April 12, 2021 8 min read
Picture this. You just purchased a gym membership and are excited to get started on your weight loss journey. The next day, you wake up, make a fresh pot of coffee, and head to the gym.
You listen to your music a little too loud on the way there to pump yourself up. You pull into the parking lot and you see the lot is full to the max! You can’t help but sigh because you know all the machines are going to be taken or will have a long line.
Fortunately, the gyms are not busy all day, meaning if you can make it to the gym around their peak times you can avoid all the people. So, when are gyms the least crowded? When are the gym’s busiest times? Let’s find out!
There is a lot of fitness professionals and research supporting that the morning is the best time of the day to get in a good workout and build a healthy immune system.
Additionally, waking up early to hit the gym before work may be the only time of the day they can make it to the gym due to their busy schedules.
With that being said, that means most days of the week the gym will be busiest between 5:30 am and 11 am. On the flip side, if the gym you go to is on a college campus the morning is usually the best time to go.
College students are known to stay up late and sleep all day. Since they are not waking up until 11 am most days, the gym will be quiet and crowd-free. The rest of the students will start rolling in for their workout in the afternoon before getting ready to go out for the night.
Some gyms will start to pick up a little bit around lunchtime as some hard-working professionals roll in to break up their workday. If you are one of the lucky ones that have a flexible lunch break, heading to the gym during your lunch won’t be as bad as going in the morning.
There will still be people there, but you shouldn’t have to wait to use a machine. Consequently, going to the gym between 11 am and 1 pm is usually a decent time to get in a good sweat.
Seeing as how waking up early in the morning is not something the majority want to do on a regular basis, anyone who doesn’t go before or during work will be at the gym after they are done with work for the day.
Many gym-goers say working out after work is a great way to unwind after a rough day implying that gyms will get busy again around 4 pm to 8 pm.
Seeing as how the weekend is when most business professionals have free time many would assume that the gym will be busy all weekend long. However, this is not always the case. Nobody wants to spend their entire weekend at the gym; therefore, most people try to get to the gym early so they have the remainder of the day to whatever they choose.
If you are trying to avoid a crowded gym on a Saturday, you will want to go after 10 am. If it is Sunday, you can practically go any time of the day and the gym will be fairly slow as the majority of people use Sunday as a day of rest.
Additionally, church-goers will be attending church in the morning, meaning even if they are going to work out on a Sunday, the crowd shouldn’t roll in until after 12 in the afternoon or later.
To sum it up, when it comes to the time of day you will find gyms the least busy is typically mid-afternoon (11 am - 3 pm) or late evening (any time after 7 pm). However, if your gym is located on a college campus, you will want to get to the gym before 11 am to beat the crowd.
Lastly, regardless of where your gym is located, if you are planning on going to the gym on the weekend, mid to late afternoon (2 pm - 5 pm) is typically the best time to get in a shred session.
For the majority, we mentally tell ourselves Monday is the first day of the week. A day we can use as restart the week on the right foot; therefore, if you live a healthy lifestyle, you will most likely want to hit the gym. You may even need to get in a good sweat to make up some bad eating or drinking decisions you may have made over the weekend (No need to feel guilty, the weekends were made for indulging).
Additionally, most people stick to a weekly routine of working out every other day. Since we know they start their week on Mondays, it is safe to assume that Wednesdays and Fridays will be busier than going to the gym on Tuesday or Thursday.
On the contrary, when it comes to the weekend, you can really go either day expecting the gym to not be super busy. Just keep in mind that Saturday mornings can be a busy time for commercial gyms. If you are only going to work out one day of the weekend, make Sunday the day you go because this tends to be one of the slowest days of the week.
We just learned that Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays tend to be the busiest weekdays while Saturday mornings to early afternoon are the busier are the times for gyms on the weekend. Therefore, if you are trying to avoid the crowds, you should consider starting your week on Sunday so the days you go to the gym will be the opposite of the majority.
I have three words for you…“New Year’s Resolutions.” When it comes to setting new year’s resolutions one of the most popular choices is to get in better shape which is why gyms typically see a dramatic increase in attendance for the first 6-8 weeks of the year. During this time, it is hard to find a good time to go to the gym.
The best advice we can give is to tell you to be friendly and courteous to the newbies. They are trying to improve their lives. Plus, they are humans so the majority will stop going to the gym frequently by end of February anyways.
If you have the option to workout from home more during these times, we suggest taking advantage of it and returning to the gym on a regular basis in March.
Even though we have estimated the best days and times to go to the gym, there is no way to prevent any day of the week from being a busy day at the gym. Additionally, the times people attend the gym can vary greatly depending on location.
For that reason, here are some tips to help you deal with the crowds if the gym is busy:
Based on everything discussed above, there is no guaranteed day that the gym will be empty. However, there are some days and times that are better than others. Typically, the slower days and times are Sunday all-day, Tuesday and Thursday mid-afternoon or late in the evening, and Saturday any time after 2 pm.
Remember, if the gym is busy there are ways to work around it without being overwhelmed by the crowd such as taking your workout outside, signing up for a group class, or hiring a personal trainer.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you find the days and times that work best for you! Living a healthy and fit lifestyle can be hard but keeping a regular workout routine, eating healthy, and taking your daily vitamins and supplements.