Who trains at night?

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    Who trains at night?


    I was going through my folders of research looking for somethings I need in my thesis discussion. Prone to procrastination, I was inevitably distracted by some abstracts I had saved earlier on green light, melatonin and performance. So, in an attempt to be productive in some regard, I put what I found together in a little blurb and thought I would share:


    I think two things are fairly consistent in the world of training and lifting weights. Number 1, no two people will respond exactly alike to the same stimulus (hence, interindividual variability in studies) and; number 2, each individual has, either through necessity or through choice, settled into a particular time of day they feel is the most productive to train at. Which brings up number 3: most athletes, bodybuilders, and gym rats are creatures of habit – eat a certain amount of meals per day at scheduled times, train a certain amount per week, etc. – and any deviation to this structure is likely to have a negative impact on training.

    Now, physiologically speaking the mind is most aroused in the morning hours. During this time dopamine and norepinephrine (arousal neurotransmitters) are elevated; however, not every individual trains at this time, thus through adaptation and desires we condition ourselves to increase arousal before exercise. As I mentioned earlier, changes to our structured training schedules often take time to adjust to, and the vast majority of training enthusiasts have no doubt encountered and had to fight through this adversity.

    Switching morning workouts to night are perhaps one of the hardest adjustments to make, especially without the use of caffeine or stimulants – which negatively affect sleeping patterns and thereby may compromise recovery. There is, however, a simple and effective solution: green light therapy.

    Most have heard of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is released by the pineal gland in the brain in response to low levels of light and acts as part of our internal clock, signaling a decrease in arousal and increase in the desire to sleep. If you remember back to middle school, we perceive the length of light rays bouncing off a given object via colors. So what’s the big deal? The lengths of light rays emitted by the color green have been shown to have the largest impact upon blunting the release of melatonin.

    Thus, by reducing the release of melatonin in the evening hours you may be able to increase arousal without the use of stimulants. This increase in arousal translates into improved focus and more intense workouts. This is especially important for those of us living at northern latitudes where the sun sets as early at 4.30 on some winter days. What’s more, green light therapy has been shown to improve mood.

    There are several ways to apply this. First, if you work at in an office you can use a bright green light LED to illuminate your work area 1-2 hours prior to leaving for the gym. Second, if you are a coach and spend time traveling at night to an away game, green LEDs can be used on the bus prior to arrival at the competition. Finally, if you train at home green light can used to illuminate the facility.

    Br

    Further reading:

    Loving RT, Kripke DF, Knickerbocker NC, Grandner MA. Bright green light treatment of depression for older adults. BMC Psychiatry. 2005 Nov 9;5:42.



    Wright HR, Lack LC, Partridge KJ. Light emitting diodes can be used to phase delay the melatonin rhythm. J Pineal Res. 2001 Nov;31(4):350-5.

    Wright HR, Lack LC. Effect of light wavelength on suppression and phase delay of the melatonin rhythm. Chronobiol Int. 2001 Sep;18(5):801-8.


    Skene DJ. Optimization of light and melatonin to phase-shift human circadian rhythms. J Neuroendocrinol. 2003 Apr;15(4):438-41.

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    I do
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    I do once in a while after work when I miss my before work workout. Interesting technique you have there. Gonna keep an eye out for those green bulbs, might screw them into my weightroom and see if I notice anything
    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates
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    I work rotating shifts and have two jobs, so my tanning sched is all messed up. For example, the other day I worked out after work which happened to be midnight. Then I was back at the gym 12 hours later training again because I had a 16 hour shift and wouldn't have been able to make it after work, lol. I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StakedCop View Post
    I work rotating shifts and have two jobs, so my tanning sched is all messed up. For example, the other day I worked out after work which happened to be midnight. Then I was back at the gym 12 hours later training again because I had a 16 hour shift and wouldn't have been able to make it after work, lol. I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me.
    I am in the same boat with the long shifts.. minimum for me is 12 hours. My workout options are usually either getting up at 5am to lift at 6am or after work at 12am when I usually have to get up early the next day...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    I am in the same boat with the long shifts.. minimum for me is 12 hours. My workout options are usually either getting up at 5am to lift at 6am or after work at 12am when I usually have to get up early the next day...
    I can't lift right after waking... What I do when I have to train early I'll wake up 3 hours before I plain on training and drink and shake with oatmeal and a banana then go back to sleep for 2 hours. Then wake up eat, shave poop then down my BCAAs and hit the gym. I can't train on an empty stomach no matter what.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StakedCop View Post
    I can't lift right after waking... What I do when I have to train early I'll wake up 3 hours before I plain on training and drink and shake with oatmeal and a banana then go back to sleep for 2 hours. Then wake up eat, shave poop then down my BCAAs and hit the gym. I can't train on an empty stomach no matter what.
    I LOVE FASTED TRAINING!!!! I know lots of people who think im nuts for it though lol...

    That sleep eating sounds fun.. ever read any of duchaines stuff. He preached to set an alarm clock and eat every couple of hours even through the night while sleeping
    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates
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    Interesting information.

    I like the idea of illuminating the team bus with the lights on the way to the game for an increased arousal.

    I workout at night, but rely on stims to get me in the mood. I may give this a shot when I cycle off stims soon.

    Great post
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    I workout around 2-3pm on days off and around 8-9pm on days I work.
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    i used to train at night but couldnt get decent sleep so i switched to the early afternoon
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    I do, sometimes as late as 1am
  

  
 

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