I can wake up at 5 in the morning and be disturbingly perky giving my clients a great training session. Ask me to be in the gym at 7 am to workout, and I’m a sniveling brat. “I don’t WANNA workout! I’m TIRED! BLEH!” My body hurts, I’m not there mentally or physically.

There are people who swear on their Vitamix that the best time to do anything is in the morning. Get up, meditate, do your workout, shower, eat, and go. It’s scratched off your list, and you don’t have it looming for the rest of the day. At the end of their workout, they are energized and ready!

If only it were that easy for all of us.

Working out in the morning turns me into flail/tantrum Jeri. When I work out in the evening, I’m usually awake for the next two or three hours. If I work out too late, then it takes me forever to get to sleep. My post-exercise energy and focus are better any time after morning. When is my sweet spot?

I’m presently in Vegas, so I had to take my own classes early this week. It was the perfect opportunity to put my ideal workout time to the test, as I’ve fully been working out in the evenings. I gamely signed up for the Thursday 7:45am pole class.

What I observed was that indeed, my body didn’t feel ready to perform any of the maneuvers, compared to when I exercised later in the day. I didn’t have the emotional or mental pouting, although my mind wasn’t fully there. The perky teacher and great class vibe had me happy I attended. Lesson: my back and bad hip prefer an extended warmup before I am really prepared. Mornings? Out.

The previous day’s 12:30 lunchtime class was completely different. My body felt great before and after! I was mentally and physically there, without experiencing my chronic pain. Don’t listen to my abs. That’s the kind of pain we DO want! I was well-energized for my own afternoon clients- no need for coffee or a nap! If only I could do this time regularly.

Some of my clients are those efficient early people. Others can only make it to evening classes because that’s when their schedule allows.

How do you know the best time for you to workout? Take a few weeks to experiment with your schedule. Try a week planning morning workouts, with a week of evening workouts. If possible, be adventurous and try a midday session! Rate your energy on a 1-10 scale before and after your workout. (1 is the lowest energy, and 10 the highest.) Is your energy higher or lower after you are done?

Sometimes life doesn’t let you workout on your body’s ideal schedule. Knowing your sweet spot, however, will let you get the best of your time.