AM vs. PM Workouts

  • I just started my BFL officially today. I am male, 5' 5" and 139 lbs and reasonably in shape although ready to transform into something much better.

    The BFL book makes a big deal about working out in the AM on an empty stomach (and not eating for an hour after for cardio) with particular importance placed on doing this for the 20 min aerobic workouts; one burns stored fat reserves more efficiently ect...

    I have a very difficult time getting up earlier than 8:00 AM but believe I can do it when it comes to the aerobic regimen.

    So the question is, can I still achieve the same type of maximal results with doing my resistance training in the evening pending I follow the same eating and rest guidelines outlined in BFL?

    Additionally, could I still achieve these same maximal results if I ALSO did my aerobic exercise at night or early evening as well?

    I dont want to sabotage my efforts but would like some honest accurate answers.

    Any input would be GREATLY appreciated.


  • It appears from your stats that fat burning may not be your goal which is why BFL suggests early morning fasted workouts.  If not, then workout when it's best for you.  Forcing yourself up to grudgingly do a workout because it's what you are supposed to do isn't really what's important.  What's important is giving it 110% when you do it.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Don't sweat I do not ever workout in the morning on an empty stomach....cardio or weights. I always work out in the late afternoon or evening and have had great results. Feel free to check out my pics on my profile. All the best to you!!

    fit4life "The dream must be bigger than the pain"

  • Champster09,

    Thanks for the response.  While I don't consider myself overweight I do have fat I want to loose so I am inclined to say that fat burning IS my goal AS WELL AS adding muscle mass.  

    Given this clarification of my goal(s) on balance is it more effective to work out in the AM?  

    Can I accomplish just as effective of a aerobic workout at night just as long as I'm doing them consistently and with the right respective intensities?  

    I am after all trying to loose 10 lbs of fat and replace with 10 lbs of muscle.

    I know the question seems redundant but I wanted to clarify my goals.



  • Thanks fit,

    Just trying to get somewhat of a consensus of AM effectiveness vs. PM as I dont want to be throwing away my cardio workouts by doing them in a less effective time.



  • Andre here is a good article on it by Tom Venuto.

    For my and my wife's schedule we do our workouts in the early evening but do so not eating for at least 2hrs before hand.

    About 1/2 way down there is a great section on HIIT training and why it is good for the after burn of calories.

  • Andre,

    When I did my first two challenges last year, I did cardio in the morning and lifted at lunch.  I found lifting at lunch to be better for me as I was "warmed up" and had more strength than I did first thing in the AM.  First challenge I lost 28lbs and second challenge I lost 12 doing it that way ... so maybe split it up.

    Like others have said, it depends on what your goals are, but if fat loss is one of them, the AM cardio is probably best.

    Like Champster said, if you are going grudgingly, and that will make you burn out, then do them later.  Just do them and do them hard.

  • This is from the link BCBILL posted.

    "1. When you wake up in the morning after an overnight 8-12 hour fast, your body’s stores of glycogen are somewhat depleted (especially if you are on a reduced carb diet and you cut back on carbs late in the day). Doing cardio in this state causes your body to mobilize more fat because of the unavailability of glycogen.

    2. Eating causes a release of insulin. Insulin interferes with the mobilization of body fat. Less insulin is present in the morning; therefore, more body fat is burned when cardio is done in the morning.

    3. There is less carbohydrate (glucose) "floating around" in the bloodstream when you wake up after an overnight fast. With less glucose available, you will burn more fat.

    4. If you eat immediately before a workout, you have to burn off what you just ate first before tapping into stored body fat (and insulin is elevated after a meal.)

    5. When you do cardio in the morning, your metabolism stays elevated for a period of time after the workout is over. If you do cardio in the evening, you burn calories during the session so you definitely benefit from it, but you fail to take advantage of the "afterburn" effect because your metabolic rate drops dramatically as soon as you go to sleep."

    "Here are some of the additional benefits of doing cardio early in the morning (whether fasted or not):

    1.It makes you feel great all day by releasing mood-enhancing endorphins.

    2. It "energizes" you and "wakes you up."

    3. It may help regulate your appetite for the rest of the day.

    4. Your body’s circadian rhythm adjusts to your morning routine, making it easier to wake up at the same time every day.

    5. You’ll be less likely to "blow off" your workout when it’s out of the way early (like when you’re exhausted after work or when friends ask you to join them at the pub for happy hour).

    6. You can always "make time" for exercise by setting your alarm earlier in the morning.

    7. It increases your metabolic rate for hours after the session is over."

    For males your testosterone is high in the mid to late afternoon and that's the ideal time to lift weights.

    If you ever go to the gym between 2pm and 5pm you will see the bodybuilder type doing their workout most likely


    The best time to workout is a time that you can get it done. It might not be the most efficient but its better than risking missing a workout.

    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”