With the shift in seasons and the brighter mornings starting to creep in I’ve noticing a lot more people out early running,cycling,going to the gym.For most PT’s,gyms,studios this is generally the busiest part of the day.My first clients come in at 5am. This may sounds like a massive challenge but believe me once you have gotten out of bed that’s the biggest obstacle beaten.Early morning starts can give you plenty of benefits and some I include below
Benefits to all you early morning gym risers include
- Increase fat burn
- Brain boosting/Increased daily energy
- Rev up metabolism
- Can lead to better work quality and focus for remainder of day
- Improves body clock and daily function pattern
However,the first goal of exercise is to show up and get your work done. Better to show up at any time than not, and many people have to do what their schedules allow
Common questions that I get most of the day from clients.
What should I eat prior to a early AM session?
In my opinion this generally falls down to the person,their goal,the type of training their doing along with their lifestyle factors like their sleep patterns,stress levels too.
Is it alright to train on an empty stomach?.
100% fine and I’ve seen some great results with clients who go into training sessions fasted but with a meal the night before.Going with a half bananna/black coffee or even some water with a pinch of sea salt before their early session is a good idea here.
Do I need lots of carbs to get me through my early workout?
A good meal the night before with the right balance of macronutrients is sufficient enough.To get you through that early morning session you may need some BCAA’s,water,coffee or even a handful fruit to get you fueled right for workout
What is the best type of training to do at that time of the day?
Again,What is your goal here?Improve strength?Build your aerobic base or perhaps work on your mobility/flexibility. I’ve seen people do energy system work early morning and others do some strength work.Again its not really a big deal what time you train at most of the time.If the client is really after just improving their fitness and want to look and feel better I generally map out a 60 minute session covering all 3 areas.
What should I eat after a training session?
breakfast of solid foods such as eggs, veggies, and maybe some fruit before a 6am workout can be difficult as many people don’t have much of an appetite upon waking.
Here is my 6.30am clients starting with some mobilty work.
- At least 8 hours sleep prior to session,If not don’t waste your time heading for a workout.Sleep deprivation can lead to many negatives and is something that is only going to halt your progress.I rate sleep/stress levels/mental health/sex drive/hormonal balance the foundation of lifestyle and exercise.
- Aim to drink a glass of water/handful of nuts/berries upon waking, hit the gym, and have a good breakfast immediately after training.Good amount of carbs and protein for breakfast.Performance and body comp can be greatly improved with proper pre- and post-workout nutrition.Sometimes i have half my breakfast smoothie/protein shake 30 mins before session and then after session.
- Stay away from pre workout supplements which typically contain a cocktail of artificial stimulants.(Bullet proof coffee works well for me)
- Branched Chain Aminio Acids (BCAA’s) can help muscle function, recovery,reduction in muscle soreness.
- A handful of nuts or seeds with raisins, a glass of milk or string cheese, and a buttered whole-grain bagel (690 calories)
- Apple slices topped with peanut butter, buttered whole-grain toast, and a glass of milk (455 calories)
- Banana with a cup of plain yogurt, mixed with nuts (435 calories)
- A bowl of whole-grain cereal and milk, topped with raisins and nuts, and a glass of milk (635 calories)
- Two hard-boiled eggs, a buttered whole grain bagel, orange slices, and string cheese (610 calories)
- Five-minute egg sandwich: Blend two eggs with a half-cup of milk in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the bowl in a microwave and cook for three minutes (depending on your microwave). While the eggs are cooking, put two slices of whole grain in a toaster. The toasted bread and eggs should be done at nearly the same time. Use a spoon to remove the eggs from the bowl and slide them between the two slices of toast. Have a piece of fruit with the sandwich (580 calories).
- High-calorie meal for athletes who want to gain muscle mass: Oatmeal, two eggs, a banana, two glasses of whole milk, and a handful of almonds (885 calories).
To get the most out of your training you should train at the time of day that suits you best.With that in mind, here are a few tips of when to train:
- You shouldn’t train to get it of the way, but rather at a time of day that allows you to be present and get the most out of your exercise.
- You should train at a time of day that is going to allow you the best results in your training regimen, keep you alert, and injury free.
- Try different modalities of exercise at your off-peak and peak times. For instance, as an evening guy, I save the intense stuff like power training and boxing for nighttime. In the morning, I am more apt to do a nice lower key cardio session or perhaps some yoga.
- Wear a heart rate monitor. One of the interesting things I have come to note is the disparity of results for an individual training at different times of day. I have seen countless examples of individual exercisers performing the same workout but getting different heart rate results based on time of day. Wear one and see for yourself where you get your best results.
- As is always the case, the key in optimizing results in and out of the gym is to listen to your body. Our body tells us when it wants to exercise. We simply need to listen.