My Method: Why I Prefer Training at Night

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You may be wondering when you should train and if there is any benefit to training at night vs in the morning or afternoon. For me personally, training at night is best.

Training at night is perfect for parents or people with busy daytime schedules. Nighttime training allows you to give it all you’ve got in the gym, eat and then go straight to sleep so you can start recovering.

I’m a husband and father. I have a fairly demanding corporate job and all the responsibilities of an adult. Finding the time to train can be difficult.

For years, I trained at my local bodybuilding gym, MetroFlex, right after work. I would get off work in the early afternoon, down some carbs and preworkout and hit the gym. This worked great for years, but I got married, had kids, and my kids started growing. As these changes in my life happened, training right after work became harder and harder.

My kids had homework and after-school sports and activities. Then, there was dinner and bedtime. I was struggling to balance being a good dad and getting my gains.

I decided it was time for a change.

Training First Thing in the Morning

I start work at 6 and already had to get up at 4:30 to get ready and make the 40 minute commute. Despite this, I decided that I would get up 40 minutes earlier every day and hit the gym 5 days a week BEFORE work. I would just hit it hard and get out. No screwing around!

I figured nothing could get in the way of my training. All I had to do was get up and I would have no interruptions.

This lasted about a month. Getting up before 4am was hard but I could do it. the problem was, my training sessions just sucked.

I primarily train heavy and I love the big compound movements. I’m also in my late 30’s and have the aches of anyone who has been training for 20 years.

Deadlifting, squatting, or benchpressing first thing in the morning after being awake for 30 minutes just wasn’t working. I felt weak, stiff, and achy every morning no matter how much pre-workout I took.

I would do 3 or 4 warm up sets but it just wasn’t enough. My body just wasn’t ready to hit the big lifts that early.

It was time to reevaluate my schedule.

Training at Night

I had a conversation with my wife about my priorities and schedule. She has always been very supportive of my bodybuilding hobby but I wasn’t sure how she was going to handle giving up some of the (already limited) time we spend together after the kids went to bed.

It turned out she was very understanding and supportive. We decided I would train 3 nights per week, after the kids went to bed. This would still give her and I the other 4 nights per week.

I started training Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night. Monday and Wednesday were 1 hour sessions because I still had to get to bed to get up at 4:30. I would train from around 8pm (after the kids went to bed) until 9pm and try to get to bed by 10. This gave me 6.5 hours of sleep which wasn’t ideal but it worked.

Friday night I could really push it because I didn’t have to get up at 4:30 Saturday morning. I would train for 2 hours or more and really push it.

Some of the gear I have in my basic home gym.

Training Heavy at Home

Side Note:

Around the time I decided to start training at night, I decided I needed to build a gym in my garage. I figured this would save me even more time and give me a lot more freedom.

My work has a small gym where I can train arms and shoulders and do a few auxiliary movements such as cable flys or leg extensions.  I started training on my lunch break, doing what I could at work within my allotted 40ish minutes.

(I bring my meals to work and just eat them cold at my desk while i’m working so I didn’t really need the lunch break for eating lunch anyway)

What I couldn’t do at work was my big lifts such as squat, deadlift and bench press.

This is where the home gym comes in.

To get started I bought:

(Click on any of the below links to see the stuff I bought on Amazon)

Training at night in my garage changed my life. I was able to do my fatherly duties and then walk right into the gym.

Suggestion: If you’re a fan of heavy training, check out this article I wrote about how the Deadlift will change your body.

You might like this related video from PictureFit on youtube. I like his stuff.

Benefits of Training at Night

Nothing Gets in Your Way

There’s always something that can get in your way if you let it but for me, there are far less distractions at night.

My responsibilities are all handled by 8pm and the rest of the evening is time I have to spend doing whatever I want.

Most people work during the day and spend their nights watching TV or playing video games to “unwind” I like watching netflix too, but this is time that could be spent training, if it works for you.

Your Body is Fully Warmed Up and Ready to Go

If you are young or don’t train heavy, you may be able to train early in the morning without issues. For me, this just doesn’t work. I need to move around for a few hours to feel “warmed up” and ready to go.

You’re Fully Fed and Fueled

Training fasted isn’t terrible, but I prefer to train in a fed state.

Eating around your workout will give you the energy you need to push it hard and lift the big weights.

I prefer to eat a meal a few hours before training (this is dinner for me) and then some extra carbs (around 30g) just before walking into the gym.

You Can Give it All You’ve Got

If you have to go to work or do something important after the gym, you may be apprehensive about giving it your all.

A grueling training session can really take it out of you. You may not want to spend 8 hours at work after a serious deadlift session.

If training is your last action of the day, nothing else matters. Not having to do anything afterwards except eat and sleep allows you to push yourself to another level.

You Can Go Straight Into Recovery Mode

Once your done with your nighttime training session, you can eat a post workout meal and go straight to bed to start recovering and growing.

Testosterone and growth hormone increases while we sleep which can’t hurt the recovery process.

Suggestion: If you want to improve sleep quality and potentially boost growth hormone, check out this article I wrote about the supplement, Glycine. I even included before and after bloodwork. 

The Drawbacks of Training at Night

You Might Be Tired

Training at night is not for those with wimpy willpower. It takes a lot to hit the gym after a long day.

Unless you have a physically demanding job such as construction, remember that your tiredness is strictly mental. Your muscles are ready to go even if you feel tired. Once you get in the gym and start training you will feel better.

You May Not Want to Use Pre-Workout

This one is pretty obvious, but you don’t want to use a pre-workout containing stimulants too soon before going to sleep. The caffeine, synephrine and whatever else they throw in there may prevent you from falling asleep and could interfere with sleep quality.

If I’m going to use a stimulant, I try to use it at least 4 hours before I plan on going to sleep. 6 hours would probably be better.

You Might Get Amped Up and Not Be Able to Go To Sleep

Despite not using pre-workout, you might get amped-up just from the workout and not want to go to sleep.

Exercise releases endorphins and makes us feel good. If you weren’t already a little tired when you started, you might not be able to go straight to sleep after.

I personally don’t have any issues going to sleep but I can see how this could happen.

Thank you for reading. If you liked this article, please comment and share! Now, go Pump Some Iron!

Follow me / Pump Some Iron on Instagram for updates @pump.some.iron

If you enjoy this article, please share it! Sharing helps PSI and helps your friends too!


Hey, I'm Brian, the creator of I've been weightlifting / bodybuilding for 20 years and now I'm ready to share some knowledge. Check out my About Me page to hear my story.

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