I am a morning person. It’s pretty much in my blood. My dad goes to bed at 10pm and wakes up at 5am, every single day. He’s done this for as long as I can remember. Of course in my teen years and during college waking up early wasn’t necessarily my favorite, but that’s because I was usually staying up until well past midnight. Now that I’m an “adult” with a full time job, I value my sleep, and I try my best to go to bed at a decent hour-9:00 is ideal, 10:00 is okay; 11:00 will still allow me to function the next day.
The whole early to bed, early to rise thing became a lot more important when I made the decision to start working out at the 6:30 Crossfit class. Previously, I had been going to the 5:30 or 6:30 evening classes, but there were several drawbacks with this.
First, the classes were crowded. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed seeing a lot of my Crossfit friends, but it’s tough to get in a good workout and receive the right amount of coaching when there are 25 other people in your class.
Second, I had to pack an extra bag to take to work which became one more step in my nightly routine. Then, if I got wrapped in something at work or held up in a meeting at the end of the day it made it difficult for me to make it to the classes. There were a few times when I either didn’t make the class at all or came really close to missing the class (as in, changing clothes in the car while driving down the highway–not a good idea). This added more stress to my day because I would worry so much that I wasn’t going to make it to class and then if I did miss class I’d be so upset that I wasn’t able to work out. No good.
Lastly, when working out at night it leaves very little time in the evening to prepare and eat dinner, relax, shower, unwind or do anything really. My routine was essentially: Wake up at 6:30, get ready for work, get to work by 7:45 or 8:00, leave work by 5:00 (but usually not until 6:00), 6:30 CrossFit class, 8:15 dinner, shower, bed by 10:00, do it all over again. EXHAUSTING!
After about a week of that schedule, I realized that I needed a change. First, I had to make sure that I really could attend the 6:30am class and make it to work on time. Well one Monday morning I decided to try it, and by golly I was able to do it ALL and I even had time to make a breakfast smoothie before leaving the house! It was awesome! So ever since then, unless there is some unusual event or something going on, I work out at 6:30 every morning. So my new routine became: Asleep by 10:00pm, up by 6:00am, out the door by no later than 6:20am, working out by 6:30am, home around 7:40am, shower, get ready, out the door by 8:20am. I am very lucky that both the box and work are about 10 minutes away.
Here are my tips for waking up early for a morning work out:
1. You have to be motivated and WANT to work out early in the morning. If you don’t want or need to wake up early, then by all means sleep in-different strokes, for different folks ya’ll! I’ve found that working out first thing in the morning is great for me, but it may not be for everyone. The advantages for me are that: I get my work out done for the day. I feel energized and productive after working out, and those feelings stick with me throughout the day, which usually makes for an awesome day, no risk of not getting to the box for a WOD, more free time at the end of the day.
2. PREPARATION IS KEY. There are several things that you must prepare the night before. This is just my list, yours could be different. Just try to think about your morning routine, what sort of things have the potential to slow you down in the morning? What can you do ahead of time to speed up your morning ritual?
- WOD clothes, picked out and easily accessible
- Water bottle ready to go
- If you take a bag with you to the box, have that packed and ready too
- Pre-WOD food (I usually eat a piece of fruit, some people eat a full meal, some people eat nothing, just listen to your body)
- Post-WOD food aka breakfast. I usually either had something pre-made like my egg muffins or I make sure that I know what I’m going to eat ahead of time, so I’m not scrambling to figure it out
- Outfit for work
- Lunch packed and ready to grab from the fridge
3. Go to sleep early. Again, everyone is different. I preform best after having 8 full hours of sleep, but some people can run off of as little as 6. Whatever your magic number is, make sure you are going to sleep early enough, so you can wake up in the morning without feeling groggy or fatigued. Even if you had the motivation to work out, you will lose all your motivation if you only get four hours of sleep and wake up feeling tired. Like I said, I’ve been trying to go to bed at 10:00, so I can wake up around 6:00am, but my new goal is to get on a 9pm-5am sleep cycle. For two reasons: 1. I think I would enjoy having some time to myself in the morning to read or write blog posts 2. There’s been talk of our 6:30am class moving to 6:00am (which would be awesome), so just in case that happens I want to be prepared.
If you’re considering switching up your WOD routine, plan it out and ease in to the transition. Start with two days a week, then three, then however many you want. Setting small goals will help keep you motivated. See if working out first thing in the morning makes a difference in your day.
Time for bed! So long!