Training after you go to work can mean hitting the gym at peak hours and not getting the equipment you need. Or, waiting until late at night when you’re smoked from a long day. The other alternative? Getting in that workout before heading to the office. But you’re not a “morning person,” you say. Stop your bellyaching and learn how to bring it at the crack of dawn.
1/ GET A DEEP SLEEP
“Pack your gear the night before and sleep in a dark, cool room,” says Martin Rooney, a strength coach and COO of the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, NJ. “That means shutting off all light sources. No TV, no computer, no phone.” Throw a T-shirt over your alarm clock so you can hear it in the a.m., and the light won’t bother you.
2/ DON’T HIT SNOOZE
“The extra 15 minutes of sleep you get isn’t deep or high quality,” Rooney says. “When the alarm goes off, just get up.” Before long, it will become a habit.
3/ TAKE A CONTRAST SHOWER
After a well-rounded breakfast, like eggs and oatmeal, hop in the shower and alternate the temp. Spend 30 seconds under hot water and 15 seconds with it ice cold. Repeat until you feel wide awake. Allow around 30 to 60 minutes for digestion before training and make sure to drink a glass of water.
4/ USE A DYNAMIC WARM-UP
Step away from the treadmill, says Charlie Cates, a Chicago-based performance enhancement specialist. “You need something that’s going to excite your nervous system and major muscle groups.” Try burpees instead. From a standing position, squat down and touch your hands to the floor. Then shoot your legs out behind you so you end up in a pushup position. Reverse the motion quickly as you come back up. Continue for 15 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and repeat for five minutes.
The original preworkout supplement comes in many forms, including coffee and tea. But Rooney recommends taking L-Tyrosine (an amino acid linked with greater alertness) as well. An energy shot such as 5-Hour Energy combines megadoses of caffeine and L-Tyrosine along with a boatload of B vitamins, which are also proven mental and physical energy boosters.