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What time of the day is the best for weightlifting training

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Summary of an article on the significance of the time of the day on the muscle damage, inflammatory markers’ levels and core temperature in response to the Olympic weightlifting training session.


9 male elite Olympic weightlifters aged 21 (±0.5), weight 80 (±9.5) kg, height 175 (±8.1) cm (Tunisia).


Crossover design. Athletes were tested in the randomized order in the morning (8:00 - 9:45am), afternoon (2:00 - 3:45pm), and evening (6:00 - 7:45pm) with at least 48 hours in between each testing. The three exercises in each training session were snatch, clean & jerk and the squat (5 sets).

Outcome measures / tests

  • core temperature
  • fasting blood sample before, immediately and 48 hours after testing: WBC, muscle damage markers (CK, LDH), C-reactive protein (CRP), redox markers (MDA, UA, TBIL, CAT, GPX)

Main results

  • Participants were used to training between 3:30 and 5:30pm.
  • CK was elevated after morning and evening sessions and LDH was elevated after evening session, and CRP only after morning session (muscle damage and inflammatory markers).
  • Redox markers elevated from resting to after-training levels at a higher rate in the morning.
  • No differences in WBC and core temperature were found after sessions at different times of the day.

Take home message

For a clinician & coach
As the inflammatory markers are higher and redox and muscle demage increase at higher rate in the morning, Olympic weightlifting training should be moved to the later time of the day.
For a parent
Olympic weightlifting training should be scheduled after the morning time.
For an athlete
If you are a male weightlifter, you should schedule your training sessions later in the day.

Original article

Ammar A, Chtourou H, Hammouda O, Turki M, Ayedi F, Kallel C, AbdelKarim O, Hoekelmann A, Souissi N. Relationship between biomarkers of muscle damage and redox status in response to a weightlifting training session: effect of time-of-day. Acta Physiologica Hungarica. 2016 Jun;103(2):243-61.

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