Don’t get me wrong I love to sleep, but as much as I enjoy cocooning under my covers I enjoy having a productive and fulfilling day much much more.
About a month ago I started getting to the gym at 6am instead of my usual 7:30pm and boy have my productivity and overall energy levels increased dramatically!
In case you haven’t jumped on the early gym train yourself quite yet, I’ve thrown together some benefits of early morning workouts. If these don’t get your ass in the gym a little earlier then maybe you aren’t as motivated as you think…
#1 Getting Up Early
This can be a pro and con depending on how you look at it. For me, I’m more of a “glass half full” kind of guy so I look at this as a benefit.
Sure it might suck to roll out of bed at 5:20am so you can eat breakfast and make your way to the gym by 6am, but once your up. You’re up. It will feel great trust me. So stop hitting the snooze button and get your ass out of that bed.
Ever heard the saying “The early bird gets the worm”? I’m sure you have, we all have. Once you start getting up early and starting you day at the crack of dawn you will see why this quote exists. It may sound cliche but there is a lot of truth behind it. You will be surprised by how productive you become and how many more opportunities come your way.
#2 The Gym is Less Crowded
The one thing I cannot stand about getting to the gym at 7:30pm is that everyone and their brother, cousin, mom, father, daughter, and son is there at the same damn time. It’s legitimately impossible to get a squat rack let, and don’t even consider trying to get a bench because that’s just not going to happen.
When you get up earlier, you reap the benefits of doing so. You stay a head of the pack and while everyone else is at home getting their beauty sleep you are already at the gym and getting in a killer workout. Let them get their extra hour of sleep and fight for the equipment later. You’ll be at home resting on the couch knowing you already did what you had to do that day.
#3 Make better food choices
One of the greatest benefits of early morning workouts is that you subconsciously make better food choices. At least that’s what I believe. Here’s why:
When you hit the gym in the morning, you’ve already done what you can do for your gains (lifting wise). So you don’t have that second thought of, “Oh I can eat this as long as I work out super hard tonight”. That thought doesn’t even cross your mind because you’ve already worked out. Instead your mind will gravitate to what foods will be best for your gains.
Put it this way, before I started going to gym in the mornings I struggled to stay on a consistent diet. Now I’m on a strict diet and seeing results within the first couple of weeks. So it’s up to you. What kind of results do you want?
#4 Burn more calories throughout the day
This is more fact than it is opinion. Research has shown that after your body works out it can burn fat for up to 24 hours depending on how hard you worked out. You might be asking, “What’s difference does it make then whether I work out early or late then?”. Truth be told not much. But instead of burning muscle why you sleep because you didn’t eat anything after the gym, you’ll be turning those healthy foods you’ve been eating (see #3) into lean muscle.
After you workout your muscles are ripped and broken. They need the proper nutrition to build them back up stronger, other wise your body will just continue to burn muscle (because your body would rather burn muscle than fat). So feed it the right stuff all day and you will start to see the benefits ten fold.
#5 Better focus throughout the day
One of my personal favorite benefits of early morning workouts is the amount of focus I gain throughout the day. Working out naturally releases certain chemicals in your brain that make you concentrate and stay more focused. The problem is if you aren’t working out in the morning, you aren’t seeing this benefit because you are just going to sleep right after your workout.
Once you make the switch and start getting to the gym before you start your day you will likely notice this additional benefit to working out. It definitely adds a nice touch to that pump you just got because you killed chest that morning. You’ll walk into the office with a pump and focused. Who could ask for more?
#6 Fall asleep easier at night
Another thing I began to hate about working out at night was how difficult it became for me to fall asleep at night. You might notice this especially if you take a per-workout supplement. Even if you really killed your workout out, when you get home you are still wired and ready to go. It becomes very difficult to get that much needed sleep your body needs to recover. Then the dread kicks in of “Shit. I have to be up in like 6 hours” and you really can’t fall asleep because you start over thinking it.
So stop doing that to yourself and just change up your routine. In the long run you will see the benefits. Trust me, because I’ve done both and I’m not exactly what most would call a morning person.
#7 Regulate circadian rhythms
Circadian rhythms are something a lot of people are not familiar with. But in essence, they control your body’s internal alarm clock in many ways. When your body gets into a routine it becomes more efficient because it can adjust and prepare accordingly.
By sticking to a routine of simply going to bed and waking up around the same time, your body will start to prepare itself more and more for the day while you are asleep. If it knows what to expect it can allocate the proper energy levels and other chemicals to keep you the most prepared for what you are going to throw at it.
If you help your body and give it a routine it can adjust to and use, you will see the benefits. The human body is an amazing machine and you will be surprised at what it can do.
#8 Staying consistent
Finally, the last of the benefits of early morning workouts is the most important one. Staying consistent.
I’ve said this before and I will keep repeating it until it finally sinks in. One of the most efficient and rapid ways to see results in the gym is to stay consistent and keep at it. By going to the gym in mornings there are less excuses to make for yourself. It’s that simple.
The morning is the beginning of a new day. It’s a fresh start. You haven’t had 10 meetings or gotten a call to grab some beers with your friends so there are no excuses for you not to go to the gym. By eliminating your room for excuses you force yourself to stay true to your plan and get in that killer workout.
Getting up early and going to the gym isn’t for everyone but if you can force yourself to get into the routine of doing so, the benefits largely out weigh the drawbacks. So don’t be lazy and get your ass in the gym. It’s just one of the many things that could set you apart from the rest.