Time IT Right: The Bottom Line on WHEN to Exercise

chronotype resistance training time of day
People. Outdoors. Exercise. Fitness. Weight loss.

The time of day you exercise matters. Although there is a lot of information out there about when to exercise and why, and it gets pretty scientific, here's the bottom line:

  1. The type of exercise you do matters.
  2. Different types of exercise get different results at different times of the day.
  3. The body uses different substrates like fat and oxygen differently at different times of the day.
  4. Intensity influences time of day results. High intensity exercise shows no preference; however, lower to moderate prefers late morning.
  5. There is recent data that suggests for TYPE II diabetics, early to late evening is the best time to train.
  6. Do resistance training between 4 and 6 pm for best results. After 8 pm, testosterone decreases, and this is not the best time.
  7. Do flexibility exercises between 4 and 6 pm for best results. Muscles most pliable and body temperature highest.
  8. Do cardiovascular exercise for general fitness around 10 – 11 am for best results.
  9. Do mind-body exercise like Yoga and sports-specific training around midday for best results.
  10. Get your body on a 24-hour schedule in alignment with your master clock.
  11. Workout at the same time of day each day to train your muscle clocks, the muscle’s brains.
  12. Stay on a regular eating schedule to synchronize your body.

Learn your chronotype, click here.

To explore the latest on RT methods and earn PT CEUs, click here.


Ashmore, Amy. 2020. Timing Resistance Training: Programming the Muscle Clock for Optimal Performance. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.

Author Biography

Amy Ashmore, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a physical therapy continuing education provider located in Las Vegas, NV.


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