One of the most frequently asked bodybuilding questions involves the best time to train, with many wondering if morning weight lifting sessions are superior for muscle growth. In fact, numerous bodybuilders make the effort to wake up early in the morning to perform their weight lifting sessions, feeling that doing so is the best method for consistent muscle building. Yet, is this truly the case? The answer is not as clear as some may believe.

One of the most important bodybuilding concepts for achieving maximum muscle growth is intensity, which simply means that full effort must take place throughout every weight lifting set (except warm ups), and this concept involves a certain mental focus that will dictate the type of overall muscle gain produced. In order for a weight lifting session to provide a brutal level of focus and output, the bodybuilder must mentally and physically feel energized to engage in the given weight lifting session, and this very factor will greatly influence when a bodybuilder best schedules a weight lifting session for maximum muscle gain.

Many are correct in scheduling weight lifting workout sessions for the early morning hours, as they either experience their greatest energy surge upon awakening, and feel the most motivated to engage in a weight lifting session at that time, or, due to very busy work and family schedules, cannot realistically schedule a weight training session at a time other than very early in the morning, prior to pursuing numerous additional obligations, therefore they are forced into such an undertaking. But some who attempt to pursue early weight lifting sessions despite having the time to train in the afternoon or evening must analyze their own biological response to stress, and if they sense that early morning weight lifting allows them to provide the same level of mental focus and physical effort as an afternoon or evening weight training workout, then they are free to continue such a practice, but if a bodybuilder senses a surge in energy during afternoon or evening hours, far beyond what is experienced earlier in the day, then clearly, if schedule allows, the best time for that particular individual to perform a weight lifting workout is later in the day, when he or she is able to focus maximum physical and mental effort towards intense weight lifting.

One other factor that must be considered is whether a specific weight lifting time allows for superior consistency, as some who pursue early morning weight lifting sessions might find that on certain days, due to fatigue, they sleep later, and begin skipping workouts due to lack of motivation. The bodybuilder should then decide if moving the weight lifting workout later in the day is possible given potential scheduling conflicts, and if doing so is realistic, then this will be the best choice to aid in consistency. Although weight lifting at different times of the day is valid, and can work very well if a bodybuilder is disciplined, most weight lifters will find that performing their sessions at approximately the same time each day increases the chance of long term dedication, as scheduling, a very important aspect in keeping humans on task, is helpful to force a bodybuilder into the gym through eventual habit, while to the contrary, constantly modifying weight lifting workout times each day can easily allow a bodybuilder to begin skipping workouts without feeling any sense of loss.

Although scheduling weight lifting sessions at the same time each day is preferred, those with changing work shifts will have no choice but to perform workouts at a variety of times based on their specific work hours, yet it's best to try and plan ahead as far as possible to determine when those times should be so that, mentally, there is a level of accountability towards meeting weight training obligations. This is far superior to the haphazard approach that many bodybuilders adopt, which eventually results in excuses and missed workout sessions.

The key in achieving maximum muscle building is to choose a time in the day when both mental and physical energy is at high levels, and I recommend consistently staying with this same weight training schedule if work and family commitments permit. Although there is no best time to perform a weight training workout that fits every individual, as this will depend upon personal circumstances and obligations, there is no doubt that the best time for us all will be when we are able to devote maximum mental and physical effort towards an intense, productive weight lifting experience.

Author's Bio: 

Francesco Castano is the owner of IncrediBody, a physical fitness company dedicated to helping others learn exactly how to gain muscle mass and lose weight without supplements or drugs. He authors two programs, one called MuscleNOW, teaching the correct weight training and diet program to gain muscle mass without bodybuilding supplements at, and Fat Vanish, which teaches how to lose weight & burn stomach fat for permanent weight loss, at He includes lifetime email personal training with both programs, where he personally assists all of his clients with training and diet questions, and has hundreds of testimonials validating the effectiveness of his techniques. He also offers weight lifting equipment, protein powder and fitness accessories at Please visit his web sites, and feel free to contact Francesco at any time with your muscle building or weight loss questions!