Confession time: I used to truly hate working out in the morning. I used to only run in the afternoons or at night. I was tired, grouchy, and ran about as fast as a baby sloth before 10am. On the rare occasion I would attempt a morning workout I would spend the whole time thinking about how terrible it was.
When I went back to work full time and essentially had no choice but to workout in the morning, I knew I would have to suck it up and just do it. Can I just be real? It sucked, for a while. My body did not acclimate quickly at all. I’d say it was almost a full two months of getting up and going to the gym every weekday morning before I finally started to be okay with it. It’s hard to believe that now I vastly prefer early AM workouts!
If you’re thinking about switching out your PM workouts for the morning, here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve figured out along the way that hopefully will make your transition a little easier:
FIND YOUR BEST SITUATION
So I actually have free access to a gym at work. I don’t have to pay a cent and I could literally walk right from the gym to our photo studio. It would save a lot of time and money to just use that gym (and ya’ll know I’m a cheapskate so you’d think I would) - but I hate it. It’s small, which means limited machines that people are always fighting over, the showers in the locker room are always out of hot water, it’s at the top of a building which means its about a thousand degrees and a million percent humidity, and on top of that you’re working out with people you work with (which just feels weird to me, but maybe I’m crazy). I spend more time and money driving out to my gym, but the experience it so much better, which makes getting up at the crack of dawn just a little easier. So don’t fight it - if your gym situation is truly making you unhappy, try something new until you find a good fit.
Also, tons of people aren’t gym people (I actually used to not be, but have since come to love it!) and that’s cool! Whether it’s working out at home, taking classes, or going for a run outside, figure out what’s the best situation for you. There is so no size fits all, and sometimes it take a little trial and error to figure out what works for you!
Seriously guys, you can’t let yourself snooze if you’re going to stay on track. On days I wake up and truly am just not feeling up to hitting the gym I reset my alarm and go back to sleep. If you’re going, you need to just do it. Here’s the secret trick - don’t let yourself think about it. Your brain can be a jerk who just wants to complain in the morning, so sometimes you just gotta get ahead of it. Yes, it’s borderline painful for about the first 5 minutes, but once you get past that it usually gets a lot easier, and just remember that the sooner you get past those 5 minutes the easier it’ll get. Also, have you ever actually felt better with 7 minutes of extra sleep? No! Typically I just feel more groggy the more I snooze, so forget the snooze button and just go!
HAVE A PLAN
There’s nothing worse then walking into the gym at 5:30 in the morning and having no idea what you’re doing. I originally got started by doing a LSF 30 day challenge, so I knew exactly what I was doing (usually a little cardio, followed by grabbing a mat and doing that day’s challenge). I actually didn’t have a program for a few months after that, and while I still got things done, I still found myself wandering aimlessly on more then one occasion. Now I’m week 10 into the BBG program and am so happy I committed to it. Having a plan laid out for me every day has helped me so much! If you prefer classes then sit down at the beginning of the week and schedule them all out in advance - you’ll thank yourself later!
HAVE EVERYTHING READY THE NIGHT BEFORE
This is a tired tip that everyone will give you, but that’s for good reason - It’s really is one of the most important things. I don’t know about you, but my brain is not functioning at 5am, so to expect myself to be able to get everything I need together (or even just to pick out clothes) would be cruel. I lay everything (and I mean everything) out the night before. I even try to put anything I can already in the car. This makes it a lot less painful when I’m feeling particularly zombie-eque some mornings.
TALK POSITIVE TO YOURSELF
I can be mean to myself. Like, really mean. When I switched to morning workouts I really had to commit myself to stop being negative in my own head. Instead of thinking about how much slower I was running in the morning, I would congratulate myself for getting through a run - no matter what speed it was at. I also had to ditch all negative talk when I was at the gym. Instead of getting annoyed someone was on the machine I wanted, I would just turn around and find a different one, no grumbling about it to myself. This little change in internal attitude can make the biggest difference. Ban all negative talk when you’re at the gym - if you’re there, then you’re already killing it!
Getting up early to workout may never be super duper fun, but there are a lot of ways to take some of the pain out of it. Make the morning as easy as you can for yourself. Have everything ready to go, schedule a workout class you love, and tell yourself the night before that you’re going to have a great morning.