Rise and shine – Rise and Grind. It’s a new day which means it’s a new opportunity to push yourself to new levels of success in the gym. If you’re someone who either currently trains first thing in the morning or is planning to, you’re doing it for one of two reasons. It’s either a. You will have no other chance to get it in throughout your day and you don’t want to lose sleep tonight because you missed it. Or b. You’re just so freaking excited to make gains and take weights for a ride that waiting until later would be torture so you gotta go now.
By Roger Lockridge
Regardless of what your reasons are, if you want to train early in the AM, then you need to make sure you have your i’s dotted and t’s crossed. This is especially true if you’re on a tight schedule. I’ve trained in the morning for several years now so fortunately I can help you out here. If you can incorporate these three tips into your plan, then you can be assured you’re doing all you can to make the training as productive as possible.
1. Rise & Grind: Set Two Alarm
Most smart phones have clock apps that allow you to set multiple alarms. If not, set a regular alarm clock and use your phone. You should set your alarms for five minutes apart. If you set your first one for 5:00 AM, then you should set the second one for 5:05. If you’re new to getting up early then there’s a good chance that you will doze back off if you don’t get up right away. That’s what the second alarm is for. Having two alarms go off so close is likely to help you get awake.
Something else you should do is set the device far enough away that you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. How many times have we hit the off button, rolled over, and went right back to sleep? Actually having to get out of bed to stop the noise will increase your odds of staying awake.
2. Rise & Grind: Water & Good Breakfast
The absolute first thing you need to do once you’re up is drink water and eat a meal. Don’t just slam a shake for the purpose of saving time. On days you train later, you’ve had at least a couple of meals. Since you’re going to have only one in the tank, make sure it’s good food that has high protein with some carbs and healthy fats along with at least 16 ounces of water. A simple but quality meal can be Greek yogurt mixed with oats and fruit sprinkled with flax seeds. You can mix this the night before, set it in your fridge, and take it out as soon as you wake up. Whatever your meal is going to be, make sure you have at least 25 grams of protein, 50 grams of carbs, and some healthy fats as well.
3. Rise & Grind: Get Ready Mentally & Physically
While you’re taking your pre-workout supplements do whatever you have to do to get motivated. It can be watching videos on YouTube, reading content like this, checking out people who inspire you on social media, listening to music in the car as you drive to the gym, or even sitting and visualizing what you’re going to do, it can be whatever works for you. Once you get to the gym you also need to get the blood circulating to your muscles, make sure your joints and tendons are fully prepared for what’s about to happen, and stretch out so you have full range of motion. If your warmup doesn’t take at least 10 minutes, then it isn’t as effective as it should be. Make sure your entire body has done some work before you hit your first serious set. Prepare everything from head to toe so you’re completely prepared.