T Nation

Early Morning Workouts


#1

Due to workload, I switched to early morning workouts (~5am) four months ago. I've had to make changes since I liked squat/bench and deadlift/press twice a week in the evenings, but I now have less time and far less energy in the early morning - so I'm curious what others do that work out first thing.

Here is what I've changed so far:
-due to longer warmup time and less workout time (45 minutes after warmup), switch to 4 days per week
-3 week cycles only
-PRO 5s on everything
-3/5/1 on deadlifts, move in 10% increments instead of 5% (85%, 75%, 95%)
-increasing squats and deadlifts by 5lbs instead of 10lbs

I do two cycles of high rep accessory work and then 2 cycles of SST work. I do Airdyne and a rowing machine for warmups and conditioning on non-lifting days.

Will this work for a long term approach or am I missing obvious issues?

Are there any other adjustments made by early morning people on here?


#2

I hate morning workouts. I have to do them regularly, because of the same reasons that everybody else here has.

I can’t really give any really valuable tips, since you know already how this works for you. But these things has worked for me, and may give you some thoughts (at least I got an excuse to bitch about morning workouts):

-Put more emphasis on warm up (like you’re already doing), it is obvious that the body is not quite ready yet.

  • Drink little larger cup of coffee before going to the gym.

  • Just do the work and try to get your heart rate up (doing warm up ramping with little rest or something else). I tend to feel quite nauseous often when doing a morning workout. This seems to help.

So, quite similar things after all.

PS. The 5’s PRO + FSL might be a good idea, at least I have noticed my amrap-sets tend to be little weaker if doing the movement at morning.


#3

Thanks Rattus.

I actually switched to a half-serving pre-workout drink, which I hate, but it works really well compared to coffee. Coffee made me crash too early.

I’ll queue up 5x5 FSL. I didn’t have the routine in place (energy, sleepiness) the first time around to finish 5 sets, but I think I’m solid now.


#4

I workout in the early morning in my garage. I am up by 4:00 and try to start working out by 5:00. I say “try” because getting started is the hardest part. Once I get going I get into it and shake off the cobwebs. I don’t eat before my workout because I hate feeling bloated. I drink a cup of coffee and start moving. I also do a longer warm up to get my blood flowing and heat up my muscles. I generally do:
100 Jumping Jacks
400 Single Under Jump Rope
20 KB Swings
5 Man Makers
20 Air Squats

By the time I finish the Jumping Jacks I am starting to get into it. By the time I finish the Jump Rope I am sweating. I am completely warmed up after I run through all the exercises. Then I start lifting.

I don’t have a lot of time before I have to leave for work so I try to:
Warm up 15 minutes (see above)
Lifting 40 minutes - 531 plus 1 or 2 accessory Exercises
Modified WOD: 20 minutes - 4 exercises 5x through (this usually gets cut because I run out of time because I start later than I should or lifting takes longer) Examples of what I try to do:

5x
Bar Rows
Box Jump
Band Pull Aparts
Plank

5x
10 Push Ups
10 Tri-Extends
10 Dips
Plank

5x
5 Ring Row
10 Pushups
15 Air Squats
Plank


#5

Thanks Old Glory. I used to do that type of warmup when I was training mornings 18 months ago and forgot to re-incorporate it. The last couple of weeks, I’ve adjusted and added the jumping jacks and some other more dynamic warmup work and it’s made a big difference.


#6

You could do your assistance work before the main lift. This would in a way extend your warmup as long as you don’t go too hard. Just think of the assistance work as a way to get the blood flowing and to loosen up or prime your body. Then end with the main movement and you’ll leave the gym on a high note.