Should I Exercise Before or After Work?


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You want to exercise, as you know there are many benefits of doing it but you’re not sure when it is optimal for you to do so. Check the following pros and cons and find out when it is best for you to exercise – before or after work.

Pros and Cons of Morning Workouts

A young woman is checking her fitness watches while jogging along the road


  • It’s out of the way.

This means that you’re able to stay at work later (if needs be), or make plans for the evening. You’re won’t be itching to get out of the door at 5pm (or whatever time you finish), which may help with your long-term career aspirations.

  • Gyms are quieter in the morning.

Have you seen the gym at 6pm on a Monday evening?! I guess that’s because no-one wants to get up at the crack of dawn to exercise. Although some gyms aren’t exactly quiet in the mornings, they’re usually quieter. If you like quiet gyms, mornings may be the best time for you.

  • You’ll have more energy throughout the day.

Exercise releases endorphins, which means that you may feel happier, motivated, and have more energy throughout the day. Again, this may help whilst at work, or whatever you have planned.

Some studies completely disagree with this though, so the jury is still out on this one.


  • You may need to learn how to train fasted, or with very little food.

Time may be tight in the morning if you’re fitting in exercise before work. This means you may need to train fasted, or with very little food. Although we believe that most people could adapt to this with time, some people may find this difficult.

  • Your warm ups may need to be longer, especially when it’s cold outside.

When exercising in the morning, your body hasn’t had much time to warm up. If you’re weight lifting, this may mean a longer warm up than you would have in the evening, when your body is already warm.

Pros and Cons of Evening Workouts

A guy is exercising with dumbbells on the bench in the gym


  • You can enjoy the mornings, and don’t have to wake up at a ridiculous hour.
Does the thought of waking up 2 or 3 hours before work fill you with terror? If so, and you like the thought of having a relaxed morning, evening workouts may be for you. Enjoy a relaxed morning, instead of rushing around in the morning.
  • You can exercise for longer. If you exercise in the evening, your sessions may last longer.

It’s been scientifically proven that people who exercise in the evening burn more calories in the gym. This doesn’t mean more time on Instagram, however.

  • You’re more likely to meet people.

As more people exercise in the evening, and people have more time, exercising in the evening may be a good chance to meet people, if this appeals to you. Classes are a good way to meet people, and having friends and workout partners may keep you more motivated to exercise in the longer run.


  • Your evenings are no longer your own.

By the time you finish work, get to the gym, exercise, and shower, you don’t have much of an evening. If you have a life, exercising in the evening may not be for you.

  • The gym is usually busy.

If you’re not a fan of busy gyms, consider exercising in the mornings. If you do go in the evening, equipment may be limited, and it’s also not the most hygienic of places. 

Before you decide whether morning workouts or evening workouts are for you, ask yourself:

When do you have more energy?
Do you mind busy gyms?
Do you like doing social things in the evening, or are you happy to be at the gym?
Does the thought of waking up at the crack of dawn fill you with dread?
Are you happy to give training fasted/ with little food a try?

There’s no right or wrong answer to the question: Should I exercise before or after work? Once you’ve answered the above questions, you’ll have a tendency towards one or the other. Try the one that sounds better for you out for a consistent enough period of time to find if it works for you. If it doesn’t, try the other. You can always go back to the original option, if the second one is more difficult.

The grass is always greener on the other side, as they say. Keep going with the one that you can be more consistent with, and alternate if needs be. For example, exercising in the mornings in summers may be appealing to you, but mornings in the winter may fill you with dread. Don’t be afraid to change it when winter comes.

Author Bio:

Ravi – a qualified personal trainer and fitness blogger, who teaches people how to transform their bodies and lives through fitness and nutrition.