The Biological Hack For Optimal Training Time

Training is a battle.

A war against your own physical and mental limitations.

Your biggest enemy? The amount of excuses you can come up with.

This battle isn’t one for the weak. The naïve. The impatient.

 

You’ll need to embrace the pain of being a beginner again. New challenges. New routines. New soreness.

But none of those things matter if you don’t train at all.

So before you go further down the rabbit hole of calisthenics training, you better make sure you know what the best time is to do so.

 

The key?

Knowing how your body responds to the time at which you train, is something you must learn.

The battlefield is right in front of you and you have the opportunity to write the heroes’ story.

So when you enter the calisthenics arena, arm yourself with this knowledge.

And keep fighting the good fight.

Everybody is counting on you.

 

 

The Biological Clock You Don’t Know About

 

Do you have a friend that wakes up in the morning and is always ready to go?

Perhaps you are that friend to someone else.

The point is:

“We aren’t all the same, but we live in a body that functions a certain way.”

If you want to master it, you need to know how it works.

So you can adapt your training to your needs and get more out of it in the process.

 

You might have never thought about it consciously.

But there is an entire science behind ‘the best time to train’.

Because your body has an internal biological clock that is ticking the entire day.

While you are awake reading this, but also while you are sleeping.

 

It is called the circadian rhythm. 

This internal clock can have a BIG influence on how hard you can train and on what kind of benefits you can get out of your training in general. 

Want to know how you can use it to your advantage?

Tick along with me!

 

 

What Is Your Circadian Rhythm?

 

 

In layman’s terms, it’s the ‘daily cycle of your biological activity’.

The most basic being the sleep-wake cycle.

Your body has an internal biological clock.

This clock regulates when to activate what systems.

 

When you are asleep for example, your body wouldn’t benefit from extra energy to keep you awake.

So your body secretes ‘certain’ hormones that will allow you to fall asleep.

The rhythm in the figure is based upon an average lifestyle.

Where someone wakes at about 7:30 and goes to bed at 22:30.

It’s to give you a general idea of the bodily processes.

In the picture you can clearly see at what time which specific attributes in your body are at their maximum potential.

So how does this relate to your training?

 

Key Takeaway: Your body follows a biological clock/rhythm throughout the day, you can use this rhythm to schedule a more appropriate training time.

 

How Your Can Hack Your Circadian Rhythm For Better Results

 

For athletes or people like you there are a few important factors: core temperature, hormonal secretion and metabolism.

The temperature of your body correlates with nerve conduction, joint mobility and glucose metabolism in addition to blood flow (1).

This allows for a better overall muscular activation.

But how can you use this to your benefit?

When we take a look at research surrounding core temperature, you can see a clear rise after waking up, followed by a steep decline once asleep (2).

 

 

At this time flexibility, strength and muscle power reach their peak (34, 5).

For more strength, train at times where your core temperature is high.

 

Key Takeway: Training between 14:00-20:30 has shown to be more beneficial in terms of peak performance.

 

Despite the importance of the ‘core temperature’ the regularity of training also seems to play a big role.

If you train more often in the morning, you will become better at training in the morning (6).

Simply put, while you might have a bigger potential for peak performance later on the day, this potential can also be increased earlier on the day by consistently training at that time. 

Why?

Your body adapts.

 

Key Takeaway: Your body is able to adapt to non-optimal training times in terms of performance, but only if you use these times consistently.

 

If we look at the hormonal differences you might make a different choice.

Training in the morning might have bigger benefits for fat loss, specifically when still in a fastened state.

 

 

This study for example shows that while the energy expenditure during exercise was the same, more fat was burned while doing so in a fastened state as shown in the black circles (34% of energy) versus a fed state as shown in the white circles (19% of energy) (7).

More research shows an increased glucose sensitivity and a metabolic boost when done in a fastened state (8, 9).

 

Key Takeaway: Exercising in a fastened state, burns more fat and sets up the body for a stronger fat burning effect throughout the day.

 

So what does this mean for your optimal training time?

  • From a performance perspective, training later on the day between 14:00-20:30 might be the best option due to a higher core temperature which creates a wide range of benefits.
  • If you are more into burning fat you might want to consider working out in the morning in a fastened state, but you need to make sure you reserve an adequate amount of time to warm up your body.

BUT none of this matters if you don’t apply the rule of consistency.

Whatever time you ‘use to consistently’ train at, you will eventually become better at.

So this could be either in the morning or later on the day, depending on what you want your body adapts to. 

 

So don’t quit training if you cannot train at your optimal training time.

It just means you have more excuses than a pregnant nun.

Because you are never going to get any better if you don’t train at all.

Clearly there are a 1001 factors when it comes to optimal training time, but this can be a useful tool to get that edge on yourself and to use your ‘biological clock as an extra hack to your advantage’.

 

Key Takeaway: Whatever your preference may be, ‘overall’ training consistently at a fixed time beats training infrequently at any given so called ‘optimal time’.

 

 

A Quick Infographic On Optimal Training Time

 

 

 

Use The Circadian Rhythm To Your Advantage

 

The battle against human limitations isn’t easy.

But even scarier, imagine spending your live without ever fighting a battle for a good cause at all.

You’ll never truly know what that ‘cause’ could have brought you. Not even close.

You’ll spend your life looking at things outside of the only body you have.

While never discovering how it works from the inside.

 

It’s ok to feel like quitting or not training sometimes. Everybody has those moments. 

But if you decide you want to achieve your goals, you can’t let that emotion stop you.

Not while you still have time left.

Master you time and body, second by second, they can be your brothers in arms. Together you will fight the good fight.

You just need to find the right rhythm. 

 

Beast mode ON!

 

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Did you like this post?

Or maybe you have a question.

Either way, leave a quick comment below right now.

 

 

10 thoughts on “The Biological Hack For Optimal Training Time

    1. Hey Francis,

      This is not an easy question to answer and I have no supporting research, but if you can generate more output, you will be more able to increase the volume. Which means more progressive overload, which in combination with proper nutrition and rest will lead to more mass, so in that case the later time window. If you have excess fat however, that extra fat might prevent you from actually gaining muscle efficiently, so you might want to try an earlier time.

      It depends. The most important factor still is…to actually do your workouts ;).

      Beast mode ON!

  1. I think you are definitily right about this! But sometimes i my case for example its not so simple and i have too make choices every day. I always am short off time and most off the time i am always tired. Still i keep training. I wake upp 4.30 every morning and i am home at 17.30. Thats my working day. Every tuesday i work 15 ours at one day. So no rest at all. When i come home off course i have too do the other stuff. Cooking cleaning etc… and off course training. And when i am finished its around bed time 21.00 ours. But i cant go too bed right away because i dont want too work eat train sleep. No then most off the time i do something nice for myself. And thats the reasen i always am short off sleep. I sleep around lets say 5 ours each night :). But i know what you mean with this blog.Because i have trained and lived different times in the past. Specially when i had no job or different jobs . So in my case i do what i can. And its means that training cost my more effort and strenght then when i was younger when i had TIME! 🙂 Greetings lowie

    1. Hey Lowie,

      I completely agree. That’s why I emphasised, that while it’s better to train at certain times in relationship to certain results. The most important thing is to train.

      Sometimes indeed from a practical point of view isn’t not as easy as it seems to ‘optimise your time’, but nonetheless it’s a useful piece of information to use whenever it is useful.

      Keep up the good work!

      Beast mode ON!

  2. Excellent post Rich! Loved having a good read of this, I really didn’t realise the potential within this area. This will be a great addition to my training, thanks a lot.

    BEAST MODE ON 😉

    1. Hey Ronan,

      Wauw, thanks for your message!

      I’m happy you enjoyed the read. Haha, there is so much potential, but you need to know where to find it ;).

      Keep up the good work my friend!

      Beast mode ON!

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