From the ages of 22 to 27, I worked 70+ hours a week as a full-time fitness professional — personal training 12 clients/day, teaching 15 group fitness classes and managing a university fitness center. I loved it. But what I didn’t love (besides the fact that I had no time to start my online business) was … the freaking early hours!
Fitness happens before work and after work, so my first client was always at 6am, last one at 7:30pm. And for all those years, I set my alarm for 4:15am in order to get to the gym by 5am to get in my workout before my first client.
Looking back, I used the most ridiculous (and really non-scalable!) approach to getting out of bed in the morning. Everyone knows that when the alarm goes off, the only thing you can think is, “I can’t wait to go to bed tonight!” then you peel yourself out of bed and the first 15 minutes are the worst. After that, well, it gets better but man, it is hard!
Enter my “3-2-1 approach.” Mind you, this would NEVER work for me now, but back then, for whatever reason — call it OCD or some kind of weird superstitious ritual — it always worked. The alarm would go off (for the last time) and I would turn it off, and then slowly count down, in my head … 3 …. 2 …. 1. And for whatever reason, like magic, I’d get up at 1!
This is not a recommended approach, ha! But when I asked JillFit Ambassador Ink Young, who has struggled with getting out of bed in the morning in the past, to share her own story and the techniques that she used to turn it around for herself — and which she outlines in her 14-Day Lifestyle Jump Start to Become a Morning Exerciser, aka #GYAOOB (Get Yo Ass Out Of Bed) — she gave me some great, useful techniques to share with you all in today’s guest post.
How to get yo ass out of bed and become a morning exerciser — take it away, Ink!
Enjoy! Ox, Jill
I know from both my personal experience and working with hundreds of clients that one of the easiest ways to fit fitness in your life is to #GYAOOB. We know this intuitively, don’t we? But it’s hard. But we also know that if we don’t get up, many things will simply NOT happen. Like workouts, healthy eating, stress management and list goes on and on. An early start often sets the tone for the day.
What can you create in your life by having extra 30 minutes in your day? What would it feel like to start your day by taking time for YOU?
Over the years in my work with clients, I have been able to see what works and what doesn’t. Small changes bring big results when implemented consistently and with kindness to oneself. Adopting a morning exercise habit is a HUGE game-changer for many women to get results and feel better about themselves.
There are various benefits into being a morning exerciser. Here are just few of them:
- Improved sleep AT NIGHT as a result of exercising in the morning. Note that sleep is one of the major players when it comes to successful fat loss.
- Better control of appetite through improved hormonal balance.
- More success at exercising consistently. Not many things can get on a way of your workout when you train first thing at the morning. Say goodbye to scheduling conflicts!
- Jump-starting your metabolism. You’ll be burning more fat throughout the day, just by getting your body started first thing at the morning.
- Ability to make better food choices daily, and improved mindfulness around how you are fueling your body with those choices.
- Workouts will never take time away from the kids or family as everyone is still sleeping. This leads to reduced stress about family schedules. Yes to that! :)
All that from doing just ONE thing! #GYAOOB for the win.
But this is so hard, isn’t it? We use excuses like “no time” and “no motivation” and “no childcare” to keep us in the no-morning-exercise routine, while we’ll also oftentimes skip at night for the same reasons — “no energy” or “too tired” or “no motivation.” So could you see that it’s the same story regardless — the outcome is often the same — so why not work to become a morning exerciser?
Are you one of these 4 morning people?
During my years of working with clients, I have identified 4 different types of areas of struggle as it comes to the morning exercise and #GYAOOB.
You may see yourself in any one of descriptions below, and I want to assure you that there is no right or wrong way for you to be. It’s just where you are at the moment. This might be your starting point, AND it does not mean that you cannot choose to change it. Because you absolutely can.
Four types of morning exercise struggles, their possible causes and some key actions to move forward:
Type 1: The Sleeper
These individuals have difficulty getting up at the mornings because they may not have slept well, feel overtired and regardless of their best intensions, they just cannot get up. Sleepers’ struggles are usually stemming from one or a combination of the following lifestyle areas: sleep (ironically ;)), stress and/or nutrition. Sleepers may think they are sleeping great but the truth is that they may not be getting a quality rest that they need. Stress and the management of it often also plays a big role, as does the nutrition and fueling appropriately to feel energized.
Key actions for sleepers are to start small and gradually get up earlier and earlier, and incorporate some kind of movement that is enjoyable.
Type 2: The Doer
These individuals can get up early and even when they have the best intentions of working out, they lose their workout time to competing tasks. So they are up BUT never actually exercise.
Doers often pack a great lunch and snack for everyone else except for themselves. Doers would like to take the time to exercise but often their struggles stem from trying to balance their personal time and the time that taking care of family, work, household and other responsibilities takes from them. This leaves very little time for themselves. Nutrition needs to be easy and doable for Doers and often Doers are not incorporating enough restorative activities to their week.
Key actions for Doers are to practice shortcuts by finding easier ways to accomplish all their tasks and getting organized the night before. Doers also benefits from incorporating effective exercise routines and they need simple nutrition options.
Type 3: The Mover
These individuals are up and moving AND working out BUT they are NOT seeing any body change as a result of their efforts. They have been working out at the mornings for a while — sometimes years — but have not lost any weight or have attained their fitness goals. Their missing results are often caused by the lack of appropriate intensity and the lack of varied approach to the movement and restorative activities. Movers may find themselves doing the same exercise routine over and over out of habit, and staying comfortable rather than challenged. Movers’ missing link may also be a nutritional approach that is not supporting their workouts and goals.
Key actions for movers are to take a hard look at their workout intensity and nutrition to fuel their workouts.
Type 4: The Pro
These individuals have perfected the art of #GYAOOB and are working out consistently. Their biggest struggle is changing their workouts to prevent boredom and to continue to see results.
If the pros find themselves struggling, it is often because of the boredom of their current routines OR the lack of variety on their workouts to bring results. Pros can also struggle as a result of being in a “food rut”. They may have followed a meal plan to get results and have not yet found their own unique & effortless way of eating to fuel their activity.
Key actions for Pros are to make sure to incorporate variety in their workout schedules and make sure their nutrition is supporting their specific fitness goals in fat loss or muscle building.
The good news is these struggles serve a purpose. They the there to shine a spotlight on where we still have some work to do. They are there to help us practice our perfect and forever way to get results. I have in my work with clients seen Sleepers, Doers and Movers become Pros. And I have seen the Pros find their effortless and unique approach.
So if you feel like you could never be a morning exercisers, I can tell you that it is not true. Anyone can become a morning exerciser and achieve their best body and life just by focusing on this one habit, identifying their current causes of struggles and choosing to practice key actions over time. Consistency with small behaviors over time add up to big successes!
Start with these tools and do your best! Or dive right in with my the 14-day #GYAOOB coaching course. Good luck! XO, Ink
Ink’s $17 #GYAOOB course (+ 2 bonuses!) is available through THIS SATURDAY Sept 27th ONLY! It’s an insane deal for awesome info and daily coaching via email for the duration of the 14 day program. Grab it before it’s gone!