4 Morning Practices Personal Trainers Employ to Energize Their Workouts
If you’ve ever attempted to break a routine, you’re well aware of the immense influence it holds. Even the most minute actions and choices can shape the trajectory of your entire day. They have the ability to influence your interactions with loved ones, impact your concentration and drive, and even bolster or diminish your workout performance.
To gain insight into which habits can effectively support your fitness objectives, we sought advice from individuals whose very profession relies on their seemingly limitless energy: personal trainers. We conducted a survey on their morning habits and routines, and gathered their perspectives on various aspects, ranging from their coffee rituals to energizing playlists, and even their stance on the controversial snooze button. Here’s what they had to share.
Preparing the Night Before
For Todd Buckingham, a triathlete, exercise physiologist, and coach, his morning workout serves as a sacred routine.
“When I wake up, I simply get out of bed, get dressed, and begin my workout, whether it involves swimming, cycling, or running. I don’t have any specific rituals right after waking up. I don’t consume coffee, nor do I listen to music. I just rise and commence,” he reveals to SunValleySports.com.
However, Buckingham’s morning regimen actually commences hours before his alarm clock sounds.
“I ensure that I retire to bed early enough to secure at least seven hours of sleep—most of the time—so that I’m fully prepared for the following day. Additionally, I lay out all the attire and equipment required for my morning workout, eliminating any concerns upon awakening when fatigue still lingers. As a triathlete, there can be a substantial amount of equipment involved,” he explains.
Avoid the Temptation of Snooze
If you’re accustomed to setting multiple alarms, often oversleeping, and finding yourself consistently five minutes behind schedule, Chicago-based personal trainer Wesley Showalter, CSCS, offers some advice: Resist the snooze button. “Once my alarm goes off, I never succumb to hitting snooze. When I’m up, I’m up,” he shares with SunValleySports.com. “In reality, those extra five or ten minutes won’t make a difference. You won’t enter REM sleep or deep sleep. However, you’re likely to feel stressed as you rush to compensate for lost time, and that can negatively impact the tone of your morning and even your workout. I prefer not to start my day that way.”
By rising promptly, Showalter ensures he has time for at least three minutes of focused breathwork and his gratitude journaling practice, where he jots down three things he’s grateful for, three ways he intends to make the day great, and one affirmation.
“It may sound cheesy, but it’s a fantastic way to begin the day,” he adds. “Furthermore, avoiding the immediate urge to check your email or browse Instagram upon waking up is beneficial because often these activities can trigger a fight-or-flight response and make you anxious about the day ahead.”
Showalter emphasizes that practicing good sleep hygiene makes it easier to resist the snooze button. He maintains a consistent bedtime (usually between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., ensuring he wakes up by 5:00 a.m.) and refrains from sleeping in on weekends. He also ensures his last caffeinated beverage is consumed at least eight hours before going to bed.
Start with Making Your Bed
Shortly after waking up, typically between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m., Mathew Forzaglia, NFPT-CPT, founder of Forzag Fitness, initiates his morning with a seemingly simple habit that yields significant results.
“The first thing I do after turning off my alarm is make my bed,” he explains to SunValleySports.com. “Accomplishing this straightforward task sets the tone for the day and instills a sense of accomplishment. From that point onward, every moment of my morning becomes purposeful.” After making his bed, he proceeds to shower, get dressed, and then sits at his kitchen table with a cup of coffee.
“For approximately 15 minutes, I bask in the tranquility of the early morning while setting my intentions for the day,” he shares.
Forzaglia subsequently enjoys a light breakfast as he checks his emails, packs his backpack (prepared the night before), and sets out for the day.
“I believe that my morning routine contributes to my energy levels because not only do I nourish my body with proper foods that make me feel good and provide energy for the day, but aligning my mindset and establishing the right tone always gets me excited for what lies ahead,” Forzaglia explains. “Negative thoughts can hinder progress and prevent you from attaining what you truly desire. I eagerly anticipate my own workout as it allows me to disconnect and focus solely on pushing myself.”
Embrace the Light
“As soon as I rise, typically around 6:45 a.m., I open the curtains to let in the sunlight,” reveals Mary Beth Rockwell, CPT, the founding trainer of The Next Fitness Thing app, speaking to Sun Valley Sports. If the weather is foggy or overcast, which is often the case in San Francisco where Rockwell resides, she resorts to the next best alternative to natural sunlight.
“I have my breakfast and coffee in front of a lightbox. It helps counteract my seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and dispel any