How To Be A Morning Gym Person
I wanted to write this post from an honest place. I really did. I vowed to get back into being a consistent morning gymmer so I could write this with conviction. But if I’m being true to myself and all of you, I’m not there yet. In fact, I’m very far from it and it’s making me incredibly frustrated with myself. So, really this post isn’t just for you — it’s for me, too. In writing this, I’m going to remind myself why it’s great to go to the gym in the morning and pray to G it motivates me like it will you.
Let’s start at the beginning of my (now lost) love affair with morning gym. When I first started BBG in 2015, I realized the best time of day for me to go and crush my workout was the A.M. Not only was my then-gym’s classroom always empty that early (so I could setup shop and do my thing in privacy), but I also finally had the harsh realization that if I didn’t get it done in the morning, I wouldn’t get it done. Period. I came to grips with the fact that, no matter how solid my intentions were, how well my gym bag was packed, and how much I amped myself up throughout the day that, come 5pm, the last thing I wanted to do on this earth was workout and coming up with an excuse not to was the easiest thing in the world.
“I’ve had a long day.”
“Today was a day.”
“I feel sick from lunch.”
“I’m just so tired. I need to go home and lay down.”
“Honestly, I didn’t eat enough today and am starving. I should probably just head home and make dinner.”
“Happy hour, you say?! I told myself I wasn’t drinking this week but COUNT ME THE FUCK IN!”
“I really should go let Cece out even though I let her out at lunch and she’s completely fine.”
“Nope. Don’t wanna. I’ll go tomorrow morning (no I won’t).”
Once I was honest with myself about how poor of an afternoon gymmer I was, I knew I had no chance at being healthy and fit unless I owned the mornings, so I did. And I did it really well, y’all.
And by recently I mean pretty much this entire year.
I think somewhere between the end of the last year, transitioning off and then back onto anti-depressants, meeting my boyfriend in February (most honest and natural exercise distraction ever even though that makes no sense because it’s not like I’m hanging out with him at 7am on weekday mornings when I would be working out, but whatever you know what I mean), enjoying the summer a little too much and finally, getting this new job, my morning gym habit that I worked SO HARD to form got completely fucked up. Suddenly, missing workouts was as much as my routine as NOT missing them used to be, and my physique (and mental state) suffered. We all know that exercise is the first to go when it’s up against a schedule full of work, relationships, side hustles, and social time, and boy did it jump ship fast on me.
I’ve done some thinking on this though (does deep thinking count as exercise?) and believe I’ve figured out how and why things went so off the rails for me. It may seem silly, but I was single as all fuck the last three years, so from the time I started BBG until this past fall, pouring all of that extra energy into fitness came naturally. Putting so much weight on fitness (pun intended) gave me a healthy, proactive long-term goal to work toward and left me feeling pretty damn good about myself every day.
Now, I’m not saying relationships ruin your exercise routine. All I’m saying is, I don’t think we realize that we all have a max amount of energy we can expend to things in our lives, and that it’s only natural for that energy’s focus to shift from something major (fitness) to something else more major (love). But it all levels out eventually. The only problem is right when I was leveling off from the throes of new relationship magic fairy dust and was ready to get back to werk (about 6 months in), I got a new (amazing, incredible) job. Adjusting to new surroundings and exercising my brain all day every day has left me feeling dead to the world by 6pm, similar to that exhaustion you feel as a fresh post-grad at your first job. That deadness carries well into the night until I literally pass the fuck out because I’m so exhausted and on through the morning when I snooze my gym alarm 12 times until I’m running late for work.
IT’S A TERRIBLE PATTERN, Y’ALL.
But I’m tired of myself. I’m tired of being so far from where I was with my fitness routine. I KNOW how good it makes me feel. I KNOW what it does for my overall mental state. I KNOW that I literally never once have ever regretted a workout. Sure, I’ve regretted NOT going more times than I can count, but I can’t recall one time I ever thought to myself “UGH. I really wish I hadn’t worked out today. That was worthless and a waste of time. It definitely didn’t make me feel better.”
So, enough fucking around. I’ve canceled my LA Fitness membership in order to save (read: more than likely end up spending on clothes) $54 a month and am relying on the gym my new office building offers to get me back to who I used to be re: morning workouts. And that truly shouldn’t be very hard because it’s an extremely nice gym, equipped with everything I need PLUS a nice ass shower setup, which adds a layer of morning gym that I’ve never experienced before: getting ready AT the gym for work. This is something I’m not super accustom to; my old gym was 5 minutes away from my house, so I’d go, get disgusting, then head back home to make myself presentable. But my office gym offers a pretty clutch setup for primping post-gym which I’ve done a few times now and really enjoyed it.
WITH ALL THAT SAID, here are the tactics I’m going to employ to push myself back into morning gym. Feel free to use some, none, or all.
TACTIC 1: Tap into your shallow side
For me (and so many others), there’s nothing quite like newness to light a fire under your ass. Therefore, treating myself to bright, shiny, new gym gear is one of the ways I mentally get into PUMPED UP mode. It may be incredibly materialistic, but I know what I am and I accept it.
Look good, feel good as they say. So, even if you don’t feel that you look good just yet because you’re still struggling to get into an exercise routine, arming yourself with things that will propel you there can’t hurt. A fresh pair of kicks do wonders, and feel free to invest a few new pants, shorts, shirts, hats, sports bras, bluetooth headphones (which I swear by and have held up for a year and a half now) — what have you. I think it’s scientific fact that if you’re genuinely looking forward to an outfit, it makes putting that outfit on to wear for the purpose it’s for that much easier. Plus, you feel like a bad ass in new gym gear as opposed to wearing the same three t-shirts over and over and knowing you probably need new kicks but just haven’t gotten them yet. Also, if you’re like me and have the capability to get ready at your gym in the morning, a solid gym bag DOES WONDERS. I got a new one from my favorite bag line ever, Herschel, and packing it up has brought a joy into my life which I’ve never known. And that brings us to the next tactic.
TACTIC 2: BE PREPPED AS POSSIBLE
Convincing yourself to GTFO of bed in the morning is hard enough in and of itself, and it gets exponentially worse when you’re not only just getting up for work but the gym, too. It’s a little too easy to lay there and think about all the steps you have to take to get from point A (bed) to point B (gym), so doing yourself every favor possible the night before is imperative for your morning gym success.
If you’re just going to the gym then coming back home to get ready for the day, make sure your chosen motivational workout lewk is laid the fuck out the night before. Seriously, this small step that probably reminds you of childhood when your mom would help you lay out tomorrow’s school outfit the night before (no? Just me?) is a complete game changer. I’m talking every bit of your outfit down to the socks and headband you’ll be sporting. The more tiny pieces you lay out, the less you’ll have to think about when you finally roll out of bed and start awkwardly getting dressed in the dark.
Also, if you drink coffee and have an automatic coffee pot, I’d HIGHLY suggest setting it up the night before morning gym so the seductive aroma of life-juice fills your nostrils and floats you out of bed. I used to do this before I decided I only love french press, and it seriously helped. I know some people may find it ass backwards to drink a cup of coffee on your way to the gym, but to each their own. At least it’s not a Red Bull at 7 in the morning.
Now, if you DO have the capability to get ready at your gym and WANT to, having your gym bag packed the night before is essential. Don’t try and be a hero and pack it in the morning — you’re just asking for it at that point. I know it’s annoying to think ahead like this, but you’ve gotta do it (this post is quite literally me pumping myself up). I’ve found that having travel bottles full of shower stuff always at-the-ready and in my dop kit helps, and planning to wear something super basic or something I know works in order to avoid panicking about how an outfit comes together are both crucial steps to take re: preparation. When it comes to dealing with post-workout hair (because let’s be honest — that’s the biggest pain in the ass for any female gymmer), I’m not sure I can be much help because my curls make my situation very different. If I’m washing my hair at the gym, I’ll carry out this method I wrote about or if I’m just curling my curls, I’ll carry out the second part of this video. I know that doesn’t help, but I CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH.
TLDR: You can never be over-prepared for a morning gym visit.
TACTIC 3: CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY HOWEVER YOU CAN
So, here’s the deal. I’m not a group class person. I’ve never found a fitness method via group that I love enough to sign up for and spend money on. I prefer to workout independently, on my own schedule, and I know that’s extremely abnormal. Typically, the only way someone will go to the gym is if a friend goes with them or they’ve paid for it, have a seat in the class, and know they’re expected. For me, I rely on myself WHICH IS WHY I almost always post on my Instagram stories about going to the gym. That’s right — I’m not showing off. I’m literally posting evidence that I went for my own personal accountability. I don’t have a workout buddy — I have workout BUDDIES aka YOU GUYS. Thusly why I share my success of actually making it there and doing the damn thing so, even though you assuredly don’t give a shit, I convince myself you do because it makes me feel better. In desperate times, I’ve also employed those close to me to call my shit out. This doesn’t work super well since I keep my phone on Do Not Disturb throughout the night, BUT it does in the sense that when that gym alarm goes off in the morning darkness, I’m almost guaranteed to see a text from a friend asking if I’m up and instantly feel accountability guilt. Like I said — create accountability however you can and wherever you can find it.
TACTIC 4: BE YOUR OWN CONSTANT REMINDER
At the end of the day (er, start of the day?), no matter how many cute new gym clothes you have, how prepared you are, or how many accountability buddies you’ve accrued, actually getting it done comes down to you and only you. I know — it sucks. It’s sort of like when you go from having roommates to living alone and suddenly realize that dishes, trash, and general cleaning all depend on you and no one else. It’s a lot of responsibility to say the least. The strongest tool you have in motivating yourself to get to the gym are your own thoughts, so here are the top two I keep in mind and constantly remind myself of:
You never regret a workout.
If you don’t do it now, you won’t do it later.
Seriously, I repeat those mantras to myself constantly because they’re both indisputable truths for me. I ALWAYS feel 10x better and so pleased with myself after a workout, and I know something will come up by the end of the day that completely derails an evening workout attempt. So get it done now. Today. This morning. Go in there, power through, and feel the absolute pinnacle of joy of knowing IT’S ALREADY DONE. YOU GOT IT OUT OF THE WAY! THAT’S IT! NO MORE FOR THE REST OF THE DAY AND YOU’RE HEALTHIER AND FITTER FOR IT.
WOO! I am feeling reborn, refreshed, and ready* to get back into the morning gym routine. ARE YOU?!?
We can do this, guys. We have to because it truly is the best and most effective way to start your day. Get up, get it done, get to living, ya feel? Sorry in advance for my “AT THE GYM!” posts, but now you know why they happen and I hope you’ll continue being my accountability buddies whether you like it or not.