Hi, my name is Carla and I used to hate morning workouts.
I am addicted. I went from staying up late, snoozing an alarm, and dragging myself out of bed in slippers and a robe to getting up right away when that alarm sounds, working out and having an energized, productive day.
If you’re reading this, thinking “no way” then this article is definitely for you. If you’re already doing this, maybe there is a help tip you can pick up and please share yours with me in the comments!
AM VS PM WORKOUTS: WHICH IS BETTER?
Is the actual workout more beneficial at a certain time: morning, afternoon or evening? No. You can burn the same amount of overall calories and fat calories as well as effectively work your muscles at any time of the day.
There is one reason I chose to workout in the morning… consistency.
With every phase of my life from going to college to working a traditional job and now being self employed, I’ve adapted fitness routine to fit my lifestyle.
When I noticed myself becoming inconsistent with workouts because I couldn’t fit a 1 hour+ workout into my day, I adapted. I shortened my workout to 45ish mins and increased the intensity.
HERE’S THE PROBLEM
My workout is a priority. But, here’s the problem… unexpected things always arise over the course of a day. When something new gets thrown onto my plate, that workout usually gets bumped.
Also, my daily schedule isn’t the same each day. Anyone else?! Some days, I work later than others. Some days, I have an appointment to be at. Some days, we have this or that going on. This inconsistent schedule makes it difficult to have a consistent PM workout.
SOLUTION = MORNING WORKOUT PERSON
The only way for me to keep a consistent workout routine is to workout in the morning. Get it done first thing!
This morning workout solution is also ideal for the individual who struggles with motivation. Get your workout in first thing before you can talk yourself out of it.
The more routine things become in our day, the more likely they will become habitual. If your routine is to wake up, workout and then X, Y and Z… you’ll stay consistent with it.
WAIT, WILL I BE TIRED?
I too thought I would be exhausted all day but it’s the opposite. I have much more energy in the morning. I am more productive. I have a much better attitude.
You know I keep it real though… I do get tired in the afternoons but I always get tired in the afternoons. When I woke up at 7 AM, I had low energy around 3PM. I now wake up at 4:30 AM and around 3 PM, I hit that same afternoon slump. Maybe that’s just how the day goes.
I would not stick to this if I was actually more tired. Don’t let that stop you!
BEFORE WE BEGIN: you don’t have to workout at 5 AM for this solution to work. You could workout at 7 AM or 8:30 AM. Maybe a morning workout isn’t for you, and that’s okay! If you’re have great workouts at 2 PM or 7 PM, keep it up! This is just something to try for the individual who may want to feel supercharged in the morning or who is struggling with workout consistency.
HERE IS EXACTLY HOW I BECAME A MORNING WORKOUT PERSON
1. SLOWLY ADJUST YOUR ALARM TO WAKE UP EARLIER (KEY WORD: SLOWLY)
This all starts with setting your alarm. The reality is your internal clock is going to fight this change. Know that, but also know that with time, you can adjust both your internal alarm and your alarm clock.
If you workout at the gym… I suggest working out at home for the first 1-2 weeks you transition to this new schedule. The home workout will help by save you time in not commuting.
I was waking up at 6 AM, so I started this process setting my alarm for 5:30 AM, doing a 30 minute home workout. I did that for a week and then, I moved to 5:15 AM. After a week of that, I arrived at my 5 AM alarm so I could go to the gym or workout at my house.
2. PREP YOUR AM THE NIGHT BEFORE
You have to make it ridiculously easy for yourself to get out the door.
- lay out your entire workout outfit + shoes
- set out your brush + hair tie on the bathroom counter
- fill up your water bottle
- place your water bottle, keys, gym bag, etc. at the door
3. GET UP AND DRESSED RIGHT AWAY
My alarm goes off and I immediately get up and get dressed. I walk out to my bathroom where everything is set out and turn on all of the lights. Disclaimer – I’m half asleep doing this but the physical act of getting dressed begins waking your body and increasing blood flow
3. HYDRATE + CAFFEINATE
There are 2 liquids in the morning:
- preworkout/caffeinated beverage
I drink as much water as I can because hydrating before a workout is important. Then, I have a preworkout supplement or caffeinated beverage of some kind. If you don’t require this, good for you but I need a boost of energy this early.
4. SKIP BREAKFAST OR EAT IT ON THE GO
I don’t eat before a workout this early because I’m not anywhere near hungry. If you decide to eat, I would eat it on the commute to the gym to save time.
5. START YOUR WORKOUT WITH 5 MINUTES OF CARDIO
I begin my workout with 5 minutes of cardio to further wake up my body and mentally prepare to lift those weights. I get my music going and by the end of these 5 minutes, my preworkout has kicked in and I am ready to workout!
6. LIFT + MAKE IT A GREAT DAY
After I workout, I love listen to something motivating. My podcast recommendations are HERE – I’ll listen to something like this on the drive home. I set my intention for the day and make it great!
Please comment any tips that you find helpful for getting in a morning workout.