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EARLY Morning Workouts... 5am Nutrition?

I am 41… worked out in my 20’s… sacked out through school, gained weight and realized when I hit 40 that I didn’t want to continue. I am 74" (188cm) and weigh about 225 lbs (100kg). DEXA says I am about 32%, Electrical Impedence says 25%, and BodPod 28% bodyfat. I was about 12% in my 20’s weighing about 195. I am otherwise healthy.

As a physician, I have significant demands upon my time. This is exacerbated by a wife and 4 children, all of whom I love. Therefore, I am relegated to working out before anyone else gets up.

This causes issues as far as training. I am getting enough sleep, probably about 7 hours. I wake at this time regardless, so there really isn’t ‘sleeping longer’. I got about 5 hours throughout school, so this is PLUS. However, I can’t get in much of a pre-workout meal.

I have been working out for 30-40 minutes 3x/week initially, because I was sore and my recovery was MUCH LONGER than in my 20’s. In the last 2 months I have increased it to working out 5X/week. Again 30-40 minutes, each day.

Mon/Thur - Chest/Shoulders/Tri
Tue/Fri - Back/Bi
Wed - Legs

I am ‘sore’ each workout in the appropriate muscles and essentially fully recover before my next workout of that body part. Early on… I was not recovering, hence hitting everything only once a week to start.

My nutrition is not great, but I do get in about 180-200g protein and try to limit carbs. I lost about 15lbs to start and have certainly gained some good muscle. However, I seem to have plateaued. That is fine… however, I know that I have not maximized my variables as yet. Which is why I am here… looking for REALISTIC help. The reality is… I won’t be living on supplements. My wife is an excellent cook and I won’t give up eating with my family. HOWEVER, I do eat relatively well and can do better. My issue meal is supper with my family, otherwise, I can watch my diet pretty well.

BUT, I am unsure how to structure my morning, given that I am in the gym within 20 min of waking on most mornings. I don’t really have time to have a ‘pre workout’ meal. I DO have a PWO shake with about 90g protein when I return. I eat another 60g at lunch… and then probably 50 more during supper. I might eat 1-2 15g bars during the day. No other snacks typically. My caloric intake is around 2 - 2.5K. My BMR is about 2.1K and I was losing fat up until the last 2 months or so. My intake has probably increased some, but I can’t find it, although I haven’t done a food log for the last 6 months or so.

For supplements, I have only had the Post WO shake, Multi-vit, and Zinc.

I have had blood work and I am dead center on almost everything, although Test is lower, but still WNL.

My goal is to loose about 20 more lbs of fat and gain 5-10 more muscle. Maybe more of both, but I would be feeling better at 205 - 210 lbs with 12-15% body fat. I realize reality, and don’t have the time or inclination to make this my life. BUT I do want to make it PART of my life, and have the results to show for it.

I have NO cardio… I just haven’t found something I can stomach. I recognize that I need to add this in but don’t have alot of time to do it, therefore I have been looking at HIIT to maximize results in less time. I have thus far not began it however. I think this will be something I need to incorporate soon. I don’t want to lose the muscle I have gained thus far, if I can help it however. I am tired of looking at ‘better’ looking bulges. I want to see better looking muscle.

So, my question to you…

1.) HOW can I best support nutrition/supplementation given that I am in the gym 20 minutes after waking up around 5am? I don’t have alot of latitude in this schedule, but would like to maximize what I can around it. Realistically… is HOT-ROX something worthwhile for someone like me? ECA stack? Can’t really have ‘jittery hands’ in my profession.

2.) Help on instituting a reasonable Fat Burning/Cardio routine would be helpful. But again, time is a factor. I could probably squeeze something in in the evening, but I would really like to minimize the time. I KNOW… I KNOW… everyone would. Intensity and willingness are not my issues… TIME is my issue.

[quote]Dadnatron wrote:

1.) HOW can I best support nutrition/supplementation given that I am in the gym 20 minutes after waking up around 5am? I don’t have alot of latitude in this schedule, but would like to maximize what I can around it. Realistically… is HOT-ROX something worthwhile for someone like me? ECA stack? Can’t really have ‘jittery hands’ in my profession.[/quote]

I’ve become hooked on FINiBAR and Surge Workout Fuel before training.

I don’t train in the morning as you do, but I think they would be even more effective in your situation.

You don’t have to do cardio to lose fat. Granted, it may help burn a few extra calories, but if time is severely limited, stick to weight training.

With your schedule, I’d settle for some active recreational activity on the weekends or evenings. Walks with the family after dinner, cycling, swimming, or whatever else is enjoyable. Don’t get carried away with it, however. Just work on being more physically active. Too much energy spent on cardio will begin to have negative effects on your weight training.

Seeing that you are a physician and do not want any jittery feelings, I believe that Surge Workout Fuel, FINiBARs, and Surge Recovery are good supplements for your workouts. I would either have 2-4 scoops of SWF upon waking up or 2 FINiBARs, then sip on a serving of Surge Recovery during your workout and then have protein post workout.

If you wanted to add in some fat loss complex sessions in the evening, I think that they would help your fat loss and not make you too sore for other workouts, but as HK25719 said, it’s really about diet and these aren’t necessary if the rest of your diet is in check.

I am impressed and grateful for the organized and logical expression of your situation. Thank you for taking the time to write your post intelligently, OP.

I have found HOT-ROX useful for brief periods of time, usually towards the end of a cut. I use it as one method of progression. It does not give me jittery hands, although if I drink too much coffee around the times when I take them, I sometimes have difficulty focusing.

I do not have experience with an ECA stack.

I honestly don’t know how much benefit you’re going to get out of Surge Workout Fuel. I’m confident it’s a great product, but the limiting reagent at 5am isn’t going to be your body’s metabolism, but the fact that your nervous system is still asleep and hasn’t warmed up enough. I’d focus more on my mobility warm-up first, and give SWF a try a few weeks later to see if it does anything significant. IME, working on mobility first thing in the morning best prepares the body to move heavy or fast.

If you can only workout for brief periods in the morning, but you can consistently make these workouts, perhaps the inclusion of some high intensity interval training can help. Throw on some shoes, head outside, give yourself a couple of minutes to warm-up and then do between 8 and 10 sets of full-out sprinting followed by a moderate jog. I like two minute sets, where the running is for between 30 and 60 seconds, and the rest is the remainder of the set. Adding more or more intensity is a great way to progress.

LOL. Never hit ‘Submit’ more than once.