Hitting the gym is an important part of many people’s lives, whether they’re looking to do some cardio and lose fat or hit the weights to get bigger and stronger. The most frustrating thing at the gym is when it’s too busy, and you’re waiting for equipment and crammed into a small space.
Knowing when the least busy time at the gym is, including which days are the best to go, can help you get the most out of your gym time by spending more time working out and less time waiting for people to finish on equipment or leave the showers.
When Is The Least Busy Time To Go To The Gym?
Sunday is overall the least busy day to go to the gym, even at the busiest time on Sunday, you’re likely to find it only slightly busy or not busy compared with other days of the week.
Typically the evening, after 6 pm on Sunday, is the absolute least busy time at most gyms, followed by 6 am when the gym opens.
|6:00 AM||Least Busy||Least Busy||Least Busy||Least Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy|
|7:00 AM||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy|
|8:00 AM||Not Busy||Not Busy||Slightly Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy|
|9:00 AM||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy|
|10:00 AM||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy|
|11:00 AM||Busy||Busy||Busy||Busy||Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy|
|12:00 PM||Very Busy||Very Busy||Very Busy||Busy||Busy||Busy||Slightly Busy|
|1:00 PM||Busy||Busy||Busy||Busy||Busy||Most Busy||Slightly Busy|
|2:00 PM||Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Busy||Slightly Busy|
|3:00 PM||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Most Busy|
|4:00 PM||Busy||Busy||Busy||Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy|
|5:00 PM||Busy||Busy||Busy||Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy|
|6:00 PM||Most Busy||Most Busy||Most Busy||Most Busy||Most Busy||Slightly Busy||Slightly Busy|
|7:00 PM||Very Busy||Very Busy||Very Busy||Very Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy|
|8:00 PM||Busy||Busy||Busy||Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy|
|9:00 PM||Slightly Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Not Busy||Least Busy||Least Busy||Least Busy|
Monday and Wednesday are often the busiest due to people either feeling bad after a big eating or drinking weekend, or on Wednesday feeling like they need to hit the gym before the weekend gets here again.
Tuesday and Thursday are still busy standard weekdays at gyms with similar timings to Monday and Wednesday, so mornings and nights are the least busy times.
Friday is often a standard weekday in terms of how busy it is, but due to many people going out that night, the evenings after the 6 pm crowd leaves will be the least busy.
Saturday and Sunday are your least busy days, with the afternoons around 12 – 4 pm being the busiest, with other times throughout the day before excellent to get great workouts in at the gym.
Best Time To Go To The Gym
If you’re hitting the gym 6-7 days per week and want a standard best time to go to the gym, you should be looking at early mornings around 6 am – 9 am, or evenings starting at around 8 pm onwards.
Both of these timings will be the least overall and don’t cut into your day at strange times, so you either start the day off with the gym and shower, or you finish the day off with the gym and an evening shower before bed.
If those timings don’t work, then try to hit the gym at around 10 am or 3 pm, 1 hour on either side of those times should still give you only a slightly busy gym to get the most out of your gym time.
Worst Time To Go To The Gym
The two universally worst times to go to the gym are 12 pm and 6 pm on the weekday, you’re either dealing with the crowds of workers with their 1-hour lunch break, or you’re dealing with the throngs of workers that just finished for the day.
If you can pick a gym time that isn’t 1 hour before or after 12 pm and 6 pm, you should have reasonable freedom to perform your workout with the equipment you want.
What To Do If You Go To The Gym At The Worst Time
If you must go to the gym around the worst times, which many people do, then you need to be very flexible on what exercises you want to perform. Equipment is likely to be very busy, people will be clamoring for the best bits of equipment, and often the strongest and fastest get it.
Have a general idea of what type of exercises you’re going to do and rank them from best to worst, get straight into your workout with the best exercise option that is currently open, and focus on your workout but keep an eye out for the equipment you really want, such as squat racks.
If you’re spending 20 minutes waiting for equipment, you may only get 1 or 2 exercises in, which is not ideal, so flexibility is your best friend at the worse times to go to the gym.
Should You Go To The Gym At Lunch Time?
If your lunch break is between 12 pm – 1 pm, then that is one of the worst times to go to the gym, it should be avoided if you can go at other times of the day, such as in the early morning or late evening when it’s less busy.
If lunchtime is your only option, then you should still hit the gym. Be fast in grabbing the equipment you want, get your essential exercises done, and don’ be surprised if people are waiting for you to finish and comment if you take too long or try to double up on exercises.
What Time During The Weekday Is Best To Go To The Gym?
If you’re able to hit the gym between 6 am – 10 am on any weekday, you’re likely to find it the least busy. The closer to 6 am or when your gym opens will be the optimal time. You will be competing for some equipment from the other early risers, so be quick to grab what you want.
|Morning (6 am – 10 am)||Afternoon (10 am – 4 pm)||Evening (4 pm – 7 pm)||Night (7 pm onwards)|
|Monday||Least Busy||Very Busy||Most Busy||Slightly Busy|
|Tuesday||Least Busy||Busy||Most Busy||Not Busy|
|Wednesday||Least Busy||Very Busy||Most Busy||Slightly Busy|
|Thursday||Least Busy||Busy||Most Busy||Not Busy|
|Friday||Not Busy||Slightly Busy||Most Busy||Least Busy|
Afternoons can be busy, especially close to 12 pm or 6 pm, but if you pick a time between 1 pm – 3 pm, you’ll find it a good time to squeeze in a workout during the day and hopefully miss the two busiest times of the day.
What Time During The Weekend Is Best To Go To The Gym?
Mornings and evenings during the weekend are going to be the least busy at the gym, including less busy than most weekday options you are looking at. Sunday is by far the least busy day as people are often relaxing during the day or preparing for the new week at night.
|Morning (6 am – 10 am)||Afternoon (10 am – 4 pm)||Evening (4 pm – 7 pm)||Night (7 pm onwards)|
|Saturday||Not Busy||Most Busy||Not Busy||Least Busy|
|Sunday||Not Busy||Most Busy||Not Busy||Least Busy|
Typically any time you go during the weekend is going to be reasonable for your workout, but stay clear of around 11 am – 3 pm as that will be the overall busiest times for each day.
Mornings on the weekend aren’t too busy, but many of the diehard gym-goers will pick these times to get the best equipment, so you may not have a lot of people in the gym, but if you’re looking for squat racks, bench press, or deadlift platforms, you may find mornings busy.
Busiest Times Of The Year To Go To The Gym
The absolute busiest day of any year at the gym is January 1, as people get their new year’s resolutions started and head to a gym. You’ll find the gym is exceptionally busy from January 1 right up until Feb 1, when it levels off largely, and many people give up.
Seasonally you’ll find the colder months are the busiest as there are fewer activities to do outside, and people still want to stay fit, so the people that have been out walking or doing outside workouts will head to the gym for a break from the elements.
Colder months have similar busy times at the gym, but how busy each time is greatly increases, so this is when you want to find the least busy time at the gym.
Best Times To Go To Different Gyms
Different gyms may bring in different clientele that prefers to use the gym at different times of the day, so before picking which gym to join, you should check the least busy times for that gym chain as well as get a trial at the gym to ensure that the location also matches those timings.
|Planet Fitness||5 am – 6 am|
|LA Fitness||11 am – 3 pm|
|Life Time Fitness||1 pm – 4 pm|
|24 Hour Fitness||12 am – 6 am|
|Anytime Fitness||Before 8 am|
Best Time To Go To The Gym Based On Activity
Almost any type of activity you plan to perform in the gym is going to benefit from a less busy gym, so going at the least busy times is going to overall be your best option. Cardio users have the best options as most gyms have huge numbers of cardio equipment available at any time.
|Cardio Users||Anytime||Every gym has huge numbers of cardio equipment|
|Weightlifters||Morning||More free space and energy|
|Calisthenics||Morning/Evening||Less Busy and more space|
|Newbies||Evenings||More people to help you but still not too busy|
What Should You Do If Your Gym Is Always Busy?
If your gym is always busy, you need to consider the times and days that you’re going and how much you’re paying for your gym. Picking bad times can make the gym busy but so can very cheap prices as more people will flock to lower-priced gyms.
Change The Time You Go To The Gym
Consider the least busy times at the gym mentioned above and if you’re going at peak times, try to change the time you go, even an hour can make a significant difference in how busy a gym can be.
Pay More For Your Gym
It would help if you also looked at the price you’re paying. $10 per month is very low-priced, so you can expect to have a busy gym or limited equipment at places like Planet Fitness. If you pay more, the gym is likely to get less busy, and fewer people will be paying for memberships.
Find A Gym With Enough Of The Equipment You Want
You also need to consider what you want out of a gym, if you’re going at reasonable times and pay a reasonable price each month, you may simply need to find another gym with more of the equipment that you want.
If your gym has 4 squat racks, 2 bench presses, or 1 leg press, consider finding a gym that has more of whatever piece of equipment is most important to you. Get a trial with the gym to test out how busy the equipment is during the times you want to go and keep looking until you find the best option for you.
Austin is the author of loveatfirstfit.com and a personal trainer with extensive knowledge in nutrition. Austin is passionate about helping others to find a suitable healthy lifestyle and feel good about themselves. Austin’s goal is to help people push their limits and achieve their physical performance.