Do Morning or Evening Workouts Burn More Calories?


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We all have trouble sometimes fitting our workouts into busy schedules. So, an important question to many is when to workout? Does when you work out really affect how many calories you burn or how much benefit you get out of it? If you’re curious to know, read this week’s Q & A to find out! We’ve also addressed how to do a proper push up, discussed the warrior diet, and ways to do your strength training reps.

Here’s the short list of questions based on topic:

  • Do Morning Or Evening Workouts Burn More Calories?
  • Should I Follow A Warrior Diet?
  • What Is Proper Pushup Form?
  • High vs. Low Reps?
  • How To Cook Egg Whites?
  • Question #1 | Do Morning Or Evening Workouts Burn More Calories?

    Question: Do you burn more calories working out first thing in the morning compared to the late afternoon (post work / 5:30 p.m.)? I have heard that is does and you can burn as much as 20-30% more calories if you work out first thing, but I have also heard that it makes no difference. Thoughts? – Ryan

    Answer: Ryan – Although working out in the morning has been proven to give you more energy throughout the day there is no evidence that shows it will burn more calories than other times of day. This is a myth.
    Energy expenditure is more closely related to how hard you are able to work while you train which depends on factors such as nutrition, sleep, stress and posture. If you have more energy in the morning and can train a little harder than in the afternoon you will definitely burn more calories. Overall, it depends on what time of day works best for you to be consistent.
    – Stephen ( Stephen Bergeron, CSCS, CPT)

    Question #2 | Should I Follow A Warrior Diet?

    Question: Hey Marc! Kudos to your site. It has helped me a lot, but I was wondering what you think of warrior diet? Is it safe? – Joshua
    Answer: Hey Joshua, the warrior diet, like any other diet, can certainly work if you eat less calories than you burn (assuming you want to lose fat), or it can help you build muscle (if you eat enough calories and protein). The upside is that for some, eating only 1-2x per day in a four hour period in the afternoon/night can make life more manageable. On the other hand, eating so much food at once can cause gastric distress and may make it harder to control calories. In my opinion, I find eating a few meals per day, and a snack here or there helps me control calories easier than having huge meals. But again, it’s really personal preference.

    –Marc (Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT )

    Question #3 | What Is Proper Pushup Form?

    Question: What about our legs while doing a proper push up? How should they be positioned? – Ray
    Answer: That’s a great question. The more advanced and what is considered the “proper” way to do push ups is with your feet together, which requires more balance. An equally valid way of doing push ups is with your feet wider apart, which is technically easier, but also works the outside of your core/abs/obliques to a greater degree and in my opinion is a great variation to add to your exercise regimen if you are just starting out. As you get more advanced, you can even do push ups on one foot while the other foot is off the ground.

    - Marc (Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)

    Question #4 | High vs. Low Reps

    Question: Hello, thanks for your article on high vs. low reps. It really helped me understand how to strength train to get better results. I used to do pump classes and wasn’t really getting much definition, now I understand why! Could you please clarify something for me? If I did 4 sets of 12 reps for each muscle group, doing a set on one muscle group immediately followed by a set on a different muscle group to make the best use of time (so around 1.5-2 minutes), would this achieve fat loss and hypertrophy? Or should I do all 4 sets for one muscle group resting for 30 seconds between sets then move onto the next muscle group? Thanks in advance. – Donna

    Answer: I’m a big fan of the former strategy for sure, which is technically called supersetting. Alternating exercises, for example push ups and pull ups, is a much more efficient way to get better results in less time. You can even use 3 exercises or more back-to-back with little rest in between each, then rest after all are done. For example, you can do an incline DB Bench Press, Body Rows, then Side Planks and then rest before repeating those exercises again. This example is a pushing movement, pulling movement, and then a core movement combination. If you want a few more ideas on exercise programming, check out the Get Lean Guide or the BuiltLean Program. Good luck!

    - Marc ( Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)

    Question #5 | How To Cook Egg Whites?

    Question: How do you cook egg whites? Spray or olive oil? What is better? – Randi

    Answer: Personally when I cook egg whites, or anything on a frying pan for that matter, I use cooking spray. Keep in mind, spray can come in a variety of different oils, not just olive oil. Not all spray oils are created equal. The reason I favor using a spray oil is because I’m able to apply less oil more evenly around the pan than I would if I used poured olive oil, butter, or any other type of substance used to coat the pan.

    - Kwesi (Kwesi Peters, CPT, Community Manager)

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    3 Comments on “Do Morning or Evening Workouts Burn More Calories?

    1. Seb
      November 5, 2012 #

      Good advice!

    2. Nats
      November 6, 2012 #

      Hi Marc,
      I know you’ve probably heard this a million times, but I absolutely love your site and the passion you have to help people like me achieve the body they have always wanted. I am in South Africa and have all my friends on your site! Firstly, I am a 23 yr old female at 23% body fat (having already lost 50 pounds). I want to ask you, I notice that you normally relate your articles to male’s bodies. Is it possible for me to use your Get Lean Guide as is and to also take your advice in your articles as any other male would. I know generally that males and females bodies work differently and I am wondering whether I would benefit from the above article on popping your abs. I know it’s not as easy for a female to achieve this, but I am so motivated to have popping abs!!!! And I won’t stop until I have it! Many thanks, your fan!

    3. Frank
      November 11, 2012 #

      Hi Marc and builtlean guys!

      I just bought a heart rate monitor to check if i am actually doing intense trainings.
      When i do like full body workouts my average heart rate is around 140-150 bpm. Is that intense enough?
      The other question is once a week i run like 10 km in one hour, with an average 170 bpm heart rate, is not that too high?( my resting heart rate is around 70, max. is around 200).
      Should be I keeping it lower???I do intervall sections in this run, reaching 194 bpm, 3-4 times. So any advice,anything i should do somehow else?
      Anyway i’ve already lost 15kg in 5 months and your site gave me grand help!! thanking you!
      Cheers!

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