Early Bird Special

I’ve figured out a pretty great morning routine now that I’m student teaching.  Wake up, drink some water, complete my required reps for PLP-60 for the day, head downstairs and make scrambled eggs and prepare food, head upstairs to shower, and I’m out the door.  Yes, I get dressed first.

I don’t consider my PLP-60 work ‘training’, as much as it functions as a Neural Wake-Up or some early morning GPP.  Hell, even call it fasted cardio if you want to; all 5 minutes of it.  What I don’t consider part of my regular training is walking into the gym when it’s still dark, raining, and 48˚out.. That is not fun, but I did it this morning.

While I hate don’t prefer to lift right after waking up, I hate missing training sessions more.  Today called for some a schedule modification.  I’ll leave student teaching at approximately 3:30, and then work a 4:30-9:30 shift at my gym.  Factor in travel time, and training is out of the question, unless you wake up early.  5:45am alarm clock, I hate you.

After food prep for the day, a banana and some whey, I gathered my gear and left the house.  I was wide-awake by then and ready to sneak in a quick 6:30-7:30 lift before heading off to student teach.  After a 15 minutes of foam rolling, mobility/activation patterns, and  movement prep, this is what I accomplished:

In my first 12 minutes:

  • 4 x 5, Close Stance Low Box-Squats
  • 4 x 30, Band Pull-a-parts (1/2″ Perform Better Super Band)

Then in 20 minutes:

  • 5 x 3, Sumo Stiff Legged Rack-Pull (1st Pin) against a ½” Perform Better Super Band
  • 5x 12, TRX Inverted Row
  • 5 x 10, TRX Push-Up
  • *For both TRX Exercises I used Fat Gripz.  That sucked.

Then as a 12 minute Finisher:

  • 225lb Prowler Rope Row and Bear Crawl combo,
  • 20kg Kettlebell Clean & Press (5x) + Waiters Walk
  • The row looked a little something like this, but with two more 45lb plates:

After breaking down the sled, I hopped in the shower, stopped for coffee and an egg sandwich, and was ready to teach.  More importantly though, why the hell do you care about my early morning training session?

When I was leaping over puddles in the parking lot this morning, I stopped in the rain and looked around.  The parking lot was relatively empty.  I might have been the 10th car there.  I saw 3 people on treadmills when I walked in.  The gym opens at 5:45am, and I was there at 6:30; where the hell was everybody?!

Usually, people are waiting to get on a treadmill by 6:20, and the place is packed.  It wasn’t overly cold out, but I think it was the rain.  Perhaps we eat so much sugar as a culture that we’re actually made of sugar, and people stayed out of the rain so that they wouldn’t melt.  What the hell is that about?

I mentioned to one of the classroom teachers at my student teaching placement that it was waking up to train that early, but I felt great after the workout.  In fact, I’ve felt great all day.  I’ve written before about including a neural wake up in your morning routine, and I think it’s something that every one should do.  I’ve been using a relatively simple one for a while, and the PLP-60 program is usually my first activity once I’m out of bed, but today was the first morning in a while that I’ve trained.  Physical activity does not equal training.  Hoping out of bed and jumping around, or doing yoga, or bouncing around on a pogo stick is one thing.  Getting your mind set to work towards a goal is another.  Stop making excuses.

2 Replies to “Early Bird Special”

  1. I always wake up, eat, and go right to the gym to train. I love training first thing in the morning because it puts me in such a great mood for the rest of the day. When I start training other people shortly, I’m sure I’ll have to push back my workouts to later in the day, but that’s manageable. I’m okay with cardio in the evenings, but lifting completely wires me. It’s also much quieter at my gym in the mornings.

    1. Training late wires me too, Tara, so I try to train in the mid or late afternoon, but it’s not entirely practical during the week. I also like to eat and slowly wake up in the mornings, but I’d prefer to jump right into my training rather than not be able to fall asleep at the end of the night. I guess it’s a balancing act, but it’ll work for me for now. I just picked up a client between student teaching and my floor shifts on Thursdays, so it looks like those early mornings will become a pattern for me.

      Do you find that you’re able to complete all of your heavy strength training early in the morning? It’s probably just psychological, but I feel a little better after I’ve had at least one solid meal.

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