For some, the best part of waking up is hitting the snooze button and going right back to sleep. For us mere cozy-blanket-warm-bed-loving mortals, finding ways to get out the door in time for a pre-sunrise workout class can become a brutal competition, pitting your goals against your tired brain.
Yet group fitness instructors and personal trainers seem to wake up with a spring in their step, a sparkle in their eye and a natural caffeine boost streaming through their system before the first songbird has even chirped. Their high-energy enthusiasm and go get 'em attitude can be more infuriating than infectious if you're still wiping the sleep from your eyes, but what if there was a way to steal their secrets to being chipper in the pre-dawn hours? Trainers and fitness pros aren't all morning people—they've just trained their bodies to never say snooze, and you can do the same.
Discover how SoulCycle instructors, celebrity trainers, group fitness leaders and yogis motivate themselves to rise with the sun and get on your own path to early morning embrace.
The Early Bird Gets the Gains
Chris Pepe, SoulCycle Georgetown 7 a.m. Instructor
I set a lot of alarms—about 20, all at different times with different sounds, having them get more and more unpleasant sounding as it gets later into the morning. I also make sure to switch them up after a good deal of time. If you are used to waking up to the same sounds for months in a row, you will get a bit too used to it, and more easily sleep through it.
Juliana Mitchell, Director of Living Now Yoga, gets moving at 6 a.m.
I "set" my mind at the same time I set my alarm. On my phone my early morning alarm is literally named "hells yeah!" Setting my alarm at night, I see those words and I smile about the energy of them. In the morning, the alarm goes off and I see them again. It creates a vibe, an energy. My tip? Simply name your alarm on your phone. You could make it "thriving and strong!" or "living my powerful goals." Whatever gets you jazzed. Get your mind jazzed, then find ways to re-jazz it. Again and again for the rest of your life.
Abrea Arnold-Wooten, Signature Programming Manager at Life Time, first class at 8:30 a.m.
I've got a simple motto: "Refuse to snooze!" I know I'm more apt to get to a pre-scheduled workout over just a weight floor or piece of equipment. A group fitness class, personal training session or small group becomes a standing appointment and I know I need to get there by a certain time. There's no sense of urgency to get to my own free-flow workout session in the gym, so I tend to delay or make more excuses in that situation.
Brooke Taylor, Personal Trainer, rises and shines at 5:50 a.m.
Was I always an early riser? No! Did my body become accustomed to it over time? Yes! I typically will dice up some fresh vegetables the night before for a quick omelet or prepare some egg muffins at the start of the week. This makes it easy to reheat while I am washing my face and changing for the day.
"Bring your girl squad."
Sarah Ann Kelly, Mom Trainer Blogger whose day starts at 5 a.m.
Bring your girl squad. My moms who come to my early morning classes bring their friends. It's a great excuse to have some girl time, and you'll be more likely to show up if your friends are counting on you!
Ashley Roddy, AFAA-Certified Group Fitness and 5:30 a.m. Boot Camp Instructor
Visualize the rest of the day. When you get a good workout completed in the morning, you'll have fewer distractions as you go about your day. I also find that being up before most people makes me feel like I have an edge on getting things done, and I'm much more motivated to tackle other tasks. Visualizing your day before you even go to bed can also keep you from thinking of your morning workout as optional.
Bree Branker, 8 a.m. IMAXShift Master Instructor
Getting up at 5 or 6 a.m. to do cardio is a special skill, to say the least. Anything and everything helps. I am obsessed with the song feature in my alarm. I change it often, to whatever song I'm particularly jamming out to lately. Right now, my alarm is "Perfect Strangers" by Jonas Blue. By the time I realize I'm not dreaming and it's time to get out of bed, I'm not as jarred or shocked out of a deep sleep by an abrasive alarm.
"I used to set the alarm right before bed, but I was finding it stressful to be reminded how early I was getting up. It's all psychological!"
Jessica Sanders, ACE-Certified Personal Trainer, bright eyed at 6 a.m.
Set up a post-workout reward, something that you really want like a yummy breakfast, an iced coffee from your favorite coffee shop or something else. It will give you something to look forward to when you would rather just stay in bed.
Jennifer Dene, Celebrity Pilates Instructor, up and at 'em at 4:30 a.m.
What helps me get going in the morning is actually what I do the night before. I set my alarm immediately after dinner, and place it far away from my bed so that I will have to get out of bed to turn it off. I used to set the alarm right before bed, but I was finding it stressful to be reminded how early I was getting up. It's all psychological! This also stops me from using my phone late at night, which is really beneficial for winding down at the appropriate time.
Robin Gillespie, Fitness Professional, trains clients starting at 5:30 a.m.
I use a good, old-fashioned alarm clock that does not have a snooze button in my bathroom. When it goes off, I have to get up to turn it off and there is a glass of water next to it for my first hydration of the day.
Scott Fishman, Professional Coach and Founder of Team All-American, starts inspiring at 6 a.m.
A morning routine filled with gratitude is the key to getting up for early workouts. Keep a window slightly open in your bedroom so the sun helps you wake up. Set your alarm to an uplifting, positive song. Do not hit snooze. Practice makes permanent—get in the habit of not snoozing and it gets easier. Close your eyes and do some breathing in silence, then look yourself in the mirror and say, "I'm grateful to be alive. I'm happy. I'm successful." Say it like you mean it. If you can convince yourself that these positive habits are what you need (because they are), then you will stick to your new routine. Tell yourself repeatedly that these great habits make you happy, and you'll be eager to jump out of bed every morning!
Do you have a morning tip that guarantees you're out of bed with the sun? Share it in the comments!
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