How I Get My Butt to the Gym in the Morning #20to25Challenge - Nouchaline

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

How I Get My Butt to the Gym in the Morning #20to25Challenge

For the past two months and a bit, I've been hitting the gym pretty regularly in the mornings. With minimal gym-free days, I've forced myself to workout at least four times a week. Now, I'm still far far away from being one of those fit people you see at the gym in sport bras and short-shorts, but I have become one of those people you regularly see kicking butt at the gym. I've concluded that I like working out when the gym is empty(ish), because let's face it the less human contact the better, which meant I had to figure out a time of day when said gym would be empty(ish). That left me with early mornings and late nights. Since most of my nights are busy due to events or Netflix binge-watching sessions, my only logical option was the morning. I've been forced to wake up early ever since I could remember, from waiting for school buses at 6:30 am to the trying to find parking at AUB at 7:00 am, I've had to wake up before 6:30 am for most of my life, so waking up for the gym wasn't a completely foreign concept to me. But ever since I started going to work, my wakeup time had been pushed to 7:30 am (on a good day) to 8:30 am (on a AHH I'm gonna be so late! day). Before I started gymming in the morning I had even been pushing the 8:30 am timestamp to 8:45 am, which meant I would wake up in a panic, get dressed like a maniac and drive like an idiot to work. I don't know what was wrong with me, I just could NOT get up. It was odd because I've generally been more of a morning than night person, but here I was, a lazy bum who kept pressing the snooze button. Once the whole #20to25Challenge came to be, I attempted to combat this bad habit. It took me two months to get over it, but I've thankfully gotten over it. Waking up early makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something even before most people get up to go to work. That post-gym feeling is better than a cup of coffee, it wakes me up and keeps me energized all day long. I know I sound a bit like those preachy "healthy" folk, you know the kind, but I can't help myself! It might not meet everyone's lifestyle, but I highly recommend giving it a try. I even wrote down some tips that really have helped me out :)

1) Prepare EVERYTHING the night before:
Everything from gym bag to breakfast, lunch, water bottles, snacks, change of clothes, hair brush, makeup, music and earphones has to be ready. It's already a hassle to get up early, so I make sure everything is ready the night before. Five extra minutes of sleep is precious in the morning!

2) Have your morning schedule/routine ready:
My first alarm goes off at 6:00 am but I snooze until 6:30 am (because who doesn't love to snooze), it takes me 10 minutes to get to the gym so I make sure that I'm out the door by 7:15 am. I like to get ready and have a tea with my parents before bouncing, which is why it takes me 30 to 45 minutes to actually leave, otherwise I would be out the door before 7:00 am. Once I'm at the gym, I make sure to workout until 8:15 am, sometimes I'll extend it to 8:30 am if I know I can be a bit late to work. I finish showering in 10 minutes, and it takes me 10 minutes to dry my hair. Then I quickly get dressed and head to work. Luckily, my gym is close to my work so it only takes around 10-15 minutes to get there and run up. If you want to gym before work, make sure that it's close to work!

3) Sleep early:
I need 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day. I average 7 hours on most nights, and if I don't, then I'm a grumpy baby the next day. The only way to make sure I'm not gonna wake up grumpy is to make sure that I'm in bed by 11 pm. That may seem early to some people, but it's an average night for me. I'm not always in bed by 11 pm, but I try my best to be during the workweek (weekends are a different story). Everyone has a different sleeping cycle, so whatever the amount of sleep you require may be, try to meet said requirement on the nights before you have a morning workout planned.

4) Have your workout ready:
Whether I'm going to work out for 30 minutes or three hours, I try to always have a plan ready so that I'm not confused once at the gym. I currently don't have a personal trainer or anything like that, so I just browse the interwebs for interesting workouts. There's a ton of resources available on Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest, my phone is filled with screenshots of different workouts.

5) Don't make excuses:
I usually workout 45 minutes to an hour in the mornings because that's how much time I have. There are some mornings though that I feel like I can't get up. On such days, I'll sacrifice 15 minutes of workout for 15 minutes of sleep, but I will NOT skip. Even if my lazy butt gets on an elliptical for 20-30 minutes, it's better than not going at all. I used to be a pro at making excuses, and I still might occasionally do it, but I realized that if you really want to make time for something then you will. Also there's a quote I read on pinterest that's pretty true, "you will never regret a workout". That is so true! Well, unless you get injured, but that's an extreme case :P

6) Snapchat it:
When you start telling people that you're going to the gym and start sharing it on social media (I prefer Snapchat because it's not all up in yo face), people tend to ask you about it and it makes me feel more accountable. The days that I skip, someone messages me and asks me if I'm ok. The days that I don't skip, I receive positive reinforcement which keeps me motivated. I also like to check-in on Swarm (previously Foursquare) when I'm at the gym, it motivates me to keep going so that no one steals my mayorship! That may sound really silly, but it works for me. Just make sure you don't become obnoxious with the amount of gym posts on social media...

7) Rest:
The first week I was super pumped that I made it to the gym 3 days in a row, but I rested on the fourth day to make sure that I don't overwork myself or get bored. Resting is also important for muscle development, at least that's what fitness and science people keep saying, so who am I to say no to sleep and object science! Some people like to take the weekend off, but for some reason I like to take Tuesdays (and sometimes Thursdays) off. I don't know why, but it just happened that way.

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