A Dummies Guide to Waking up Early to Work Out:
1. Place your alarm clock in another room. I set my iPod alarm for 5am and leave it on the office desk in the next room. I have to get out of bed to turn it off, sometimes after a gentle nudge from hubby. Once I am up and out of bed, it is easier to stay up. Banish the snooze button. Nine more minutes never made anyone more refreshed. Hitting snooze for an hour only interrupts sleep, you might as well have gotten up. Your significant other will thank you too.
2. Go to bed early. I am always in bed a few minutes before 10PM when I have a 5am workout the next morning. Shoot for 7 or 8 hours of sleep. If you are well rested, it is easier to wake up in the morning.
3. Give up caffeine. GASP! I know what you are thinking, "You want me to get up at 5AM and give up caffeine?" Hear me out. This was a huge one for me. Before I gave up my caffeine addiction, I had a really hard time getting up in the mornings. After giving up caffeine, it was much easier. You know that feeling you have in the morning when you feel like a truck hit you and it doesn’t go away until you have your morning coffee? That feeling is caffeine withdraws. The coffee makes it better, but if you didn’t drink the coffee in the first place, you probably wouldn’t have that exhausted, dragging feeling at all. Once I gave up the caffeine, and got past the first week of hell, I wake up feeling refreshed most of the time. Try it. It made a world of difference for me. If you absolutely can’t give up your coffee, then you have to learn to fight through the morning withdraws. Get up. Feel like crap. Drink your coffee. Feel better. Get to the gym.
4. Find a workout partner to keep you accountable. It is sad, but sometimes we feel more accountable to other people than we do ourselves. When I had an early morning running partner, we had a no texting rule. If one of us decided to sleep in, we just had to go back to bed and not tell the other person we weren't coming. It worked like a charm. There was no way either one of us was going to leave the other person out there waiting. I don't have a workout partner for the mornings anymore, but in the beginning it was very helpful while I was developing the early morning habit.
5. Just do it. Sometimes in the morning as I am getting dressed for the gym and the house is quiet, my mind is screaming at me so loudly, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I start to think about the hard interval run on the treadmill or all those heavy weights, or burpees, or 3 minute planks, or 2 minute wall-sits, and my mind goes hard to work trying to convince me not to go. Ignore those thoughts. Push forward. Your thoughts lie. I don’t know why we have these self-sabotaging thoughts, but most of us do. You have to remember that you don’t have to listen to every thought that floats through your head. Just keep moving forward. 99% of the time, once I am at the gym, I am glad I am there. 100% of the time, when I finish a work-out I am more-than-elated that I got it done.
There you have it. Read the entire post here.