Tips for Working Out in the Morning

Hey everyone!! Well, as promised, here are my morning workout tips! Most of you know I’m a big fan of getting up mega early and doing my workout before my day’s commitments. I assure you, I haven’t always been a morning person. But these are some of the things that helped me acclimatize. Read on!

The day before:

  • Don’t workout after work Tuesday, then expect to wake up before work on Wednesday for another tough workout. Two workouts within 12 hours is hard, and tiring. Try to allow 24 hours between your workouts.
  • Mentally prepare yourself for your routine the next day. Keep reminding yourself that you’ll be up a little earlier to work out the next day, instead of ignoring it or putting it out of your mind.

The night before:

  • Prepare every last detail. Get your pre-workout snack ready, any coffee you need/want to drink beforehand. I even fill up the water jug in my fridge so there’s lots to hydrate with.
  • Get your clothes/gear ready. I put my workout clothes, down to my underwear and socks, at the end of my bed. On days I’m especially tight on time, I’ll even sleep in my workout clothes. I pack a bag with my wallet, iPod, water bottle, sweat rag and sneakers to grab on my way out the door.
  • I don’t wash my mascara off the night before so I still have a little bit on when I go to the gym in the morning. This way I’m not technically putting make-up on to go to the gym. But at the same time, it keeps me from looking like death at 5am. I have no shame in admitting to this technique.
  • If I know I’ll be tight on time in the morning, I’ll prepare my breakfast and food for work the night before too. (I live close enough to my gym that I can come back home and shower before going to work).

The morning of:

  • Don’t waste time laying in bed!!! I keep my alarm clock on the other end of my bed, so I have to sit up and crawl to turn it off. Do not lay back down at this point!!! That grogginess feeling wears off after 15 minutes or so. Do not let it fool you into thinking you’re too tired (unless you actually slept for 4 hours. Then go back to bed).
  • The first thing I do is put my gym clothes on. It’s hard to talk myself out of it once I’m up and in those clothes.
  • Drink at least 16 oz of water. I always wake up feeling super dehydrated, so this one is easy for me. I chug a glass every morning anyways. But if there’s one thing you should remember in your morning routine, it’s this one. Working out in a dehydrated state is not cool.
  • Have a small snack and caffeine (if you swing that way). This is the difference between a stellar workout and a “meh.” workout for me.

My pre-workout snack is usually around 100-150 calories consisting of nut butter + simple sugar and sometimes a complex carb. Since I start activity about 15 minutes after this snack, the sugar is more effective for energy than the complex carb, but that complex carb can be important for sustained energy. Examples:


Dates + PB


1/2 Banana + PB 


1/2 Banana + PB + toast


 Smooshed dates + PB + wasa bread.

I don’t vary a lot from these combos because it they always sit well in my tummy and give me lots of energy! Doesn’t mean it will work for you, so I encourage lots of experimenting on your part to find that magic combo :)

The real magic though, is my iced coffee.


This is my secret weapon to morning workouts. I make a french press the night before and stick it in the fridge. In the morning, I mix half of the french press with almond milk and stevia (in my Jamaican frosty mug, of course). The coffee and snack is downed in about 5 minutes flat, and that’s when my energy soars. I practically bound out the door at that point! (the other half of the french press is consumed with breakfast)


So there you have it! I assure you, I never used to be a morning person. In fact, I have old blog entries to prove that fact. But the good of working out first thing far outweighs the negative!

  1. I get the luxury of coming straight home after work and have the time to prepare a nice dinner
  2. I don’t have to spend a good chunk of my day battling mentally whether or not I should go to the gym after work like planned
  3. Working late, or other unexpected reasons don’t get in the way
  4. I have the whole day to replenish my hunger, instead of an evening workout where I spend the rest of the night starving
  5. I get to strut around all day knowing I ran 5 miles while most of my coworkers were still asleep ;)

As a side note, I find my best workouts are often in the morning. Personally, my body performs best when there’s less food and stress from the day to wear me down.


And because I can’t leave you without any fun food from the day – I tried a lamb burger! Chris and I went to our favourite restaurant, Isaac’s Way.

Curried lamb burgerGround lamb seasoned with curry, grilled, and topped with out roasted red pepper pecan spread, spinach, goat cheese and fresh red peppers.”

I almost went for a “lighter option” on the menu. But this burger is what I really wanted, and I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied without! So I opted for a side salad and got the burger in all its glory. It was delicious. The pecan spread was amazing with the goat cheese. I couldn’t detect a huge difference with the lamb though. The bun overpowered the meat a little.

Chris got one of his standbys.


Nachos bathed in horrible flash photography.

We were hungry.


After dinner, we went Christmas shopping – for me!!

I upgraded from my old Motorola Razr to an LG Xenon :D Phone cost me $10 with a rebate, and I get the browser on it for only an extra $5 a month. HOLY DEAL! I can also e-mail and Twitter from it. I’m in nerdy heaven :)


Lastly, I just gotta tell y’all that I brought my own ingredients to make a banana Chocolate Amazing Meal smoothie at work today. Pretty sure it was the healthiest smoothie I’ve ever had out of a Starbucks cup ;) My co-workers already think I’m crazy.

Hope you all enjoy your Friday!!!


Question of the Day: When is your favourite time of the day to work out? If I’m running, I do it best as soon as I wake up. But other activities I prefer to do a couple hours after a hearty breakfast. Come afternoon, I just start to drag.

Posted on December 10, 2009, in Fun, Health, Restaurants, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. I LOL at the mascara tip. I do that too ;-)

    But seriously, those are great tips, I’m definitely going to try them!

    I love working out in the morning, but I’ve been lazy lately.

  2. GREAT morning workout tips.. caffiene makes such a big diff for me too!

  3. we’re off to the airport, pls excuse lower commenting frequency coming up in the next few but Im still readin’ along…but before i go, just HAD to say all those PB combos, esp on the dates, look rockin!!!

  4. You know, I really really WANT to be a morning worker-outer. But it never happens! It’s not really feasible for me since my gym is so far away, I’d have to pack all my shower stuff and get ready there and bleh.

    But, I manage 4-5 days a week after work, so I think I’m doing pretty okay. It’s not perfect, but nobody is!

  5. These are some really, really great tips. I always work out during the week as soon as my morning class is over. It’s still early enough for me to fit it in, but doesn’t require as much prep work as your SUPER early mornings.


  6. They are some good tips! I’m lucky in that at the moment, my shifts at the restaurant start at around 11am or midday and so I can workout in the morning without much hassle. I know this will change when I start full time work!

    The best tip I think you gave – alarm clock on the other side of the bed! That’s a keeper :-)

    Awesome looking burger too.

  7. Oh I am a morning person for sure! I have so much more energy and then I just feel better about life the whole day! Now that I have my top secret Christmas present from my man, it will be even easier to get up and workout in the a.m. Yippee! Happy Friday sweet pea! xoxo

  8. I am a morning person, for sure. Come doing anything remotely productive in the evening? Forget it :P Alarm clock far from the bed is also my go-to tool, though I am usually up by 6/6:30-ish anway. And yes to the coffee. ALWAYS.

    So strange- I haven’t really eaten red meat for a long time, but I was talking to someone about Israeli food a few days ago and now can’t get lamb out of my mind!

  9. I prefer working out in the morning as well, but just read this interesting article:

    • That is a really interesting article!! I’m surprised more research hasn’t been done on when the best time of day to exercise is. Funny, because I notice my heart rate is consistently higher in the mornings. I just don’t have it in me to push as hard later in the day. There must be more of an individual aspect to it.

  10. Great tips!! Swanky new phone – I hope you like it a lot :)

    When I work out (as with most of my life) I’m a morning person. If I don’t knock it out early, it doesn’t get done. HAPPY FRIDAY! Enjoy sleeping in tomorrow!

  11. I became a morning workout person out of necessity, which then evolved into my loving morning workouts. I love that it is usually quiet outside for biking and running. In the summer it is much cooler in the morning – and then I am done for the day with my workouts and don’t have to worry about getting them in.

    The times I get burgers, I actually like to get them in restaurants. They taste way better than the ones I make at home. That one looks nummy!

  12. Great tips! With a weird college schedule I find myself working out in the mornings somedays, the afternoon somedays, and even the evenings once in a while! And sometimes I split up my workouts into two. I don’t feel like I work out that great in the morning..but usually if I eat a small breakfast beforehand then I’m good to go!

  13. Ha ha ha! I love the fact that you totally admitted what I was thinking I’d do too – sleep in the mascara. Actually, is it bad that I NEVER wash my face before bed? I’m incredibly lethargic when it comes to bed time.

    I’m also pondering going to the gym in the A.M. as it’s in the exact same building as my work. But I really hate public showers (the towels are too small, and I don’t want to bring my big bulky one) and I hate drying my hair (which takes a lot of “styling”) and doing my makeup with other people around (I’m self-conscious!!). All that plus the fact I’m NOT a morning person = trouble. I mean, I think I can do it because I normally go to bed at 11:30 – but last night was ridic. 10PM sleep-time – 8:15 wake time. See? Ridiculous. Maybe next week I’ll revert back to this post and try to get ready for the gym.

  14. Great great tips on AM exercise. I will admit that I might have slept in my gym clothes and left a tiny bit of mascara on also. I also have to put on a tiny bit of a very natural shade of lip color so I don’t look like death :-)

    I adore lamb in any form. Probably my fave meat. The combo sounds amazing- red pepper/pecan? Holy moly.

    Once I brought in a protein powder pack to the buck and asked them to blend it with some coffee and they essentially told me to get the eff out of the store. Well not really, but for health and safety issues they said they couldn’t. Grrr.

    • Okay, okay. I may also put a smidge of concealer on under my eyes to cover up my dark circles. It’s really so I don’t scare myself in the mirror at the gym than for others :P

      Yeah, Starbucks is pretty strict on their safety standards, blah blah. I’ll just have to convince my boss I’m doing our customers a favour by getting Amazing Grass all over our blender pitchers ;)

  15. PB Morning person all the way. Every minute that ticks on from when I wake up, is the greater chance I’ll skip the workout entirely. I am in awe of people who work out at night.

  16. I love the tips! Working out in the morning has always been the best time for me as well. Thank-you for posting this!

  17. I’m totes an early morninger too :) 5:30am almost errrryday! it helps me to wear socks to bed haha so silly but if i have warm feet then its easier to get out of bed!

    if i was your co-worker i’d ask for you to make me a smoothie with amazing grass in it! start slipping it into customers drinks hahaha

  18. CURRIED LAMB BURGER? i need that. now.

  19. I love your list of am workout tips! I started working out early recently and have found those tips to be so true – especially having everything ready the night before. It also keeps me from waking up my husband by opening and closing drawers and closets :)
    I am now a dedicated early morning exerciser!

  20. I’m totally a morning workout kinda girl, gets me ready for the day and leaves my evenings free bonus! x

  21. I am NOT a morning person but I always prefer to work out in the morning, for all the reasons you listed. However, sometimes I trade snuggle time for an evening workout, especially when it’s cold. On the weekends I find if I don’t go first thing, I don’t go. I hate waking up early, but I also hate getting home from the gym at 7, starving, so most days it’s a matter of which one I’d hate less :-P

    • Haha, it’s like morning or evening – choosing the best of two crappy options :P There are definitely some days where I will put my workout off till later in the day. Sometimes sleeping in the extra hour and taking the time to make a special breakfast is such a luxury!

  22. hooray for the new phone! and that burger sounded AWESOME! yum. i dont know that i have had a lamb burger ever. but i am not opposed to it.. don’t tell little bo peep!

    “I don’t wash my mascara off the night before so I still have a little bit on when I go to the gym in the morning. This way I’m not technically putting make-up on to go to the gym. But at the same time, it keeps me from looking like death at 5am. I have no shame in admitting to this technique.”

    favorite tip ever. haha i love you.

    i am NOT a morning person~oh how i wish i could train myself to be. maybe if i try and try i can one day be as awesome as you!!

    hope you have a fun weekend~dont get trampled by christmas shoppers!!


    • Janetha!! I know there is a morning person somewhere inside you! ;) It helps that my body clock is set on extra early now. Back in my “anti-morning” days, I was doing night classes, so I was on a late schedule. Now I’ve switched to an early one and am up at 6am every day even without an alarm clock :\

  23. Lynn at The Actors Diet

    i have to work out first thing in the morning, or else i spend the rest of the day talking myself out of it.

  24. Early morning workouts are why I love working out, especially at the gym. When I first started getting into weight lifting, it was like the summer before my junior year of highschool, and I’d go early early with my parents 3x a week. And we’d usually go out to eat for breakfast afterwards. It became like a fun thing to do. Then during school I’d start going myself 3x a week before school. It was fun because I either got to pack my breakfast and go smuggle it into a coffee shop, or go get oatmeal at Starbucks.

    It was fun, social, and I loved planning out my meals, and outfits to pack the night before. (I showered at the gym).. I kinda miss highschool for this reason alone!

    But I love alll your workout tips, all I agree with. Get more sleeep, plan ahead, etc etc.
    TRUTH: I sleep in my workout clothes, I knowww- gross right? but I say you’re gonna sweat anyway. And all I gotta do is hop out of bead, brush teeth and put on my tennis shoes. :)

    Ok, long comment. But I really like this post. Good eats too!

  25. It’s so nice to hear about another person who love’s the morning workout like I do ! Often, when I tell people that I get up really early to workout [ 2:30am ….. I need to be on the road at 6am in order to get to work on time] they either look at me, or tell me out right that I am nuts!!!! But it is what I do. I so agree with you that getting it over with allows me to come home at night and make a nice dinner, and I aviod that inner struggle all day , to workout , or not! I practice a lot of the things you mention , and but I learned a few too! Thanks for a great post!

    • 2:30 is definitely early!!! You know what though, my boyfriend will come home at 8am after working a 12-hour night shift and still do an hour on his bike trainer. We all do what we can to fit it in, at any time of day, and that’s always commendable! :D

  26. Another thing to remember before you start working out,don’t get to drunk you can easy fall down and hurt yourself trust me I know.

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