Are you someone who prefers an early morning workout over those done later on in the day?
Although the heaviest flow of bodies in any health club can be found right after work, a good amount of traffic can usually be seen in the wee morning hours. This is a smart decision for many as, often times, life throws curve balls and workouts take a back seat. Getting it done early means nothing will get in the way.
That said, if you’re getting up for an early morning workout session, you might wonder what is best to do – – cardio training or weight lifting. This may be more important than you realize.
Cardio or Weights?
If you don’t plan your early morning workout properly for your body, you may run into some problems. Let’s take a look at few key variables:
1) Your Energy
Are you naturally a morning person or not? If you don’t know, you may want to assess this before tackling an AM workout. Some people are strong first thing in the morning and have no problem doing their weight lifting. For others? Yeah…not so much.
When they train first thing, they are weak, tired, and find that they have very poor recovery afterward.
Granted, it can take a week or two for your body to adjust to lifting at this time. So if you feel that working out early morning is the best thing for your personal schedule, give it an honest shot. But if after that, you are still seeing a decline in performance, accept that for you, cardio-only first thing is probably the best approach in the morning.
2) Your Schedule
Do you have other time slots have available in your schedule? Can you do cardio in the morning and strength training later in the day – – either that same day or on another day altogether?
I’m a big advocate of making strength training the top priority in your workout program. The facts are it’s the most beneficial form of exercise out there. So if you only have a limited amount of time to train, you want to prioritize. Make sure that you are getting strength training in when you can, even if this means morning workouts.
3) Your Fuel
Finally, if you are going to go ahead and do morning strength training, you must prepare properly. Since we want to use more glucose as a fuel source with this form of exercise, I highly recommend a light snack. I have virtually all of my clients ingest a fast absorbing, easily digestable protein and carbohydrate before they head off to the gym. If eating whole/real foods, you need to leave enough time for digestion. Otherwise, you’ll want to go for a specifically designed pre-workout shake.
So now that you have some quick facts about working out in the morning, which type of exercise is best for you? You may not have a choice. But if you do, assess how you feel and make the smart choice. After all, you are putting in the time and effort.
Choose your strength training time carefully so you get the most bang for your buck. Smart…safe…and result-producing.