How to Wake Up for your 5:00am Workout

After 10 years of being on the 5:00am workout wagon, the shrill “BEEEEEEEEP!” of my alarm is no more charming than it ever was.

There are so many reasons to stay in bed, and I go through these reasons almost every morning:

  • It’s still dark outside.
  • My bed is so warm.
  • The whole neighborhood is still sleeping.
  • I don’t have to be at work until 8:00am, so why be a crazy person and wake up now?

Mmmmm one… more… minute… Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Goodbye, workout.

WE CAN’T HAVE THAT HAPPEN, PEOPLE!  Read on for a great list of tricks that help me get my butt out of bed!

early workout run

Enjoying a sunrise run on Venice Beach in California. (Photo credit: 66 Audio)


WHY I do it

The real, honest to God reason? I started working out in college so I wouldn’t gain the “freshman 15”. 5:00AM was the only time I could fit in a workout and still enjoy my post-class extracurricular activities. So, while I didn’t want to gain weight, I’d say the true reason I worked out with the early birds was to free up the rest of my evening. I didn’t want to feel guilty when other obligations arose, like studying late at the library or going out to drinks! To this day, my post-work brain only wants two things: food and Netfix. I work out in the morning to free up my evening for those two activities. The last thing I want at 6:00pm is to hit the gym only to eat a late dinner and miss out on quality time with my hubby.

early workout alarm

Adrienne and I on our way to early morning Yoga! You can tell she’s excited. And you can tell we just woke up.



  • The community: The people who wake up before the sun are special. We sleepwalk to the gym with pillow lines impressed on our faces. Most of us look haggard and act goofy because we’re not quite ready to be social yet. I’ve made some solid friendships from my early AM classes because of our similar interests. They just “get me”: lopsided bedhead ponytail and all.
    early workout community friends

    Chillin’ with my early morning OMIEs! (Get it? Yogi’s say OHM…Ohm-ie…homie…nevermind.)

  • Sense of accomplishment: You finish your workout before your friends are even out of bed.
  • Your waistline: There are heaps of studies that show how working out in the morning helps in areas connected to your weight. In this study from Brigham Young University, researchers found that a morning workout can actually make food seem less appealing and also keep you more active throughout the day. Contrary to belief, women who worked out early consumed the same amount of calories as those who did not. AND they got their exercise in!
  • Better Sleep! I don’t know about you but when I exercise too late in the evening, I have trouble sleeping. You can imagine that increased heart rate, body temperature, and breathing aren’t necessarily great for powering down your day. Working out in the morning will not only increase your energy throughout the day, but it will also make it easier to relax into savasana come bedtime.


Now that we know my WHY, what’s your WHY NOT?

Be careful… if there’s one thing I hate, it’s excuses for not working out. Which is why I’ve put together a list of tips to help get you out of bed in the morning. TRY (just TRY) some of these tips to see if they work for you. And honestly, some of these tips may even help you get to the gym in general (not just at 5:00am!).

Just stop making excuses. They don’t look good on you.



TOP 8 TIPS for the 5:00AM WAKE-UP:

  1. Stop snoooZzzzzzing! I said it! Set your alarm to the time you actually need to wake up. When you hit the snooze button for 15 minutes, that is 15 minutes of uninterrupted solid sleep you could have had if you didn’t procrastinate. Your workout should be nonnegotiable, so why risk missing it?
  2. Do the “Alarm Clock Walk”:  Make like my husband and put the alarm clock across the bedroom. This way, you have to actually get out of bed to turn the damned thing off! Sometimes, you may even get a nice wake-up punch or two from your partner if you delay your walk!
  3. Get a gym buddy: If you take the same classes as a friend, you can set goals and encourage each other to complete them. Or maybe you just need a spotter on the bench press.
    early workout buddy

    Working out with a friend is motivating! (Photo credit: KremerJohnson; Buddy: @drewdoyon)

    If you make plans to meet someone, you’ll also be held accountable for your attendance. Just make sure it’s someone you actually like…

  4. Prep before bedtime: Morning workouts actually start the night before. Before getting in bed for the night, I remember to:
    • Pack a gym bag with clothes for work + car keys.
    • Load my meal-prepped lunch + breakfast into one bag in fridge for easy grab-n-go.
      • I prep my breakfast the night before (1 cup egg whites, ¼ cup oatmeal, ½ banana) and eat it post-workout. One study shows that postponing breakfast until after your workout can help burn as much as 20% more fat. I’ll take it!
    • Stash water bottle(s) & workout towel(s) in the car. I keep a Costco flat of water and a bag of towels in my trunk at all times.
  5. Sometimes you need the caffeine. Or pre-workout. Or whatever you use for that extra BOOST in the morning. But only if you think you need it. I’ve found caffeine before my workout to be less effective when I do it every day. One Nespresso shot before spin class, please!
    early workout caffeine coffee

    Sometimes you need that extra BOOST before your workout.

  6. Financial penalties: This will always be the most motivating reason for me to get out of bed in the morning. Sign up for a service that charges you if you miss class. I use Classpass which I pay for on a monthly basis. I get access to hundreds of different classes around my city (and the world) and can build out my week-long workout schedule ahead of time. If I miss a class that I signed up for, I have to pay a fee of anywhere from $15-25. That’s, like, 5 lattes! Behold: my motivation.
  7. Sleep in your sports bra (or workout gear): I’ll admit, I don’t personally do this. But I have friends who do and swear by it. They say the extra minute of energy it takes to figure out an outfit in the morning is unnecessary.
  8. Don’t overdo it: I didn’t decide one day that I would be a 5:00am fitness fanatic. My love for morning sessions grew over time as my body acclimated to a schedule. Try one time a week, then two times a week, etc. until you can work up to 4-5 times/week. Trust me, your body clock will change. You can be a morning person during the week and sleep in on the weekend. Give everything you do an honest, fair shot.

Do you have any tips that help you get to the gym? Comment below, I’d love to know!


So, there it is. Of course I’d rather sleep in every day. But for the aforementioned reasons [and by using the tips in my repertoire], I’ve realized how important an early morning workout is to my own health, sanity and stress levels.

I hope this post helps you on your own fitness journey! Pick your reason and go for it!


In good health,


  1. Marganne
    September 20, 2017 / 8:12 am

    I have YOU to thank for my 5AM workouts!! I thought you were crazy, but you definitely motivated me to get up and going before work!

    • Carrie Tyler
      September 25, 2017 / 10:12 am

      We were the best roommate team! And the best part was that someone made the coffee while the other one showered after the gym. I’ll always miss those days!

  2. September 21, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    This is so great Carrie! I’m a morning workout person only because if I push it until later in the day I have the whole day to make excuses. It’s hard to find something else you have to do before everyone is awake! Thanks for sharing.

    • Carrie Tyler
      September 25, 2017 / 10:11 am

      Thanks Leah! And I totally agree! That’s why I don’t do the 5am workout on the weekends…Too many excuses by the time I am out of bed and ready to take on the day. But I feel like 5 days a week is sufficient, right?! haha 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge