Would you like to begin working out before work or school, but have no idea where to begin? I get it. Waking up is hard to do. Waking up and actually being productive? Even harder! But don’t worry; today I’ll be walking you through my top 10 early morning workout hacks. Implement these, and you’ll see that starting your day with a killer workout is easier than you could’ve ever imagined!
Waking up is tough! I blame my bed; the warmest, comfiest, and most difficult-place-to-leave early in the AM! When we wake-up, our tired brain is going to come up with a million reasons to stay under the covers and sleep our workout away. Don’t let a lack of a plan be one of these reason your brain convinces you to go back to sleep!
Create your workout plan the day before. This is going to help you commit every morning when you wake up. Knowing the exact system you’re going to follow will help you avoid the very real temptation of skipping your workouts. Plan how long you intend to workout, how you’re going to get there, what workout you’re going to do, what exercises, how many sets, and how many reps. Go ahead and write it down. Don’t be afraid of that level of commitment!
Gather all of your gym clothes and all of the necessary equipment before you go to bed. You want to rid yourself of any potential excuses your foggy morning brain might try to conjure up. Let’s be honest, you aren’t going to feel very motivated after climbing out of your warm bed, plus you don’t have very much free time in the morning, you have important places to be. The more efficient you can be in the morning, the more likely you’ll be to stick with your morning workout regimen!
This is just another way to reduce the amount of time spent rushing to get ready in the morning. Preparing a nutritious breakfast the night before is just one way to remove potential excuses for your groggy morning brain. Cut some fresh fruit the night before, lay out a bowl of uncooked oatmeal before you head for bed. All you’ll have to do in the morning is add some water, pop it in the microwave, and voila! You’ve got the breakfast of champions all set and ready to go for after your workout!
Set that alarm 15 minutes earlier than you know you need to get up. The snooze button is unbelievably alluring first thing in the morning. It’s hard to resist tapping it when the first buzz of the alarm hits your ears. Go ahead and set your alarm just 15 minutes early, so you get that one snooze cycle out of the way. It’s also a nice safeguard in case your first alarm doesn’t go off!
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Hit the hay earlier on the nights before you workout. Sorry guys, but this step requires some basic math. Deduct the amount of time you’re planning on spending in the gym (which you should have decided in tip #1) from your normal bedtime. If you go to bed at 11:30 on a normal weeknight when you’re not working out, and you know your workout is going to take about 45 minutes - 1 hour, then deduct an hour from your regular bedtime. This means 10:30 is when you should be heading to bed!
Listen to some pump-up music the second you wake up. This is going to help you shake off the exhaustion and put you into the proper mindset for executing your workout. Your mental game is just as important as your physical one, so pump up the volume!
I know your breakfast is all set and ready to go (see tip #3), but save it ‘till after your workout. Your body needs time to digest food, and the time you would’ve spent waiting between breakfast and your workout as your food settles, is precious time wasted. Plus, nobody likes to be sick at the gym. From firsthand experience, puking in public is not fun! So avoid the pre-workout breakfast, and instead enjoy your breakfast after your workout!
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Make sure you’ve had your coffee or your pre-workout supplement before you actually get into your morning workout. Some people don’t need coffee to function in the morning, and that’s okay (although I’m skeptical you aren’t crazy robots or something). Just like we did with our breakfast, go ahead and have everything set to go in the morning so that little-no effort is required in the morning!
The morning time is when your body is at its stiffest and least flexible, and therefore most susceptible to injury. So take a little time before your workout to warm up properly! Think of it as a chance to get your blood pumping and your mind in gear. Not all of our brains are fully functioning first thing in the morning (I’m looking at you here non-coffee drinkers) and we need a chance to get our bodies and our minds in tune with the task at hand!
If you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of time in the morning, so you want your workouts to get you the most bang for your buck. First things first, don’t waste your precious time scrolling through your myriad of social media newsfeeds. You can do that later. Focus on getting your workout done first!
Also, consider utilizing supersets and circuits to make your workout more efficient. A superset is performed by completing one full set of an exercise, and directly after with no rest, performing another full set of a different exercise. Circuits are similar; however, often require a combination of between 3-4 exercises. Both supersets, as well as circuits are a great way of mixing cardio and strength training together, and can speed up your workouts so you’re in-and-out of the gym in about 30-45 minutes! Both methods actually increase the amount of work performed in a shorter amount of time. More work in less time? Who doesn’t like that?
And there you are; my top 10 tips to help you finally begin working out before work or before school! Easier than you first imagined, isn’t it? Successfully adopting the morning workout routine is the result of planning and preparation. Proper execution of those two things will have you well on your way to becoming a morning workout person!
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