Morning Workouts and Warming-up

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by petska, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. petska

    petska My Third Post

    Hello everyone! My name is Craig - I have been following this forum for a while, but this my first post. I have been lifting weights on and off for almost 30 years but have only been training with kettlebells for a few months. I have just recently gotten serious about achieving Simple and have a session scheduled with an SFG II in a little over a week.

    While I have never been a morning person, I find that if I practice first thing in the morning, I tend to be more consistent with my training. I just listened to the podcast featuring Dr. Stu McGill. In the podcast he cautions people about working out in the morning using a heavy load, especially as you age (granted, I am only 46). For those of you that train in the morning, I am wondering what everyone's experience is? Has anyone had any issues? Do you warm-up differently? Are you more focused on really owning a certain weight before progressing to a heavier weight? I currently incorporate McGill's Big 3 into my warm-up, but am curious if I should be doing anything else to help prevent potential injury.
    DrFierce likes this.
  2. Anna C

    Anna C More than 2500 posts Certified Instructor

    Hi Petska, welcome to the forum. I heard the same on the podcast and I believe he said within an hour the disks are back to normal, so no need for special treatment unless you're literally right out of bed and starting to train. I usually train 2-2.5 hrs after waking up and haven't had any problems, and I don't do anything differently to warm up. Occasionally I work out in the afternoon and it seems that my strength is a little better (estimated 5% or so) than it is in the morning, but not enough consistency or testing to know for sure. Morning training suits my schedule too, so that's what I usually do.
    Marc likes this.
  3. petska

    petska My Third Post

    Thanks for the response, Anna! I am usually train 30-45 after getting out of bed, which is what prompted the question. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve never had any major back issues, but am more conscious about the risk of injury as I get older.
  4. petska

    petska My Third Post

    Oops, totally fat fingered that last message... I meant to say that I usually train 30-45 minutes after getting out of bed.
  5. Bauer

    Bauer Triple-Digit Post Count

    My back is pretty stiff and sensitive in the morning. I can't imagine training then.
  6. Marc

    Marc More than 500 posts

    If there is at least 1h between your session and getting out of bed, you should be ok.
    However, doing 1 or 2 more ramp up sets might be a good idea (just in case) especially if morning sessions are a novelty for you. After some time you will probably get used to it.
    Bro Mo likes this.
  7. ohnbye

    ohnbye Second Post

    Hi Craig,

    Fellow lurker here! I’ve been training with Kettlebells pretty consistently for a couple of years now and have settled on training first thing, often straight out of bed (due to time constraints) for several reasons:

    First, I like starting the day off right.
    Second, I train more consistently- there’s less chance for life to get in the way of training.
    Third, I’ve found I have more problems (muscular tweaks) if I train after a day at my desk than if I train first thing.
    Finally, training first thing significantly reduces the back and neck discomfort I get during the day from sitting.

    As far as a warm up goes- after much experimentation I’ve found a mix of original strength resets, goblet squats, halos and hip bridges (from s&s) work best for me.

    I listened to the podcast too and found it fascinating (perhaps especially because I’m a dr) - when he was talking about morning training, I think he was referring to higher loads than I’d get close to - and deadlifts load the spine / discs differently to kettlebell work.
  8. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Welcome to the forum.
    I'm over 60...
    Many days I'm up at 0300. I do a bit of Qigong and two sets of Tai-Chi and launch right into S&S. We are all different, and I'm not saying this is the 'right' way to train; but it's what I do...
  9. MarkSch

    MarkSch More than 300 posts

    Welcome to the forum, @petska .
    I'm 52, and I also work out in the morning, perhaps 30 minutes after waking. If I don't do it then, I find it just doesn't get done. Currently I'm in between programs and hanging out with S&S, having achieved Simple a year or so back.
    2x5 of goblet squats , with curls, and 2x5 of halos is plenty of warmup for me. I've recently been more diligent about the S&S stretching, both after working out and occasionally at night, too
  10. WhatWouldHulkDo

    WhatWouldHulkDo More than 500 posts

    I'm 43 years old. For a while I was deadlifting first thing in the morning, maybe 20 minutes out of bed. I don't _think_ it hurt me (I did get hurt, but I attribute it to poor form, not time of day) - but who knows, maybe that did contribute. More importantly, I feel far stronger later in the day - it's much easier for me to generate tension.

    So, my experience has been that high tension stuff ought to happen later, early mornings are great for mobility and cardio work. But that's a data set of 1.
  11. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I used to train about 30-40 minutes out of bed. Spend a few more minutes on warmup/mobility and plan on moving a little less weight.

    Once I got used to it, worked out fine. I do prefer later in the day, but it isn't a huge issue.
    Bro Mo likes this.
  12. Mark Limbaga

    Mark Limbaga Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    I used to be an afternoon person but teaching classes in the morning and having personal training clients in the afternoons, I now train whenever I get the chance.

    I do use mornings for ballistics and recharge sessions like S and S
  13. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo More than 500 posts

    I used to train within 15min of waking up. While I never experienced any problems, I never did a 1RM first lift of the day either. I think the S&S warm-up activates everything that needs to be activated prior to the main training. Some days are a little more groggy than others but for those days add a set of 50% weight (16kg), then 75% (24kg), then do the 10x10 with 100% (32kg) for example.
    DrFierce likes this.
  14. Shawn

    Shawn Double-Digit Post Count

    The only time I have to workout is 30 minutes after I wake up. Then I have a 30 minute workout window if I don't do it then I would never exercise, work gets in the way. I also had the same question because of Staurt Mcgill. I also do the Big 3 as a warm up. I also stopped using KBs although I like them because of what he said about the disc.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    DrFierce likes this.
  15. Preacher

    Preacher Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I turn 60 in a couple months, and am an early training guy. As others have said, life/the office/email/ has a tendency to get in the way if the training doesn't come first. 0515 wakeup, two cups of coffee and into the garage. But, the first part of the routine is a half mile walk. There is something about that seven or eight minutes that loosens me up and sets my head and body right for what is to come. The usual Halos, Goblet Squats, Hip Bridges (and some random crawls, hangs, and moving around) come next. But for me, that walk when first out the door sets me up well.
    matteo likes this.
  16. kenaces

    kenaces Double-Digit Post Count

    I am pretty sure I have read or heard Dr McGill suggest doing ~20 cat/cows as part of morning warmup. I do this and 5 minutes of OS movement most mornings and find it helps.
  17. Ryan T

    Ryan T More than 500 posts

    I used to train first thing in the AM to get it out of the way for the day. I was also interested in fasted training to mobilize more lipids to address body comp. Over the last 8 months or so, I shifted my training to the afternoon. I’d rather not, but I found that I couldn’t get going and had lower strength in the AM. So for now I training in the the late afternoon/early evening.
  18. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I had heard that as well but fortunately forgot about it. I have trained many times shortly after waking up with no issues.

    If you have issues with consistency, I think the risk of not being consistent is far higher and more relevant than the risk of hurting your back doing swings.
    DrFierce likes this.
  19. Gerry K

    Gerry K Double-Digit Post Count

    I’ve been training with kettlebells and barbells first thing upon rising for 15 years, since I was 50. I now actually feel stronger then than I do when I work out later in the day.

    But I’m not training for competition; my goal is an active, healthy life. IMO, for that goal, early morning is a great time of day to exercise.
  20. Bauer

    Bauer Triple-Digit Post Count

    Walking is really beneficial for the lymphatic system which needs gravity and movement to be moved. Tony Robbins advocates trampoline jumping in the morning to get the lymph flow going. I always notice that I feel much better when I start the day with a short walk (say, to the next bakery to get my Brötchen for the weekend breakfast).

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