I’ve always liked to get ut early and always loved early mornings. I generally have the most energy during the morning, and not in the evening, so that makes the choice quite easy; go to sleep early, to wake up early.
I have tried out morning workouts before without much success. But hold on; I know why that was. First, I only did it every other day, meaning my sleeping routines just didn’t make any sense. I’m not the type who’s able to go to sleep and get up at very different times from day to day. I need a 8-hour-sleep-routine with close to the same times for going to sleep and waking up every day. Second, I had never tried it before and basically I had no experience with it.
So at that time, I just ditched the morning workouts and worked out right after school in the afternoon instead. I’ve done that for over half a year now, and found out I wanted to do a new routine. And that one is about working out before school in the morning. The difference from the previous fail-try? Now I have an idea of what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it.
It’s only basic logic to do your main workout of the day when your energy levels are supreme and your motivation is on top. After a long day of school, there’s often the thing that it’s easy to get really head-tired, if you know what I mean. Like, I’m not exhausted in that way, but well, I do think about a lot during my hours at school and that has often resulted in continuing the thinking about assignments, classmates and homework while I was about to start rowing before a back and biceps session. And when moving on to bench row, I might let my thoughts drift to an English assignment due tomorrow instead of counting reps. Not any good. Okay, so mostly it wasn’t that bad, but the point is that I could never know how I’d be feeling after school. Like, you never know what can happen during a school day. You might be on top of the world, or you might feel really tired of life.
My energy levels are generally higher in the morning. It doesn’t really matter when my morning starts as long as I’ve had an OK amount of sleep. So 7AM makes no significant difference to 4AM, excluding the respective bedtimes to 11PM VS 8PM. I might seem like a 5-year old when I say I go to bed at 8PM, but seriously; what kid goes deadlifting at 6AM?
I also have the advantage, for this use at least, that I’m always starving in the morning. Which means I easily get in both a breakfast before the workout, and a brunch after the workout right before school. Without struggling at all, I eat about 70% of my daily calories (and 70% of the meals, too) before 1PM. Breakfast at 4:15AM, Brunch at 8AM and lunch at 11:30AM. I’m just more hungry in the early hours than the late hours.
For comparison, I eat dinner at 5:30PM, and thus have a gap between lunch and dinner, filled in the middle by an inbetween-meal consisting of yoghurt, fruit etc. And I’m just about normally hungry at dinner time. Being an AM person, I cope perfectly well with such a gap in the afternoon or evening, though not in the morning. I’d struggle with only an inbetween-meal between 6AM and 11:30AM, for example. So you should do what fits you best, not what is the average thing to do. I don’t care if most people eat breakfast at 7AM, because I like breakfast at 4AM much better.
After a couple weeks, I find morning workouts really great. Not only because I don’t mind getting up early and I’m really hungry in the morning, but also because of other things;
- It’s peaceful. I find it cool when other people also get up early. Though it’s probably not going to happen that 4AM becomes the new 7AM. So well, it’s really peaceful during the early hours. Only little traffic, the birds sing loudly and the outdoor air feels really “day-fresh”.
- There’s only a few regulars who’s at the gym when they open at 6AM and until 8AM, when more people come in. There’s a spinning class at 6:10AM downstairs in one of the group class rooms, and there’s me and 1-4 other regulars upstairs with the weights and cardio equipment. Meaning; no waiting for equipment, no stress with people being everywhere and a more peaceful time at the gym.
- It great to be done with the workout before school starts. I get rid of the problem with not knowing how I’ll feel after a school day. I also have more energy during the school day because, well, working out obviously give me lots of energy. So while a lot of my classmates are still almost-asleep for the first two lessons, I’m full of energy and wide awake. It’s easier to join people home from school too, because I’m not bound to the gym. I’ve already been there like, 6-7 hours ago.
- I’m at my most focused and optimistic in the morning. During a day, thoughts and tasks are being collected up with every awake hour. It’s nice to get the workout done before lots of thoughts get stuck in my head, and have the time to get such things done right after school. And if there’s any bad news during the day; I’m perfectly unbothered during my morning workout because the respective people plotting to set the bug are still asleep. And after a killer workout, I naturally get more of a “no fucks were given that day”-mode for the rest of the day. So if anyone is being stupid, they shouldn’t expect me to care much. (When you hit your PR at the gym in something, stupidity’s arguments are invalid)
The sum; I love mornings, I love the gym and I love the combination of the two even more. I do what fits my AM-type of person best, and you should do what fits your type of person best. You’re not meant to be average, you’re meant to be yourself!