T Nation

Lifting in the Early AM Advice?


#1

I want to start making a habit of lifting in the AM. This way when life happens, I at least still got my training out of the way.

Anyone here train at like 5/6 AM? Any tips or things I should take into consideration?

Thanks!


#2

Caffeine and quick carbs help. It will be a lot easier if you wake up early everyday. Training 2 hours earlier than I normally wake up feels like a normal session. If you normally don’t wake up early, it’ll take longer to get used to.


#3

I get up at 0450 to lift at 0505. If you do the same and have a real quick window between waking and lifting, you’ll want to eat a quick source of food that won’t upset your stomach. I used to eat pop tarts, but cleaned up my diet and switched to some wild blueberries with raw honey. Find what works for you.

Additionally, if you use a belt, be aware that your stomach will be smaller upon waking versus having a few meals in it, so plan accordingly.


#4

Get your ass out of bed when the alarm goes off, no snoozing. Keep telling your self why you are getting up before the but crack of dawn.


#5

[quote]scoots2 wrote:
Get your ass out of bed when the alarm goes off, no snoozing. Keep telling your self why you are getting up before the but crack of dawn.[/quote]

This is the biggest thing for me. After this, just get in some quick & easy nutrition like mentioned above. Protein shake in whole milk w/ a banana works fine for me. Coffee not so much, I find the acidity difficult to work through first thing in the am.


#6

Lol, so luckily I’m already use to waking up at 6AM daily and I don’t have to leave the house until 830AM. So I’m thinking if I can start lifting by 645 that’ll give me ample time.

I’ll try the food thing. I’m use to eating small meal before working out, so I’ll try eating a banana to start with to see how that goes.


#7

Bananas in the morning made my stomach feel sick. I drink a shake with a scoop of whey, milk(sometimes water) and oats.


#8

[quote]Murraynt wrote:
Bananas in the morning made my stomach feel sick. I drink a shake with a scoop of whey, milk(sometimes water) and oats.[/quote]

This brings up a good point, in that each person needs to experiment a bit to see what works for them as stomachs seem a bit more sensitive first thing.


#9

Plazma. (well, it was called something else back then).

Seriously, make a shake, work out (I was at the gym at 4am), enjoy the rest of your day. No caffein needed for me.

Can’t stand eating before WO. Feel heavy and sluggish. Anaconda/Surge Workout Fuel/Mag-10 was amazing first thing in the morning.


#10

Have your bag packed
Have your gear laid out
Have whatever you’re going to eat ready to go (if it’s a shake, have the powder in your shaker or in your blender, just add liquid)

Get to bed at a reasonable hour.


#11

Luckily for me my gym is one doorway away in my garage so I can workout in just my boxers lol.

I’m starting this Wednesday AM, so lets see how it goes! Thanks for the tips guys. I’m going to eat a cup of strawberries in the AM, start stretching and then within 20 minute start lifting. Hopefully I don’t feel too stiff in the AM.


#12

Been waking up around 5:30, lifting by 6am for a couple years now.

Hardest part is the first 5 minutes after the alarm goes off. That’s when I’m most likely to try and talk myself out of getting up. “Oh, I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night”. “I have something important today, need some extra sleep to be focused”. “I just feel super tired, and it’s cold out”. I don’t have these thoughts everyday, but they’re there. Best way to counter is to get up immediately after the alarm goes off and get moving. I find after I’m up on my feet and into my routine I do before I hit the gym I don’t have the urge to roll back into bed.

For food, I just use a pre workout shake of dextrose, protein, and now some oat flour powder I just recently added. Experiment. I used to feel pretty nauseated halfway through my workout but I changed up my shake and that helped.

Also, in the winter id allow an extra 5-10 minutes to warm up. During warm months I just use weights to warm up, in winter I do something like sit in a sauna or light cardio for 5-10 minutes to warm my body up and get blood flowing before doing my usual weight warm up. Idk if it makes a difference but I feel more ready not being so cold and tight from the weather. Again, it’s pretty personal preference.

And what tsanto said too. Have everything set up the night before, makes it much better in the morning.


#13

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
Luckily for me my gym is one doorway away in my garage so I can workout in just my boxers lol.
[/quote]
I’ve done this many times.

I’ve found getting warm is really key for me, otherwise I lose my “pop” and everything just feels more difficult.


#14

So I lifted today in the AM. It went pretty well, felt good.

I woke up at 5AM, took 10 min hot shower, ate a bowl of strawberries and glass of water, and then went into my Limber 11 + Upper body stretching and then straight into my workout.

I think the hot shower definitely helped getting loose and warm.

So right now it’s the summer time so it’s pretty warm in the AM.

How do you guys go about it during the winter time if you are working out from home? I figure space heater and some layers is a must. I might have to start bringing my barbell into my room at night so that way in the morning it is not freezing cold.


#15

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
So I lifted today in the AM. It went pretty well, felt good.

I woke up at 5AM, took 10 min hot shower, ate a bowl of strawberries and glass of water, and then went into my Limber 11 + Upper body stretching and then straight into my workout.

I think the hot shower definitely helped getting loose and warm.

So right now it’s the summer time so it’s pretty warm in the AM.

How do you guys go about it during the winter time if you are working out from home? I figure space heater and some layers is a must. I might have to start bringing my barbell into my room at night so that way in the morning it is not freezing cold. [/quote]

I never trained in the morning somewhere that got cold, but I did train in North Dakota during the winter in a garage with no insulation when the temperature outside was -60 with windchill, so take that for what it’s worth.

Space heaters were helpful. I would say, upon waking, before doing anything else, run into your garage and turn them on so that they have a chance to start warming things up while you do whatever else you need to get ready.

Layers are a must. I wore some thermal base layer stuff for upper and lower body. Also, you’ll want a knit cap/beanie.

I never wore gloves or anything. Your hands will adapt to the cold steel, and worse comes to worse, you can heat them up on the heat dish between sets/right before attempts.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and don’t be afraid to head back inside in between sets to warm-up as needed. I couldn’t pull off this trick since I had 2 puppies that would go ballistic as soon as they saw me, but every once in a while I’d hang out in one of the cars in the garage.

In truth, you adapt/warm-up pretty quick. I’d have a lot of workouts where I stripped off all of my upper layers and was shirtless.


#16

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
In truth, you adapt/warm-up pretty quick. I’d have a lot of workouts where I stripped off all of my upper layers and was shirtless.
[/quote]

This.

I used to train early and/or outside in British winters. I typically used to start with about 10 thin layers on and took them off as I warmed up. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to be shirtless and still sweating by the end of the workout in any conditions.


#17

So how are the early am workout going? Pretty soon you will wake up and waiting for the alarm.


#18

[quote]scoots2 wrote:
So how are the early am workout going? Pretty soon you will wake up and waiting for the alarm. [/quote]

I’ve been doing early mornings for work or lifting for about 10 years. I’ve yet to have a morning where I was waiting for the alarm. I hate mornings.


#19

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]scoots2 wrote:
So how are the early am workout going? Pretty soon you will wake up and waiting for the alarm. [/quote]

I’ve been doing early mornings for work or lifting for about 10 years. I’ve yet to have a morning where I was waiting for the alarm. I hate mornings.[/quote]

Shh don’t tell him that, trying to motivate for am workouts. Mornings are great. Mornings are great. Mornings are great :wink:


#20

I bargain with myself. The more promptly I get out of bed the more caffeine I get.
Take the 3 minutes time at night to have your food, supplements and clothes ready, it makes getting out of bed easier.
You really have to get up at relatively the same time, even on weekends. If you don?t Monday is hell.

I also do better not eating before hand:
5:20 Wake up and take caffeine
5:30 I?m lacing up squat shoes
6:30 Protein shake then shower
6:45 Some food

For the cold: KEEP YOUR BARBELL IN DOORS. I?ve trained in -8 degrees and on front squats my hands and neck were literally freezing to the bar. That cold of a barbell is literally painful to use. Mine stay indoors and I carry them out with me to train in the morning during the winter.
Layers are also a must. You?ll start out cold but want to take of layers as you warm up. If it?s really could and you don?t have layers to remove you can end up sweating and then freezing cold.