Not to be confused with the 2001 smash hit “AM to PM” by Christina Milian. I changed up my workout schedule last month and this is what happened…
If you know me at all, I would never classify myself as a morning person. I’m convinced that if I didn’t set my alarm for a morning I had to be up early, I would sleep undisturbed until noon. Though, it never fails that I wake up at the same time on a weekend with no plans (depending on how much alcohol was consumed the night before). It was becoming too easy to slack off on my evening workouts after my 40-45 minute walk home from the office. I justified walking as my workout and while it’s a great way to get my LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio and my steps in, I like to strength train too and that was falling by the wayside.
So, my self-imposed AM workout challenge was born and for five days straight I would make it to the gym before work. I researched a few tips and tricks that “morning people” use to get their day started earlier and implemented those into my routine.
The biggest challenge for me is getting to bed early enough. I need at least 6 ½ hours to function so that meant getting in bed, unplugging completely and falling asleep before midnight. Tucking myself into bed was the easy part, but we all know that dreaded “social media vortex” we get sucked into scrolling through our phones at night.
The trick that worked best for me was setting my phone across the room from my bed so for one, I couldn’t be scrolling when I should be sleeping and two, I would have to physically get out of bed to shut off my alarm when it goes off at 6am.
Getting it over with: I love working out, but it’s so easy to lose motivation the later in the day it gets. If you do it first thing, it’s so much easier to get it done. It also leaves my evenings open to run errands, do laundry or hit up a happy hour 🙂
How it made me feel: I felt so accomplished leaving the gym before 8am when I would typically still be snoozing my alarm at that time.
Less crowded: My gym is very small and if I try to go right after work there’s no chance I’m getting a squat rack without waiting. Unless I want to modify my workout or just do cardio, I’ll have to go at 8 or 9pm, which isn’t ideal. In the morning equipment has been much more accessible.
Waking up early: It didn’t seem to get easier over the 5 days, but of course, the following week, when I hadn’t planned on waking up to workout every day, waking up, was a breeze… life is funny, isn’t it?
Having a time limit on my workout: When I workout in the evening or on the weekends, I can go at my own pace and make sure I get in every exercise I have for the day. When I have to leave the gym by 8am at the latest to make it to work on time, I’ll sometimes have to alter or shorten the routine I have planned. I guess the solution would be waking up earlier… baby steps, people! I’m trying!
Five days in a row is a little aggressive to start off. Had I not announced my little challenge on Instagram, I can guarantee I would have skipped at least one day. I’ll probably stick to three mornings a week moving forward. Accountability is key for staying motivated, so I recommend finding a friend who wants to make this change too. It is much easier to commit when you’d be letting someone down if you flaked (as long as you don’t pick a flakey friend). You could even pick a friend in a different city! Just text each other each morning to check in and make sure you’re both awake and ready for your respective workouts! If you want to help me stay accountable and have a partner to keep you motivated, feel free to email me or DM me on Instagram. 🙂