How To Wake Up Early To Workout

Let’s talk working out at the crack of dawn! Ya guys know I love me a good early morning workout. I’ve gotten a few requests to talk about how I manage to wake up early to workout.

Let me start off this post by saying I am not a morning person. Like, at all. If I don’t set an alarm I will easily sleep ’til at least 9AM. Jeremy also judges me for the fact that I set alarms 10 minutes earlier than I need to be up just so I can snooze. So no, I’m not one of those magical morning fairies that naturally wakes up at 6AM. The struggle is REAL.

But I am 100% on team AM workouts. Even when it means waking up at 5:15AM.

I’d also like to apologize in advanced for potentially sounding like an asshole and elitist because I like to wake up early and work out. If nighttime really is your jam, you do you, boo!

Here’s why you should really [really] start working out in the morning and how to make it happen.

how to wake up early to workout, how to become a morning workout person, early morning workout

That Moment I Became a Morning Workout Person

Is it weird that I remember the exact moment I thought Hm, I’m gonna becoming a morning workout person? Apparently it was a defining moment in my life…

It was winter break during senior year of college. I was going to the gym at night pretty consistently, checking out all the cool, hip, trendy classes at Crunch. Like Zumba, because Zumba was THE SHIT in 2011.

But I was starting to feel like going to the gym at night was interfering with other plans. At that time I was going to theater on an almost weekly basis. I was often required to rehearse at night for school (yay, theater major!) and I sometimes even had homework.

So one of my goals for spring of senior year was to become one of “those” people that worked out in the morning (<— HOLY MOLY that blog post is OLD!)

Looking back at those old blog posts I remember what a big freaking deal it was for me to wake up early to workout. Like I said, I am NOT a morning person. Now it’s become second nature, of course I’m going to workout first thing in the morning. It’s what I do!


Why You Need To Start Working Out in the AM

The thing with morning workouts is NOTHING can get in the way. I mean, sleep can. But fun plans won’t get in the way. Your boss won’t get in the way. And when is the last time your friend wanted to meet last minute at 6AM to catch up?

For me personally, this was reason enough. As a crazed theater major, I had zero control over my evening plans. The same has also been true for me when I’ve worked in the corporate world. Also the last thing I want to do after a shitty day at work is get changed and go workout. I’m DONE dealing with humans for one day.

I started craving working out as a way to start my day. Working out first thing in the morning left me feeling accomplished. Even if that rest of the day was a total fail whale, at least I did something good for myself.

And look, if nighttimes really work for your life, more power to ya. I’ve found that after working out at night I just want to take a shower and put on pajamas. Even if it’s like 7:30PM.


How I Did It

I started with baby steps. And yoga.

The thought of doing burpees at 7AM was horrifying at the time so I knew my first attempt at early morning exercising was NOT going to be a bootcamp class. So I eased my way in with the goal of going to sunrise yoga once a week. I mean come ON there’s even NAP TIME as part of a yoga class.

I started with yoga and then tested the waters with bootcamp classes. Even nowadays I’m not always in the mood to go ALL OUT first thing in the morning so I’ll opt for a less intense workout on days I need to wake up REALLY early.


Make the morning as easy as possible.

Set out your clothes the night before so you’re not stumbling to find an acceptable pair of yoga pants. Or, you can even sleep in your workouts clothes. I only did that once and it was not necessary. But hey, it might be the trick to get you out of bed and to the gym.

I also prefer going to classes when I can shower at home after as opposed to the gym — even if that means working out even earlier. For me I find packing to be an added stress. My routine is obnoxiously high maintenance. I need my fancy keratin approved shampoo and dermatologist recommended face wash. Derp. I’ve also totally forgotten to bring clean underwear and a “normal” bra before.

Shower at home post workout is my personal preference these days. I used to not mind as much.


Look forward to your workout.

Waking up early to workout is MUCH easier when you like the workout that you’re heading to.

When I’m really struggling with early morning wake-ups, I’ll book at class at my favorite studio. One, I’m definitely not going to skip class because I PAID for that shit. Two, it’s my favorite class therefore I don’t wanna miss out.

When I was interning last semester, 6AM classes at Body Space Fitness were my JAM. Even though I hated waking up at 5:15AM, I looked forward to the actual class.


Go to bed earlier.

Waking up earlier = you should go to bed earlier.

This is the one I suck at the most. Hands down. In recent years I’ve started setting a bedtime alarm. It’s a reminder for me to stop whatever mindless TV show I’m watching [it’s ALWAYS House Hunters or Shark Tank] and start getting ready for bed. I highly, highly recommend setting a bedtime alarm as a cue to start brushing your teeth.

Side note: Someone recently asked me how I manage to wake up at 4:15AM for work and what time I go to bed. The correct answer is 8:15PM so I can get 8 glorious hours of sleep. But the real answer is I try REALLY hard to go to bed by 10PM and it doesn’t always happen. I blame grad school and being in class until 8:30PM BUT even if I wasn’t in class I would SO not be in bed at 8:15PM. So I offset my two early mornings at week with extra sleep at the end of the week.

How do I manage to wake up? Uh, I just do. I dunno, it’s my job so I’m going to wake up no matter what. And I know I’ll treat myself to LOTS of caffeine throughout he day.


Know that you’ll probably fail.

There are still mornings that I wake up and think “Nope, not today” and I go back to sleep. They don’t happen all that often anymore but it totally still happens. Don’t sweat it, sometimes you need sleep WAY more than ya need the endorphins.


Tell Me: Are you on team AM or PM workouts? For my AM buddies, what additional tips do you recommend?

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  • so every single day for 5 years i worked out in the morning (give or take a few!), but since starting my regular office job, i actually really enjoy working out after work. luckily i get out at around 5:45, so i can still have time to squeeze in a workout even if i want to meet up with friends for dinner. i think most importantly though, it gives me something to look forward to when i’m out of the office after sitting all day! i never thought i would like working out at night or even be motivated to, but i think it just depends on your schedule!

    • I’d always be SO hungry by then! but then again I’m always hungry. I like the idea of having something to look forward to at the end of the day. I think I would just dread the whole hassle of getting changed — even if I was already in yoga pants for work.

  • I would love to be able to workout in the mornings more but with my work schedule I mainly just do morning workouts on the weekends. Having everything ready the night before really does help! Even going as far as having my breakfast ready to grab and go makes it go easier when I’m done working out.