View Full Version : Advice for Early Morning Workouts

11-20-2009, 07:44 AM
Due to work and family commitments, I am going to be lifting twice a week early in the morning. These workouts will just be upper body because I don't think I could reasonably squat and deadlift at 545 AM. I am looking for any recommendations to get the most out of these early workouts. I was planning to get up at 5 and have a protei shake and banana to get some food in, take the dog for her morning walk, take my pre-workout energy supplement, and then drive over to the gym and do my usual warmup. Any other tips?

Lones Green
11-20-2009, 08:03 AM
That sounds like about what I'd do. I think you'd be best off getting some quick calories like that pre-workout

11-20-2009, 08:05 AM
If you're like me when you wake up and stiff as a board. Stretch, I usually mix foam rolling, dynamic and static stretching when I first wake up if I'm going to the gym early. I'd say if you're just gunna bench those days do a little RC work before you bench.

11-20-2009, 09:13 AM
Extra 1-2 hours of sleep, biofreeze and add oatmeal as part of your breakfast.

11-20-2009, 11:04 AM
I'm up at 3:30 to eat before hitting the gym at 5:00 am. If I eat much later than that, I feel like crap through the workout. I have no problems lifting at 5 am.

Irish Pilot
11-20-2009, 11:15 AM
My workouts are virtually always at 5am and have been for months now (and I actually have learned to LOVE it).

A few things I have learned...

*I havent yet noticed performance issues with different cal intakes prior to working out. I just know that if I dont get anything in, I get weak in the knees and light headed during major compound lifts. I prefer to save cals for the rest of the day (since Im up so early its a long day and Im cutting) so currently my morning beverage is a couple scoops of BCAAs (Xtend), a NO Booster (works for me), and a scoop of protein. Its about 150cals. When bulking Ill usually add a banana and/or some oats, etc. No more than 300cals for me though...otherwise its too much.

*Ive got the radio cranked the whole drive to the gym. Lame, but it wakes me up and gets me jacked!

*As with any workout...WARM UP AND STRETCH PROPERLY. I hate losing 10 minutes to preworkout cardio, but everything improved after I learned to try to jump on the treadmill for a 10 minute walk. Get warm!


*Rest. Learn to get to bed earlier as well.

*Give it time. It took a little getting used to, but now I LOVE early early workouts. It may or may not be optimal for body temps, test, etc. but my focus and energy are great. It did take a couple weeks to get this way though.

My .02c. YMMV.

11-22-2009, 05:14 AM
Due to transportation issues and exceedingly difficult gym hours i've been forced to work out no more than two hours after i wake up this last year. My 5 years ov pretty much linear gains tanked, but i've salvaged a bit after months ov experimentation. The biggest thing... the key, for me anyways, is to get TWO meals in before the workout. It does not matter what or how much i eat when i get up, or whether breakfast is right after the morning shake, or an hour later... when i've only got one meal in me, i just dont do well. And i've got pretty much everything else covered. Even if one ov those 'meals' is a protein or oatmeal bar, i work SO much better with two meals. Two meals in two hours or less is a stretch for me (for a guy who hates to even eat breakfast), but on lifting days its essential.

Other things help too. A good pre-workout supplement provides a lot ov stuff you might otherwise get in a day or half-day's worth ov meals, but wont get in one or two. Plus, most have added caffeine or stims that'll crank you better than any morning coffee. An energy drink would be another option, though not as good.

Also have to second the cranked music in the car or MP3 on the way in. I NEED that.

I honestly dont bother with the stretching on bench/upper body days... in a year i've never seen the need. I do a very extensive bench warm-up though, 10 minutes ov rotator cuff and bar work before a plate gets loaded... so i guess thats about the same. On olympic lifting days though... ****ing hell... i'm stretching for up to 90 minutes before i can lift a thing...

11-22-2009, 05:57 AM
For me I would mix coffee, protein, and waxy maize all in one shake just to get carbs, protein and caffeine all in one shot.

Take a 5 minute hot shower right after you get up. I would concentrate on getting the hot water on my back.

Foam roll and warmup properly

Take a few more warmup sets than normal

You should be fine deadlifting and squatting but depending on what time you have to go to work you may need to speed through your assistance work on those days.

The first 30 minutes you are up you will think there is no way in hell you will be able to be productive in the gym, nevermind hitting a PR (this is even more true when it is dark out in the morning). If I got up at 5, I usually felt good and ready to go by 6.

11-22-2009, 01:18 PM
I trained at 0530 four days per week using a WSB protocol for about 5 years, for me I found:

1. Wake up at the same time everyday even if not training
2. Go to bed-there is nothing on TV as good as a 700lb bench or a 1000lb squat
3. Oatmeal and whey with a cup of coffee-gets boring, but it works
4. Applied the Icy Hot before getting in the car to drive to the gym
5. Comsume supplements in the car enroute to the gym
6. Warm up till you are warm-this is especially true until you have adjusted to this wake up time.
7. No beer or other booze on the night before training.