There’s nothing worse than a grueling day at work, just knowing that you’ve then got to go and pump iron in the gym immediately after.
Actually, scrap that, there is something worse. What’s worse is setting your alarm at silly o’clock – knowing that you have to get up super early to complete your morning workout.
For some of us, morning workouts are essential, but it by no means makes them easy. If you’ve never done them before, getting into the flow of performing them on a regular basis is tricky to say the least. In fact, in the early stages, it feels nigh-on-impossible.
All of the above is why we have put this guide together. We will now look at thirteen of the best ways to crush that morning workout.
Don’t jump into it in one fell swoop
Let’s get one thing straight; this isn’t all going to happen in one go. What we mean to say is that if you have never exercised in the morning before, going five times a week is out of the question.
Instead, you need to treat it as a gradual process. If you usually get up at 9am, it’s time to reduce this by fifteen minutes every week until you get to that early time you require. Then, don’t do this every day, just do it some days and work your way up.
Define a reason
Before you jump into the meat of some of these suggestions, you need to ask yourself why you are putting your body through the pain of working up so much earlier, and immediately carrying out an intense exercise session.
There’s no magic answer here; it will differ for each of you. For some, it might be to replace the evening workout so you have more time with the family. For others, it might be due to physical desires and wanting to “look the part” whilst walking down the street.
The only other advice we will give in relation to this is to not use any reasons with negative connotations. For example, don’t say that “you are fat and therefore want to lose weight”. This makes the morning session more of a punishment, which you certainly don’t want it to feel like.
The enjoyment factor is real
We will talk about morning hacks and all sorts of other interesting factors through the course of this guide, but one of the simple reasons why a lot of us don’t get up for that morning workout is because we hate what is waiting for us. Sure, nobody is ever going to be jumping for joy at a grueling workout ahead, but it goes without saying that some are just much more enjoyable than others.
It’s now in which you need to decide which workouts you prefer, and which you really don’t like. With so many fitness classes now available, variety isn’t a problem.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
It’s one of the most annoying clichés we’re used to hearing, but it really is true in the sense of working out in the morning.
You need to start treating your workout like you would any other appointment. It’s not something that you can decide on the day not to turn up to – it’s something you are committed to from the start.
To do this, pencil it in your diary and don’t let anything (other than genuine emergencies) change it. If you don’t “subscribe” to the session like this, you will be much more inclined to turn over in the duvet and take advantage of your snooze button.
Gather everything together the night before
On the subject of planning, let’s talk about the night before. In truth, this is one of the most important parts of the whole equation. Far too many people opt not to hit the gym because not only do they have to pull themselves out of bed in the morning, but they’ve also got to arrange all of their clothes for the day. For many of us, it’s just not worth the effort – and snooze wins again.
This philosophy needs to change as a matter of urgency. Gather all of your clothes the night before, and put them in a position where you can quickly slip into them. Or, if you need an even bigger push, some people go as far as sleeping in their gym clothes to reduce their workload in the morning!
Position your alarm clock strategically
Many of us place our alarm clock right next to our bed, and this is just asking for trouble. The snooze button, whilst sometimes useful, is just waiting to be pressed. Not only that, but you’ll probably roll back over to sleep with little intention of completing your workout.
On the flip side, what if you placed your alarm clock at the other side of the room? Then, you would have to physically get out of bed to turn it off, and turning back over and to sleep would no longer be an option.
It’s a simple hack for the morning, but one which might transform the way in which you treat your alarm clock.
Don’t rely on traditional alarm sounds
We’re well and truly in the age of technology, so nowadays there are absolutely no excuses for turning to a boring, classic alarm sound. Instead of this, opt for something that’s actually going to get you pumped ahead of your workout.
Obviously, this choice is going to vary between individuals, but to coin the perfect example the Rocky theme tune is often a favorite. When compared to the infamous chimes that are often bleated out of phones and alarm clocks, it should stand to reason that this suggestion is an absolute no-brainer.
Take advantage of the buddy approach
This next suggestion is all about accountability. If you opt to turn over and stay in bed at the moment, you only have yourself to answer for. If you were to do this when your buddy is there waiting at the gym for you, it’s a bit of a different story.
As well as the accountability, having a training partner can bring out the best in you when your workout does get going. It’s someone who can push you and provide that elusive motivation and when it comes to those dreaded morning sessions, this is exactly what you need.
Make sure you get sufficient amounts of sleep
One of the reasons why many of us don’t like those morning workouts is because of sleep. Even though we love the thing, most of the country simply doesn’t get enough of it. This is something that you need to change.
The best way to change it, other than going to bed earlier, is to alter your environment. As well as the length of your sleep, something else that is of paramount importance is the quality.
Make your room as inviting as possible to sleep in, using dimmed lights, and try not to use any TV or a computer an hour before you hit the pillow. By doing the latter, you will immediately increase the chances of falling to sleep quickly due to the lack of blue light.
Set your sights on the end reward
There have been a lot of scientific studies based on habits; and how these only tend to occur once an end reward is in place. In other words, the brain starts to recognize a habit when it correlates it with something positive.
As such, you need to develop these rewards. For some of you, it might come down to your favorite post-workout snack (of the healthy variety). In other cases, it might be the rush of endorphins following your workout. In any case, simply recognize the positive feeling after you complete your session.
Look to social media for inspiration
Some people love them, others hate them but like it or not, there’s no doubt that social media fitness accounts have made an impact in the fitness industry.
Instagram in particular has umpteen different accounts that are designed solely to get you pumped for fitness; with both inspirational quotes and images doing the job nicely.
It’s not just about the general fitness accounts though, you should also seek inspiration from your circle of friends. Seeing that someone has already been up and made their way to the treadmill should be a sufficient push to get you out of bed as well.
Give yourself time before rising out of bed
Again, the snooze button isn’t going to help you much here, but waking up and jumping straight through the front door is just asking for stress. This is exactly what you want to avoid in the morning, after all, you’re trying to persuade yourself to get up more often, aren’t you?
As such, try and give yourself around thirty minutes before you need to leave. This will probably mean tinkering with your alarm time, but it will make your morning much easier and you’ll even have time for a morning coffee before your session.
Rinse and repeat
Finally, the basis of this post is to create a habit. You are trying to hit the gym more frequently in the morning and the only way to do this is to train your body.
As such, the parting advice we are going to offer is to just aim to take one day at a time, and follow through with your plans. If you can keep building, keep going to the gym in the morning day after day, you will soon see that your body will get used to it. Not only that, but it will probably start to crave a workout – and you’ll actually want to get up at the crack of dawn.
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