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Dawn Patrol: The Benefits of An Early Morning Workout

By February 24, 2015 No Comments

dawn-patrol-03-main580Prefer an AM sweat session?  Whether you jump out of bed the minute your eyes open or slam the snooze button seven times before you take on your am sweat session, one thing is for certain: morning exercisers are more likely to stick to their routines and approach their day with a positive and focused mind. Dedicated Flywheel riders and pulsers “Rise ‘n FLY” for  our Dawn Patrol classes knowing our high-energy instructors will help prepare them for the day ahead. Although 5:45 am may sound crazy, you better believe there’s a waitlist! We asked our frequent Dawn Patrol instructors to share their tricks for getting out of bed, staying committed and why they love working out before the rest of the world is even awake.

My alarm goes off at: 5:00 am
Pre-class fuel:  I do not eat before class.  The night before,  I load up on protein and vegetables… and of course, 16 Handles yogurt!  I teach the double Dawn Patrol rides so I allow myself extra toppings! The graham cracker crumbs are my favorite! I also do not drink any caffeine…can you believe it?
The night before:  My lights are out by 9:30 pm.
Post-class fuel: I drink 16 oz. of water right after class. For breakfast, I eat yogurt and fruit every morning.
Why I love an early morning ride:  Dawn Patrol rides jump start your metabolism, plus, your first accomplishment of the day happens before most people even wake up! An am workout means spending more quality time at the end of the day with friends, family or enjoying time to yourself. The Dawn Patrol group is a community, we push each other. I love teaching theses classes. The anticipation of teaching a packed studio of kick-ass riders before the sun comes up is the best motivation ever!

My alarm goes off at:  4:40 am and when that alarm goes off I jump out of bed. I never press the snooze button!
Pre-class fuel:   I don’t eat before class,  it is just too early for me. On the way to the studio, I drink water because it’s what gets me going. The riders in my class might not have had anything to eat or drink either, so I have to be their cup of coffee!
Post-class fuel:   I eat a bowl of oatmeal with lots of berries or a banana and a hard boiled egg followed by LARGE coffee.
Why I love an early morning ride:   My Dawn Patrol riders motivate me. They wake up early in the morning for me and I know I need to give them 100%.  They are the ones that give me that wake up and GO attitude!

My alarm goes off at:  4:00 am
Pre-class fuel:    My go-to Magic Bullet smoothie—two scoops protein powder, small banana, 1TB peanut butter, creatine, milk and ice = delicious! I will mix some coffee ground into my smoothie if I didn’t get to bed on time… it works!
The night before:   I’m in bed by 8:00 pm and asleep by 8:30 pm.
Post-class fuel:   I have an EAS Advantage shake right after class, around 7:00 am.
Why I love an early morning ride:  I LOVE the snooze button, but the early morning workouts set the tone for the day. When most people are still sleeping, I am up, heart pounding, and sweat dripping.  I love that feeling even more! Afternoon workouts tend to get cancelled due to work, kids and life getting in the way. Get up, get on the bike, get it done. Period.

My alarm goes off at:  I set alarms for 4:30 am, 4:45 am and every 5 minutes after that (just in case) and I’m out the door by 5:10 am.  
Pre-class fuel:  I normally eat a piece of fruit or half of a protein bar before teaching a Dawn Patrol class. I also always have a glass of water or a hot tea on my commute for a little extra hydration.
The night before:   Sleep? I don’t know that word. My goal for the new year is to GET. MORE. SLEEP.  If possible, I do take power naps throughout the day!
Post-class fuel:  I reward myself with a coffee or a soy latte from my favorite coffee shop and then have a mason jar filled with oat groats, chia seeds, coconut milk yogurt, fruit, and a protein (peanut butter or protein powder).
Why I love an early morning ride:  I am NOT a morning person;  I love teaching early because the endorphins power me through my day- it’s like nothing else in the world. No amount of coffee can take the place of a good sweat shortly after rolling out of bed!  I am incredibly inspired by the dedication of the Dawn Patrol riders. They are the definition of NO EXCUSES.

My alarm goes off at:  No later than 4:00 am.
Pre-class fuel:   Not much. Riding on a full stomach very early can be difficult for me. If I have anything it is a banana or a Luna bar.
The night before:  I am in bed early. As soon as my daughter goes down, I am not far behind!
Post-class fuel:  I typically save a significant amount of my morning calories for post-ride. My go-to meals include a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter or an egg white omelette with chicken sausage.
Why I love an early morning ride:  Working out in the morning gives me the energy that I need to tackle the rest of my day. A good sweat leaves me feeling accomplished and fresh. Some of my best work is done after a great workout.

My alarm goes off at:  4:45 am
First thing that you do when you wake up:  I set out my outfit and clothes for the day the night before so that when I wake up I literally just put on my clothes and walk out the door. I grab a cab and then get a coffee at a bodega by Flywheel, around 5:15 am. I usually walk into the studio, coffee in hand around 5:20.
The night before:  I try to be in bed by 10:00 pm.
Post-class fuel: After my am class(es), I usually get a latte and have a piece of fruit, almonds or a bar.
Why I love an early morning pulse:  I am actually most energetic in the mornings and sweating in the am sets the tone for the entire day. When I work out in the morning I have the afternoon open to work on the other aspects of my job, like training instructors and creative development of the class.

My alarm goes off at: 5:30 am
Pre-class fuel:    Before coffee, I have a few glasses of water to help me wake me up and stay hydrated.  The caffeine kick helps me rev up my alertness. I usually keep my early morning breakfast pretty light with a greek yogurt and banana. I like greek yogurt because it is packed with protein to keep me feeling full to make it through class without weighing me down.
The night before:  I have lovingly received the nickname of “Old Lady E” from my coworkers because I am in bed every night by 9:30 pm. I’m huge on sleep so I make sure to get at least 8 hours each night. Sleep is so important in not only making sure I am awake enough for my early am classes, but it’s so important to allow my body the recovery time at the end of the day so I can do it all again the next morning.
Post-class fuel:  I usually always eat eggs with avocado or a breakfast taco from Whole Foods. Making sure that I get another boost of protein and some healthy fats keeps me from crashing mid-day. I also make sure to have a recovery drink, I love Vega Sport recovery accelerator.  It helps restore energy and reduce inflammation.
Why I love an early morning ride:  It’s such an amazing feeling to know you’ve accomplished so much while everyone else is still sleeping or enjoying their first cup of coffee in the morning. The first few hours of the morning set the tone for how the rest of your day will go and it’s so much fun to start the day with a sweaty dance party!

My alarm goes off at: 5:00 am. I specifically set my clothes aside the night before so I don’t have to wake up any earlier!
Pre-class fuel:   I have a glass of water and half a banana. It’s hard to eat so early in the morning.
The night before:  I always try to get eight hours every night. Nights before the 5:30 am are tough – so if I can do seven, I’m happy.
Post-class fuel: I normally make myself a smoothie after class. I also usually pair it with an english muffin and peanut butter. Gets me going for the day!
Why I love an early morning ride:  An early morning class gives you energy ALL day long. It ‘sets the tone for your day’ – which is something I say in most of my morning classes. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment to get a good sweat in when most of the city is still asleep. The energy in my 5:30 am classes is on a whole different level. Their energy and enthusiasm are what really rev me up. They are, by far, my most rowdy crew!  We even call ourselves the #530flyclub.

My alarm goes off at: 4:30 am
First thing that you do when you wake up: A hot shower usually wakes me right up.
Pre-class fuel:   I usually have a cup of tea and oatmeal with fresh berries, a banana, and almond butter.
The night before:  I always aim for at least 7 hours. When following an exercise program, getting the right amount of sleep is one of the most important things you can do.
Post-class fuel:   It’s important to eat something substantial within a half hour of finishing class.  I aim to have a good mix of protein and carbs after a workout. I also have my first cup of coffee of the day at that point.
Why I love an early morning ride:  There is nothing like starting your day with a good sweat. It revs up your metabolism and sets your body to burn calories through the rest of the day. Plus, you leave the class with a feeling of personal accomplishment before everyone else is out of bed.

My alarm goes off at:  My phone alarm goes off at 4:50 am and my back-up radio alarm goes off at 5:01 am (just in case) but I’m usually awake before either goes off.
Pre-class fuel:   I’ll have half a protein bar, drink water and a shot of caffeine in the form of… I’m not going to give up that dirty little secret!
The night before:  I go to bed at 10:30 pm on nights I have to get up early, I found trying to go to bed earlier doesn’t work for me, I can’t fall asleep any sooner than 11:00 pm.
Post-class fuel:  I finish the other half of my protein bar and drink lots of water.
Why I love an early morning ride:  Working out early jump starts my metabolism, plus,  it’s good to work out at different times of the day to continually challenge your body. It’s also  great to be done before most people are even up, and the streets are wonderfully quiet and peaceful at that time of day,  and sometimes after class I can catch the sunrise!   Once I’m in the stadium, it can be any hour of the day or any day of the week, time stands still, so when the music starts we’re ready to go. The energy at that hour is great, the members are hard working and dedicated and I find that inspiring.


Need breakfast inspiration? Click here to see what our Flywheel and FlyBarre instructors across the country reach for in the morning.

“Since I’ve started riding at Flywheel, I’ve lost 30 pounds and three dress sizes. My blood pressure is that of an athlete and my cholesterol levels are all within normal range for the first time in my life!”  Read about Jess Gorman’s incredible health transformation.

There are many physical and mental benefits behind endurance training at Flywheel. Read them here.


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