Ah, morning training. Many of the “gurus” will have you believe that this is the ONE secret to having 6 pack abs, making millions of dollars, and getting tons of chicks. Along with ice baths.

Because if you don’t get up at 4am to train, you’re lazy and worthless, right?


Morning training is SUPER overrated and, for most people, counterproductive.

There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Getting up super early cuts into your sleep which is crucial to your progress (assuming you don’t go to bed at 8pm which I doubt many of you do)
  2. It’s tough to get in the right mental zone to drive progress this early in the morning

Number 1 is pretty obvious and doesn’t need much explanation. Number 2 is highly overlooked and equally important. Allow me to explain.

I’ve said many times that lifting is just as mental as it is physical. This means that you need to be in the right mental zone in order to hit a difficult lift. And if you don’t hit the difficult lift, then your workout was a failure. It’s that simple.

As a reminder – your progress is driven by the amount of weight on the bar. What matters is that the weight goes up over time.

For most people, it’s pretty difficult to get in the right zone immediately after waking up to a screaming alarm before dawn and rolling out of bed. Waking up and immediately getting under a heavy-ass bar for a set of 5 squats is NOT fun. If you don’t believe me, then go ahead and try it. You probably won’t hit the lift either.

Most people who think that they can do this are not actually training. They’re exercising, and exercise does not drive progress. This is why these people look the same, year after year.

If you really want to get some activity in the early morning, then it should be either conditioning work or skill practice. These have different mental requirements, and they can be better done first thing in the day.

So what is the best time to train? For most people, the afternoons or evenings will be best. That could be over lunch or after work. Studies have shown that most men are strongest in the late afternoon/early evening, although I haven’t noticed much of a difference when training any time between 9am and 9pm. The most important thing is that you have time to wake up and do a few things before starting training.