Sacrificing an extra hour In bed in the morning for the sake of exercise seems like absolute madness but there are a growing legion of people who swear by morning workouts. They say those who exercise in the morning instead of the evening are more likely to stick to a routine and stay committed to their fitness goals.
Get Enough Sleep
This is probably the most obvious one but frequently the most neglected. It takes a while for the body to get used to an earlier bed time and earlier wake time but once this new routine Is established, the 6am alarm won’t seem so shocking on the system. Frustration can arise when the person or people you live with don’t share your same waking hours and might keep you awake while you are trying to sleep but if this is the case, just invest in a pair of ear plugs and kindly ask them to be quiet. Experts say that adults should be aiming for 7-9 hours sleep a night. Sleep quality is also an important factor here too; 8 hours of deep sleep is obviously better than 8 hours of broken sleep. External work and social commitments and pressures mean we often don’t get as much sleep as we’d like or need. However bodies will always perform better when they are rested so a good sleep the night before a work out will allow give you more energy and focus in the morning.
Get a Workout Buddy or Group
Even the most dedicated morning people will have their off days where peeling themselves out of bed early is the last thing they want to do. Making plans to work out with a friend, personal trainer, with a group or even in a class will act as a strong motivator to jump out of bed when the alarm goes off. No one likes to let someone down even if it is a PT cracking their whip!
Find Out What Food Works For You Pre / Post Work Out
There are no defined rules around what the best foods to eat before a workout. Ultimately it is the daily overall calories and food intake which will impact your fitness goals and timings of food intake are more down to personal preference. Personally, before a morning weights session I like to eat a small snack like a corn cake but before a cardio session I prefer to avoid eating anything. I like to eat my breakfast soon after my workout and use it as an incentive to push myself harder during exercise. Psychologically the idea of the “reward” after is a strong motivator. Some people prefer to prefer to eat a full breakfast before for energy and stamina and others prefer fasted exercise. Some depend on caffeine such as coffee or pre workout as a source of energy instead of food. The most important thing is to find out what works for you and sticking to it.
Plan and Prepare
The idea is to be able to jump out of bed and get to the gym ASAP when you wake up and avoid spending too much time getting your clothes etc ready. This involves a bit of extra work the night before but it will make your morning routine more seamless and stress free. Similarly, plan your gym routine ahead of your visit. If you are training legs plan which exercises and machines you want to use and how many reps to avoid wasting time making these decisions in the gym. The goal is to make your morning gym session as quick and efficient as possible
Make Yourself Accountable
This one doesn’t work for everyone but many people will post their workouts on social media before or after a workout to make themselves accountable to others for their workout. Others like to tell friends or colleagues about their morning exercise plans. Here in McSport we use MyZone heart rate monitors which log the effort we put into our workouts and these are then shared amongst our colleagues. The results are even shared and displayed on a screen in our showroom for everyone to see so no one gets away with skipping leg day!
Find Your Perfect Soundtrack
Never underestimate the power of music to motivate you and boost energy levels. Everyone has their own personal preference for work out music. I have two Spotify playlists specifically for my weights sessions; one filled with rap and RnB and the other with rock songs. For cardio I prefer house, techno and EDM. Everyone is different, and like food, what works for one person might not work for someone else. We once had a McSport employee (male) who relied on Shakira to motivate him during his workouts! While there are morning people and night owls we still believe that by following our tips anyone can become a morning workout person if they put their mind to it. Over time, routines can be formed if you stay committed and focussed on your goals. So get up, get moving and schedule your appointment for the 7am club now – you won’t regret it!