I’ve been wanting to put up a blog post on morning workouts for, well, since this blog started. And, I figured what better person to give you guys the ins and outs of morning workouts than from Mrs. Morning Workout herself.
So, today’s guest blogger is my sister, Mandy Jane. She’s been ridiculously dedicated to her morning workouts for four years and it’s obviously paying off for her (I mean, really, who doesn’t want to look like her….) You’ve probably seen her lifting heavy stuff on Facebook, teaching yoga classes or running the streets of Cynthiana. But today, she’s going to let you in on the details of morning workouts, her exact morning routine and why you (yes, you) should look into morning workouts, too. #gossettgirlsrock
Discovering the holy grail of workouts.
by: Mandy Jane Gossett-Thornton
I love to sleep. Like, a lot. Any of you other moms out there feel me? I seriously love sleep like pig loves pie. Like a southern mama loves a double-name. Like a strongman loves fresh spider tack. Like a…you get the idea.
I’m not one of those people who can run around on 4-6 hours. I’m an 8-hour kinda gal. I also used to be someone who said “I wish I could be motivated to work out in the morning, but I could just never make myself do it.” That is, until I had a baby.
My evenings of grabbing a run or hitting the gym after work got harder and harder. Sometimes I felt guilty leaving my daughter after being at work all day. Some evenings I worked late or had long meetings. Some days I was just too tired.
I couldn’t be consistent enough with my exercise to see the kind of results I wanted. I knew I had to find a better way to fit these workouts in.
With a 9-month old baby and an impending bathing suit season ahead, I was getting desperate. And – BOOM – my Early Morning Workout schedule was born.
Today, I’ve officially been a Morning Workout Girl for four years. I never thought I’d do it this long. But, man, I have to say…it works.
Could you really make yourself work out in the morning?
If you’re a busy mom, have a crazy schedule, or just have a hard time fitting in consistent exercise, early morning workouts might be for you. I’m not kidding.
“Really?” you say.
“I’m not a morning person,” you think.
“This sounds terrible,” you mumble to the person sitting next to you right now.
Maybe. But, before you count it out entirely, check out the four tips and truths about early morning workouts I’ve learned over the past four years of 5:15 a.m. workouts. Plus, I’ll share with you my exact morning workout schedule.
Four Tips and Truths about Early Morning Workouts
- Getting up early sucks for everyone. It’s not like I pop out of bed with a smile on my
face when my alarm goes off at 5:02 a.m. Every day (every single one), I say to myself, “I should have canceled.” But, by the time I’m three minutes into my workout, I’m feeling like a badass. And, by the time the workout is over, I’m thinking, “I’m so glad I did this today.” And, when I log my calories burned at 6 a.m., I’m feeling like, “today is going to rock!”
- Sleep in your workout clothes. This may sound silly, but I tried this tip after reading it in some fitness magazine years ago. For some subconscious reason, when I’m groggily sitting on the edge of the bed right there in my workout pants and tank top, my mind is already getting in workout mode. Like I’m halfway there before my feet hit the floor. This tip might not work for you, but it definitely helps ease the morning transition for me.
- Meet someone. Someone you won’t cancel on. This is vital. Even after four years of early morning workouts, I CANNOT make myself get up for a workout by myself. It’s just not happening.
In fact, when I first started these early morning workouts, I met my sister every morning. But, do you know what we realized? You’ll cancel on your sister and not feel too badly about it. Well, at least Rebecca and I didn’t feel badly about it.
But…then my morning workout partner became a friend that I would feel terrible about canceling on. Instantly, “I can’t make it tomorrow because I stayed up watching Game of Thrones” became a pretty lame-sounding excuse. I don’t want my partner to miss a workout just because I’m not disciplined to get to bed. Which leads me to…
- Get to bed on time. It took me a long, long, long time to come to terms with this truth. For the first couple years of early morning workouts, I would stay up late watching who knows what on television or having a glass (or two) of wine. But every morning workout would be a serious struggle. I was thinking of stopping my workouts.
As a last ditch effort, for just one week, I made a conscious plan to go to bed early enough to get eight hours of sleep, even with the crack-of-dawn-alarm for my early morning workout. When I realized HOW MUCH BETTER(!) I felt in the morning and all day, it was a no-brainer: I needed to change my priorities. Why on earth was I staying up late watching stuff on TV that I don’t even really care about that much? Now I have a very specific evening schedule that still includes a little wind-down time. But, definitely doesn’t include endless television watching.
If you really think about what you value (mornings that don’t suck, free evenings where you don’t have to cram in a workout, a healthy lifestyle, a fit body), sticking with a reasonable bedtime is a pretty logical choice. Make that bedtime part of your regular schedule.
Still need a little encouragement? Try these…
Other little tips that work for me:
- Finding your partner. Right now, I have a Monday/Wednesday workout partner and a Tuesday/Thursday workout partner. (Shout out to my girls Kim and Ashley!) You don’t have to find someone who can commit to your entire schedule.
- Making yourself accountable. Just two of us workout at a time. If I know that my partner misses her workout if I cancel…you can bet I’m showing up. If there were three of us, I’d probably skip out some days.
- Structuring your morning environment. I brush my teeth right away. The cool water and bright lights of the bathroom really wake me up. I’ve listed my exact (to the minute) morning schedule below if you really want to know about my morning.
- Picking your workout. I’m currently doing the Insanity Max videos for my morning
workouts. I don’t have to think about what to do; I just push play. Previously, I’ve done the original Insanity videos. I like that Insanity Max is a little shorter but still intense. Either way, they burn a lot of calories. Several of my friends do spin class in the morning. The type of workout doesn’t matter.
- Tricking your brain. I set my alarm for 5:02, instead of 5:00. In my head, it seems like those two extra minutes make a difference (oh, the things we’ll do to try to trick our brain.)
My Weekday Morning Workout Schedule
9/9:30 p.m. – Asleep. I’m not kidding. It’s worth it.
5:02 a.m. – Alarm goes off.
5:03 a.m. – Brush teeth, pull up hair, put on shoes.
5:07 a.m. – Let the dogs out and grab a water bottle.
5:10 a.m. – Walk out the door.
5:15 a.m. – Push play on the DVD player.
5:45 a.m. – Finished. And feeling like a rock star. Logging my calories in my LoseIt app.
You can do it. I promise.
Working out in the morning isn’t easy. It takes a commitment. In fact, I have to re-commit to this every night when I set my alarm for the morning. But, the rewards can be huge. Take a look at your schedule and give it a try.
Mandy Jane Gossett-Thornton is 37-years old, a working mom, and a business owner (…and an early morning workout girl.) She can frequently be found doing Insanity at the crack of dawn, competing in Strongman competitions, running with her friends, and teaching yoga classes in Cynthiana, Kentucky.