It’s been a few years since I got up early (like 5:00 am early) to go train. I’m not foreign to it by any means, but it’s been a while to say the least.
With changing schedules and other reasons I decided to get up at 5:00 and be warmed up and ready to go at the gym by 5:30. At 45 years young I was as curious as any to see if I could still get in a decent workout with less sleep, less food in my stomach, and less blood in my extremities.
I can’t help to hearken back to my twenties when I was on some military job barely sleeping, eating like crap, and still killing it at the base gym. No matter what, I now not only have age to deal with, but, more importantly, I have mileage — 30 plus years of training to be frank. So my tires are a bit worn.
What I didn’t do
The one overall thing I didn’t want to do was to overthink anything. Early doesn’t mean that I must eat my usual breakfast, wait for it to properly digest, take supplements, and then go through my normal warm up routine as if it was 2:00 in the afternoon. If I attempted that I would be seeing 3:00 am.
Now, I wake up early anyways, and when I do I am instantly hungry. If I don’t eat within a few minutes of waking I get weak, lightheaded, and a bit cranky.
But things needed to change.
Time was a factor. I had to get home at a certain time to start the day so I couldn’t think about those details. I not only avoided overthinking, I also refused to lament on the fact that I was doing anything out of the ordinary. More on that next.
What I did
I took my usual mindset. I would get up, drink around 12 ounces of water, eat a small breakfast fig bar for some instant energy, drink 1/2 scoop of protein powder, and get after it.
As I mentioned earlier I also didn’t think too much into anything. I practiced what I like to call “sneaking in a workout.” That is, I showed up, trained like I always do without harping on the thought that I haven’t eaten or that I didn’t sleep enough. I “sneaked” my training in without really worrying too much about my circumstances.
And to top it off, I trained legs. So, there’s that…
Was it effective?
In a word, yes. The weights I used were roughly the same (basically I did what I did from my last workout without hitting my head against the wall trying to lift more weight or get more reps).
It’s a ton off your back when you don’t focus on the lack of sleep or prep and just do the dang thing. I do think that mindset had a lot to do with the workout being a success.
I also noticed two important things. One, training early was just another thing to get used to. Over time I could adapt to the new schedule and each day would prove to be more and more effective just like an afternoon workout would be.
Two, it was nice to experience training this early again. I forget how getting training under your belt early gets you into an action mindset. After a shower and my regular breakfast I liked the feeling of getting the workout out of the way and it put me into a productive mood for the rest of the day.
I’m writing this before lunch so I ‘m sure I’ll take a 5 minute power nap soon and hit the bed early later, but for now let me know your thoughts about this in the comments below. Are you an early trainer?
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