Working out first thing – my morning routine

how to work out in the morning

One of the most popular and most pinned posts on this blog is “how to become a morning person”, which I take to mean a lot of people out there would like to be better at getting out of bed in the morning! This is kind of a follow on post from that, it’s an update on how I handle early mornings and how I fit in a workout first thing when my energy is at its best (yes that is 0630…)

I remember when I was a student that 9am lectures and tutorials were the worst possible thing, I could only just make it to them… sometimes! Now 9am is mid-morning and I have already had breakfast 2 by that point. Even at weekends I want to be up and at it and achieving things by then.

The point of that short interlude is to make the point that I definitely did not used to be a “morning person” this was something I was determined to become in order to get more done and achieve what I wanted to achieve.

My alarm goes off between 0535 and 0540 most mornings, if I work out at home it goes off at 0620 and that feels like a lie in! I usually wake up before my alarm due to two things. Firstly, I’ve now been getting up at this time for so long that my body feels programmed and secondly I use my Lumie light alarm to wake me up more softly than a jarring alarm. I’m not such a morning person that I jump straight out of bed but I am awake, I start by wriggling my fingers and toes and then stretch out my legs and arms, I blink my eyes a lot to wake them up and then take a few minutes to think some positive thoughts and get ready for the day. One of my thoughts is almost always that I am thankful for the ability to work out, that my body is capable of lifting heavy things and jumping around like a lunatic. I suffered years of chronic back pain which left me unable to do a lot of activity so I’m now very grateful for workouts! I will also think about a couple of goals for the week and then I’ll turn the light box down so as not to wake my husband and get up.

The night before I will have packed my gym bag with clothes for work and put my gym clothes on the radiator in our bathroom – I do this as soon as I get home from work so I’m not doing it at bed time and using up sleep time! I splash my face with cold water to finish my wake up and then get into my workout gear. In winter I then sneak out and switch on the car to defrost/warm up before waking up our dog and taking him outside. This can be one of my favourite parts of the morning in winter. It might be horribly cold but the stars are often out and bright, always awesome, and there’s nothing like getting a warm welcome from your dog! During this time I will often have “breakfast one” as well, a protein shake – having protein at this time helps me get in another serving. Once Gus is finished and had his biscuit (not an optional part of the morning, he won’t get out of the way until he is biscuit-ed!)I pack up my Prepped&Packed bag with all my meals and snacks for the day, dry Gus’s paws, pick him up and take him into our room. This is Gus’s favourite part of the day. I put him on our bed next to my husband and they go back to sleep for another hour or so!

Then I am off, in a warm car, to the gym. On the way in I think about my planned workout and psych myself up to work hard. I plan my workouts for the week each weekend but usually they follow the same pattern.  I used to do a mix of Kayla Itsines’ BBG programme (which I loved) and weightlifting (I use Jamie Eason’s Live Fit as a guide), now I do Ashley Horner’s Charlie Mike which is incredibly tough but I love it, the best programme I have ever used. I will probably do a full BBG/LiveFit/Charlie Mike comparison.  I don’t use a pre-workout or coffee as I can’t have caffeine on an empty stomach, it would make me very nauseated – not conducive to driving or working out. After the gym I will aim to be at work before 0830, this gives me the office to myself, lets me have some breakfast and a coffee at my desk and get organised before other team members come in. And that’s my morning, 0530-0830. Three hours very well spent and a workout done for the day. By the time I get home I don’t want to work out (although sometimes if I have to I will) and I might just do some extra abs or a yoga session.

If you have read my “how to be a morning person” post hopefully this post shows you that I do follow my own advice, I organise everything the night before, I wake up gently, follow a routine and use a positive attitude to motivate myself!

How do you structure your morning? Share any tips in the comments section.


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