I’m not a morning person. Not really a night owl either. More of a middle of the day person, my sweet spot is from 10-2. Growing up if I didn’t have to be up in the morning for anything (school, work, going somewhere) I would regularly sleep in till late morning (ok, on occasion early afternoon). I fondly recall the summer of between my sophomore and junior year of high school when I didn’t have a job sleeping in until 11 pretty much every day, even when I went to bed the night before by 11. When adulthood hit I obviously had to get up early, but before I had kids, I would sleep in until 10 or 11am if I didn’t have a reason to get up.
When I finally got serious about getting healthy and joined a gym I made the decision to go in the morning before work, even though it was VERY difficult at first waking up early to train. When I first started I there was always one or two days a week when I hit snooze on the alarm one too many times and missed my window to hit the gym before having to be in the office by 7:30-8:00am. I figured I was doing this for me and didn’t want to impact my family time in the evenings. These days I am much better at getting up early, even on the weekends, but I still struggle which is the reason for using two alarms, my regular alarm clock and the Sleep Cycle app on my phone.
My habit of going to the gym in the morning was validated yesterday. Because I had to take my kids to my in-laws for the day I was forced to go to the gym in the evening. I started at a new gym just over a year ago and I had never been there past noon. Normally when I go in the morning there are very few people and little competition for equipment. I knew it was going to be bad pulling in to the parking lot at 5pm, it was PACKED! Heading in I could tell it was going to be bad, walking up stairs to the gym floor confirmed what I was thinking. Wall to wall bros, young 20-somethings doing dumb bell curls in front of the mirror, teens sitting on equipment texting or on their phone, and groups of college aged kids spotting each other on 185# bench presses as far as the eye could see. Fortunately I was able to get my workout in and then some.
Yesterday was bench, there was one bench nobody was around, but it was loaded up with 185#. I wasn’t sure if anyone was using it, but I didn’t really care. You walk away from line-of-sight of a piece of equipment in a busy gym and it’s fair game for someone else to jump on. I quickly jumped on it, someone walked by and looked at me, maybe it was the previous user, he paused near the bench but didn’t say anything and kept moving on. I quickly did a few warm up sets using the 185# and some stretching right there at the bench. With Rage Against the Machine’s Bulls on Parade (Live Version) blasting in the headphones I got my sets in, 5×225, 1×245, 1×255, 15×175. Then I went over and did bent over rows using 185 as my 1RM. When I finished those a couple of young bros walked over to the rack thinking I was done. I decided to go right into a 5×5 set of squats at 225, they weren’t happy. They kept eyeing me even after I finished and moved on to some pull ups. Oh well, tough for them, when you are at a piece of equipment in the gym you own it until you are done your set. If they wanted to work in, maybe I would have let them, as long as they didn’t change the weight.
I’ll take my morning over evening workout any day of the week.