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Deviation
05-29-2011, 05:53 PM
As an early morning person, it made sense schedule wise to workout in the morning. I'm up at 4:00am 4-6 days a week. Most magazines and web sites deal with afternoon/evening workout plans & tips. I thought I'd share a few things I've picked up along the way.

Day/Night Before
Prepare:

Lay out your workout clothes and work clothes the night before. This makes it easier to stumble into the bathroom and get ready.
Prepare your meals the night before. Things like eggs and chicken are easy to reheat and keep well overnight.
Set the timer on the coffee maker


Nightly Snack Options
You need to put some sustenance in your belly before you nod off since you will be essentially fasting before your workout. Low fat cottage cheese, casein, oatmeal are all options here. I personally use 2 scoops of ON casein and a bowl of granola. Casein is a slow digesting protein that sticks with you overnight.

Rest
Every magazine, book, and web site will reiterate this over and over. You need sleep to allow your body to repair itself overnight. General rule of thumb is 6-8 hours. This isn't anything new. When you workout first thing in the morning sleep deprivation will not only make you feel like staying in bed, but it can also lead to injuries.

Morning Of
Break Your Snooze Button
That extra 10 minutes of sleep you are attempting to get by slamming the snooze button is not deep & restful. You will actually feel worse if you repeatedly hit the snooze. If you have to, put the alarm out of arms reach. If you normally wake to radio, try using the buzzer. Failing that, remove the snooze button completely.

Wake Up Shower
Most people take a shower after their workout and not before. Early risers can benefit from taking a shower prior to their workout. I prefer a shower that alternates cool & warm water. Just remember; this doesn't get you out of your post workout shower.

Go Juice
Caffeine in moderation is your friend in the morning. I prefer a pre-workout supplement such as Jack3d that contains caffeine plus additional supplements. Other suggestions include black coffee/espresso (NO sugar/cream), 5-Hour Energy, Gatorade Prime Gel Packs (really more like juice), and B vitamin complexes.

If you drink a pot of coffee a day already, this may not do much for you.

But I'm Starving!
Let me start with this fact: training while fasted (first thing prior to eating) doubles the magnitude of muscular growth signals. [Muscle & Fitness June 2011; European Journal of Applied Physiology].

That said, I train on an empty stomach (aside from "Pre-workout" below). See "Nightly Snack Options" above.

If you can't seem to function, whatever you eat needs to be quick digesting (~30 minutes). Here's a few suggestions:

1/2 cup oatmeal, plain
slices of apple or banana
toast with peanut butter


Whatever you choose, keep it light. Too much food can lead to cramps. You will need to experiment some to find the right balance for you. This is in addition to your pre-workout stack.

Pre-Workout Stack
I'll keep this generic since everyone has a certain product/products they like.

You need protein before the workout. Plain and simple. An isolate or hydrosolate works nicely here.

If you don't want to do a product like Amino Energy, Jack3d, Assault, etc. you can always do espresso. However many shots gets you rolling (up to 4). Again, no cream or sugar.

That's all I'm going to mention here.

Warm Up
I like to hit the treadmill for about 5 minutes followed by a a quick set of mountain climbers or jump squats. Whatever you choose, just remember you need to get the blood flowing to the muscles. Otherwise, you will risk injury. You don't need to overdo it here. Some will skip to doing 12-15 reps at roughly 50% weight before. This is fine as well.

Post-Workout
Stack
Here's some options:

4 Egg Whites + 1-2 Whole Eggs
46g protein (2 scoops) in 12oz skim milk
Whole, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
3-4 Large Bananas
Oatmeal (not sugared up)


For some, eggs will not be enough to fill you up. I try to keep it simplistic since time is of the essence. Often times, I will prepare all this while I'm waiting my 30 minutes prior to my workout. If you need to add some flavor to the eggs, try salsa or ROTEL.

If you can't get full, try adding a scoop of casein to your post workout protein shake. I typically rely on bananas. I follow that up with oatmeal a couple hours later.

Conclusion
There you have it. If you have any tips, suggestions, corrections please post below. I don't claim to be the expert, just trying to share the things I've learned.

Robertrogo
06-01-2011, 06:16 PM
I appreciate the tips and information about being an early lifter Deviation, this is one thing I have always been looking for because I want to start doing my workouts early in the morning, like waking up around either 4 or 5am and getting a start on my day rather than sleeping in till 7:30 and doing the same old routine for my morning, then going to work and then followed by lifting when my apartment gym is packed, which is not fun at all.

I used to wake up at 5am every morning while in Philly for college and I LOVE IT, because I felt like I had more to my day, that I could actually accomplish something rather than sleeping in and feeling like my day was wasted away (worst feeling ever).

Without a doubt I am going to start following your tips and info to help me get back on track and into lifting in the early mornings once again

Deviation
06-01-2011, 06:20 PM
Hope it helps you. I need to organize this a bit better, but I wanted to jot it down before I lost it. ;)

Robertrogo
06-02-2011, 08:05 PM
Hope it helps you. I need to organize this a bit better, but I wanted to jot it down before I lost it. ;)

I think you organized it perfectly fine and provides a great deal of information to those who are looking to begin their mornings and workouts off early, it does really help and gets me in that zone to get awake and focused early in the morning

Robertrogo
06-10-2011, 02:10 PM
I have to admit, I have been trying to wake up early the past few days/weeks but can't bring myself to do it, I get up for around 30 seconds and I just feel extremely drained that I fall back down and back to sleep. Don't know if I am wearing myself out from being on the computer from the time I wake up till when I go to bed being on JEFIT and doing graphics and such or just things around me.

I am really missing waking up around 5am and knowing I have the whole day ahead of me rather than waking up around 7:30-8 during the weekdays before work, rushing to make breakfast and take my dog out, then go to work and follow the same routine day in and day out.

Just want that early morning wake up, that nice cup of Dunkin Donuts Hazelnut coffee, enjoy the sunrise, feel awake and get a move on my workouts and the day ahead of me. I feel a change from being 19/20 with tons of energy to being 22 now, living with my girlfriend and getting into a daily work routine/family life feeling like I have to go to bed early, not doing many things and just feeling bleh.... BOOOO haha

Deviation
06-10-2011, 05:32 PM
I have to admit, I have been trying to wake up early the past few days/weeks but can't bring myself to do it,
It's going to take about 1-2 weeks for your body to adjust. You have to get up at the same time each day (even off days). I'm up just a bit before my alarm everyday. Amazing what the body can do.

Deviation
06-22-2011, 02:42 AM
Updated. Still have some more to jot down, but I'm off to bed.

Robertrogo
06-22-2011, 05:52 PM
Updated. Still have some more to jot down, but I'm off to bed.

Not bad not bad, tried to get up early a few days ago and almost had it down but staying up till 2:30 playing 360 does affect it haha. With my apartment internet down and waiting for it to get back up I went to bed early last 2 nights but of coures my girlfriend shut off the alarm when I wanted to wake up.... should just put phone on my side of the bed but have no table or anything, just straight floor haha

Deviation
06-22-2011, 06:07 PM
should just put phone on my side of the bed but have no table or anything, just straight floor haha
Duct tape it to your chest...

mrwright
06-22-2011, 07:16 PM
Not bad not bad, tried to get up early a few days ago and almost had it down but staying up till 2:30 playing 360 does affect it haha. With my apartment internet down and waiting for it to get back up I went to bed early last 2 nights but of coures my girlfriend shut off the alarm when I wanted to wake up.... should just put phone on my side of the bed but have no table or anything, just straight floor haha

I have the same problem, nearly got into a decent routine, then got Xbox live and ended up staying up til 2/3 or later every night on that

And put ya phone the opposite side of the room, will force you to get up and out of bed to turn it off, and then your awake!

Ronin210
07-07-2011, 11:25 PM
I never had a problem waking up early but being in the military helps out. It takes some discipline but it has it perks. I seem to enjoy my weekends a lot more when I'm up for the whole day. The snooze button is the devil though.

Robertrogo
07-09-2011, 01:27 AM
I never had a problem waking up early but being in the military helps out. It takes some discipline but it has it perks. I seem to enjoy my weekends a lot more when I'm up for the whole day. The snooze button is the devil though.

You got that right, that snooze button is the absolute devil and knowing that it is the weekend makes it harder to wake up haha, that is the way I feel as well as i want to wake up at 5 or 6 to get the best out of my day/weekend... I have to thank you for your service though as that is an extreme amount of bravery, thank you

Deviation
07-21-2011, 02:07 AM
Updated original post. Just some quick notes related to night snacks and morning food options.

va_lee
09-01-2011, 12:45 PM
I am more interested in meals before this early workouts... since you need energy, and maybe you don't take casein the night before.

Besides pre-workout shake, i take the carbs from fruits (berries) mixed with a scoop of whey or some amino.
But during training, sometimes, i get hungry. Guess i should start taking then the post-workout shake.

Deviation
09-01-2011, 02:23 PM
I am more interested in meals before this early workouts... since you need energy, and maybe you don't take casein the night before.
You should try casein the night before. You'd be surprised at how much that can help.


Besides pre-workout shake, i take the carbs from fruits (berries) mixed with a scoop of whey or some amino.
But during training, sometimes, i get hungry. Guess i should start taking then the post-workout shake.
Try a slice of white bread. It should break down easy and help keep the full feeling. And you should absolutely be taking protein post-workout. Make sure you get some carbs in there as well to help with recovery.