man waking up stretching

We have a gut sense that there are major differences between those who work out in the morning and those who work out at night. By the time one is heading to sleep, the other might be headed for the gym – so they must have different personality types. Recently, CivicScience took a data-driven look at these two different personas to uncover some fascinating insights.

SEE ALSO: The Lift Doctor Talks Morning Training

Here is what we found (excluding those who said they don’t exercise): 

As you can see, morning times (including both early and late morning) are roughly twice as popular as the evening to exercise. Afternoon workout fans fall right between them.

Chart workout morning night

The Early Bird Get the Worm

Given their dedication to waking up early, it should come as no surprise that early morning fitness fans are more likely to exercise regularly. They are also more likely to value health and fitness, and naturally, to follow health and fitness trends. It also makes sense, then, that they are more likely than evening exercisers to buy organic food. So all around, they’re very healthy.

Additionally, these folks are more likely to earn over $100k a year, and are more likely to save their money diligently. What do they do with this money? Well, they’re more likely to donate to both educational and cultural charities. What’s interesting, however, is that evening fitness folks – who tend to make less money – are equally as likely to donate, though in smaller amounts.

Nothing stands out too much in terms of the media and technology habits of the early morning exercisers as compared to the general population, except that they are more likely to actively use Pinterest, and they are also more likely to own or want a virtual reality product. This could mean that if gyms incorporate new VR technology into their machines, it may be a hit.  


Late morning fitness fans also share many of these traits, such as having a higher income and a generally active lifestyle, but there are differences between them as well.

Though all of these groups are health-conscious, late morning fans are more likely than early morning and evening fans to favor restaurants with healthy menu options, and are more likely to eat most often at fast casual restaurants.

They are also more environmentally-conscious. Late morning fitness fans are more likely to buy environmentally-friendly products, and to adjust their lifestyles to help the environment. Evidence? They are more likely to recycle.

Late morning gym-goers are more likely to follow college basketball and the NHL, and as a last fun fact, they are more likely than early morning fans and evening fans to drink wine regularly. 


6am Workouts? They’re Not About It

Unlike their early morning counterparts, those who work out at night are more likely to earn less than $50k each year. This most likely has to do with the fact that they are more likely to be Millennials. Regardless of their lower income, they’re more likely than morning fans to be employed. Work hard, play hard, right?

These gym-goers also follow health and fitness trends, but only “somewhat closely.” Morning fitness fans, on the other hand, follow health and fitness trends “very closely.”

So, if there were ever a health-related academic decathlon (Billy Madison, anyone?), well… we know who would win.

Why Is This Important?

All gym-goers, fitness fanatics and athletes are not the same! People who exercise in the morning versus those who exercise at night have different traits and preferences which gyms need to consider. With the large number of gyms and wellness programs out there, the ones that best understand these preferences and traits may be the ones to come out on top! And who knows, maybe “fake it till you make it” could work for you. Switching your exercise routine could possibly bring you the correlating benefits. If you think you need a change-up, maybe the time of day is a factor to consider.

Jordan Star, Content Writer, takes the thousands of insights that CivicScience collects daily, and turns them into engaging, entertaining and relevant stories. He is a recent graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and a 2016 Venture for America Fellow.