Starter’s Guide

Our five-point plan will boost your energy and help you get the most out of your morning workout.

By Matt Tuthill

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 stuffed from a long day. The alternative? Getting in that workout before heading to the office. But you’re not a “morning person”, you say. Stop whingeing 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 strength coach Martin Rooney. “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 morning 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, get up.” Before long, it’ll become a habit.

3) TAKE A CONTRAST SHOWER

After a well-rounded breakfast, such as eggs and porridge, 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 performance-enhancement specialist. “You need something to excite your nervous system and major muscle groups.” Try burpees instead. From a standing position, squat and touch your hands to the floor. Then, shoot your legs out behind you so you end up in a push-up position. Reverse the motion quickly as you come back up. Continue for 15 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and repeat for five minutes.

5) CAFFEINATE

Although the original pre-workout supplement comes in many forms, including coffee and tea, Rooney recommends taurine (an amino acid linked with greater alertness)  as well.

An energy shot such as NO-Xplode combines doses of caffeine and taurine along with B vitamins, which are also proven mental and physical energy-boosters.