My Killer Morning Routine
What you do upon waking in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.
If you get out of bed late, eat junk food and sit around in your pyjamas all morning it comes as no surprise that you’re probably not getting the results you want out of life because you’re starting every day the wrong way…
I like to change my morning routine up from time to time to ensure I don’t become too comfortable and simply go through the motions.
My current 3 step morning routine is fantastic for improving your health, fitness and muscular recovery – give it a try!
Step 1 – Make A Juice
Upon rising I fire up with slow juicer and run through several carrots, an apple, a couple of beets and some ginger.
Juices are loaded with nutrients, nutrient deficiency leads to hunger
When you’re providing your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs you will not get those urges and cravings to demolish greasy, unhealthy foods.
Ask anyone that drinks green juice if they have a continual hunger or craving for bad food – I’ve never encountered one that said they did.
Ask anyone that needs to lose weight if they drink green juice… once again, I’ve never encountered one that said they did.
Juices are quick to make and can be made in advance (no excuse to have not prepared and cheat on your diet as of result)
Unhealthy, calorie dense foods are cheap and readily available.
Healthy, low calorie foods on the other hand require preparation – when you’re preparing solid meals this can take quite some time…
Green juices for weight loss on the other hand are quick to make and can be prepared in advance and stored as per the Fit-Juice guide here.
Spend 15 – 20 minutes prepping your produce, juicing and cleaning your juicer and you’ve got several days worth of juice good to go.
Green juice loaded with chlorophyll assists in detoxifying your kidneys and liver
No need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on a professional detox, drinking green juice will naturally detox your body – allowing you to process nutrients better and potentially lose water weight etc.
Step 2 – Go To The Gym
Shortly after I’ve consumed my juice (beet is known to improve endurance and athletic performance) I head to the gym, since starting to train in the morning I wouldn’t have it any other way…
Getting up early and get your workout done before the majority of the world have even crawled out of their beds to debate what they’re going to do that day is such a rewarding and empowering feeling.
The mental sharpness post-workout blows the effects of a coffee out of the water, you’re ready to kill whatever comes your way for the remainder of the day because you’re not stressed, your energetic and you’re focused.
If I don’t train in the morning I more often than not feel lethargic, unenthusiastic and lack the usual energy I have… this is essentially how the majority of society feels all the time – don’t be like that. We’re different.
I haven’t even mentioned that you’ll have free run of the gym, how many guys do you think are at the gym using the power rack, leg press or cables at 5am? None, now you don’t have to think about how packed the gym is going to be when you roll in late in the afternoon, or how fatigued from work or study you are.
Just about every college football team performs their strength and resistance training early in the morning. Why is this? Well it builds discipline for one, but there are also a lot of scientifically proven advantages to training in the morning such as:
If you haven’t already I highly suggest you give training in the early hours of the morning a try, I can guarantee you’ll feel great for it and your productivity will be at an all-time high, you’ll also build discipline. The first few days you won’t have the best workouts admittedly as your body isn’t used to training at such a time, but after the first few days you’ll be smashing through your PRs.
Step 3 – Hit The Infrared Sauna
Spend 30 – 45 minutes in an infrared sauna after your workout and you’ll reap many, many benefits.
If you don’t have close access to a sauna you can pick up a one person infrared sauna relatively cheaply on Amazon, they don’t take up much space and can easily be set up in the corner of your bedroom.
“But why the infrared sauna, SJ?”
There are several good reasons why many bodybuilders and fighters spend time in a sauna prior to stepping on stage or climbing in the ring for their upcoming bout.
Our body eliminates toxins by sweating. The advantage of a infrared sauna over a traditional sauna in this regard is that a regular sauna only heats the air within the sauna. Meanwhile, an infrared sauna heats your body directly causing a rise in temperature without the internal heat of the sauna room itself being as high.
The result – an intense detoxifying sweat at a cellular level.
Here’s a study noting the core temperature of an individual in a infrared sauna vs. that of a traditional sauna.
During my research on the detoxification benefits from infrared saunas many experts report detoxification results are up to seven times (!) greater in a infrared sauna vs. a traditional sauna.
Heat is fantastic for stress relief and relaxation, so it comes as no surprise that the infrared sauna is one of the most affective means of stress relief and relaxation that I’ve personally come across.
As I’ve discussed before, a high level of stress is a result of increased cortisol levels which is responsible for that ‘fight or flight’ reaction we get under times of immense tension.
While in an infrared sauna cortisol levels remain relatively stable, however upon finishing off your session in the infrared sauna cortisol levels generally drop quite drastically – resulting in reduced blood pressure, lower heart rate, efficient burning of calories.
The infrared sauna heats your body directly as opposed to a traditional sauna which is a lot more of a harsh and intense experience to sit through for anywhere above 20 minutes, making the experience itself more relaxing and the tangible benefits more noticeable afterwards too!
Improved (Circulation) Recovery From Heavy Workouts
I eat well, supplement smartly and perform active recovery throughout the week, however performing heavy compound exercises such as the squat, bench press, overhead press etc. do all take their toll on the body –especially when working in the 4 – 6 rep range.
Tight muscles, aches and pro-longed delayed onset muscle soreness have all become quite common for me.
Regular use an infrared sauna has drastically improved my recovery time between workouts and overall feeling of my joints and muscles.
You can thank the heat penetrating your body from the infrared sauna increasing circulation and speeding up oxygen flow for these recovery benefits.
Weight Loss (reduced water retention)
Here’s where many bloggers and infrared sauna advocates lose all credibility.
A infrared sauna will NOT cause you to drop three pants sizes or unlock six pack abs without doing any exercise. That’s not how it works at all and it never will – don’t by into these marketing ploys targeting your lethargic nature.
Many fighters and bodybuilders will use infrared saunas in order to cut weight in the form of water weight several days out from their fight/competition/weigh in. It’s very important that we differentiate that we’re taking about weight in the form of fluid (water retention) we’re not talking about fat loss.
Spending time in an infrared sauna will leave you looking ‘dryer’ and leaner provided your body fat is already relatively low – however this weight can easily be put back on by avoiding the sauna and increasing your fluid intake.
Prior to a photoshoot or event which I want to look my leanest for, a week or two beforehand I increase my water intake, supplement with dandelion root extract and use a combination of Epsom salt baths and infrared sauna sessions. When you’re 10% body fat or below implementing these few techniques at the last minute can take your physique from good to great or great to jaw dropping depending on how much fluid you’re currently retaining.
Clarity Of Mind
This ties in with the stress reduction mentioned previously.
One area I need to work on is allowing myself more time to relax and unwind – constantly working on a combination of my online businesses, training, coaching and assisting others to reach their goals I have a very limited amount of time to take a step back, clear my mind and re-assess any trials or tribulations that I’m facing.
30-45 minutes in a quiet sauna is a fantastic time to achieve this clarity.
Reading a book, meditating, listening to relaxing music or journaling are the 4 go-to options for clearing my mind and relaxing in the infrared sauna – it’s a matter of finding what works best for you.