Six Ways Get Yourself Out of Bed in the Morning for a Workout

Can you tell I'm not a morning person? (J. Johnsen)
Getting out of bed in the morning is hard. Bed is warm, soft, comfortable, secure, and can be so difficult to leave, especially when it's for a grueling workout. When the alarm goes off, it's hard not to come up with a million reasons not to get up.

It's still dark. Who in their right mind gets up when it's dark? Better yet, I got six hours of sleep. That's not healthy. Or even, I can stay in bed for five more minutes. Just five more.

It's true; only crazy people get out of bed when it's dark, it isn't healthy to run on six hours of sleep, and I probably could spare five more minutes. Regardless, it is possible and healthy to get out of bed for a morning workout. Most of us have a lot to manage, and sometimes, an early morning wake-up call is our only option. To help me drag myself out of my warm cocoon in the morning, I've found these six techniques particularly helpful. 

Make smart decisions the days and nights before. No one wants to get up at 5:30am or earlier when they've gone to bed at 1am. It just doesn't make sense. Even if you are able to get up with only four hours of sleep, you're not going to perform well and you can't sustain a schedule like that. Keep everything in balance, and make decisions that allow you to get the rest you need.

Don't give yourself permission to snooze. I'm not sure why the snooze button was invented. It's evil, and we all know it. For those of us who are snooze button addicts, it can be difficult not to succumb to the allure of just five more minutes. But what will those five minutes get you? They won't make it any easier to get up and they could turn into a lot more than five. If the latter happens, then you've got the associated guilt of skipping whatever you had planned. Bottom line - snooze is bad. 

Tell at least two people what you're planning. No one likes to feel as though they've let someone down. Making a commitment to others is a great way to stay motivated to stick with your plan. Tell at least two people just in case the first person you tell is too willing to cut you slack. If one of those people happens to be a workout buddy or a trainer/coach, even better. I've developed a habit of sending notes to my Crossfit coach (Joe) the night before early morning workouts. Then, my commitment is in writing. Accountability to others can be as motivating as accountability to yourself. 

Give yourself a cookie. Not necessarily an actual cookie, but some sort of reward for accomplishing what you set out to do. It might be a midday nap, a happy hour rendezvous with friends, or simply knowing you've got the entire day ahead of you once you're done. For me, if I'm having a tough time getting going, I promise myself a latte from my favorite coffee shop. It might not sound like much, but a high quality cup of joe is a perfect reward. It also means I'll have the whole night free, which can make planning time with friends a lot easier.

Try to make it a habit. This is tough one, but if it makes sense for you to get up at the same time every morning, do it. Humans are creatures of habit, and the more we're able to train ourselves to develop the habits we want, the better. Though it doesn't make sense for me to get up at 5:30 every morning, just the mornings I have workouts planned, I still try to stick to some semblance of a schedule.

Remember why you're doing it. This one is my personal favorite. Whether it's a run, a long bike ride, a Crossfit WOD or a completely different workout, you're not just doing it to torture yourself. You have things you want to accomplish, and once you get going, it might be fun! Forcing yourself to do things that are difficult can be fantastic mental training. Remind yourself of that as soon as the alarm goes off. I know that every workout makes me stronger, and that strength will come in handy for the next day. It's also one of the only hours of the day I don't think about anything else, and that mental break is incredibly important.

Do you have a particular technique that makes it easy for you to get out of bed in the morning?


Jill, Head Geargal said…
Sometimes I look forward to coffee so much that I go to bed early so I can get up earlier and have coffee. I have yet to turn this into an early morning workout though.
Katie L. said…
I'm with you! I've gotten up at 5:20am instead of 5:30 to make sure I have time for coffee before the workout...but only once so far!
Teresa Bruffey said…
I seem to only be able to get up early these days if I set 3 alarms and scatter them around my room. My clock radio w/ an evil snooze button is within head-on-the-pillow reach but with my phone's alarm on in the NW corner of my room, and my watch alarm in the NE corner of my room, I'm forced to get up to turn those off. Its pretty sad that it takes 3 alarms to get up...But it works most of the time unless i trip over my feet on my way out of the room and fall back into bed. :)
Katie L. said…
Hey, as long as it works for you! I definitely agree that putting alarms out of reach is key. Thanks for sharing!
@jessicamacho said…
Yes, yes, and YES. "Make smart decisions the night before" is my tried-and-true method. This even involves setting bedtimes (as if I'm back in the 2nd grade.) If I know I have a 6am workout then I know bedtime is no later than 10pm to get a full 8 hours. :)

I couldn't agree more with your point about making it a habit. When I'm coming back from vacay, I will designate a whole week for just getting to bed on time and waking up on time.

I think it feels SO good to knock out a workout first thing in the morning. Well... it feels good once the workout is over with! :)
Are we on the same wavelength with this? I posted about this exact same thing yesterday, too! (Great minds really *do* think alike!) :) 

Great post and great points. 
Katie L. said…
I saw that! We actually posted it at about the same time, too :) I loved reading yours; it has your particularly wonderful sense of humor. Great minds :)
Katie L. said…
Setting bedtime is hard, especially when there are fun things to do that keep you awake! But yes, it feels SO good when it's over, and really sets the tone for the whole day. Perhaps I'll pay Crossfit Love an early morning visit tomorrow :)