In general, there is no best time for a fat-loss workout. Training in the afternoon should get you the same results as training in the morning. Still, there are some important things to consider when determining when to work out:

  • Will you able to train at a proper intensity at that time, or will you be tired?
  • Will you be able to eat properly before and after the workout?
  • Will you stick to a workout program scheduled for that time?
  • Will exercising at that time be hard on your back?

Why do I bring up that last point? Because Dr. Stuart McGill, an expert in low-back disorders, recommends waiting at least an hour after waking up before engaging in any exercise that includes trunk flexion (i.e., traditional ab exercises like crunches). The reason behind his recommendation: Overnight, the discs between your vertebrae fill with fluid and are more susceptible to injury in the morning.

So don’t roll out of bed and start doing sit-ups. (Most people should not be doing them anyway). And if you have soreness in the lower back, avoid bending over early in the morning. Use a position that is more back-friendly when putting on your socks and shoes, picking up dumbbells from the floor, etc. And no matter when you exercise, pay attention to your form and exercise selection.

Bottom line: You can still have a great workout in the morning, as long as you are extra careful of your back and lifting technique.

[Ed. Note: Fitness expert Craig Ballantyne is the creator of the Turbulence Training for Fat Loss..]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at

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