It can seem impossible to get up early in the morning to workout before the rest of the day begins. However, when you do it is unbelievable rewarding. Not only are you starting your day off with a load of endorphins, you are saving time during the afternoon or evening that can be spent with family or friends, driving your kids from one place to another, or simply guilt-free time on the couch binge watching your favorite show.
Joining the early morning workout crew at CKO Kickboxing GR is a personal goal of mine. Completing my workout early in the morning allows for more time in the evening to clean around the house, make a nice dinner, or take our dog to the park. This is especially nice for my husband and I as we adjust to life as a newly married couple. Also and admittedly, I love telling people when I attend a boxing class at 5:30am or 6am in the morning. People are instantly impressed (#braggingrights).
I sought out CKO trainer, Tony Deakin, to see how he gets up early in the morning and kills his workouts. He offers us 8 tips on how we can join the morning crew with him:
Tip #1 Set an Alarm
Tip #2 Prepare the Night Before
Tip #3 Do NOT Hit Snooze
Tip #4 Eat Breakfast
Tip #5 Give it your all!
Tip #6 Wake up with a Shower
Tip #7 Stick with it!
Tip #8 Arrive to Class Early
Early morning workouts can be difficult to wake up for, but with the help of Tony’s 8 tips on joining the morning crew, we hopefully all will be attending an early morning class soon! Make sure you are prepared the night before, wake up with a shower and light breakfast, arrive early to class, give it everything you have on the heavy bag, and most importantly, stick with it!
Having an accountability buddy is an amazing way to get and keep motivated when pursuing your health and fitness goals. It is truly great to have someone who pushes you to keep going even when you feel like giving up! Bravo to those partnerships that have stood the test of time and keep proving out.
Accountability partners, however, are primarily about motivation, and they help you to establish a habit. The habit itself, partner or not, is what keeps you going. We may go through periods of time where our schedules are crazy, days and times we work out are inconsistent, and we just do not have time to keep in touch with another busy bee consistently. Or, maybe your accountability partner is unable to uphold their end of the encouragement and accountability.
Both scenarios have happened to me multiple times. I have reached the decision point where I need to be my own accountability buddy. I love surrounding myself with people who motivate me, but I know that people’s lives are busy and are constantly changing. The one constant you have in the situation is yourself. Here are tips on how you can be your own accountability partner:
Have a strong “why”
Why are you doing this? What are you trying to achieve? What will get you up every single day and say I need to do this? If you don’t have a strong “why”, you won’t have a fervent desire to maintain a fired-up focus or the push to make you someone else’s or your own accountability partner. Find your “why” and write it down. Display it somewhere in your bedroom. Program it in your alarm description.
Create a Fitness Account
Create a fitness account on Instagram and/or Facebook to document your health and fitness journey. Use this as a source of “checking in” on a regular basis. Snap a picture of your meals, take a shameless gym selfie, or share an inspiring quote. I have an Instagram account (@stephleigh_fitness) where I share my health and fitness progress and, of course, human struggles encountered along the way. I’m also able to find encouragement from the numerous health and fitness accounts I follow; we’ll call them silent accountability partners!
For some people, it helps to keep track of their exercise expedition by journaling about it. There are several ways you can effectively do this. One way is to simply log what you did for your workout and what you ate that day. Another way would be to share snippets about your day and use it in a similar way that you would use a diary. These are just two suggestions of how to use a journal to help keep you accountable, but the beauty of journaling is that you can use it however you want-make it your own!
Get Involved in a Community
This one is important to me. I have found that while I do not currently have an accountability buddy, being involved in a community focused on believing, achieving, and conquering fitness goals has pushed me further than I would ever do alone! CKO Kickboxing Grand Rapids is more than a place I go to exercise on a regular basis; It is a gym filled with encouraging trainers and inspiring fellow kickboxers. Their energy and consistency continually motivate me to attend classes and work even harder to reach my goals.
Having a pal on the heavy bag next to mine can be incredibly motivating and a lot of fun too; However, it doesn’t always work for everyone or all the time—especially when you need an extra push to hustle for that muscle. When you don’t have a pal to keep you accountable, remember: You have yourself and there are things you can do to be your own accountability partner because the way you train should ultimately be the way you live
It’s bound to happen. One day you’ll begin your workout session and just not feel it. You’ll slug through it and finish feeling no more accomplished than when you started. Sure, there is no such thing as a bad workout, but that doesn’t help when you fall short of your own expectations.
A less-than-stellar workout happens to all of us, but there are measures you can take to ensure you have more of the energized kind which will leave you amped for the next one. Here are six lifestyle-based action steps to help you maximize your fitness potential.
Hydrate to regulate.
This is a no-brainer. You literally need water to perform at life, so of course you need it to fuel you regardless if the effort is high intensity interval-based or steady state-based. In addition to, you know, keeping you alive, water is a lubricant for your muscles, joints and vital organs. It primes your body for physical exertion and helps regulate your body temperature when you are heating things up in a hardcore HIIT workout. Be smart, though. Make sure you are steadily consuming water throughout the day instead of chugging right before a workout.
Fuel your mind and body.
We’re talking food here. The right kind of food can set you up for a spectacular workout. The wrong kind will leave you feeling bloated or sluggish. Stay away from added sugars and salts; avoid heavy meals right before a workout. Like chugging water, scarfing food won’t mix well with physical activity. This is where natural snacks come in handy. Fruits, vegetables and nuts will provide you with an energy boost from quality nutrients, like fiber and protein. When it comes to meals, think of your food as something which will help fuel and repair the body. Focus on whole grains, lean meat, lots of fruits and vegetables, and protein-filled foods like legumes, nuts, leafy greens, seeds, and tofu.
Wear gear that moves with you.
Choose clothes which will work with you, not against you. Think about the kind of activity you are doing and research the best options for that workout. Your clothes and shoes should allow you to move freely, provide stability where you need it, wick moisture, and not ride up. The right clothing will keep you in beast mode when you need it most.
Envision goals for mental prep.
If you’re not in the mood for your workout, it’s probably going to suck. Do whatever you can to convince yourself it’s going to be awesome and moves you a degree closer to your fitness goal(s). Find a motivational quote or mantra and set it on mental repeat. Envision what you will look and feel like with your fitness goals achieved. Find that perfect pump-up jam and blast it to get you in the zone. Whatever you need to do to get you into beast mode, do it.
Determine the best time to work out.
Some people perform their best in the morning hours, while others get top results in the evening. The very best time to work out is that time which is right for you. Sample various times and pick the one where you feel strongest and most energized. We have a winner!
Be kind to yourself.
You’re not going to kill it every time. Each workout is a step toward a better you, so bear in mind your humanness. Do your best and enjoy the experience. Fitness is a journey where a hard-and-fast destination is always just out of reach.
Combine all these tips to maximize your fitness potential and get your best workout ever. Some – like modifying your diet – will take various levels of effort to sustain, but once you start incorporating these tips, they will become ingrained into your routine, and you won’t even have to think twice about them. In fact, they will shape you (both mentally and physically!) for years and years to come.