T Nation

Switching To Morning Workouts


#1

With school and work getting underway, I have to change my workout schedule around accordingly.

For the last year I've been lifting in the early afternoon (12:00-1:00), but now have to move it to gasp 7:00 a.m.

I'm not really worried about the sleep factor, but my strength decrease is what is threatning to bother me.

Do you find that you're not as strong in the morning?

I'f I'm lifting at 7, what time should I be getting up to give myself sufficient waking time?

Should I eat a light meal as soon as I wake up, carry on with my traditional breakfast routine, or mabye just some quick morning protein in coffee?

Any other tips?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

-Nate


#2

I wake up at 3:30.. take in some protein and get to it.. I have to be at work at six and it takes about 45 minutes to get there.. so I wouldn't complain to much about waking up early.. I lift again when I get done with work at about 6 as well..


#3

Don't worry about it too much, I either eat oatmeal before going to the gym, about 45 min before I get there, or drink a 1 scoop Grow! shake on the way. Toss down some Surge post iron and you will be fine. In fact not only do I really enjoy starting out the day in the gym (once you get used to the hour) but I have had some of the best lifts when I was half asleep and still kinda drunk from the previous night.


#4

I've got an hour commute, so I get up early to avoid the worst traffic and train at a gym near where I work. Here's what my typical day looks like.

I wake up around 4 am. I immediately have my morning meal, which is usually oatmeal with berries and a scoop of protein. I leave around 4:30-5:00, and get to the gym an hour later. My car has heated seats, so I'll take advantage of them to warm up my back/posterior chain.

When I get to the gym, I start off with 5-12 minutes of medium intensity cardio to get my body warmed up. I also make sure to do 2-3 good warm up sets on my first several exercises. By the time I'm on my first working set, it's been at least 2 hours since I woke up and had my pre-workout meal, which seems to be within the recommended guidelines and works well. I also follow the recommendation to sip a half-serving of Surge during my workout.

I occasionally train at other times and I've found that my strength and intensity during morning sessions is on par with other times of the day.


#5

I have been training first thing in the AM for about 5 years. It seems to work well for many reasons. I wake up at 4:30am, get all my stuff together, boil some water, make a big mug of green tea, get to the gym and train at about 5:15am. I get done with my workout at about 6:45am. Get home and eat a big bowl of oats, berries, flax, fruit and protein powder at about 7 or 715am. Seems to work very well. Body comp is in check and strength is good.

Ryan


#6

I get up at Five, then eat a Breakfast of 3/4 cup yougurt with 140g blueberries, one whole banana and a 70g slice of Pumpernickel bread. I watch a bit of news while I eat, and I'm off to the gym. I'm usually under a weight by 6:10.

I started going in the mornings when I began CW's Big Boy Basics. It's been working well, but I am having trouble gaining weight these days. The morning workouts seem to have upped my RM to a point where the amount of calories that used to make me gain, now only maintain my weight. Though, I could think of worse problems to have.....


#7

I'm personally interested on how to switch or trick my "body clock".

How the hell am I supposed to wake up at 5:00am when I'm used to getting up (with difficulty, that is) at 8:00am??

Any tips/suggestions on how to make the sleep factor adjustment as easy as possible?

BTW, I usually go to bed at around 11:30pm-12:00am.. if I need to sleep earlier to get up earlier, how do I induce sleep?

Drinking a bottle of Absolut Vodka doesn't count as a tip btw.


#8

naps.


#9

Personally, I just started going to bed early (around 9:00) and it took me about a week to adjust. The hard thing is dealing with weekends. If I go to bed later and get up later on weekends, I have a hard time falling asleep on Sunday night.

Any time I have a hard time getting to sleep, I've found a few grams of melatonin to be helpful.


#10

Been getting about 6-6 1/2 hrs of sleep during the week, your fine if you take 2 Spike before you eat breakfast. The Spike equates to a good 8hr sleep in my opinion, even with 2-3 hours or less of sleep. Give it a try.


#11

Forgot to add, take about 1mg-3mg of melatonin 1hr before bed.


#12

I have found the 'secret' to going to bed early is waking up early!

My schedule changes from time to time. I am a night person, and if I have to switch to morning workouts the first few days are rough because I have to drag myself out of bed. But, after a couple of hard morning workouts, my body naturally wants to go to bed earlier.

I either do what my body says, or I will end up sleeping in. So, if you tough it out the first few days, then you will be OK. It really is a matter of priorities. I rarely have a hard time waking up for something I want to do, so maybe the first few days you make your workout the ones you enjoy the most to help with the motivation.


#13

Take some Benadryl like 1/2 hour before you want to fall asleep (the time you plan to be going to bed in the future). Then set your alarm for the time you want to get up in the future and you are on schedule.


#14

I've read that the best time for strength training is in the morning so as long as your mostly awake it'll probably be beneficial for you.


#15

You get used to it eventually.

Definitly warm up well and do some light core work first to get as much spine protection as possible. Minimise spinal flexion under load as much as possible.

I used to ge up at 5 in the morning. Have a quick protein shake and ride my bike 20min to the gym. It was a good warm up but was damn cold in winter.


#16

What does that mean? No squatting?!?! I'll be damned..

(btw, I too HATE winters)