Effects of regular training at the same time of day on diurnal fluctuations in muscular performance

J Sports Sci. 2002 Nov;20(11):929-37. doi: 10.1080/026404102320761813.


The aim of this study was to determine whether there is an effect of time of day on the adaptation to strength training at maximal effort. Fourteen participants took part in this experiment. Their peak anaerobic power (Wingate anaerobic test) and peak knee extension torque at six angular velocities (1.05, 2.10, 3.14, 4.19, 5.24 and 6.29 rad x s(-1)) were recorded in the morning (between 07:00 and 08:00 h) and in the evening (between 17:00 and 18:00 h) just before and 2 weeks after a 6 week course of regular training. Seven of them trained only in the morning and seven only in the evening. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed a significant group x pre-/post-training x time of day interaction effect for peak torque and peak anaerobic power. Before training, in both groups, peak torque and peak anaerobic power were significantly higher in the evening than in the morning. After training, there was no significant difference in peak torque and peak anaerobic power between the morning and the evening for the morning training group. In contrast, in the evening training group, peak torque and peak anaerobic power were higher in the evening than in the morning. As a result of training, both peak torque and peak anaerobic power increased from their initial values as expected. The morning training group improved their peak anaerobic power significantly in the morning and in the evening, the absolute increase being larger in the morning than in the evening. The evening training group did not improve their peak anaerobic power in the morning, whereas it improved significantly in the evening. Although peak torque was significantly improved by training in the morning and evening in both groups, the absolute increase was greater in the morning than in the evening in the morning training group, whereas the opposite was the case for the evening training group. These results suggest that training twice a week at a specific hour increases the peak torque and the peak anaerobic power specifically at this hour and demonstrates that there is a temporal specificity to strength training.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Task Performance and Analysis*