Tips for a Successful Morning Workout

Tips to be a Successful Morning Workout Person

You guys can thank yourselves for this post. If you watch my Stories on Instagram then you know that I’m attempting to be an early morning workout person. I’ve done two 6:30 am classes, one or two 7:30 am and otherwise I just go when I can/the class isn’t full before I sign up.

Sometimes I go to mid-morning class, and if none of that works, I’ll go in the afternoon or evening. But I’m trying to avoid anything after the lunch hour.

Why, why would I do this to myself!?! One of my friends even messaged me and said, don’t be an early morning workout person if you don’t have to!

I work for myself and I make my own schedule so really, I can workout whenever I want. BUT I don’t like it when my workout is smack dab in the middle of my day. I love getting it done, taking a shower, and still having a long day ahead to work. Even though I usually work into the night, I’d like to change that and READ more. Or just do more things that AREN’T WORK.

For almost two years my husband and I did a meal delivery for dinner. It was precooked paleo meals, so all we had to do was heat them up in a skillet (or microwave, but we prefer using the stove) and a healthy dinner was ready. I didn’t have to think, grocery shop, prep, nothing. It was so easy, saved me a bunch of time and basically forced a healthy dinner on me. I loved it. (We used Territory Foods.) The only reason we stopped is because the meals just got too repetitive after two years. Also when we moved, the closest place to pick them up isn’t open all day so it was annoying having to pick them up on their schedule. So I’m back to cooking (for now) so it takes extra time in the evening.

I’m also looking to change up my schedule a bit. I feel like I need some change in that area. My workday needs more structure. I also feel like if I leave my workout to the evening, I’m much less motivated to go, and there’s a tiny chance I’ll bail. Also the traffic from school pickup time to after rush hour can be just stupid so I prefer to avoid it.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people (who everyone hates only because they wish they could do it) who gets up early and works out every day before work. I don’t know why, but those people just seem to have their shit together. Like you are so dedicated you get up early to do this! I admire them! I want to be them.

So those are my reasons for wanting this change when I could workout anytime of day because of my job/schedule.

Currently I’m doing [solidcore], yoga and pilates at Mind the Mat, and I also go to a gym for weights, treadmill running (because it’s freezing out right now), and they have a sauna. I love getting in the sauna. The classes I want to go to aren’t always available at 6:30/7:30 am so it’s not an every day thing at this point. Sometimes the class is at 9/9:30, sometimes even 11. But the goal is to go before lunch.

I have loved getting my class done so early in the morning, being home and showered and ready for the day by the time most people arrive at work. It’s such a good feeling. Sometimes in the afternoon I think did I work out today? And I realize I already did!

I don’t mind having a later class some days, in case I need to catch up on sleep, need to get a few things done right away in the morning, or if I have an early meeting, so I’m ok with it not being every day. Although my husband pointed out that maybe the inconsistency isn’t helping with the switch to getting in bed early…

Here’s the thing — I’m usually already awake at 6/6:30 am. I’m a light sleeper, so almost anything wakes me up. A dog barking, someone scraping ice of their car, a train goes by. So instead of just lying there trying to fall back asleep (which RARELY ever happens) I’m just getting up and making use of otherwise sort of wasted time. I always told myself I was “resting” during that time which is true I guess. But I’d rather actually sleep 8 hours than sleep 6-7 and “rest” for one.

So to get me started on this morning workout person thing you all gave me some great tips and a lot of you asked me to share them, so here they are! Some of these things I already knew and some of them were tips I’d never thought of!

1 // Sign up for classes with a cancellation fee.

I can tell you that I’m a class person. I prefer a class where someone is telling me what to, pushing me to have more intensity, and adjusting me. Having to pay and sign up for something MOTIVATES me. I WILL be there. I would never miss a class if I’m paying for it and especially if I’ll not only lose a class but then also get charged a cancellation fee. So clearly money motivates me! And many of you said this was the key to getting to a morning class for you as well!

2 // Have a workout buddy. 

This can be helpful for many reasons. You can motivate each other to go to class. If you think you want to cancel you’ll have to tell this person and of course you don’t want to be that person. Pick someone who is more dedicated than you are! Obviously where you live and workout will be a factor. I don’t do this and don’t need to but I can see how it works.

3 // Carpool to your workout with someone. 

Now obviously not everyone uses a car to get around, so maybe take this as — go there with someone. Similar to a buddy, but if you are also counting on that person to GET there, then that ads some extra non-cancel motivation. Plus you can pump each other up on the way.

This works for me with my husband. If he’s going to the gym on the weekend, and I haven’t worked out yet…I’m not just going to sit on my ass and let him go to the gym without me!

4 // Join a studio where you have to sign up for classes.

Especially if you are doing a morning workout. Usually you have to cancel a few hours in advance so unless you wake up with a fever at 2 am you probably won’t cancel. I also like the sign up feature because then I put it on my calendar and if it’s on my calendar it is way more likely to happen.

5 // Lay out everything you will need for your workout the night before.

This was MUST for me! Our house is old and creaky, if I was rummaging around our bedroom trying to find all my stuff with the light on my phone I’d probably wake up the dog and my husband. Also it just takes too much time to get all of that stuff together, so I like to get my entire outfit out, my shoes, hair tie, sweat band, ear buds, water, mat towels — everything. Also I put them either right by the door, or in the other room where I change (so to not wake up the Mr.). This way I don’t forget anything and I don’t feel rushed.

Some people said they sleep in their workout clothes but my stuff is tight and there is no way I’d sleep in it!

Also, this way you know you have clean workout clothes! I’ve made the mistake of NOT doing this and then I didn’t have any clean workout pants and my options were wear summer pants (it’s so cold!) or wear dirty leggings. Ew.

6 // Get up an hour before your workout so you can wake up and/or eat.

Personally I prefer not to eat before an early morning workout (just water). I can’t eat 30-60 minutes before a workout no matter what time it is. But some people have to have something in their stomach. Also I only wake up 30 minutes before the class since I live close and have all my stuff ready to go. I only have to change and get out the door. Everything is already ready. For me, this works, but some people need to wake up, have coffee or food, or just get their body going first. You will figure out pretty quickly if this is you or not. It’s not me, but a lot of people recommended it.

7 // Preset your coffee.

If you have a timer on your coffee maker you could set it so that you know that cup is ready and hot for you when you get up. Again, I can’t drink coffee before a 6/6:30 am workout but I can see how this would be helpful for those who like to!

8 // Take a pre-workout.

I always saw my husband take preworkout but I could never have caffeine in the late afternoon or I would never sleep. Also I just didn’t think I needed it. But recently I’ve felt a little low energy and I had my vitamin levels tested and I was a little low on B12, which is energy! So I’m personally testing out some pre-workout that a friend recommended to me (will report back on it). Otherwise, if I’m feeling a little low energy I’ll pop one or two of these PROBAR BOLT energy chews. I have to eat it at least 30 minutes before class, but it gives me just enough of a jolt. I ate them when running my half marathon too.

One girl messaged me on Instagram and said to do a tablespoon of chia seeds, lemon juice, and honey (to taste) and mix with a little water and shoot it (or just drink it) and it gives you some quick healthy energy, fiber, and without added sugar (besides the honey), so I will have to try this. Do any of you do this?

9 // Make sure to have protein post workout.

This I’d never thought of, but a friend told me to make sure to have a protein smoothie after a morning workout. She said it helped her not have a morning slump. The first time I did a 6:30 am class, by 9:30 I was a dead person and had to take a nap. So now I’m going to try to make my smoothie (which I put protein in, and I use greek yogurt) and drink it after my workout.

Another gal on Instagram recommended Kelly LeVeque’s “Fab Four” smoothie to me. So I’m going to have to see if what I’ve been making is close to her formula!

10 // Get in bed earlier!

Obviously you don’t want to get up for a morning workout and sacrifice your sleep. Sleep is such an important part of your health, so I’m not saying give up sleep to be a morning workout person! I’m having a hard time getting in bed earlier and falling asleep earlier so I am struggling with this myself. BUT I think if you GET in your bed earlier you have a much better chance of actually going to sleep earlier.

And if you can, don’t bring your laptop to bed (guilty), don’t watch TV (we don’t even have one in our bedroom), don’t be on your phone (soooo guilty) letting the light stimulate your brain, and just do something that helps promote sleep. Reading a book, meditate, write in a journal — whatever! Obviously the goal is to fall asleep 8 hours before you need to get up so you can get a full night’s sleep.

A lot of you said this took some effort and getting used to, but that your body did adapt to it.

Also you could take a low dose of melatonin at first. I keep a jar on my nightstand with low dose pills that you just put under your tongue and let dissolve and within 30 minutes my eyes are shutting — but only if I’m in the right state. I’ve taken melatonin and been working on my computer and then it doesn’t really work because I’m stimulating my brain too much.

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Those were the best tips! Thanks to everyone who sent them in!

One thing I want to add is that I got tons of DMs on Instagram about this on Instagram, clearly you guys are either interested and/or are morning workout people. And those of you who ARE morning workout people, all of you said that you LOVE IT!

I’d also say if you aren’t typically a morning person but want to try it, maybe make sure the first few days you try it you don’t have a big presentation or something really important. And before you give up, try it for a few weeks. A lot of people said their body just got used to it after a few weeks and they naturally went to bed earlier.

Also, some people’s bodies just don’t like working out in the morning. I’ve read some articles about how for a lot of people, working out around 3-6 pm is best for their body. I can totally see this, and when I used to workout at 5 pm everyday, I enjoyed the break separating my “workday” and my evening, but then I would almost always work at night so it didn’t really work for separation purposes. Point is, some people’s bodies just don’t agree with an early morning workout and obviously, that’s totally fine!

Basically I’m just saying that I totally understand if your body is just like, nope, not a morning workout person. And you shouldn’t force it. But if it’s something that you’ve always wanted to try, or it’s the only time of day you actually can workout, give it a shot for a few weeks. See if it works for you.

If you have any other tips, please tell me! Or tell me if you’ve tried being a morning workout person and how it went for you!

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Photo by Becca Matimba on Unsplash, edited by Meg Biram