For beginners who are trying to squeeze every last drop of gains from their program, choosing the best time to lift weights can be a head-scratcher. This post explains the best time to workout for skinny guys.
Skinny guys often find it best to work out at midday when the muscles and central nervous system are most primed for performance. Some prefer to train in the evening and this is also fine. Mornings should be avoided because low energy levels can hinder heavy lifting.
I’m an ex-skinny guy.
I’ve also trained at all manner of times in my quest for gains; mornings, lunch, and night.
Below, I share my research and experience on what I think is the best time for a skinny guy to train.
Why The Best Workout Time Is Different For All Skinny Guys
Before I dive into the “best time to workout as a skinny guy?” question, the first thing I’ll say is this:
“Getting a GOOD WORKOUT into your day takes priority over WHAT TIME you workout”Kalam Tang, Kalibre Fitness.
In other words, the important thing is skinny guys should go to the gym (not when they go).
There is no “optimal time” for everyone because everyone is different.
Let’s use examples of two skinny guys who lead very different lives, to explain why the ideal workout time is different for each of us:
- Skinny Guy 1- works a normal 9-5 office job with a 1-hour lunch break that’s barely enough time to fit a decent meal in, let alone cram a workout in!
- Skinny Guy 2- a college student with early morning lectures, plenty of free time at midday, and social activities to attend at night.
- Skinny Guy 3- works afternoon and evening shifts in a busy restaurant.
Hopefully, you can see why each skinny guy has a different “optimal” workout time.
Where Skinny Guy 1 would probably find early mornings or evenings to be the best time to train, Skinny Guy 2 would probably prefer to train at lunch.
Similarly, you would likely find Skinny Guy 3 hitting the weights late at night or during the pre-service lunch period.
My point is this; everyone is different!
The best time for any skinny guy to workout is when you have the most time and the highest energy levels.
This is when you’re most likely able to have a decent workout.
With that being said, you’re probably wondering what is the most popular time for other skinny guys to work out right?
I took to Reddit to find out (see next)!
Best Time For Skinny Guys To Workout According To Reddit
I polled this Reddit thread, which asked “what’s your optimal workout time”, for an indication of what times other skinny guys prefer training.
Next, I tallied the results and here they are:
- 46% prefer working out in the morning.
- 23% prefer working out at lunch.
- 31% prefer working out in the evening.
You can see most people prefer training in the morning or evening.
But it’s important to note that this poll was not created specifically for skinny guys.
So it’s not really indicative of the best time for a skinny person to train.
However, it does give you a good indication of the most popular workout times from the general public.
Remember; everyone is different.
Basking from experience- I have little energy in the morning. So it’s not a great time to be lifting heavy weights.
Next, I’ll explain some of the advantages and disadvantages of working at different times during the day for a skinny guy (based on personal experience and scientific research).
It’s also important that you don’t make the common mistake of overtraining as a beginner. If you’re interested, you can check out my other post on how long a skinny guy should lift weights!
Pros And Cons Of Working Out In The Morning
If you’re a morning person, have hectic days, or simply prefer to chill in the evenings before bed then you probably prefer working out in the morning.
Here are the main benefits and drawbacks (in my experience) of working out in the morning as a skinny guy:
|Fewer distraction||Low energy levels|
|Sets you up for the day||Nervous system not ready|
- Fewer distractions. Your workout is done and dusted before your day properly begins. This is good for skinny guys who have hectic days, procrastinate a lot, and whose workouts often get sidetracked due to other commitments.
- Sets you up for the day. Nothing prepares you for the day more than a deadlift session! This 2019 study suggests morning exercise improves attention and decision-making during the day.
- Low energy levels. You need to lift heavy to get bigger as a skinny guy (check out my other post for tips on how to not be skinny). And the more energy you have, the heavier you can lift. Unfortunately, your body is usually low in glycogen (an energy molecule) during the mornings since it’s just fasted over the night.
- The nervous system is not ready. Lifting heavy weights is not just about your muscles. There’s also a neural component too. Put simply, neurons from your brain need to fire for your muscle to contract. This neural system may not be in prime operating condition if you’ve just woken up!
If you’re interested in training at home, you may be interested in my home workout plan for skinny guys!
Pros And Cons Of Working Out At Midday
For those who have the time, many people find that the midday period is where they have the most energy.
Here are the main benefits and drawbacks (in my experience) of working out at midday as a skinny guy:
|Peak nervous system activation||Not feasible with many day jobs|
|Optimal body temperature||Post-workout lethargy affects the rest of the day|
- Peak nervous system activation. Most people are fully alert at lunchtime. As a skinny guy, this helps you to lift heavier and for longer. And this is ideal for building muscle fast as a skinny person
- Optimal body temperature. This 2010 study discovered that the period between 14:00-16:00 is when your body’s temperature is highest. And this benefits muscular performance, allowing you to lift heavier weights and bulk up faster (check out my other post to find out what a skinny guy can achieve in 2 months!)
- Not feasible with most day jobs. Let’s face it, most of us (not just skinny guys) don’t have the time for a full-blown workout during the day…
- Post-workout lethargy can affect the day. Depending on the person, you may get post-workout lethargy. In other words, you have low energy after a workout. And this can affect your other daily responsibilities.
If you’re looking to transform your skinny body, you might be interested in my Skinny Guy’s guide on how to start working out at the gym!
Pros And Cons Of Working Out At Night
For people who are busy during the day, the evening is the best time to workout.
Here are the main benefits and drawbacks (in my experience) of working out in the evening as a skinny guy:
|Peak muscular glycogen levels||Difficulty sleeping afterward|
|Most people are free at this time||Busy gyms during peak hours|
- Peak muscular glycogen levels. You’ve had the entire day to fill your stomach, digest that food, and top up your energy levels. This allows you to lift heavy at the gym. And lifting heavy is the best way for a skinny guy to build muscle!
- Most people are free in the evenings. This is the time of day when you truly get your own “me” time. That’s time you can spend working out!
- Difficulty sleeping after a workout. A good workout will stimulate the release of endorphins and adrenaline. This can negatively affect the quality of your sleep if you work out too close to bedtime.
- Busy gyms during peak hours. This is one of the worst things about going to the gym at night. It gets very busy! It can be extremely frustrating having to wait for equipment, especially for skinny guys who get gym anxiety!
A lot of people prefer just working out at home rather than visiting the gym, which is completely OK! You can check out my other post for a dumbbell workout for skinny guys.
I’ve explained the best time to workout for skinny guys.
There really is no right or wrong answer.
There are pros and cons of working out in the morning, midday, and evening.
So choose a period that’s free for you and one where you know you’ll have the energy to push heavy!
What time do you most like working out?
Let me know in the comments!
You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!
Thanks for reading guys!
(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)