T Nation

The 5am Workout


Ok well here is the deal i have been trying to get up at 5am to do my workout and get it out of the way for the day so i can do other things, mainly work on my fighting skills and help my firend trian for his basketball dream.

Anyway everytime i try i just get right back in bed, i mean i wake up look at the time and i am out again till 7:00 i leave the house at 7:25 to go to school. I am 17 years old and i was wondering if you guys can help me get this problem solved, i generally started going to bed around 8-10pm to get my rest. Also i heard that it is bad to workout in the morning due to spinal compression or soemthing?


Uh set two alarms one on the clock other on your phone. And no it is not spinal compression(which deals with weight on your spine. example: squats) but with your Central Nervous System. It is believed that your CNS doesn't really "wake up" until a couple of hours after you wake up which could affect your workout. I personally couldn't work out in the morning, I tried and the weight I could lift was a fraction of what I normally lift, maybe that is the CNS thing. Just my experience though I know a lot of people wake up early to work out. ask them how they do it.


just get up and do it. If you wanted it bad enough you would do it. period.


Arnold Schwarzenagger got up very early every day to do his workout.
When he was in the Army he would wake up at 5am so he could do a one hour workout before the rest of the squad got up to do their daily buisness.


your right, i will do it tomarrow is my day.


I believe it has to do with fluid in your spine and you should wait at least an hour before you wake up because your back is vulnerable to injury (could be wrong, I think I remember reading this). There have been posts on this topic before. I tried working out at 5AM and my workouts definitely suffered. I had the same logic as you, try to get it out of the way so I had more time for other things. After a few weeks I stopped and started working out at a normal time. If you aren't a morning person, don't pretend you are.


I read about waiting at least one hour before workingout because of spinal fluid in the book NROL.


I too usually workout in the morning. I usually wake up at 4AM and hit the gym around 5:30 to 5:45


Keep a Spike shooter and BCAA's right next to your bed. It got me up in time for my classes last semester, albeit a little later than 5am.

I have used the Spike tablets to get up at 5am though, before, works like a charm.


Actually, you know what will really help you? Some ZMA. When I took that I always found it incredibly easy to wake up in the AM.

Go get some of that. It will be like 8 bucks.


I've tried a early morning workout once....and never done it since. I found that I couldn't keep up with the weight I would be putting up normally and just slacked, but hey give it a shot, and if it works for then power to it.


When I was in high school I would wake up at 5am to lift before I went to school. Now that I'm in my 30's there is no way in hell I can get up at 5am to do anything let alone lift.

Although I do to a point concur with the if you want it bad enough mindset.


I woke up at 4:15 AM so I can work out at 5 AM. I've been doing this for a couple of years now. Just go to bed early enough that you get 8-10 hours of sleep. Give yourself some time to wash up and eat a light breakfast (whole-wheat bread and Nutella, yum). I like getting my workout out of the way AND I like working out when everybody else at the gym are dedicated enough to be there at 5 AM. They are few enough that I don't have to wait for equipments. Preach on, brother.


I got up at 5:45 AM today, made breakfast, hit the gym by 6:20 and lifted for about 50-60 minutes. Good workout too! I've heard all of the same stuff about the CNS not being woken up properly, and the body not being fully alert for at least 4 hours; but tell that to me when I've got a bar on my back, stakced with weights.

Squat, Snatches, DB Bench, Weighted Dips, Leg Extension, Shrugs, Calves, 3 sets of neutral grip body weight pull ups




As others have said the key to getting up early is to go to bed early enough. 8 hours sleep is 8 hours sleep regardless of if you go to bed at 1AM or 8PM. Figure out how much sleep you need and go to bed early enough so that you'll get it by the time you need to get up.

Coming from a profession with a lot of third shift work the most common mistake people make switching to night shift is not getting enough sleep. You can fake it and force yourself for a time but eventually you'll crash. Go to bed on time and you won't have any problems getting up on time.

The biggest problem with this is what your night time routine is like. You can't expect to do any partying or have much of a night life on nights before you've got to get up early.



I've shunned the "night life" and college parties ever since I came to college. I knew I was different than most kids, and that's one of the main reasons I'm joining the Marine Corps. I'm a no-nonsense, hard working kid and if these "peers" of mine think that they'll be tomorrow's big-shots, maybe they'd better mature first...

I know some kids at Penn State work hard, but this place ranks in the top ten party school rankings every year, for a reason.


You can do both brohan, stop thinking you're so above everyone else. I once thought like that too, but now I'm a servicemen and a college 'party-kid'

It can be done!


Even if I get more then enough sleep, I can't get up early either, thats why I workout at night. But if you gotta, then put an alarm clock on the other side of the room, so you have to get up to turn it off, then your halfway done, just put your clothes on.


ahhhhhh nutellla omg i havent had that in almsot a year, it is the greatest chocolate in the fucken world, im serious not even nestly can top it it is so good...


I wasn't the one who said I was above anyone. If that's what you think I am, then maybe it's true, in this regard. We're talking about people with no motivation, no dreams, and zero responsibility except for the one (school) that they're wasting their parent's money on.