What is the best time of day to work out? See what our trainer has to say on the matter on LC.com

When it comes to working out, we usually determine our gym time on how heavy our workload may be. Sometimes that looks like early in the morning before we head to the office or later in the evening when we’re finally on our way home. Consistency is key to any workout, so we’ve been trying to decide which is better: a morning or afternoon workout. Because we weren’t entirely sure which one is better than the other, we’ve called on personal trainer, Dr. Hunter Vincent, to help us make the final decision. If you’re like us and are still trying to figure out a routine, you’re going to want to keep reading…

The perfect workout time varies from person to person. What one person needs to achieve his or her fitness goals may be completely different from someone else. It’s important to understand that no matter the time of day, whether it’s morning, noon or night, the number one aspect of any routine is consistency. And let’s be honest, not everyone is accustomed to waking up early or staying up late! Overall, any exercise is good exercise especially if you’re willing to do it repeatedly. Keep scrolling to see Dr. Hunter Vincent’s pros and cons for each time of day and make the final decision on which works best for you…

Morning Workouts

The Pros:

1. Get it out of the way early.

Choosing to work out in the morning minimizes your risk of collapsing on the couch after work and getting sucked into a good old-fashioned Netflix binge. Being an early bird minimizes the risk of potential cancellation. As the day progresses, there are more opportunities for last minute catastrophes to get in the way of your workout. Getting it out of the way early eliminates the chance of something else knocking your exercise off of the to-do list.

2. Beat the crowds.

Waking up and hitting the gym a little earlier helps you beat the rush and avoid unwanted crowds. Most gyms and group classes will have open spots early as opposed to later in the morning and after work hours. Save yourself the hassle (and a spot on the treadmill!) by hitting the gym in the morning.

3. Get better sleep.

When it comes to sleep quality, a hard morning workout cam help improve your sleep quality. There’s nothing worse than laying in bed at night with a bad case of insomnia, so help yourself out by working out in the morning. Getting adequate beauty sleep is just as important as working on your fitness!

The Cons:

1. It feels more difficult. 

Don’t worry it’s not just you! Morning workouts tend to feel like they require more effort than afternoon workouts. This could be due to the fact that your body needs a little bit more time to wake up. Muscles are stiff, your joints have been static, and your body is colder. That being said, a proper warm-up is crucial when you hit the gym in the morning. We recommend taking a morning yoga class to help your body loosen up and prepare your mind and body for the adventures and challenges of the day ahead.

Afternoon Workouts

The Pros:

1. Improved flexibility. 

As your body progresses throughout the day, it naturally becomes more flexible due to your body temperature rising. This can help minimize injuries in the long run. A proper warm up is always crucial no matter the time of day, but if you work out in the afternoon your body already has a little head start!

2. Better for maximum effort.

When it comes to boosting your physical performance and giving maximum effort, afternoon workouts do just the trick. Afternoon training sessions increase your tolerance for intense exercise, helping you get more out of your workout. Sounds like a win-win to us!

The Cons:

1. Goodbye happy hour.

Now, this can also be seen as a positive thing, but a little bit of balance goes a long way! Whether it’s watching a sunset with your main squeeze or meeting up with friends after work, an afternoon workout can minimize your time to socialize. Although this might result in less calorie intake, it’s not usually as fun as happy hour. Remember that your body will love you for it!

A huge thank you to Dr. Hunter Vincent for his advice! We love that he gave us the pros and cons of each time slot. Now it’s time for you to decide: morning of afternoon?

What time of day are you more willing to workout?

Let us know in the comments!

XO Team LC

Photos: Stephanie Todaro for LaurenConrad.com
  • Victoria Mather

    I’m an evening excerciser because I shower at night but I loved all these tips!

  • manuela

    Hi Lauren I usually do workout in the afternoon! thank you for these tips!
    xoxo M.

  • Jen Brett

    I’m in Budapest for a year and the sun comes up much sooner than in my SoCal home. I’ve been naturally waking up with the sun around 5:45 and to my surprise, a morning run or bike ride is super easy.

  • Kendall

    I have always felt so bad that I hated morning workouts so much – good to know it’s not just me! They emphasize that you burn more in the morning, but I have found I am able to push harder in the afternoon.

    • LaurenConradOnline

      Yes, there are definitely pros for both times of day! We’re right there with you. 🙂

  • I used to worry about the best time to workout… but I’ve learned that the best time is whatever time you actually do it. Mornings work for me because it’s harder for me to make excuses not to do it.

  • Cassandra

    I quite enjoy working out before bed. In the mornings working out can make me run late. So instead I workout then I shower then I go to sleep.

  • Emma Smith

    Trying to find the motivation in the morning was way too hard for me, so I started going for runs in the afternoon and it worked out great for if I wanted to let off some steam or the opposite and I was full of energy from a succesful day. It really is all about finding out what balances your life out x


  • I usually workout midday or afternoon on days off. I just cannotttttt wake up early. So my earliest workouts are like 10:30 haha!


  • I love a good morning workout and my day goes so much better when I do it. That being said, I have a really hard time waking up, so a lot of my workouts are after work :-/ If only I could remember how much I love morning workouts when I’m half asleep and my alarm goes off!

  • When I’m working out, I prefer to do it in the morning so I can get it out of the way. Working out sometimes feels like a chore so it’s best to just do it.

    Berry Dakara Blog

  • Kari Guastella

    If I work out in the mornings then I tend to miss less, but I can’t work out as hard. I just don’t function as well in the mornings!

  • I try to work out in the mornings when I can! I always feel better about the rest of my day when I know I’ve already knocked it out. Having said that, like mentioned, I feel like I get a better workout in when I do it at night. Hey, as long as it gets done, right?

    Samantha | samantharosesays.com

  • I’ve never really been a morning workout person, and I usually workout in the afternoon, but now with my new hectic work schedule, I’m starting to think that maybe early morning really is the only way I can fit it in to my day. Thank you so much for sharing such an in-depth and thorough analysis! <3 Really loved the different pros and cons for both 🙂

    XO, Elizabeth

  • I think I workout better in the mornings. Otherwise, I’ll come up with too many excuses later in the day for why I can’t go. I’m just way more motivated in the mornings regardless of how tired I am 🙂

    x, Sam

  • Lauren B

    I like a mixture of both, but I think after-work gym sessions are more beneficial. I’m able to push myself harder, and I’ll end up eating a healthy dinner so as not to negate the workout. Dinner is the worst time of day to eat junk!

  • I’m just happy if I skip the tacos and workout at all Lol


  • amisboutiquex

    Any tips on motivating yourself to wake up in the morning and run? Our problem is getting out of bed!