The dedication of some of my clients has always impressed me and often inspires me to train harder myself, and our discussions often give me good ideas for blog articles. So, first and foremost I just wanted to shout out to the all the guys and girls I witness & train myself at 6 & 7am in the morning who then go on to work, often with the prospect of not returning home until 7-8pm that evening. I think I can say on behalf of all the team – great effort!

So if you fall into that category here are some tips to help improve your workout.

  • Go to bed at a reasonable & consistent time – this sounds obvious but the value of sleep is often overlooked – if you’re getting up at 5.30AM then you ideally should be going to bed (phone off, TV off etc) no later than 10PM – if you fell asleep within half an hour you’d get 7 hours sleep, which by the way is still 1 hour less than recommended. Prioritise what is important to you, an extra 1-2 hours up watching very average TV about other people’s made up lives OR feeling refreshed, being in a good mood and being productive in your actual real life. I would say this point alone is about 10x more important than any other advice I could give you!


  • Eat something small or have something prepared to eat immediately after – protein shakes/smoothies are the easiest solution here – something as simple as a scoop of whey protein, 1 banana, mixed with water or almond milk – if you don’t want to wake the house up using a blender just eat the banana and mix the protein in a shaker. You can even throw a tsp of coffee into your smoothie to give you a little kick up the backside. Whilst eating won’t feel great at this time or during the start of your workout, you’ll be glad of it once you’re 30mins in.


  • Don’t expect to hit personal bests or match the intensity of your lunch time or evening training sessions – unless you’re an annoyingly good early morning person then this is just an unfortunate reality – keep in mind that it is MUCH MUCH better to have trained at 90-95% of your best than to not have trained at all – so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t hit PB’s every time.


  • Have a wake up routine – it can take an hour or so after waking to truly feel awake – here are a few ideas to speed up that process:

– take a shower – if you’ve got the time then this is definitely the best way!

– drink a tea or a coffee

– listen to a couple of your current favourite songs on the way in to the gym or pick a few golden oldies that are bound to get you fired up

– have an extended warm up (either cardio, dynamic stretches or do multiple lighter warm up sets of your first exercises)


  • Be prepared – have everything you need for work and the gym, including any food you might want to have already made up ready to go – not only will this allow you to set your alarm a little later, having everything ready should help you nod off to sleep quicker the night before.

Joe Birch

Better Body Group, Sevenoaks