T Nation

Training Early in the Morning

Does anybody train first thing in the morning, right after waking?

This is looking like it’s going to be best for me with school and work constraints, but I’m concerned that it may not be the best strategy as far as injury prevention is concerned. I’ve already noticed that I am not AS strong during my morning workouts, as compared to workouts that came after being up for 3 hours or so.

I’ve also noticed that I am much stiffer in the mornings, especially in the back and knees, and I wonder if I may be risking injury.

Does anyone have any strategies or suggestions that I might employ to keep progressing without causing myself problems?

My training log is here, if you’re interested or think it may help make suggestions- http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/futurepharm_training_log

CT said before it takes a couple hours for the CNS to properly wake up, so thats probs why you’re not as strong…

From what i’ve read, if you keep that as routine then the body will adapt to it though in time!

This past year I went from training at nights to early in the morning. At first, I did feel a little weaker. The biggest thing was a lack of flexibility, though.

For me, it just took some time getting used to, as well as adding in more warm up sets, especially for squats and deads. After a while, I think my body just got used to it to be honest. A little Spike seemed to wake up the nervous system too lol.

I’ve experienced the opposite and I think your body just gets used to training at a certain time. I’ve almost always trained early in the morning (about 1 hr after breakfast) and have found the night sessions have left me weak and without energy. I’m sure it is because my body is used to morning routines.

I do. The alarm goes off at 4:30AM, and I’m at the gym by about 5:00AM. I’ve found it helpful to start drinking a serving of Surge on the way to the gym; there’s no way I could eat anything solid before five in the morning.

I have a banana on the way out the door, and I’m usually in the gym by 4:30.

I threw in extra warm-up sets for the deadlifts this morning, and that seemed okay. I don’t think it will be advisable to try to do low-reps on deads and squats, unless I can wait and go later in the day/

up by 5, organic PB sandwich w/ milk, wait 30 mins, then off to lift :slight_smile:

Its difficult in the morning as I feel shattered in the afternoon. It takes a while to get used to.

Doesn’t your spine have a high level of fluid in the mornings?

I can’t remember where I’m citing that from, but I seem to remember reading about that with injury prevention.

I think it depends on your style of training also. I train low volume with drop sets and rest puase and when I work out first thing in the morning I cant have a good workout, im tired and every lift goes down when I do that. THe whole thing with your cns, i wonder if you took Power Drive would I wake your cns up?

I wouldn’t even worry about the cns…
That should wake up real fast when you start lifting heavy shit…

My issue here:
I find it a waste of time to train without having had a few meals first…

I guess everyone’s different, but last time I checked people are usually depleted in the morning and whether you do low or high volume, how do you expect to get through some heavy-ass squatting session without enough fuel?

Unless, of course, you don’t care about getting better every time you train and just go to the gym to “workout”…

If my schedule were to demand training early in the morning, I’d just get up even earlier and eat one or two meals first…

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
I wouldn’t even worry about the cns…
I find it a waste of time to train without having had a few meals first… I guess everyone’s different, but last time I checked people are usually depleted in the morning and whether you do low or high volume, how do you expect to get through some heavy-ass squatting session without enough fuel ? Unless, of course, you don’t care about getting better every time you train and just go to the gym to “workout”…

If my schedule were to demand training early in the morning, I’d just get up even earlier and eat one or two meals first…[/quote]

no your right but yea I like to eat at least a big breakfat before I go to workout, plus Like evertibg said if your more awake better session

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
I wouldn’t even worry about the cns…
That should wake up real fast when you start lifting heavy shit…

My issue here:
I find it a waste of time to train without having had a few meals first…

I guess everyone’s different, but last time I checked people are usually depleted in the morning and whether you do low or high volume, how do you expect to get through some heavy-ass squatting session without enough fuel?

Unless, of course, you don’t care about getting better every time you train and just go to the gym to “workout”…

If my schedule were to demand training early in the morning, I’d just get up even earlier and eat one or two meals first…[/quote]

That’s easy just eat a big meal before you go to bed.

Throught college, I trained early in the morning right when the gym opened at 6am. We would be the frist ones through the door squatting, deads, sometimes powercleans. I didn’t havea problem growing and gaining strength like this.

At the end of the day, it would be better to train when you can, then not at all. And like someone said earlier, your body will adapt to the time you train.

I’ve been training early in the morning since I’ve been married and have kids.

Getting it done early give a great feeling of accomplishment. I would just be wary of considerable loading early, meaning deadlifts and squats. As Dr. McGill and others have stated, you’re lower back is in a more vulnerable state in the early AM upon waking(due to fluid in the disks).

I would just be careful. I’m much more aggressive on my lifts when training in the afternoon (which is on the weekends).

In terms of eating, I have some protein scoops and water with branch chain amino acids. Nothing heavy but the suggestions provided above are fine.

[quote]greekdawg wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
I wouldn’t even worry about the cns…
That should wake up real fast when you start lifting heavy shit…

My issue here:
I find it a waste of time to train without having had a few meals first…

I guess everyone’s different, but last time I checked people are usually depleted in the morning and whether you do low or high volume, how do you expect to get through some heavy-ass squatting session without enough fuel?

Unless, of course, you don’t care about getting better every time you train and just go to the gym to “workout”…

If my schedule were to demand training early in the morning, I’d just get up even earlier and eat one or two meals first…

That’s easy just eat a big meal before you go to bed.

Throught college, I trained early in the morning right when the gym opened at 6am. We would be the frist ones through the door squatting, deads, sometimes powercleans. I didn’t havea problem growing and gaining strength like this.

At the end of the day, it would be better to train when you can, then not at all. And like someone said earlier, your body will adapt to the time you train.
[/quote]

I can eat as much as I want before going to bed, I still wake up anwhere from 4 to 5 in the morning with hunger pains… So I have to eat in the morning no matter what.

Maybe it works for guys with a slower metabolism? I’m not saying your idea is bs or anything, it’s just that I tried that before…
(Hell, don’t we all eat big before going to bed, anyway ?)

I absolutely love training early.

I currently go to the gym aroung 5:30 after eating a banana and a scoop of whey isolate and taking a Spike tablet. I drink a 32 oz Gatorade durind my workout, and have a 1000 calorie blender bomb as soon as my stomach settles afterwards (I have the luxury of living literally 45 seconds from the gym, so I go home to shower and eat).

The benefits for me are:

  1. The gym isn’t packed with idiots. There is normally a good crowd, but everyone has to go to work so they work hard and get out quickly.

  2. I’m too exhausted to have an intense workout after work.

  3. I like to have all day to eat and recover after a workout. In the past I would workout late, eat a big meal, go to bed, and wake up feeling like shit. Eating frequently in the 8-12 hours after a workout really helps my recovery.

  4. I’m more alert during the day.

Morning workouts can be difficult due to the nervous system not being fully woken up. Poundages may suffer. I used to squat very early and just couldnt get it going at 530 am.

I wake up at 5:30 but don’t hit the weights till just before 7. No way would I hop out of the sack and just start exercising!

Also…not many turnips in the gym ( still one or two) what is it with idiots that walk on the treadmill at about 2 MPH, then work biceps DAILY that come early? I would expect people that would have the dtermination to go early would have the same attitude to exercising.

Here I am thinking working out a 10AM is early. LOL.

I wake up at 615, make myself 5 eggs and wash it down with a glass of OJ by 640, and then I’m at the gym at 715am.

On leg days, I spend from the time I wake til the time I go to the gym loosening up my knees, just squatting while holding onto a door frame and then maybe doing hip circles and such. Once at the gym, I take more time warming up and really try to mentally psyche myself into training.

I’m stronger in the afternoon, but if your schedule doesn’t permit it, as someone said before - tis better to train in the morning than to not train at all.