Early Morning Workouts

morning

“Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It’s the best part of the day.” – George Allen Sr. 

I haven’t always been a morning person. Over the years, I’ve had to make myself one. Now, my days just aren’t the same without starting with a good workout. Seriously.

More often than not, we push our workouts to later in the day. “I’ll do it tonight,” you tell yourself. Then, after a full day of responsibilities and tasks, you are worn out. You may still go to the gym – but your workout just isn’t reaching it’s full potential. Plus, evenings tend to be “peak hours,” what, with the, “Can I work in?” Yeah, no. After a long day of the struggle being real, sometimes the last thing I want to do is share my bench press. Just saying. The early bird gets the worm.

“Set a goal that makes you want to jump out of bed every morning” 

Early Morning Benefits

Every morning workouts have several advantages.

Keep it Quick There is no need to “kill it” every session. Unless you’re going for your IFBB Pro-Card, save the intense workouts for the weekend or your day off. Moderate exercise for 40 – 55 minutes three times a week is recommended. Stretching, a little cardio, free weights, mix it up.

Metabolism Boost Our metabolisms begin kicking into high gear when rising and peak around high noon. According to Metabolicclock.com “Think of your metabolism like a miniature sun. At sunrise it’s waking up, it gathers momentum and is at it’s peak at midday. Then it glides gently into sunset slowing down and resting.” The coffee memes are funny and all, but nothing beats a great session.

Accountability There is no, “I’m to busy” first thing in the morning. Once you make a personal goal and keep it – it feels good. Start small. I tell clients all the time, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” Work your way up to Rock star. Instead of “shoulda, coulda, woulda,” say, “I am.”

Accomplishment The rush from endorphin’s and dopa-mine leaves us with a sense of well being. A quick shower and change of clothes and you’ll be boardroom confident. People will love to hate you because you have so much energy, smile all the time, and walk around with your shoulders back. Own it.

For more early morning inspiration follow @jwilltrain Twitter.

6 AM8 PM Monday  Saturday

By Appointment

Wake Up, Kick Ass, Repeat.

Plateau Shmateau

Everyone gets frustrated from time to time, everyone. It is a human emotion. When it comes to exercising and working out – after first plunging feet first with passion and verve – we begin to see the telltale signs of progress. The too-legit-to-quit kind of progress. Then it seems to level off, reach a stalemate. We ask ourselves, “Wth?”

Plateau

Ain’t gonna steal my thunder

Every trainer, fitness enthusiast and self proclaimed gymrat has their own special way of explaining things. Without using a great deal of complex, scientific mumbo jumbo, I will begin by saying the human body is complex. It also has an amazing ability to adapt to whatever it is we are doing to it. NASM describes something known as SAID, or Specific Adaptations of Imposed Demands. “….our body gets better and more efficient the more it is exposed to the same stimulus.”

Sheer determination

Legend Frank Zane once said, “A lot of guys have better genes but if you work hard and consistently, you can outperform them.” Never one to enjoy being stuck  – nor do I know anyone that does – and also knowing the signs, once I feel like my progress begins to stall I consult my fitness rolodex to shake things up.

Shake it off

Tip one: Keep things simple. Sometimes the most basic of methods can be the most effective. Changing variables can be as easy as reversing the order of the exercises in your current routine. Structure and routine are good, however doing the same reps, for the same exercises, week after month gets dull – and your muscles think so too.

I am also a strong proponent of “muscle confusion”. YES, there is debate on this too. It seems everything is up for debate however this isn’t a soap box, it’s a place to try and share practical advice.

Whether it be my own workouts or a clients, I try to constantly target the muscles from different angles. Again, this can be as easy as adjusting a grip, a bench angle, or standing vs sitting. Once you master proper form – ramp it up.

To show how much things change, my very first exam instructed future trainers to not lecture, or suggest to clients what to eat. I am going to leave this one alone other than saying I’ve always believed diet and nutrition is crucial – and still do.

With some outside the-box-creativity combined with an eye-on-the-prize mentality, you’ll get over the plateaus, revitalize your workouts, and move forward.

6AM – 8PM Monday – Friday

By Appointment

 

MORE ON STATIC STRETCHING

Flexibility


If you’ve ever noticed, the fitness world is an ever changing world, and seemingly monthly there is a new break through. Some things though, remain as rock solid as the iron your pressing and curling.

Stretching


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First, think of your muscles like a rubber band. Now tie a knot in the middle of it. See what I mean? Wouldn’t it be grand to have a sports massage twice a week? For those who do, mad props to you. For those of us who do not, we’ll take all the relief we can, where we can get it, right? Right.

Basics

My motto in life: Keep it simple, keep it real. There are two (2) basic types of stretching.

  • Dynamic
  • Static

We know that a good warmup period pre-workout is important. Some are religous about their regimen. Post workout is another story and often times we, myself included) abruptly stop, shower, (hopefully) and go about our business.

Static stretching involves holding specific stretches for a longer period of time, (Typically 30 – 40 seconds) for optimum benefits. Over the years studies show that static stretching tends to be best suited for the end of a workout. Why?

According to Acefitness.org

“No pain, no gain is simply not true. Stretching shouldn’t hurt. Stretch to the point of mild discomfort. Try to find a balance of ease and effort in every stretch.”

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Take Away

Often we sit at desks for long periods of time, or for some, stand for long periods of time. Ah, the struggle is real. Flexibility is crucial to our success.

  • Reduced pain and stiffness
  • Improved Blood flow and circulation
  • Enhanced performance

So, the next time you knock that #beastmode workout out of the park, or come home for the day stiff as a tree, budget the time to streeeetch it out.

“Will is a skill” – Jillian Michaels

 

An amenity that promotes…

Amenity

  • CONFIDENCE  Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to walk into that morning meeting like they own the company? Or stroll along the lido deck like a #superstar? Maybe you are the CEO of a cruiseline and want to elevate tbings to the next level. Fact: Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins being those chemicals the body produces that stimulate receptors in the brain boosting confidence. Own them. 

Amenity

  • COMMUNITY “Birds of the feather…”. Why not surround yourself with like minded people. Other people with common interests and goals? People need people.

 

  • FUN It’s synonymous with community. 

“Laughter is an instant vacation” – Milton Berle

  • STRENGTH Merriam – Webster lists as part of this definition with: “the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way.” Conquering the daily grind and all it’s problems takes stamina and strength no matter who you may be. Stay determined. 

Amenity

  • HEALTH  “Health is wealth”. ‘Tis true. It’s more important than looking good on a vaca, or being mayor of the gym. Living life to the fullest and feeling good doing so is the name of this game. So what do you do?

Amenity

READY, SET

Perhaps you feel your workout room limited. On the surface, it may appear that way. Throughout the years, I’ve truly known some Mcguyver’s of the gym and they’ve inspired me to always think outside the box. There is always a takeway of some kind that I file away. I also believe that when you have access to such amenities you should take advantage of them.

If you are lucky enough to have this amenity a short elevator ride away, utilize it. There really is no excuse not to, is there? This Promaxima multi-gym has over two (2) dozen different moves and almost as many variations. Really?

Amenity

Really. Follow and find out.

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For random silliness Tweet: @jwilltrain