T Nation

AM Lifting


#1

Looking for advice from those who lift in the morning. Considering this due to work/commute/newborn.

Any tips on eating before lifting to have a quality session without puking? I'm considering waking up 2-3 hours early and eating a quick meal and then heading back to bed before getting up to warm up and train. Another option would be to get mentally stronger and learn to train fasted and eat a lot after.


#2

I'm not doing 5/3/1 but I lift in the morning without eating. I've found that eating right before bed or having a midnight snack improves my AM performance more than if I only had dinner 3-4 hours before sleeping.

One trick I've read is to drink a lot of water before bed and have a snack prepared so after you wake up in the middle of the night and take a piss, you can grab a quick little meal before going back to bed

Edit: if you have a newborn you'll be getting up 2-3 hours early anyway


#3

I have been running 531 in the AM for while fasted. I just get up 45 mins before I leave and have a black coffee while warming up at home. I tried training after eating and didnt notice any appreciable difference in performance.


#4

I ofter wake up to take a piss in the middle of the night and workout because I can't get right back to sleep. {i have bands, kettlebells and a pair of 10 pound dumbells at home.] In fact I just finished one of those workouts before typing this. I don't eat anything but I sip a pulse of MAG-10 during the short workout.] If interested, you can check my Indigo log but to save you time, just look at the last two pages.


#5

I rarely eat at all before I workout and that goes for am or pm - only coffee until just after lifting. I generally wake at around 8:30/9 am (I do school/work mostly nights) and lift around 1:30pm. I started doing this because I needed to loose weight and chose the Warrior diet to do so.

Physiologically speaking, you have plenty of fuel and then some if you eat well the night before. Glycogen reserves will last well into the next day. The mini-fast also gives your body time to re-sensitize itself to receive insulin and thus nutrients. The lifting adds to this new re-sensitivity.

Slam some protein and a nice meal right after and you will reap the benefits even if you don't have weight to loose. Drink plenty of h2o too. It may take some time to adjust - but your body is not lacking fuel for energy so long as you eat well the night before. It's mostly in your head.


#6

I always eat a banana and drink some water about 30 min prior to lifting. It's very light so it doesn't make you feel heavy/bloated but gives me enough food to where I don't feel sick while lifting. Just me though.


#7

Been lifting in the morning for 19 years now. I am doing 5/3/1 to get ready for a meet and here is my morning:
Wake up 4:45 to 5am
Hit the head, brush teeth, get my gym clothes on (about 10min)
Head downstairs ans take my pills (Carbolin19 & Indigo 3G plus other stuff)
I have a drink with 3-4 ounces Orange Low sugar Gatorade, 1 scoop of Power Drive, 1 capful of GPC, & half a Orange spike shooter (even though there is alot of "orange" there it's not citrus. Don't try and use OJ or it will end poorly).
This really lights you up in about 15-20 minutes & helps shake out the cobwebs - great for making sure your CNS is up to the task.
I am currently doing 2 servings of Plazma in about 1100 -1200 mL of water pre, during, & post. I would not do this right away though. Just try the orange CNS drink for a month then ease in with one serving of Plazma (or your workout drink of choice). Dilute it with extra water to help make it more palatable and over a few more months you can increase the serving size.

Finally after squat or deadlift day (I'm doing big but boring variant) I stop by IHOP and get the eggs & steak tip breakfast (although I hold the shrooms and onions). It is in the same parking lot as my gym :slight_smile: and this only adds about 12-15 minutes to my morning.
Then I head to work and am usually there by 7:45 - 8 (after fighting traffic for 30-40 minutes)


#8

Two to three hours might be excessive, stay in bed a little longer. I get up about 3:15am for training and am at the gym about 4am / 4:15am. You can consume something like Gatorade 30-min prior to training and it will work well. I drink Gatorade to the tune of 68grams of CHO's and some BCAA's.

A couple good resources I've referred to for a class I'm in that helped me with my early morning pre-workout nutrition:

"An amino acid-electrolyte beverage may increase cellular rehydration relative to carbohydrate-electrolyte and flavored water beverages.
Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:47"

"Preexercise Carbohydrate Feeding and High-Intensity Exercise Capacity: Effects of Timing of Intake and Carbohydrate Concentration
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2014, 24, 258 -266
http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2013-0119
© 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc."


#9

I now have a 2 year old and a newborn. I started training early in the morning because of my fist child and have continued since because it is th only time that no one wants to be around so it is really "my? time. I usually get up between 4 and 4:30. I eat a half a cup of instant oatmeal with a serving of protein powder in it. This is enough to get me going but doesnt interfere with my workout. Then I look at e-mails, go to the bathroom etc. for about half an hour. Then I down my preworkout, mix my intraworkout shake which has a bunch of stuff in it and get going. So I have about 45 minutes to an hour between eating my oatmeal and working out.

For me it works great. I dont waste any time as the time I am not working out I am replying to e-mails and stuff (many work related) and I can get a good workout in. Also, I can go take care of the baby if he wakes up during that time so that my wife can get some extra sleep which is great. She busts her ass and need her rest.


#10

I have tried several different things for the morning and what has worked best for me is a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich. I make it before I go to bed and have it when I wake up (about 45 minutes before arriving at the gym). It's not the fanciest or healthiest route, but it gets the job done.


#11

I wake up with black coffee and BCAAs, train, and then eat.


#12

I have a cup of coffee and a scoop of whey protein right after I wake up. I'm usually at the gym warming up 40 minutes later, and not starting heavy work sets until the hour mark. I also sip a CHO+pro drink during the workout.

I notice that workout quality drops dramatically if I am completely fasted, but that it doesn't take much to make a difference.

Why don't you start with something really digestible when you wake up (like a couple scoops of BCAA in rice milk), see how you feel, and then increase the calorie content from there?