Everybody always seems to be arguing about the best time of the day for muscle building. Guess what. There is no such thing as the best time of the day for building muscle. Really what it comes down to is your preference.
With that being said, there are some things that you can plan on doing if you want to make sure that your muscle grows at the most efficient rate.
I know for a fact that there are millions of men and women out there that are desperate to put on muscle. They have been called names and made fun of because of how skinny they are.
How do I know this? Because I was one of those guys, and I knew plenty of others just like me.
I spent many many years trying to figure out all the tips and tricks to muscle building. It turns out, muscle building is simple, it just takes a lot of time to make it happen. There is no secret shortcut that will make you jacked overnight.
If you are willing to put in the time to build your body, you are going to find that your muscles grow at a rate that you never thought possible.
The best time of the day for muscle building is…
There is no scientific evidence to suggest working out at a certain time everyday will lead to muscle building. With that being said, there is evidence to suggest that eating directly after your workouts is a good idea.
There is disagreement on how tight that window of eating needs to be. Some people say 15 minutes, while some people say an hour. For me, it is anywhere between 30 minutes and one hour.
Whether you decide to workout in the morning, afternoon, or evening, the best thing to do directly after a workout is consume some calories. If it’s not a good time to eat for you, I recommend checking out my 1000 calorie protein shake recipe.
I prefer to workout in the evenings. I usually stop working around 5pm, so I can go to the gym directly after work. Then I will workout for an hour, and then come home and prepare dinner.
Some people prefer working out in the morning on an empty stomach, and then eating their breakfast. Again, this is all up to you. It is just best practice to eat directly after your workout. So really, there is no best time of the day for muscle building. It is what you make it.
Being in a constant caloric surplus is what matters the most
When it comes to building muscle, the most important thing that you can do is be in a constant state of caloric surplus. This isn’t just eating one big meal after your workout. That might be important, but it isn’t nearly as important as making sure you are eating enough food.
I cannot stress this enough. You cannot build muscle while in a caloric deficit. This statement seems pretty straightforward, yet so many people just don’t get it. Let me try and explain.
Your muscles need calories to be built. Your body has a certain amount of calories that it burns at its current state without working out. This is called your maintenance calories. You can learn how to calculate your maintenance calories here.
Now, if you are eating calories to fulfill your maintenance, you still won’t build muscle. You must go OVER your maintenance calorie goal in order to build muscle. This is called a caloric surplus.
Once you have figured out your maintenance calories, the next step is eating enough calories in order to be at a caloric surplus. I recommend starting at 500 calories per day over your maintenance.
Weigh yourself each week. And if you are not gaining at least a half pound per week, you will want to up your calories.
We know that eating a good meal or drinking a protein shake after a workout is a good idea. But if you are not at an overall caloric surplus, you are wasting your time. You will not grow any muscle!
Are you doing the right type of exercise for muscle building?
Finding the best time of the day for muscle building might have been what brought you here. But it is important to know what type of workouts you are doing. Are you doing high intensity interval training, or are you doing weight training?
High intensity interval training does not build muscle. So if you are doing these types of workouts, you are not starting on the right foot.
HIIT workouts are great for losing fat. So if you want to lose fat, you should probably eat at a caloric deficit AND do HIIT workouts. Check out 4 of the best high intensity interval training workouts for beginners at home.
If you want to build muscle, you should be focusing on a workout plan that has some great weight training aspects and minimal cardio. I also recommend working out 3-4 days per week.
A lot of beginners try to overtrain, and of course I am guilty of this myself. It wasn’t until I pulled back and started working out only 3 days a week, that I really saw my muscle building go through the roof.
That is of course when I combined my weight training with a constant state of caloric surplus.
I only worked out 3 days a week, but I made it count big time. If you are interested in the exact workout plan that I created for muscle building, check out our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). The exact workout plan is called 3 Day Overload. If you are looking to put on serious muscle, it is a no brainer.
If you do not have access to a gym, do not worry. A great place to get started is checking out 15 workouts to build muscle at home with no weights.
Main Point: Best time of the day for muscle building
So what did we learn today? We learned that there really isn’t a best time of the day for muscle building. Just workout when it is best for you, and try to eat directly afterwards.
When you are learning about muscle building, the fitness industry is going to hit you from all sides with misinformation. You are going to have to use your gut to decipher what is true or not.
I unfortunately spent too many years trying everything possible to build muscle and it never worked. That is until I realized that I needed to workout consistently and be in a constant state of caloric surplus. That is really all it takes.
There is no need for special protein powders or complex workout plans. Just dedicate yourself to building muscle, and it will happen. And it will only happen if you are eating enough calories.
I personally like making protein shakes because they make it easier to consume the amount of calories I need in order to build muscle. I need a TON of calories, while others might not need as much.