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13.01.2018


Study: strength training in the early morning results in as much muscle mass as training in the afternoon

Study: strength training in the early morning results in as much muscle mass as training in the afternoon
If you who have the freedom to work out any time of day or night, then it might be a good idea to train at the end of the afternoon or at the beginning of the evening, and not early in the morning. That may yield just a little more muscle, according to quite a few studies. But according to the research that the Slovakian movement scientist Milan Sedliak will soon publish in Chronobiology International, it does not matter.

Study
Sedliak had 11 untrained males in their twenties perform a a full body workout for 11 weeks twice a week between 7.30 and 8.30 in the morning. A group of 7 men did the same, but then in the afternoon between 16.00 and 17.00. A control group of 7 men did not work out.

Results
Sedliak determined before, during and after the training period how much isometric force the subjects could develop. Isometric force is a - not always reliable - indicator of real life muscle strength. Both groups became equally stronger.


Study: strength training in the early morning results in as much muscle mass as training in the afternoon


Study: strength training in the early morning results in as much muscle mass as training in the afternoon


Before and after training period, Sedliak determined the size of the leg muscle quadriceps femoris using MRI scans - and discovered that the size had increased in both groups equally.

Explanation
The results of Sedliak are surprising. Everything we knew about the chronobiology of exercise suggested that strength workouts should be just a little more effective at the end of the afternoon or the beginning of the evening than workouts in the mornings.

Sedliak discovered that morning workouts result in a stronger activity of the anabolic signal molecule p70S6 than sessions later in the day. This effect is perhaps so strong that all other known factors, which would make workouts more effective later in the day, no longer play a significant role.


Study: strength training in the early morning results in as much muscle mass as training in the afternoon


Conclusion
"In previously untrained young men, comparable gains in lower extremity muscle mass and strength can be achieved regardless of whether training is performed in the morning or in the afternoon hours", Sedliak summarizes. "This seems to hold true when the training period last from 10 to 12 weeks."

What would Sedliak have found if his experiment had lasted longer than 12 weeks?

More coming soon.

Source:
Chronobiol Int. 2017 Dec 28:1-15. doi: 10.1080/07420528.2017.1411360. [Epub ahead of print].

More:
Training in the evening gives you more muscles, more definition 19.11.2009
Bodybuilders who train in the evening may grow faster 22.03.2009

Archives:
Strength Training


Endurance performance better late in the afternoon than early in the morning
If you're free to choose what time you get on your bike or put on your trainers, then let go of those romantic notions of early morning training sessions and get a good lie in instead.

You're at your strongest early in the evening
The best time for strength training is around six o'clock in the evening, according to a study done at the French Laboratoire INSERM.

Training in the afternoon slightly more effective than in the morning
In the short term it makes no difference whether you pump iron in the morning or afternoon. But if you can choose, then probably in the long term it's better to train in the afternoon.