Over the past few years my morning routine has changed due to where we live, family responsibilities, where I'm working, and all the things I need to get done any given day. What began as simply checking my email while eating breakfast has morphed into an elaborate yet very structured method of measurements, weight training, supplements, healthy eating, email checking, seeing my family, 30+ minutes of reading each morning, and more.
Don't think a morning routine will work for you? Richard Branson says it's crucial to his success:
No matter where I am in the world, I try to routinely wake up at around 5am. By rising early, I’m able to do some exercise and spend time with my family, which puts me in a great mind frame before getting down to business.
– Richard Branson
What you'll find out below is how I pack all of this into a few hours each morning. I encourage you to copy or modify this to suit your purposes, and of course comment below.
Let's get to it!
Robert Dempsey's Morning Routine
I wake up, immediately hop out of bed, and head to the bathroom. After that I head to the kitchen where my pre-workout supplementation and breakfast are waiting for me. I mix my pre-workout drink, grab my supplements, and head downstairs.
As soon as I'm downstairs I divest myself of all clothing and get on the scale. After I record my weight I check and record my body fat percentage. Next I down my pre-workout drink along with my pre-workout supplements.
While I'm waiting for those to kick in I check email and respond to a few as necessary.
Time for a kettlebell workout!
The following workout has changed over time, and I have started integrating calisthenics to build raw power and speed. I use a 35 pound kettlebell for all kettlebell exercises as well as the first two items on my warmup list.
Warmup (6-8 minutes)
3 rounds of:
- Hands up stretch
- Forward, back and side to side bend
- Deep down squat
- Halos, 5 each direction
Calisthenics (3-4 minutes)
- Straight Hop, 2 sets of 3 reps
- Incline Pop-up, 2 sets of 3 reps
Strength: Kettlebells & Abs (50-60 minutes)
- One handed swing, 5 sets of 10 reps, each arm
- Turkish Get-Up, 1 set of 5 reps, each side
- Clean, 4 sets of 10 reps
- Lying single leg raise, 3×15
- Plank 1×1 minute
- Side plank, 1×1 minute
- Goblet squat, 4 sets of 10 reps
- Press, 3 sets of 10 reps
- Two-handed swing, 5 sets of 20 reps
Cool Down (6 minutes)
- Forward, back and side to side bend
- Hip flexors stretch
- Seated twist
After I clean and put away my kettlebell I head upstairs for breakfast and vitamins. I eat the exact same thing each day. This works for me, it might not for you.
- 1/2 cup Gluten free old fashioned rolled oats by Bob's Red Mill
- 1/2 cup Fresh frozen triple berries by Wyman's of Maine
- 1 cup Non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 scoop Green Vibrance
- 1/2 scoop whey isolate (brands vary)
- 2 caps Garden of Life multivitamin
- 1 cap NOW Foods Vitamin D
- 2 caps Ultimate Omega by Nordic Naturals
- 5g Creatine
After eating all of that goodness I clean up, pack my lunch for the day and put my cooler by the stairs.
Immediately post-breakfast I hit the shower. After my shower I kiss each member of my family goodbye, and then head back downstairs, grabbing my cooler along the way. I get dressed, put my computer into my backpack, grab everything else I need, and head to the bus.
Hop on the bus and head to the metro. While on the bus I either read a book on my Kindle or get some work done. If I decide to do work it could be answering emails, mind mapping a product or presentation, or working on a chapter of my book. Once on the metro, depending on how busy it is, I usually read as I stand up for that portion of my commute.
Arrive at work, plug in my computer, put my food away and get to work.
Do I Really Do All That Every Day?
Yes, with some minor adjustments. I am currently doing ab work 5 times per week. If my body says I need to take it easy then I'll do the same workout but cut the volume (the number of sets I do) in half. I consider that a de-load day.
What About The Weekends?
The only difference in my schedule on the weekends is that I wake up at 5am and I don't go to my full-time job. What exactly I do on the weekend depends on the plans my family and I have made as well as what else I need to get done. Regardless, I do the same workout (or an update of my current one), eat the same thing for breakfast, take the same shower, and wear what I planned to.
I'm able to fit a lot in to a morning because I wake up early and I've figured out a routine to get it all done efficiently. Having a system allows you to reclaim a lot of time and get done everything you want to get done. If you need to fit more into each morning look for ways to save time by aggressively cutting out anything unimportant. And yes, there's always something we do that's unimportant.
Do you have a morning routine and if so, what does it look like?
Photo courtesy of Steve Lacy