This is Part II in a three-part series to help you pick the best time to workout for fat loss. Today I’ll be talking about the pros and cons of afternoon workouts and of course giving you ideas on how to make the best of them. Check out Part I (morning workouts) and Part III (evening workouts).
Like I said in Part I, getting results with exercise is more about consistency than it is about the timing.
But there are some ways in which afternoon workouts have an edge over other times of day, especially #1.
What are the pros of afternoon workouts?
#1 You have a set amount of time…
With afternoon workouts that are squeezed into your break in the day, you have a fixed amount of time – usually a very short time – to get that workout in. This means you’re more likely to stay focused throughout your workout instead of watching the screen at the gym, talking to your gal pal, or staring at the gorgeous man pumping weights in the corner (not that we ever do that 😜…)
#2 You’ll be mostly warmed up
By this time of day, you’ll have moved quite a bit and your muscles won’t be as stiff as they are in the mornings. This means that your warm-ups don’t have to be as precise as with your morning workouts. But it’s still always good practice to warm up the major muscles that you’ll be using in the workout so that you minimize your risk of injury.
#3 You’re less likely to hit a wall
If you’ve ever worked out first thing in the morning and felt like you don’t have the bandwidth to squeeze one more rep in, then you’ll be grateful for this afternoon advantage. By this time, you would’ve had at least one meal and you’ll have some energy that you can use to boost your exercise performance.
What are the cons of afternoon workouts?
#1 Your time is limited
Yes this is the same thing as the pro above, but it can be a double-edged sword. If you’ve got a gym close to your working space, this wouldn’t be much of an issue. Otherwise, working out in the afternoon means you have only one hour to workout, get back to looking & feeling professional instead of a sweaty but accomplished mess 😜, and get back to crush an afternoon of client calls.
This can make you rush your workout and cut corners that can cause injury.
How can you make the most of your morning workouts?
#1 Plan your workouts in advance
This applies to any time you workout but is more important here because you have a short amount of time to exercise. Planning your workouts in advance will help you make sure your workout is well thought out and this will increase the chance that you’ll get an effective workout without hurting yourself.
If you don’t know what to do, then consider taking a group exercise class if you can get one or hire a trainer to get you started and give you the basics so you know what to do if you choose to continue on your own.
#2 Minimize distractions
Because you’re working with a short amount of time, you can’t afford to be distracted because it can result in an injury. Planning your workouts in advance will help minimize distractions in advance and focusing on your workout when doing it will help you take care of the rest.
Exercise is an important tool to help you live a healthy lifestyle, but there are more…
In You Don’t Need a Diet, I break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.