When is the Best Time to Workout to Build Muscle?

In a Nutshell: The best time to workout for building muscle is typically in the evening when the body is primed with better hydration, more energy, and peak body heat, potentially leading to greater muscle gains.


  • Evening workouts may lead to 50% more muscle gain than morning sessions due to better hydration, energy reserves, and peak body heat.
  • Using caffeine and a longer, intense warm-up for morning workouts can enhance performance.
  • Personal routine consistency is crucial, regardless of the time of day.

Best Workout Times for Muscle Growth

Ever pondered if the clock has anything to say about your muscle gains? Let’s dive into this with Jeremy Ethier, the mastermind behind “Built With Science.” 

He’s not your average fitness enthusiast; as a NASM-certified expert and Kinesiology graduate, Ethier brings a heap of science to the fitness table.

Science Says: Evening Might Be Your Muscle Ally

Alright, here’s the deal: if you’re hitting the gym in the evening, which science suggests might be the best time, you might be onto something.

Ethier highlights research, like this mind-bending 2016 study, that places evening workouts on a higher pedestal for muscle growth – we’re talking about a whopping 50% more muscle gain compared to morning workouts. 

It turns out, your body is in a sort of ‘prime time’ in the evening – better hydration, more energy reserves, and a peak in body heat.

What If You’re a Dawn Patrol?

Now, for the early risers, Ethier hasn’t left you in the dust. “Morning workouts can still be a powerhouse,” he reassures. 

His golden advice? A caffeine jolt pre-workout can be a game-changer, shooing away any morning sluggishness.

And that warm-up? Make it longer and more intense to wake up your body – it’s all about getting that internal thermometer rising for optimal performance.

It’s Evening vs. Morning – But What Wins for You?

Science leans towards the evening, sure, but Ethier is big on personalizing your fitness journey. “Your routine should fit into your life, not the other way around,” he stresses. 

The best time for your workout is ultimately the one you can consistently commit to, day in and day out.

Here’s the kicker – whether you’re an owl or a lark, staying consistent is what really pumps up those muscles. 

Ethier’s advice rings clear: find your rhythm and stick to it. “Consistency trumps all,” he says. It’s about creating a workout schedule that’s as regular as your morning coffee or evening Netflix binge.

Evening Workouts: A Closer Look

Let’s circle back to those evening workouts. Why do they pack such a punch? 

Ethier points to the body’s natural rhythms – by evening, you’ve eaten a few meals, you’re well-hydrated, and your body’s warmed up from the day’s activities. 

It’s like your body is primed and ready to go in the evening, the best time to make the most out of every squat, lift, and press.

Morning Workouts: Tips for Optimization

But for the morning crew, it’s not all doom and gloom. Ethier suggests strategies to level the playing field. 

We’re talking about strategic caffeine use, dynamic warm-ups, and maybe even a pre-workout snack to fuel those AM sessions. “It’s about making the morning work for you,” he adds.

So, evening workouts have a slight edge – thanks, science. But in Ethier’s world of fitness, what really matters is what works for you. 

Whether it’s the crack of dawn or the glow of the sunset that sees you tying your gym shoes, what matters is that you’re doing it consistently. As Ethier puts it, “The best workout is the one you actually do.”

Jeremy Ethier isn’t just throwing workout tips at us; he’s weaving in solid science with the realities of daily life. 

It’s a refreshing take on fitness – understanding that while science gives us the map, our individual lives dictate the journey. This approach doesn’t just build muscles; it builds sustainable fitness lifestyles.

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