When I first started CrossFit in 2010, I was going to school, going to work, and messing around on a basketball court for a few hours a day. I became absolutely bored with my day to day routine. One day, after challenging my friend, and owner of Rocklin CrossFit to countless games of 1 on 1 and HORSE, he challenged me to a CrossFit workout. I don’t remember the exact reps or rounds, but I remember it included cleans and pull ups… Lots of them! I also remember not being able to straighten my arms for about a week or so after. I was hooked. Once I regained normal movement back into my arms and legs, and could perform normal daily tasks such as sitting, standing, and picking things up, I decided to make these workouts a routine.
I made it a point to shock Gary, the head coach and owner, and show up to the next 5am class. From that day on, I became a part of the 5am crew three days a week, first as a student and then as a coach. Since the gym was still new, there weren’t many of us crazy enough to endure CrossFit that early in the morning. The few of us that consistently showed up became a little family. We were lucky enough to drag ourselves out of bed, get dressed (some of us with shorts on backwards or mismatched socks), grab a banana and some coffee, and safely make it to the gym. But, once we all made it through the warm up, busted our bums through the workout, let the lactic acid pass, you start to feel pretty darn good for 6am!
While you could read endless reports on the benefits of working out in the morning, it’s better to have your own experiences with it, and figure out why it does or doesn’t work for you. Without going into too much detail, morning workouts tend to keep people more on track. It has been shown to keep athletes consistent and leaves less room for a missed workout. Sometimes when we train in the evenings, certain things come up throughout the day causing excuses or other plans to take precedence over your training that day. Don’t forget that your usual CrossFit classes only last one hour; that means you have 23 remaining hours to work, play, sleep and spend time with friends and family! Set your alarm, get to your gym’s first class and enjoy the rest of your day. Morning workouts have also been shown to jumpstart your metabolism, help your body’s daily functions, and cause you to make better food decisions the rest of the day. Not to mention improve decision making and increase your mood!
Not everyone can or wants to be a morning warrior, understandably so! It can be rough waking up early, and your performance may not be that of a lifetime in the early hours, but it is also important in CrossFit and in life to stay consistently inconsistent. We as humans are creatures of habit, but at the same time, we all know routines get old and boring. After a while of attending the gym’s 5am class and plateauing a bit, I started mixing up my training times. I started hitting open gym or evening classes, where I realized we had a whole new world of client athletes who just chose to work out at the later morning times or evening classes. Since CrossFit is notorious for being more than just a place to workout, with a reputation for drawing people in because of the family like atmosphere, I became very attached to the 5am class, so much so that I ended up coaching it for the last few years. There’s a certain connection made between a group of people who decide to wake up before their kids, just to get home in time to get them ready for school. It brings people together first thing in the morning, there is no better feeling than being in a group where you hit a new personal record when your body still feels like it is should be at home in bed… So why not train hard first thing in the morning, grab a nice breakfast with the group before heading into work for casual Friday.