Each year, as the summer approaches, I get fired up. School is out and my mind starts playing tricks on me. I begin to think about my summer schedule and start thinking that this might be the year I will have some time to enjoy the sun and warm weather. But then reality hits and the schedule is swamped. Before you know it, the summer is over, football season has begun, and I am back on the sidelines coaching.
During all of this, something was amiss. I realized that I have been getting a little lazy regarding my fitness and my workout routine was taking a huge hit. It was tough to muster energy and motivation some days after working long hours. I would go home for a nap and tell myself I would workout in the evening. The evening would come and go and there would be no training going on. I was slacking big time. I totally lacked the discipline to get in a good workout at the end of the day. Fortunately, a moment of enlightenment arrived, and I was reminded of a quote from one of my favorite podcasters Jocko Willinck: Discipline = Freedom. My mindset and plan needed a change. Turns out, it was going to be a drastic one: I began to get up at 4:30 am to get after it in the gym.
When i made my mind up, I started to do some reading. I came to the conclusion that a high percentage of high performers have disciplined morning routines. They wake up and they begin preparations for the upcoming day. The more strict you are with your daily schedule and procedures, the greater the likelihood to operate efficiently throughout the day. The routine that YOU create is to ensure that no minute is wasted. This efficiency in your day to day activities will free up time for you to do the things you enjoy like hanging with loved ones, reading, or working on a hobby. When you are not disciplined to follow your routine and procedures, you will lose valuable time. Efficiency will go down. Time will be lost. A lack of discipline will lead to a lack of time. A lack of time leaves you with little to no freedom.
You may be asking, "why wake-up so early?" For those of you who like a challenge, every morning when that alarm clock sounds, you get one. Each day you have two choices: wake up or go back to sleep. If you have the discipline to get up, you win. If a moment of weakness begins to show its head, and you hit that snooze button, you lose. Who wouldn't want to start each day with a win? Especially when all you have to do is get out of bed for the win! Another great thing about getting up early is that at this time, the world is a quiet and dark place. You don't have to worry about getting emails or notifications on your phone. The time in the morning is yours and yours alone. There are no distractions, scheduling conflicts, traffic, none of it. If you put off your workout to later in the day, these distractions are inevitable. They will show up at the worst possible time and wreak havoc on your schedule. Thus, it is important to understand that you have the power to control your schedule in such a way to not let these distractions effect you and your fitness.
In a time when the words, "I am too busy" seem to come up on a daily basis, I challenge you to make more time. The best way to do that is to wake up earlier. One extra hour in bed each day equals 7 hours a week, which equals 28 hours a month, which equals 15 days per year! Wouldn't we all love to have an extra 15 days? We can, if you GET UP when that alarm goes off. Keep that in mind next time you are mindlessly on your phone or binge watching Netflix late into the evening. Your days may be a little less hectic if you can get yourself some sleep and up a little earlier!
P.S. To reward those who have decided to make a change and will begin a morning workout regiment, Brickhouse Strength is offering an Early Bird Training Special! We have morning sessions starting at 5:45 am, 6:45 am, and 8:30 am. For more information on this special, click below. I look forward to hearing from you!
Chris is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has recently served as a high school football and wrestling coach. Chris loves swinging kettlebells around, watching football and reading books!