Staying Motivated for Early Morning Workouts

Recently in our “Ascend Athletes” Facebook group (a support group where our clients and coaches keep each other motivated), one of our clients, Rosanne, posted “the only time I can come to Boot Camp is at 5:30 am. I am struggling to make it there and I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions.”

Having friends to workout with make getting up for an early morning workout way easier!

There’s no way around it: in order to keep fit, healthy, and to lose weight and keep the weight off, you need to exercise. If you’re like many people, morning is the best time to workout. There’s nothing magic about the effect of exercise in the morning compared to other times of the day (although I have heard some other ‘fitness professionals’ touting such claims). Mornings simply work best because for many people it’s the only time to fit in a workout without sacrificing other things- such as work and family life. When your workout is done in the morning, you don’t have a day of excuses working against you. Plus, it feels absolutely fantastic to know that you’ve accomplished your workout before your day has even begun!
While there’s a strong case for why morning workouts are great, it can be difficult to remember the reasons when your alarm goes off at 5:00am. It’s especially difficult in the winter months when its’ dark and cold, and your bed is warm and cozy. Here are some very practical tips to fight the temptation to stay in bed and help you stay on track with your early morning workouts.
Unleash the Power of Positive Thinking. Replace your ‘head trash’ with simple, positive statements such as ‘I am worth it’, ‘I have a choice, and I choose to workout this morning’, or ‘I will feel amazing when I am done’. Tana Mussel posted on the FaceBook thread on motivation for early morning workouts: “I tell myself before I go to sleep that I am going to class. I use words like “will” and “need” and avoid words like “if” and “maybe”. I fall asleep thinking about waking early, going to boot camp and how good I feel for having done those things!! If I don’t do those things then the snooze button wins every darn time!” Sarah Kubanski, another supportive boot camper, contributes “Start picturing the healthy body that you have always wanted and think of it every time that alarm clock goes off!”.
Changing your thoughts may take practice. Try writing your positive mantra on a note on your bedside table so you can read it first thing in the morning.
Commit to someone other than yourself. Our private and small group personal training clients rarely miss a morning workout- because they are committed to a specific appointment and have committed to their fitness coach. Rob O’Hara, one of our early morning boot camper adds “Having a friend going at the same time helps because you both know the other is going to be there so it pushes you to get out of bed because someone is counting on you being there”. To stay committed, and to enjoy your workouts more, schedule your sweat sessions with a friend, or four-legged companion.
Be Prepared. The fewer barriers you have in the morning, the more likely you are going to make it to your workout. Personally, I pack my workout clothes, make my lunch for work, and set the automatic coffee maker the night before so I have fewer things to think about in the morning. Having a workout plan also helps- you may have difficulty motivating yourself to get up to aimlessly wander around the gym without a purposeful workout. On the FaceBook conversation, Sarah Kubanski adds, “wear your next day workout clothes to bed. Have your water, weights (and anything else you need for your workout) ready to go in the car”.
Get More ZZZZZs. It may seem obvious- but if you’re rising early for a workout, you should also get to bed a bit earlier.
This particular FaceBook thread ended in 42 comments, many very useful suggestions, and ultimately three Boot Camp comrades offering to pick Rosanne up for the next morning’s workout. For long-term success in your morning workout, maintain positive thoughts, commit to someone else, be prepared and get some more sleep!!

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