the pros far outweigh the cons, and now that I’ve been doing it for awhile, I doubt I’ll switch back any time soon. If you’re an exercise nut like me and find yourself challenged for time in the evenings, maybe it’d be worth giving morning gym time a chance.


Written by Jim

January 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm

One Response

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  1. Let’s hear it for 5am gym rats! Yipee. In a twist of irony, I’m trying out a couple of evening workouts this week. They’ve felt great. But you’re completely right about your personal life/spare time and that is exactly why I do it. I feel it’s worth it, and as a morning person my natural tendency is to fall asleep early and wake early anyway. I think I’m ok with that. Until i’m the party guest asleep on the couch… that gets really old… my friends endlessly ridicule me, but none of them got up at 4:45 all week and can’t fight the crash Friday around 10pm. duh right! Anyway, great work, and I believe in you and your weight-gain goals. I want to tell you that good cardio robbing you of weight is a myth, but that is between you, your research and your personal experience. The most important part is that you are healthy and you are covering that pretty dang well :)


    February 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm


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