Over the past few years, I’ve been successful at making morning workouts a habit! These tips are based on my experience as someone who would rather be in bed, but knows that getting my workout done is best for me. My hope is these tips make the experience easier for you!
Tips for Morning Workouts
1. Plan Your Schedule for the Week. Be Realistic.
First decide if working out in the morning is the best fit for you. Can you fit your workout in during another window of time? Does your training schedule prescribe a morning workout – or two workouts in a day? Have an honest review of your schedule now, not when the goes off at 5AM. Once you decide that the morning is the best time for your workout tomorrow, it helps you push through when you’re tired in the morning.
2. Lay out your workout clothes
Something as easy as picking out workout clothes can be frustrating when you’re half asleep. And it’s time wasted when you could have been sleeping! Get this out of the way the night before and lay out your clothes, so it’s easy to put them on and get moving. I do this right before I get in bed. I also lay out my work clothes, to save me some extra time when I get home from the gym.
3. Prep breakfast the night before.
I look for make-ahead breakfast options or things that I can at least partially prep the night before. Make a big batch of protein waffles on the weekend or prep the mix-ins for a loaded greek yogurt bowl. I aim for no more than 5 minutes of prep for breakfast in the morning, so it doesn’t take much time. I also have my my morning vitamins & supplements pre-portioned into daily containers so I can grab and go. Don’t forget to program your coffee pot, if that’s your thing.
4. Anything you need for your workout (other than clothes) goes by the door.
I’m thinking of things like your gym membership card, headphones, workout gloves, water bottle…whatever you need! There’s nothing worse than getting to the gym & realizing something is at home. I’ve made this mistake too many times!
5. Get to bed!
Are you planning to get up earlier than you were before? Then plan to go to bed earlier than you were before. You know where your body functions best (typically 7-9 hours a night), so make sure you’re not sacrificing sleep. I was guilty of skipping this step last week and I paid the price. And if you’re getting up early because your training volume is increasing, remember that recovery (including sleep!) should also go up.
A Little encouragement…
If you can push through the first week of morning workouts, the second week is a little easier…then the third week it starts to feel “normal”. By week four, your body knows the drill and it just happens! You may still grumble & complain, but you get up and do it! Before you know it, the workout is over and you’ve crossed off a big “to-do” item from your list. And you feel great!
Editors Note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and the latest information.
Questions for you:
What other tips for morning workouts would you add to the list?
How many hours of sleep do you get on a typical night?