Why Do I Feel Weaker When I Workout In The Morning? 13 Vital Tips
Do you ever find yourself feeling weaker at the gym in the morning, no matter how determined you are to make it happen? You’re not alone – many people struggle with this issue when trying to stay on top of their fitness goals.
But why do we often feel weaker in the mornings? In this blog post, we’ll explore some potential reasons and look at ways that you can overcome them in order to reach your fitness goals without any extra effort. So if you’re ready to learn how you can start feeling stronger again during your early workouts, let’s dive right into it!
Why Do I Feel Weaker When I Workout In The Morning?
The first thing to look at is whether your body’s natural circadian rhythm could be causing this issue. Our bodies are made to be the most active during the daytime and when it’s dark our bodies naturally go into a rest mode. This means that even if you try to push yourself in the mornings, your body may not respond with the same strength as you would during other times of day. Another factor to consider is your blood glucose control, which can be affected by not planning ahead enough for your morning workouts. Eating a nutritious breakfast with complex carbohydrates and proteins will help keep your energy levels up so that you don’t feel weak and lethargic when working out. Your resting heart rate and blood pressure can also be lower in the mornings, making it harder for your body to perform at its peak levels. This is why it’s important to listen to your body and give it time to adjust after waking up before starting any intense physical activity. If you’re feeling weak when working out, it may also be due to late nights and insufficient rest. It’s important to get enough sleep in order for your body to recover and rebuild itself. Additionally, stimulants such as coffee can affect how you feel during your morning workouts so see how your body reacts to those. Lastly, make sure you are adequately hydrated as dehydration can cause fatigue and make it harder to perform at your best.
Let’s now look more in-depth at how you can prevent feeling weak when working out in the morning…
1. Muscles are cold and CNS is not yet awake
Your muscles and central nervous system (CNS) need to be warmed up before any physical activity in order to perform at their best. Make sure you take a few minutes to slowly increase your heart rate and get your body ready for the workout ahead. This will help your body adjust faster and prevent feeling weak or sluggish during your workout.
Going straight into a heavy workout first thing in the morning after waking up will put your body under stress and can lead to poor performance or even injuries. To prevent this from happening, make sure you get the blood pumping before you start lifting by doing dynamic stretches or light cardio exercises such as jogging or biking.
By taking this step, you can prevent your body from feeling weak and stiff. Moreover, it will help you build more strength during exercise sessions as you’ll be raring to go!
2. You’re not a morning person
Sorry to generalise here but there are two types of people…early risers and night owls. If you’re more of the latter then we understand why it’s hard for you to get up and be ready for a morning workout. Don’t worry, there are ways around this too!
I workout at 0600 most mornings and I love it, but I have always been a morning person that likes “getting after it” to get ahead of the day. However, if you’re not a morning person, it’s important to give yourself time and ease into it. I also know that some people have absolutely no desire whatsoever to set their alarm and exercise early if they don’t have to and prefer to workout later in the day. That’s fine, we all have our personal preferences.
Start small by setting the alarm 10-15 minutes earlier each week until you reach your desired wake-up time. This way your body won’t be shocked and you can gradually adjust to a new routine without feeling overwhelmed.
3. Blood glucose control
In order for your body to perform at its best, it needs to be fuelled with the right nutrients. Eating a nutritious breakfast with complex carbohydrates and proteins will help keep your energy levels up so that you don’t feel weak and lethargic when working out.
In the morning our blood glucose levels are at their lowest. To prevent feeling weak during a workout, make sure to eat easily digestible carbohydrates such as porridge or oats before you exercise. This will give your body the energy it needs for optimal performance and help prevent the fatigue that can occur when exercising on an empty stomach.
It’s important to plan ahead and eat something more than just drinking a coffee in the morning if you want to perform well during your workout. If you aren’t used to training early in the morning, you may need to spend a little extra time preparing the night before to make sure you aren’t rushing and can still have a nutritious breakfast.
4. Resting heart rate
Our resting heart rate can be affected by our sleep quality, stress levels and other factors. If your resting heart rate is lower when you wake up, it can make it harder to get your heart rate up during a workout.
It is important to make sure you are getting enough rest each night and managing stress levels so that your body can recover properly and recharge for the next day. I recommend tracking your resting heart rate each morning with a heart rate monitor such as an apple watch or something of the same ilk.
You have to realise that on the days your heart rate is lower than usual, it will be harder for you to reach the same level of intensity as when your resting heart rate is higher. The key is to listen to your body and adjust the difficulty or duration of your workouts accordingly so that you don’t overexert yourself while still getting a good workout in. Just chalk it off as one of those days and stick to lighter workouts if this is the case and then come back fighting next time!
5. Blood pressure
Your blood pressure can also affect how you feel during a morning workout. Low blood pressure makes it harder for oxygen to reach the muscles and organs, leading to fatigue and weakness. It’s important to take regular breaks during long workouts so that your body can recover and get enough oxygen back into the system. Drinking plenty of water is also important as dehydration can cause a decrease in blood pressure.
If your blood pressure is low in the morning, consider a shorter or lighter workout for that day. This way you can still maintain your routine and stay active without feeling too fatigued from pushing yourself too hard. Then once your body is used to the new morning routine, you will be able to increase the intensity of your workouts to what they are or were when exercising later in the day.
6. You’re not planning ahead
If you are the kind of person that’s a little “crash, bang, wallop” and doesn’t really plan ahead too much, you might find yourself with not enough time or energy to get through your morning workout. Planning ahead is key – set a few alarms, make sure you have breakfast sorted and lay out all the things you need for your workout before hopping into bed. That way when you wake up in the morning, everything will be ready and waiting for you, making it easier and more likely for you to stick to your routine.
If you are effectively just rolling out of bed in the morning, then there’s no wonder you’re going to be weaker working out in the morning. Your body will be in a “jet lag” state and trying to get up and exercise right after waking is just asking too much of it. So plan ahead, give yourself enough time to get organised and you’ll find your morning workouts will be a lot more effective.
The more prepared you are, the better your workout will be and the more likely you are to feel energised and motivated during it. A little bit of forethought can go a long way when it comes to getting the most out of your morning workouts!
Related: Why Am I So Weak When Weightlifting?
7. When do you normally workout?
If you normally workout later in the day and then switch to morning workouts, your body may take some time to adjust. It takes a while for our bodies to get used to new routines and things like circadian rhythm can be disrupted by changes in routine.
It is important to transition slowly into the new routine and give your body time to adapt so that you can still get the same benefit from your workouts while not feeling too exhausted or disoriented. This can be as simple as mixing up the time of day you workout, alternating between morning and evening sessions until your body has adjusted to the new routine.
On the flip side, the thought of working out later in the day fills me with dread. Now that’s only because I have already put the work in at 6am, so I’m done! This is because my body etc is now used to early morning sessions and they work great for my current lifestyle.
By slowly transitioning into a new schedule you can make sure that you get the most out of every workout and feel energised and focused no matter when you choose to exercise.
8. Circadian rhythm
Our circadian rhythm is the biological process that helps regulate and coordinate our body’s activities according to the time of day. Our bodies naturally adjust and then adjust again as the day progresses, so if you are trying to workout in the mornings, your body may not have had enough time to make this adjustment. Our circadian rhythm also regulates our sleep patterns, so if you are feeling more fatigued in the morning, it could be because of a lack of quality sleep.
To combat this, try gradually pushing back the start time of your morning workouts: give yourself extra minutes in the morning to wake up and stretch, and keep going with light exercises until your body is more awake, slowly increasing the intensity as you go.
You should also try and maintain a consistent sleep schedule – getting enough hours of good quality sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm. This alone can make a huge difference to the quality of your training sessions, sleep is so important for recovery so make sure you allow enough time for this.
9. Body temperature
Your body temperature can also affect how you feel during your morning workouts. Generally, your body temperature peaks in the late afternoon and then starts to decrease afterwards. That means that if you’re working out first thing in the morning, your body is not at its peak performance levels – it’s trying to come back up from a low.
The best way to counteract this is to do a few light stretches or warm-up exercises to get your body temperature up before you start. This will help prepare your muscles for the workout and make you feel more energised during the session.
One thing I do which helps me increase my body temperature in the morning to prepare me for a hard lifting session is to spend time doing breathing techniques. Focusing on the breath and deep inhalations can help to raise your body temperature and make you feel more alert.
10. Nutrition and fuelling your workouts
Your nutrition and fuelling your workouts can make a huge difference to how you feel when you are exercising in the morning. Eating a nutritious breakfast with complex carbohydrates and proteins will help provide sustained energy for your workout, allowing you to get the most out of it.
You should also plan ahead and make sure that you have snacks or drinks available during your session if you feel like you need an energy boost. It’s easy to forget to eat or drink during a workout, so having these things on hand can be very helpful to keep your energy levels up and help you push through the session.
There are people out there which like to workout in the morning fasted, which works great for them, but this is not suitable for everyone. Everyone’s body is different, so it’s important to experiment and find out what works best for you.
As we just mentioned above, some people enjoy exercising fasted, I have done this regularly in the past and I’ve had no issues with it. However, for some, the need for stimulants first thing is crucial in order for them to get a great early morning session in.
Obviously, caffeine is one of the most popular stimulants and it is great for pre-workout performance, but there are some people who don’t like the effects of caffeine and would prefer something else. There are lots of other options available such as guarana seed extract, yerba mate (herbal tea) or even ashwagandha root extract. All of these have positive effects on energy levels and can help give you the boost you need to get through your morning workout.
There’s Also the classic “pre-workout” drink which has been popular for years and generally these are full of caffeine and other stimulants such as taurine, l-arginine and beta alanine. They generally work great for providing an energy boost but they should be used in moderation as you don’t want to become reliant on them.
So if you feel like you need something to get your body moving, this could be an option worth considering.
Make sure to stay hydrated as dehydration can have a huge impact on how you feel during your morning workout. Not drinking enough water can lead to fatigue, headaches and dizziness. It can be a tricky balancing act making sure you are taking in enough liquid the day and night before without getting woken up in the night having to pee.
It’s advisable to have a glass of water or two with breakfast and then keep your water bottle close by during your session so you can sip on it throughout. If you are doing a longer workout, or if it’s particularly hot weather, electrolyte drinks such as coconut water can be very beneficial in helping you stay hydrated.
Having a steady flow of liquid throughout the day is crucial for maintaining energy levels and keeping your body at its optimum performance. So make sure to stay hydrated to get the most out of your morning workout!
Related: Are Slow Reps More Effective Than Fast Explosive Reps?
13. Get your head in the game
Finally, being mentally prepared for the morning workout ahead is very important to make sure you get the most out of the session. This is because if you are in a daze or still half asleep, you won’t be able to focus on your workout properly and could end up doing a sub-par session.
Make sure you give yourself some time to get into the zone before starting and think about your goals for the session. Visualise how successful it will be and know that nothing is going to stop you from achieving them. Put some upbeat music on and get yourself ready to smash it out!
The most important thing to remember is that your body takes time to adjust, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel as strong in the morning as you do in the evenings. Listen to your body, take things slow and steady and make sure you fuel up properly beforehand. With the right preparation and mindset, there’s no reason why you can’t have a great morning workout every time!
Is it OK to workout right after waking up?
While some people may feel energised after a night of rest, others may need more time to wake up before they can get in a good workout. It’s important to listen to your body and recognize how you’re feeling when deciding if it is ok to workout right away or not. If you are feeling sluggish, it may be a better idea to take a few minutes to wake up and get ready for the day before starting your workout. However, if you feel alert and energized in the morning, then going straight into a workout can be beneficial. It is important to remember that everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to working out right after waking up. Ultimately, you should trust your own judgement and decide what’s best for you.
Should I force myself to workout in the morning?
The answer to this question really depends on the individual. Some people are naturally morning people and may find that it is easier for them to exercise first thing in the morning, while others may be more of a night owl and prefer to exercise later in the day. Ultimately, though, it’s important to find a workout routine that works best with your lifestyle and sleep schedule.
If you find that working out in the morning is an easier way for you to stick to a routine, then it may be beneficial for you to make an effort to get your workouts done first thing. However, if you’re not a morning person and force yourself to workout before sunrise, it could end up having a negative impact on your performance and health. It is important to listen to your body, stay motivated, and make sure you are getting enough rest in order to maximize the benefits of exercise.
How long does it take to get used to working out in the morning?
It could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months before you start feeling comfortable with your morning workout routine. In order to make it easier, start off slowly by doing just 10 minutes of light exercise or stretching at first. As you get more used to the idea of waking up early and exercising, you can gradually add more time to your routine and increase the intensity of your exercises. Additionally, make sure to listen to your body and take rest days when needed. Don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a while for you to adjust—it’s completely normal! With patience and dedication, you’ll get used to working out in the morning in no time.
Additionally, if you’re having difficulty making a routine that works for you, consider talking to a fitness professional. A trainer or coach can help create a personalized plan that fits your lifestyle and fitness goals. This can make it much easier to stick with your workout regimen and helps ensure that you remain safe while exercising.
How can I get energy for early morning workout?
One of the best ways to get energy for an early morning workout is to prepare ahead of time. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, and aim for 7-9 hours to ensure that your body is well-rested. Eating a balanced breakfast before your workout can also help to give you a boost of energy. Try including nutrient-packed foods like oatmeal, eggs, and yogurt. Additionally, drinking a cup of coffee or tea can help to give you an extra boost of energy to power through your workout. You may also want to consider taking a pre-workout supplement that contains ingredients like caffeine and B vitamins which can help to improve focus and increase energy levels.
Do morning workouts build muscle?
The answer is yes, but the extent to which it can occur will depend on several factors. The most important consideration is whether or not the individual has had adequate rest and nutrition in the time leading up to the workout. Additionally, intensity level, type of exercise performed, and even genetics can all play a role in determining how effective a morning workout is for muscle building.
In order to maximize the potential for muscle growth, it is recommended that you eat a balanced meal prior to your workout and ensure adequate hydration throughout. Additionally, choose exercises that target the desired muscle groups and perform them with high intensity in order to stimulate growth. Finally, be sure to fuel your body with an appropriate post-workout recovery snack in order to provide it with the nutrients necessary for successful muscle growth. With careful planning and consistent effort, morning workouts can be an effective way to build muscle.
If you’re having difficulty with your morning workouts, there are lots of things you can do to help improve your performance. From adjusting your circadian rhythm, eating a nutritious breakfast, using stimulants and being mindful of dehydration and mental preparation – these are all key steps in ensuring a successful morning workout session every time.
So make sure to take the time to prepare for your morning session and you’ll find that it will be much easier and enjoyable. Good luck!
Do you feel weak if you workout in the morning and have these tips helped? Let us know in the comments below.