Pro Tips To Becoming A Morning Workout Warrior

By Kiera Smalls

 

Life happens. 

If you're someone who misses workouts due to unplanned work meetings, happy hours, oversleeping and plain laziness, then this is the post for you. We reached out to a few City Fit Girls, including trainers, instructors, and workout enthusiasts to get the inside scoop on how they manage to crush their workouts before the sun rises.

Read their tips to find out how you, too, can become a morning workout warrior.


"I set my health as a top priority, while still finding a balance to the rest of my day" - Millie Dorminy

Photo via City Fit Girls, Millie Dorminy, Certified Athletic Trainer for Temple University Hospital Orthopedics Departments

Photo via City Fit Girls, Millie Dorminy, Certified Athletic Trainer for Temple University Hospital Orthopedics Departments

"My main reason for working out in the morning is my busy schedule. The morning is “Millie-time” - my fiancé and dog are (typically) still sleeping, which means I can work out guilt or worry free. I don’t have to worry about saying no to an after work event, missing out on doggie walks, skipping dinner with friends, or not spending time with my fiancé.  By working out first thing in the morning, I set my health as a top priority, while still finding a balance to the rest of my day." - Millie Dorminy @phillie_millie

"My family has a history of being unhealthy and I know what it's like to be unhealthy and unhappy. I made a personal promise to myself to get healthy before 30 (I'm 29 now). With that in mind, I get up early every morning (4AM) and go to the gym because of my schedule and to get a good start to my day. When I feel like giving up and going back to sleep, I think back on the promise I made to myself and how I felt when I was unhealthy." - Jax Perez @applesjaxx

"On Wednesdays and Fridays, I'm motivated by the people at November Project.  I remind myself how sad I'll be that I didn't go (seriously nothing stokes the FOMO flames more than seeing photos from the workouts and knowing that I missed it).  On a general level, my morning workouts set the tone for an excellent day.  I feel better knowing that I kept my commitment to myself.  I never regret the workouts I do, only those that I skip, and I remind myself of that as I lie in bed, debating if I'm really about to drag myself out and go work out.  If I work out in the morning, I don't have to worry if I work late, or if I want to meet up with friends, or even just go home and relax."  - Sharon Ulak @fitgirl_philly

"Honestly, 5:30 - 6:30am is my favorite hour of the day for two reasons. First, I love being out in the city running when I feel like I'm getting a leg up on everyone who isn't awake yet. Second, I know there's nothing else I "should" be doing during that time; I'm not missing work, I'm not missing a phone call with my mom, I'm not missing doing the dirty dishes. Put those together and I have secret hour, where everyone else is snoozing, set aside for me and friends to catch up on easy miles, push each other on a track, or take a relaxing morning at yoga together. Then I start my day feeling like I already accomplished something!" - Kaelan Dickinson @kaelandenali


"Think longer term because you and your body are better than short term fixes" - Cindy Brown

Photo via Cindy Brown, CoreFitness Group Fitness Instructor in Philadelphia, PA

Photo via Cindy Brown, CoreFitness Group Fitness Instructor in Philadelphia, PA

"Think longer term because you and your body are better than short term fixes. Finding a connection with why you're doing it in the first place will help win the internal struggle when the alarm goes off and every part of you wants to stay cozy in bed. Have a purpose. It could be because your friend is counting on you to show up. Attach meaning to it and let that meaning empower you internally as you're building your body externally. I'd rather be a little tired but feel super happy having worked out than waste energy stressing all day about getting my workout done." - Cindy Brown @cfcindy

"Think about how much of a badass you'll feel like. Sometimes that internal dialogue of 'You're getting in all of these steps before most people wake up." was good motivation. If you need to wake up early to workout, know what your motivation is and then use it. I also found posting to social media helped me stay on track." - Emily Kund @emily1852

"The promise of alertness motivates me to move in the morning. Activities that get my blood flowing wakes me up more than coffee ever will." Jessica Peterson @iampetersson


"Before you go to bed, ask yourself, how bad do I want this?" - Jayel Lewis

Photo via Jayel Lewis, Personal Trainer in Philadelphia.

Photo via Jayel Lewis, Personal Trainer in Philadelphia.

"Get your priorities in order. Before you go to bed ask yourself, “how bad do I want this?” Don’t get me wrong, sleep is imperative to a quality workout regimen, but accomplishing something first thing in the morning leaves no room for excuses, and plus-you’ll still be a little sleepy and may not even remember it happened. "- Jayel Lewis @jayelllewis

"It gets better.  I am not a morning person at all, and waking up is never easy for me.  However, it gets easier and easier the more I do it.  Working out in the morning sets the tone for the rest of my day.  It makes me feel powerful, strong, and motivated, which is really the best way to feel when I'm going into work.  If anyone isn't sure how they can get into it, I'd strongly recommend finding a workout buddy.  Accountability systems are crucial for me, and when I have plans to work out with someone in the morning, I am a lot less likely to skip the workout and go back to sleep."  - Sharon Ulak @fitgirl_philly

"Set multiple alarms and name them - I usually put the name of the person who I am meeting or the group that I am going to. I also give myself more than enough time to actually get out of bed and get moving so that I'm not rushing. Sometimes I lay things out the night before depending on what time I go to bed. Having someone or some group to keep me accountable definitely helps." - Liz Pagonis @lizziep03


"Just like breaking a habit is hard, building one is hard too" - Kaelan Dickinson

Photo via Kaelan Dickinson, November Project Co-Leader: Washington, D.C 

Photo via Kaelan Dickinson, November Project Co-Leader: Washington, D.C 

"The hardest part about BECOMING a morning person is BECOMING one! Does that sound crazy? Just like breaking a habit is hard, building one is hard too. Promise yourself (and your accountability buddies!) that you'll push through the tough wake-ups until mornings become your habit. I always take time off after running a marathon, and when I come back to those early mornings I really have to push myself through two weeks of pulling myself out of bed when I just want to snuggle into the blankets. But once I'm through two weeks, my early morning habit is back and my mind and body are happier for it. Just a reminder early mornings can be a struggle for everyone!" - Kaelan Dickinson @kaelandenali

"Working out is a commitment. Some weeks your on your game, some weeks you go to SIPS and sleep through a Thursday a.m. sweat. During the summer especially, it's important to maintain a balance in your work life, social life, and fit life. Maybe it means going on a run with a friend at conversation pace or hitting a sculpt class before taco Tuesday. Personally, for my own mental health, I know I have to make time for exercise. Teaching isn't enough. Living in Fairmount, waking up early and hitting the Art Museum steps alone (for free!) gives me just enough pep in my step for the rest of my day. A lot of my friends say, "there aren't enough hours in a day," or "you don't get it you don't sit at a desk," but really, if you're committed to feeling good - you will make time. 

A workout first thing in the morning is better than a double-shot cortado or a bottomless acai bowl. When you start your day focused on making yourself feel better, you will take pride in the decisions you make the rest of the day. From shoe choice, to your brown bag lunch, EME's (early morning endorphins) can take you from a bad hair day to straight up Beyoncé. Slay."  - Kate DeGennaro @barelybrewed


Kiera Smalls is the Co-Founder of City Fit Girls. She also works full-time at Bicycle Transit Systems as one of the marketing managers for Indego bike share. Kiera is passionate about helping women reach their fitness and weight loss goals, especially beginners. 

Have your own tips and tricks to being a morning workout warrior? Share them in the comment section below!