T Nation

Designing Rituals

Hey guys,

Recently I started getting back into lifting and eating healthy after a rough divorce. Now as a single father, it’s been a challenge to get my life set up in a way that allows me to focus a lot of time on my kids, my job, and myself.

I’ve gotten the most leverage from getting up early and designing a step by step routine in the AM that takes care of my physical, emotional, and intellectual “brains”.

I’m curious: what routines do you follow as the part of the first few hours of the day before work/school?

Here’s mine, keep in mind that my gym time is seperate from this, and I’m not getting all of my fitness from this.

  1. Wake up at 5:30
  2. Walk into bathroom and take AM supplements (multi vitamin, fish oil, Alpha Male or HOT-ROX depending on goals), drink .5 liters of water.
  3. brush teeth
  4. floss
  5. mouthwash
  6. walk downstairs into my office
  7. turn the heat up
  8. stretch (mostly hamstrings, I’d love some opinions/advice on stretching)
  9. Workout circuit (3x)
    a. 15 BW squats
    b. 30 crunches
    c. 25 pushups
    d. 12 lateral raises (8lb dumbbell)
    e. 12 front raises (same weight)
    f. overhead press (same weight)
    g. hand walk-out
  10. more stretching
  11. 5 minute breathing exercise
  12. 15-30 minutes of intellectual reading (currently Made To Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath)
  13. breakfast (currently 3 eggs, 4 strips of center cut bacon, 100%wholewheat bagel)

After doing this for about a month I have more energy to get my kids ready for school and attack the day.

What do you guys do to prepare for battle?

As soon as my alarm clock goes off, I take a quick swig of whiskey, then I crack and sniff an ammonia tablet and it wakes me up real quick.

Not really though.

I wish I could perform such a precise schedule such as yours, but I lift in the late afternoon, so I just wake up and stumble into the shower.

Nice man. Well I am pretty fuckin rushed in the morning actually, cause I gotta be outta the house at 6:45 during the winter and in the summer I gotta be outta the house at 6:20.

So what I do is:

  1. wake up
  2. depdnding on how much sleep I got will usually predict my day and I can pertty much instantly know how I’m gonig to feel (which is most of the time pretty damn good)
  3. shadowbox in mirrior for a minute lol
  4. get some clothes on t-shirt or so
  5. pack all the meals i made the night before while toasting my bagel.
  6. eat breakfast as fast as i can
  7. txt my girlfriend a couple things
  8. get out to go to work

That’s pretty much the same shit everyday, it’s not much time to myself but it’s what I work with…I finish everythin in 30min usually. then get out to work.
Not very eventful lol

~5:00 wake-up, drink coffee
5:30 Run
6:20 Stretch, eat, more coffee, eat some more
7:10-8:00 shower, make lunch, iron clothes, get ready for work
~8:00 walk to work


You know, I am not the type of guy to get all anal about routines. I’ve lived the majority of my life doing everything based on how I feel, and I originally HATED the idea of being locked in to some sort of restricting routine.

Then I realized that we all do the same shit every day with very little variance ANYWAY.

It made a lot more sense to me to get control of the areas of my life that are important and develop routines so I don’t have to THINK about doing things, they just happen.

As long as I jerk off and brush my teeth afterward, I call it a win.

See what I did there?