Lifting Heavy Weights in the Morning

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    Oct 29, 2007 4:19 AM GMT
    My trainer's got me on a new routine--each body part, once a week. He tells me that the catch is that I've got to totally make that body part hurt. Great, sure! Only problem is that, up until now, I've been lifting at 6:30 a.m., and the thought of seriously heavy weights at that hour somewhat frightens me. I pop a protein shake and a double espresso before heading to the gym, but still ... Anyone else lift this early? Tips for maximizing this workout?
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    Oct 29, 2007 5:18 PM GMT
    It's a good time to lift. Most testosterone production takes place while you sleep...so lifting first thing in the morning is a perfect time, it's also the reason you wake up with morning wood...icon_razz.gif. I just can't get my lazy ass up that early. I am looking for a workout buddy...let me know if you have any interest.

    Ron
  • asupas

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    Oct 29, 2007 6:05 PM GMT
    I've tried to do the morning workouts in the past. Honestly, I just can't get my body to get going at that time. I find that I can lift less weight and for a shorter amount of time in the AM hours. However, I'm sure a lot of it has to do with not getting enough shut-eye at night.
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    Oct 29, 2007 6:46 PM GMT
    I ONLY do weights in the morning. That's REALLY only because firstly, I want the rest of the day to do whatever I need to and secondly it's really the only well suited time for me to actually fit it into my sort of schedule.


    I've heard cardio, though I'm not well read on it by any means, is not great for someone to do as soon as they rise.

    I probablydo my weigghts and/or cardio about an hour or so after I wake up. Coffee and reading time has to be the first thing for me. I'd cry if I had to touch a dumbell first thing after getting out of bed.

    Interesting routine from your trainer, thanks for saying so.
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    Oct 29, 2007 6:52 PM GMT
    Everyone's clock is different - technically, yes, you should be able to do just fine. It's critical that you warm up properly first - something I'm sure your trainer has stressed.

    The protein shake and dbl-espresso is a little concerning, though. Remember that your body is totally depleted when you wake up - it has long since finished digesting dinner. You need a fair amount of food just to top off the tank, much less give you the energy to train.

    Try to make it a reasonably full and nutritious breakfast. Eat some oatmeal or cream of wheat/cream of rice for extra complex carbs to help you.

    Joey
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    Oct 29, 2007 7:01 PM GMT
    There's been a ton of research done on this by the folks who study this sort of thing.

    Google on "best times to work out" and take time to educate yourself about the nuances of the thing.

    Generally speaking, mid-day seems to be the best time in terms of performance, but, if you're a morning person, or an afternoon person, or evening a night owl, and loathe early mornings...well, at some point...common sense should prevail.

    In a nutshell, do what you like doing. Likely, you're not an elite athlete, and it's really not going to matter in the big picture. Again, simply take time to research this. There's plenty of good studies online.

    Your trainer has his own motivation for why he wants to schedule you the way he does. Do what you want.

    Just FYI, over training is NOT a formula for success with intensive exercise like weight training.
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    Oct 30, 2007 2:18 AM GMT
    Thanks, all! And Chucky, funny you mention the overtraining part. I have to fight the tendency to want to train each body part more than once a week. How have you learned to know when you've pushed yourself hard enough for your once-a-week workout?
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    Oct 30, 2007 4:07 AM GMT
    Listen to your body. It's an acquired thing.

    I did three-a-days for 23 weeks this year. It's all about calories, method, recovery, and so on.

    It becomes intuitive after a while.

    After 32 years of training, and given genetics and so on, my recovery ability is probably a lot better than most.
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    Oct 30, 2007 8:57 AM GMT
    Just FYI, lots of guys, me includes, like to do cardio with 0 or less than about 10 grams of carbs, first thing in the morning, while GH is highest, and blood sugar lowest.

    Then, mid-day, I carb up and train on weights.

    Then, in the evening, it's cardio. Sometimes...the evening session can be a drag. It's just a lot of training.

    I used to do 3 days on, 3 days on, 1 day off for years.. Now, I do it like so...
    back and bis
    chest and tris
    quads
    shoulders
    hamstrings
    arms
    day off

    I think I recover better, although I may not have quite as much muscle hardness. I blast legs, on their respective days.
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    Oct 30, 2007 7:51 PM GMT
    Wow, that's an intense workout--I'll try this on my next cycle. Thanks much for the tips!
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    Oct 31, 2007 9:29 PM GMT
    One major bodypart a day is NOT a hard workout.

    Re-read the post.