Are you an early riser, full of life’s joy, energy, and enthusiasm in the morning? Get out.
The rest of you, listen up.
No matter what anyone tells you, no matter how easy and natural it might be to some people, getting up early enough every single morning to do your workout before heading to the office (and what about breakfast and coffee) can feel like nothing shy of pure misery and despair.
You know the feeling, that moment when the alarm strikes 6 AM and all you want to do is become a burrito and continue dreaming about evening lifting sessions and all the gains you’re going to make. Don’t feel bad, it’s only natural, some people are born to rise with the sun, and others are born to hate those very people.
There are no shortcuts, you will have to change. It won’t be easy. Here is the no bullshit, foolproof way for you to adjust to and grow to love working out in the morning.
Let’s do it!
Change your mindset to reap the rewards
If you’re thinking about making a positive change, simply contemplating the necessary steps will do you no good without first shaping your frame of mind to WANT to change. And you need to want it bad. Why should you want to switch to a morning routine and ditch your obsession with evening gains sessions?
Because the rewards are numerous. Because you will be able to achieve bigger and better things, not just in your fitness life, but in all other areas as well, including work and “play”.
You’ll need to cover two initial steps here: list the benefits of morning training, and then envision yourself holding the goddamn proverbial trophy of gains.
- Firstly, when working out in the morning hours, your testosterone levels are naturally elevated, and we all know that testosterone is the key ingredient in forming a strong, muscular physique. So rather than training with lower testosterone levels in the evening, you can use that test boost in the morning to make new gains and reach new fitness goals.
- Secondly, your metabolic rate will also receive a boost; burning calories more quickly and thus helping you keep that six-pack on all year-round, and while there’s nothing wrong with a little belly fat, there is nothing quite like rocking a set of steel abs.
- Moreover, you’ll be able to get more work done in a shorter amount of time. Have you ever tried doing a giant set or a circuit in a packed commercial gym? It’s a complete nightmare, and while you should of course, strive to build your very own garage gym at some point, you should make the most of your time while you’re there.
- Finally, you’ll set the stage for a more productive and successful day every time. Morning workouts are highly conducive to productivity, enthusiasm, mental clarity and positivity, and by hitting the weights before work, you will not only have more time during the day, your schedule will feel like a breeze.
Get your life in order
Speaking of schedules, you need one. You probably already have a rough routine you try to follow every day, and it might have worked up until now, but exercising in the morning is a completely different beast that requires prudent planning and your unwavering resolve.
Firstly, your new weekly schedule doesn’t start on Monday morning, but on Sunday evening. The things you do before the next week starts and the preparations you make will set the stage for the next seven days, so be sure to prepare your food and for the love of god, try to turn in earlier.
There is nothing worse than staring at your phone until midnight and trying to get up at 5 AM unless you love feeling like a bodybuilder on a bad cycle who doesn’t stretch. More on the importance of sleep a bit later, let’s move on to the training itself and how to survive the adaptation period.
Start light, stay safe
The plan is simple, right? Just move your regular routine from the evening to the morning. Well yes, if you want to destroy your CNS and immune system, and earn a set of DOMS that feel like you’ve just won the CrossFit Games – you might think you’re a beast, but you won’t be getting up anytime soon.
Whatever you do, whether you transition slowly, or go pedal to the metal, you need to stay safe at all times. Make sure you stay warm, dry, and flexible (which is extremely important in CrossFit) by wearing breathable weightlifting clothes (from a trusted brand, with a solid recommendation) that will keep the blood flowing and safeguard you from injuries.
Remember, the majority of injuries happen when you change something, so make sure you train smart and always exercise safety!
Optimize your sleeping schedule
Think you’re turning in pretty early as it is? Think again. Working out before the day even begins requires you to follow a rigorous, but highly rewarding sleep schedule, making sure you go to bed at least 7-8 hours before the alarm starts nagging, especially if you are serious about your lifting.
Maintaining healthy sleeping cycles will help your CNS recover properly, you will induce more muscle growth, you’ll feel rested and energized, and it will support a myriad of healthy bodily processes as well. Getting enough sleep over a long period of time works like building a strong foundation, stacking brick after brick perfectly until you have built an unwavering tower of gains, health, and positivity.
On the other hand, if your sleep schedule is riddled with guilty pleasures and sleepless nights, your new routine, much like the tower, will eventually crumble and fall to pieces. This is why your schedule starts the night before.
So turn off your gadgets, and turn in early in preparation for a productive day ahead.
Review your nutrition
Finally, the problem of nutrition arises when transitioning to a morning workout regime. Should you stick to your previous eating schedule? Can you gulp down a beastly breakfast before heading to the gym? Probably not.
The best and simplest solution is to make a rich protein smoothie before you hit the gym, and take the rest of your meals with you, breakfast included. This way, you will not only maximize daily muscle-protein synthesis, you will also have an easier time keeping fat at bay by not eating late at night.
And there you have it, simple enough, isn’t it?
Don’t worry, it might seem like a lot to take in at first, but if you follow this guide religiously and to the tee, you will have no problems becoming a morning gym buff, and paving the road to a stronger, healthier, and happier future.
Now go after it!