Trying out training in the morning

I'm not a morning person. I love sleeping in on weekends and I don't like to go to bed early. I understand that many people get old and can't sleep much so they wake up super early and go to Tim Horton's to hang out or walk their dog or build ships in a bottle and stuff.  I always thought that if I ever got to retire from working, I'd love to sleep in every day like when I was a kid and summer vacations were spent staying up late and waking up some time after lunch time.

Just about the only thing I'll wake up early for that doesn't include earning a paycheque is a tee time. For some reason, that never bothers me, I guess because I love to play golf.  It's not just the idea of being outside because when I worked at a golf course one summer, waking up at 0'dark thirty to open the club was just as tortuous as waking up early to do anything else other than planting a tee on hole #1.

With all that history and baggage, I decided that I was going to give working out in the morning a try.   I wanted to try it for a few reasons:

  1. I wanted to reset my body clock so I could go to sleep earlier.
  2. It would greatly reduce the chances that evening plans would de-rail or reschedule a training session.
  3. I wanted to get used to lifting earlier in the day since many competitions start lifting before noon.
  4. It would leave time in the evenings for other activities or supplemental workouts.
  5. I could avoid the bros and wannabe cross-fitters that cluttered up the weight room,
So...when my alarm clock went off this morning I hated every second of getting out of bed and getting my stuff ready to go.  My body doesn't feel that great at any time but first thing in the morning, it's just really hard to stand up straight.  The alarms in my hips, lower back, and SI joints are blaring and sometimes my knees and ankles hurt too.  As I drove to the gym, I hoped that everything would fall into place before my first warm-up squat.  When I got to the gym, it was like the movie "Cocoon".  I guess these retired folks can't sleep so they go to the gym.  I'll be like them except that I think they actually wanted to be there that early.

I'm stubborn and maybe not that smart but I've never really done much in the way of a warm-up before training.  Partly because I don't love being at a gym so the less time the better and partly because I've always felt like what ever I do in the gym I should be able to do on demand, not after a 20 minute structured warm-up leading to a carefully graduated sequential loading pattern.  You know, like if you had to lift that proverbial car off a child, would you ask for time to warm-up?  I did make the concession to being less limber due to the time of day by doing an extra warm up set.

Squats felt okay, better than I thought they'd feel actually.  Since today was hard deadlift day, my squats were 5 sets of 3 with 340 (75% of my last competition max).  The weight didn't feel heavy but it did seem like no two sets felt the same.  By the time I was done, I felt pretty warmed up for deadlifts even if I still felt like it was way too early.

My deadlift workout was 3 sets of 5 reps with my top set being 485 lbs.  I was able to get all 5 reps with my goal weight and it wasn't until that set was done did I feel like I couldn't tell what time of day it was.  I finished up with an attempted set of "poundstone curls" but I'm still far short of the goal of 100 reps.

Squat:  135x10, 135x5, 225x5, 275x5, add belt, 315x5, 340x3x5 sets

Deadlift:  315x5, 405x5, add belt, 455x5, 485x5, 405x1 (setting the bar on the rack to unload the plates)

Poundstone curls:  45x50

As I write this entry at the end of the day, I feel good. I can hardly tell I trained this morning. Vivian and I are going to the gym to play some pick-up badminton tonight.  In hindsight, I think the plan might just work out well, it's getting over the trauma of the early wake-up call that'll be the hardest part.


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