Working Out In Morning Vs Night – Benefits

The Benefits Working Out In Morning Vs Night

The ultimate difference between working out in morning vs night is which works for you.

This could be someone at night or morning. Are you a morning or a night person?

Are you curious of when you should work out? There’s a slight difference in working out in morning vs night. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. I’ll explain the benefits and setbacks of both. I recommend early afternoon as best, but not everyone’s schedules will allow it. Even so, when you workout shouldn’t be a huge issue and I’ll tell you why.

In the morning you have the benefit of being wide awake(usually) on your side. At night you have the benefit of an entire day’s worth of nutrition. There are also smaller factors that will govern your workout. Working out too late can also affect your sleep.

Working out at night – pros and cons

Keep in mind that this may be different for everyone. Many will find that they feel stronger and can last longer in their workouts at night vs morning. This is because your body has had the whole day to be up and active.

The key factors that attribute to this are hydration, glycogen, and blood flow. At night you’ve had the whole day to drink up, eat, and move around. This allows your muscles and body to be in a more ready state to workout. Injuries are far less likely around this period. Pros of working out at night vs morning:

  • A whole day’s worth of nutrition providing energy for your muscles.
  • An entire day’s worth of moving around and activity for muscle blood flow.
  • Your body is fully hydrated at this point assuming you drank enough water.
When deciding between working out in morning vs night, keep in mind that night workouts may cause sleepiness.

If you work out in a well lit gym, melatonin might not be an issue. Working out in the dark can cause sleepiness.

One of the key differences of working out in morning vs night is an absence of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you feel tired. This lets your body know that it’s night time and it should sleep. It builds after sundown and continues until bed time.

Melatonin could affect your workout by making you feel tired during. But usually goes away after you warm up. Now, before you run off and go for a 4 mile jog at 9pm, hear me out.

Working out late can affect your sleep. Especially if you workout within 2-3 hours of sleep. This happens because your metabolism kicks into high gear and gets your body into “alert” mode. This can have serious repercussions on your quality of sleep. Ok, the cons:

  • Melatonin can make you feel sleepy and take away your desire to workout.
  • Working out late kicks your metabolism into high gear which can affect sleep.
Working out in the morning – pros and cons

My personal least favorite time to workout is right after getting up. Fear not, as I will not let my bias get ahead of me. There are cons as well as benefits to working out in morning vs night. One may feel weaker in morning workouts due to lack of hydration and nutrition.

The main benefits to working out in the morning lie less in your fitness goals. What I mean is that you won’t be at your best strength in the morning, especially right after waking up. Your body hasn’t had adequate time to fully hydrate. The benefits due however lean more towards personal and well being. A good workout can set your day right and make you feel good. This makes it easier to handle the stress that comes ahead. The pros:

  • Increased well being throughout the day.
  • Calmer mood.
  • Helps with focus.
  • Improves productivity.
  • Treats depression.
When working out in the morning it's essential to give yourself some food and water.

It’s important to give your body what it needs if you choose to workout in the morning. Don’t be afraid to be cheat a little with the food choice as your workout will likely burn the excess.

These pros DO occur with a night time workout as well. However, at night you really don’t have as much time to enjoy these benefits. This is especially true if you workout within 2 hours of going to bed. Whatever productivity enhancement you get is “wasted” away sleeping. A disrupted less restful sleep at that.

Despite how much water you manage to chug in between the hour of waking up and going to the gym. It takes your body about 4 hours to fully hydrate itself. The time it takes to store glycogen(your muscle’s energy source) is even longer. Not to mention the fact that your muscles haven’t really warmed themselves up.

Don’t believe me? Weigh yourself right after you wake up and then 6 hours later. The difference is due to hydration levels. Hydration is very important and dehydration can account for over a 20% strength loss. This isn’t very effective if you are trying to get stronger and faster. I’ve always noticed much less athleticism when I’ve worked out early in the morning. So, the cons of working out in morning vs night.

  • Less hydration in the muscles(could lead to injury).
  • Glycogen(muscle’s energy source) is depleted in the muscles.
  • Less blood flow throughout the body(could lead to injury).
It’s ultimately up to you

What do you prefer? Working out in the morning vs night or the other way around? There shouldn’t be that big of a difference assuming you properly ready yourself.

In the mornings make sure you drink as much water as you can and have some salt. Also have some carbs to help provide your muscles energy. If possible wait at least 4 hours after waking up. During that period make sure to hydrate and eat to give your body plenty of energy. You may not feel as strong in the morning workouts, but your body may adapt.

I personally prefer to workout in the afternoon.

I find that afternoon provides the best bang for the buck. Not too sleepy, yet fully hydrated and fed.

At night make sure you keep your workout at least 4 hours before bed time. Make sure you do a cool down session and have some food after your workout. This will help replenish your body so you won’t wake up miserable and exhausted the next day.

As I said before, I prefer afternoon workouts if possible. It seems to be the best bang for the buck. Your body is fully fed and hydrated, but you won’t feel too tired. It’s also a great way to combat the afternoon crash. It’s up to you though. Sometimes your schedule may not allow it. In that case, it’s up to you to decide between the pros and cons of each.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to bookmark and subscribe. I’m always trying to figure out new topics that help people out. If you have any suggestions, leave me a comment or email. I’ll be glad to hear it and will get back to you.

James – james@inshapeinweeks.cominshapeinweeks.com(home page button)

How To Increase Pull Up Strength – Fast

Are You Wondering How To Increase Pull Up Strength?

Do you want to find out how to increase pull up strength quickly and effectively? No matter how difficult it seems, you CAN gain tons of strength in your pull ups. All it takes is working on two things.

The quickest way to increase pull up strength would be to lose weight. The less quick but longer term way is to build muscle. There is no reason that you can’t do both at the same time though. This will maximize your progress. The amount of pull ups that seemed impossible before, will merely become your warm up.

Get stronger at pull ups quickly by losing weight

The fastest way for a beginner to increase pull up ability is to lose weight. This rings true not just for the beginner though. Anyone carrying extra pounds could greatly increase their pull up strength by dropping some.

The less your body weighs, the easier the pull up. It’s important to keep in mind that not all kind of weight should be lost. You gotta keep the muscle. Losing fat should be the bigger focus for this endeavor.

How does one lose fat? For those who don’t already know, diet is key. Make sure you eat plenty of veggies and avoid high glycemic foods. For more info on that check out my nutrition page.

Here's how to increase pull up strength by diet. Get plenty of protein and healthy carbohydrates.

Get plenty of protein and healthy carbohydrates.

Avoid white carbs like white bread, white rice, and regular potatoes. You can substitute these with whole wheat bread, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. These are just a few examples. You shouldn’t need to count calories if you eat plenty of veggies and healthy carbs.

In order to effectively lose fat without getting weaker, have lots of protein. Protein is the building block for muscle. Muscle burns fat to sustain itself. As a result, eating protein helps you burn fat and build muscle. For max results aim for 1 gram protein per pound of body weight. I personally go for even more than that, but for most it should be enough.

Do you want to accelerate your gains in pull ups strength? Do some intensive cardio! You may be thinking, “how would cardio do anything for pull up strength??” Well, indirectly it does. Good cardio does two things for pull ups. These are:

  • Increased blood flow.
  • Increased metabolism.

The increase in blood flow means faster recovery from workouts. This helps you get stronger quicker. Increasing the metabolism causes quicker fat burning. As we know, less fat means less weight to pull.

Building up your pull up muscles

The more long term way of increasing pull up strength is building solid muscle. Muscle growth is a slow process. This is why it’s quicker to drop the unneeded weight first.

When building muscle it’s important to have a solid routine. This will allow you to progress at a steady pace.

Curious of how to increase pull up strength? Practice and practice some more.

You get better at pull ups by doing them. Practice often.

What if you can’t do a even 1 pull up? In this case I’d recommend starting off with static holds. This is where you use a chair to get to the top of a pull up. Grab on to the bar and hold yourself in that position for as long as you can. Work your way up to 30 seconds. At that point you will probably be able to do a pull up. Work at it every day.

So, you’re at a point where you can do a couple pull ups or maybe more. A solid routine that you can build from would look like:

*Monday – Wednesday – Friday – Pull ups 3 sets of 8 – and when you can’t do more, do the static holds I mentioned earlier for the remainder of your set.

Seems simple right? That’s the point. Your muscles don’t need some super crazy complex routine to get stronger at pull ups. You would of course add exercises for other body parts in that plan. Check out my workout post for more info on that. My current back workout looks like this and It’s brought me excellent progress:

*Monday – 2 sets of 8 Chin ups – 2 sets Heavy Dumbbell Rows 15 reps
*Friday – 2 sets of 5 wide grip pull ups – Barbell Rows 12 reps

This is a simple snippet though. My workout includes exercises for all my muscles. You might have noticed that I don’t personally work out my back 3 times a week. I recommended that in the other plan because beginners recover faster. It takes me a bit longer to recover so I do pull ups less often.

The biggest determining factor for me personally

In figuring out how to increase pull up strength, I’ve found that if I don’t eat enough good quality food then I don’t get stronger. Period. It may seem counter intuitive, but as you get more advanced your muscles burn more fat. I personally don’t do “cuts” to burn fat off specifically. It usually happens when I eat the right foods and get stronger.

This of course doesn’t work the same if you eat terrible foods. The foods that I eat are based on high protein and low glycemic carbs. Check out my nutrition for more info on foods like that. I also find that the more I spread my food out, the stronger I get. I also seem to lose even more fat this way. This is what works for me personally.

Here’s the verdict

We’ve covered and shown how to increase pull up strength. In doing so, we established that:

  • Losing weight will increase pull up ability.
  • Good cardio can indirectly help pull up strength.
  • Simple is sometimes best when creating a pull up plan.
  • Eating good low glycemic, high protein foods are vital to strength.

All in all you should eat right and push yourself in the gym. It doesn’t matter as much what pull up workout you follow. What’s important is that you are advancing in strength bit by bit with each workout. If you notice that you plateau, try adding more GOOD food to your diet. In my experience this usually does the trick.

Remember to keep hydrated and sleep well. The strength and muscle building happens when you sleep after all! Good luck and stick through your plan week by week. You’ll find that eventually what used to be really hard eventually becomes your warm up. There will be no greater feeling, so make sure you push through!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to bookmark, comment, and email. If you have any questions about fitness, let me know! I’ll be glad to hear from and get back to you.

James – james@inshapeinweeks.comwww.inshapeinweeks.com(home page button)

How To Burn Calories At Home – Quickly

How to burn calories at home without equipment

Whether you’re trying to lose fat, build muscle, or just get in shape, you’re going to be burning calories. You don’t need to drive miles to an expensive gym in order to walk in place on a treadmill when you get there. I’ll tell you how to burn calories at home without all that fancy gym equipment.

I'll show you just how to burn calories at home.

No gym? No Problem!

The reality is, everything you do that is physical burns calories. Whether it’s cleaning the house, gardening, or being on your feet in general. Given this, it’s not too difficult to find activity that would burn calories and still be fun at the same time. There are some forms of activity that are more efficient and quicker than others however.

I assume you would like to save time and get the maximum benefit for the least amount of time(don’t we all?). The quickest way to burn calories would involve any exercise that uses your leg muscles. These are the largest muscles in your body, therefore demanding more calories and thus burning more when used.

Sprinting for fat loss and maximum muscle activation

By far the most efficient exercise for burning calories is sprinting. You can do it down the street, on a sidewalk, or even at your nearest park. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it outside in broad daylight(I do it all the time), then try doing it at night when no one’s out. The streets and sidewalks will be empty allowing maximum privacy and space.

How to burn calories at home? Sprint!

Sprinting at night is perfectly acceptable.

The reason why I recommend sprinting first and foremost is that it not only burns calories due to the activity, but it also works your muscles intensely. When your muscles are worked this way, they will need more calories to become better and stronger. These calories come from the one thing we want less of(Fat!). The saying “muscle burns fat” is very true. I as well as many people I’ve trained have experienced this first hand. Sprinting has a way of melting the extra fat off, revealing the toned and defined body underneath.

Sprinting also increases the muscle building and fat burning hormones in your body which make up for an even greater effect. All these factors combined make sprinting an overall fantastic exercise and I guarantee you won’t get bored. If by any chance that happens, try listening to motivating music that you like while doing it. It makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

While sprinting by itself has amazing benefits, the effects are multiplied when you combine this with a lighter form of cardio. What’s this lighter form of cardio you ask?

The importance of power walking..

Power walking would be considered a lighter form of cardio that is easier on your joints. All too often people go straight from sedentary to sprinting without conditioning their joints through walking first. This is a big no no. Your body needs time to adapt to exercise and walking is the perfect form of exercise to start out with.

When I mention injuries, I’m not talking about tripping and falling over your shoe laces. The injuries I talk about are less noticeable and can creep up on you. Such injuries include shin splints, knee pain, hip pain, or other lower body aches. At first one might notice a dull ache in their shins that gradually increases in intensity. This pain can reach a point where it’s too excruciating to even stand up. So definitely start off slowly.

Are you wondering how to burn calories at home? Get your heart in the cardio zone.

Place your index and middle finger on your neck to easily track your heart rate.

While you walk, it’s important to track your heart rate. For maximum benefits to the heart and for burning steady calories, try to get your heart rate to at least 80. To track this, put your index and middle fingers up to your neck right under your jaw, press and you’ll notice a pulse. Use a timer and count how many times this pulses in a period of 15 seconds. Multiply the number of beats by 4 and that’s your current heart rate.

If walking itself seems boring, you can listen to music, play an audiobook, meditate(my favorite), and any other thing a pair of headphones and a listening device can do. Aside of burning calories, walking can fix a cloudy mood and increase energy!

Jogging and other activities..

Jogging is a great way to burn calories and increase metabolism. The only reason why I didn’t mention jogging first, is because it does take a toll on the joints. This is especially true when jogging on sidewalks or the street where the repeated impact of your body on the hard surfaces can cause accumulated(builds up over time) injury. Make sure to wear well supporting shoes while jogging. Also land your feet toe first rather than heel first as this will help transfer the impact to your muscles, rather than your hip and pelvis bones.

When asked how to burn calories at home, I'll recommend cycling but be careful.

When cycling, always wear a helmet and avoid riding in the street if possible.

Cycling is probably one of the easiest forms of exercise on the joints and I’d highly recommend it. It also has its dangers however. It’s not uncommon to hear about fatal bicycle accidents, hit and runs, and other horror stories surrounding this activity. One must be cautious and always wear a helmet. Some places have great bike paths that can make traffic related accidents a non issue. Although, in really populated places with little emphasis on bike traffic, I would recommend choosing some other form of exercise.

Putting it all together

As you can see, there are plenty of alternative ways of exercising that don’t require fancy gym equipment. There tends to be much more of a adventurous/realistic feeling when running or walking actually takes you somewhere. Which is contrary to cycling, jogging, or walking in place on some treadmill or bike machine in a 75 degree gym. You can make the same results, if not better by exercising outdoors.

This nature of exercise outdoors does require certain carefulness and protective measures. On a treadmill, a lot of the impact of running or jogging is absorbed through the shock absorber on the device whereas raw pavement provides no such cushioning. This is why you need to start off slowly and work your way up to allow your bones and joints to adapt, which prevents injury. Finally, if cycling outside always wear a helmet.

Now that you know how to burn calories at home safety, just remember that for burning fat or building muscle, diet needs to be focused on as well for best results. You can learn a lot more about diet from some of my other articles or by visiting my Nutrition page.

Good luck, stay safe, and feel free to comment or bookmark this site. You can also send me an email and I’ll be happy to reply.

James – www.inshapeinweeks.com – james@inshapeinweeks.com

 

Best Workout To Build Muscle and Lose Fat

What makes the best workout to build muscle and lose fat

Do you have a dream body in mind, and are willing to put in the effort to get it? Building muscle typically takes a long time for the natural athlete but that’s no reason to become discouraged. Fat loss however, will come much quicker and you will notice a great difference in your body within even a month of applying what you learn in this article.

Luckily, beginners have what is called “newbie gains.” This means that your body hasn’t adapted to most lifting stimulus, and thus each workout will be a shock to the body and will result in astonishing muscle gains. Don’t be surprised if you make fast progress when you first start out. This progress will slow down the more advanced you get.

Now that we’ve covered the what, we’ll get to the how. Here are the components of the best workout to build muscle and lose fat.

Don’t forget about the cardio

Cardio acts as a match on the gasoline of fat loss. Good forms of cardio in my opinion are jogging, sprinting, power walking, and various other activities that get your heart pumping.

Usain Bolt sprints for a living! It's no wonder he's ripped as a result.

Usain Bolt sprints for a living! It’s no wonder he’s ripped and muscular.

In the ideal best workout to build muscle and lose fat I’d highly recommend sprinting as the bread and butter of your cardio. There’s just something about sprinting that tells your body to drop the fat and acquire razor-sharp muscle definition. Sprinting can:

  • Build muscle
  • Burn fat
  • Increase VO2 max
  • Increase testosterone
  • Strengthen your heart
  • Get you stronger
  • Increase bone strength

and the list goes on. If you’re a beginner however and aren’t used to running, I’d recommend you start off with fast walking or jogging to avoid injury. You may not lose fat or build muscle nearly as quick, but it’s better than being confined in bed because of shin splints or some other injury.

Incorporate resistance training

Heavy weights are a necessity when putting together the best workout to build muscle and lose fat. The most important point in lifting weight is keeping in mind something called “progressive resistance.” This basically means that as long as you add strength in increments over time, muscle growth should follow.

Muscle also helps burn fat.

Muscle also helps burn fat.

This is because your body needs a reason to grow muscle. The body is very adaptive and will adapt according to its environmental factors. So if you constantly lift heavy weight and slowly increase the weight over time, your body will follow and increase muscle over time to compensate.

It’s a similar effect when you are learning a new subject. At first it seems tough but as you slowly add knowledge, it will stack up and before you know it you’re an expert in a subject. Same with weight lifting. A weight may seem heavy at first but after completing a weight lifting regime with progressive resistance, the weight will seem much lighter. The key word here is adaption.

If you give your body the right stimulus, combined with the building blocks(nutrition) to allow adaption, you will gain muscle. So what is the ideal training program?

For a beginner looking to build as much muscle as they can while maintaining or losing fat, I’d recommend something basic that involves the entire body. Like this for example:

Workout 1: Squats 3 sets of 10, Overhead Press 3 sets of 8, Bent-Over Barbell Rows 3 sets of 12, Lying bar Tricep Extensions(skull crushers) 2 sets of 10

Workout 2: Deadlift 3 sets of 8, Bench Press 3 sets of 8, Chin ups(or negatives if you can’t do 1) 3 sets of 8, and Dumbbell Curls 2 sets of 8-10

Alternate workout 1 and 2 every other day. So an example would be

First week: Monday workout 1, Wednesday workout 2, Friday workout 1.

Second week: Monday workout 2, Wednesday workout 1, Friday workout 2.

I find this alternating layout assists in keeping the program interesting. I added arm exercises because I and a lot of other people have noticed that while the other exercises alone can get you decent arms, it’s not the maximum results possible. I’m sure you or anyone else reading this desires a great pair of arms from this strategy. Who doesn’t?

Don’t forget about nutrition

If your diet is off you’re wasting your time finding a “best workout to build muscle and lose fat”, because the body is made in the kitchen and NOT the gym! Working out breaks down the muscle, but if you aren’t giving your body jack to rebuild the muscles stronger then you won’t get anything.

Eating a healthy diet provides the essential building blocks for muscle.

Eating a healthy diet provides the essential building blocks for muscle.

When trying to build muscle or even lose fat I always recommend eating a decent amount of protein per day. Lots of people suggest only 1 gram of protein per pound of LEAN body mass. Honestly I’ve noticed jack when consuming that much. I recommend trying 1 gram per pound of body weight and moving down or up from there.

For carbohydrates I’d recommend the same number as protein, 1g per pound of body weight. Fats are important not only for hormone production, but also keeping keeping an extra handle on blood sugar levels. I’d personally advise you not to exceed 60 grams of fat a day. The fats you DO eat should be MOSTLY be healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. This will provide optimal hormone production for your goals.

If you want a more in depth look at foods to build muscle and lose fat, you can check out my page on Nutrition for tips and a more specific way of deciding what food is healthy.

A quick summary

The best workout to build muscle and lose fat consists of:

  • Some form of cardio, sprinting being most effective for quicker results
  • weight lifting plan with progressive resistance
  • Don’t forget diet!

It’s really not anything to complicated. The most important thing is that you stick with it. If you put in the effort week in and week out you will notice tremendous results. You will notice your waist gets slimmer, your arms and chest get thicker, your face and jaw gets more shaped, and you will feel better than ever. Just make sure you warm up properly before your workout and stretch properly when you’re finished.

Don’t become discouraged if progress doesn’t seem to come instantly. Our bodies adapt slowly and physical changes take time. Good luck with your plan and you WILL succeed if you put the effort in and apply what you learned in this article.

Feel free to comment or bookmark this page. I’m always looking for some feedback to help me expand and make this site a great place for you, the visitor.

James – james@inshapeinweeks.com