When it comes to exercise a common question I get asked is “when is the best time to train?”. My answer would be to not overthink this. Train when you can/when you feel your best. Many people choose to train in the morning before work, which makes sense. You can get up, get your workout done and feel like you’ve achieved something whilst most people are still sleeping. If you’re an early bird, or want to be one, let’s look at some tips to make things run smoother.
Benefits of early morning workouts
Consistency – If an early workout works well for you, that’s great as you can start to get some consistency with your sessions. Once it’s done, it’s done, and there will be no distractions that might come up during the day that could throw you off the routine.
Brain boosting power – Exercise has been shown to increase mental focus for up to ten hours post-workout. A good session can release endorphins, make you feel great and set you up for a very productive day.
Potentially better fat loss – A good workout can boost your metabolic rate for many hours after your session. Commonly referred to as the “afterburn effect”, your metabolic rate will be firing on all cylinders during the day.
A more focused session – Gyms are usually much quieter in the mornings than in the evenings. This means the early bird can get on what they want, when they want. No more waiting around for the squat rack to free-up. This in turn means you could get your workout done in a quicker time.
Being an early bird comes natural to some, but for others waking up a little earlier than they need can become a chore. Follows these tips to make a morning workout run smoothly every time:
Get to bed on time
There’s nothing worse than trying to wake up at 6am when it feels like you only went to bed four hours ago. Especially when you did only go to bed four hours ago! Aim to get to bed between 10-11pm to allow yourself a long enough time for sleep.
Set an alarm
Some people are in a routine where their body’s wake them up automatically. For others it’s important to set an alarm. Don’t even think about hitting the snooze button! One snooze always turns into five.
Pack your bag
Having your bag packed and ready to go will save time. Don’t forget water, shakes, towels and anything you might need for the rest of the day. Knowing what you’re going to wear will also be a good thing to have in mind.
Plan your morning
Are you going home after the gym to shower and change for work? Or will you do it in the gym? How long does it take to drive from your home to the gym? How long will your workout last? All important questions you need to have answered if you want your morning to go to plan.
Have a training plan
Having a structured workout plan that you actually enjoy will keep you motivated and will mean you’ll be less likely to skip the gym. It’ll also mean you’ll experience better results!