Why I Still Work Out at 5 a.m.

I’ve had a few people ask me why in the world I get up at 5 a.m. every day when I work from home and essentially make my own schedule. If I am able to workout any time, why do I still wake up before the sun comes up?

I have three answers:

  1. It makes me infinitely more productive. When I finish my workout before 6:30 a.m., I feel like my day is set into motion and I keep riding the productivity wave all day long. Also, the longer I put off a workout, the less likely I am to actually do it!
  2. I want to keep a “normal” schedule. When I made the decision to leave my previous job to focus on freelance writing and blogging, I made a commitment to myself that I would still work “normal” hours. During the week, I can almost always be found at my computer from 7:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an hour break in there for lunch or an afternoon walk with Sadie, assuming I don’t have a meeting or appointment of some kind. (I’m back at my computer again when I type up my dinner post.)
  3. I like the extra time with Ryan. We always enjoyed heading to the gym together first thing in the morning before I began working from home and I wanted to keep up the tradition when my job changed.

So there ya have it! The madness behind my morning workouts!


Today’s morning workout was awesome! When I finished it, I couldn’t wait to get home and type it up to share with you guys.

Check out a new circuit workout!

ab workout
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I’ve been seriously neglecting core exercises lately and decided to make today’s workout focused and abs and cardio. I began my workout with 15 minutes on the arc trainer before completing the above circuit and cooling down with another 10 minutes on the elliptical while I waited for Ryan to finish his leg workout.


After a quick shower, it was time for breakfast. 0 Pin It

I made a batch of vanilla banana protein oatmeal that hit the spot.

Vanilla Banana Protein Oatmeal

Serves 1

Cook time: 25 minutes


  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons steel cut oats
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts


  • Bring 1 3/4 cup water to a boil
  • Add steel cut oats and reduce to medium heat
  • Allow oats to cook for 20 minutes, or until thick and creamy
  • Add banana slices, protein powder and cinnamon to the oats and continue to cook on low for approximately 5 minutes
  • Pour oats into a bowl, top with hazelnuts

banana protein oatmeal 008

banana protein oatmeal 011

And then I ate another handful of mixed nuts on the side because the hazelnuts sparked a craving!

Off to be productive! I have a lunchtime meeting for my volunteer work with the Taste of Ocala and hope to check a lot of things off my to do list beforehand.


  1. katie says

    You are an inspiration day in and day out! I too maintain a “non traditional” work schedule, and while I am often so tempted to push my workouts to mid-morning/afternoon (which then might turn into never) I find myself regularly checking for your morning post as motivation to get to the gym! So, thank you!


  2. says

    That’s GREAT that you still keep full time hours pretty much working from home. I honestly admire that tremendously and not many people have that opportunity to make it work for themselves. Way to go girl! Plus working out together in the morning is GREAT bonding time when you and your partner both love fitness :) I would wake up that early just to go to the gym with my boyfriend too if we lived together haha.


  3. says

    My boyfriend (and workout partner) wake up at 4:45 so that we can go to the gym. He recently quit his day job to pursue his own business venture where he works from home, and thankfully has kept getting up early with me! I love it and am so appreciative that he does, so I’m sure your boyfriend feels the same way! :)


  4. says

    I am totally with you on working out in the AM! Although, I’m not currently doing it, I was following that schedule last year, and it makes the day feel so much more productive. In fact, just writing this is inspiring me to start going it again. It really does make the day so much more productive, and I loved having the evenings to myself.


  5. says

    Julie, I would totally do the same thing. I am actually sad that my boyfriend and I don’t have the same workout schedules because I love that we can do it together on the weekends. Even though we don’t “do” the same things at the gym, it is something we do together. He works REALLY early so has to get his excercise in after work whereas I’m opposite. Anyway, the productivity, energy thing is KEY.


  6. says

    I always wondered about working at home and how it would totally throw me off track. I’d be working super late so I like how you maintain a nice schedule.

    I also love working out early because it sets my day in motion. Once in awhile, I will work out at night. Plus, I’m not too tired after a long day at work.


  7. says

    You’re totally right about morning workouts…but I don’t know if I would have the motivation to be up so early without a job to rush off for. Kudos girl! Also never thought of adding protein powder into oats…definitely a must try soon!


  8. says

    I am so incredibly impressed that you get up at 5 am every day to work out with your husband. I have a really hard time fitting in workouts at night so I really should adopt this too but the idea of getting up that early just sounds miserable to me! Maybe if I got to bed before 12:30 though it might be a little easier?!


  9. says

    I love getting in my work out before I get to work that way I can just come home in the evening and just relax. But sometimes if I’m having a bad day I like to blow off steam in the evening at the gym.

    I forgot about jump roping – i haven’t done it since I was a kid – must try this workout!


  10. says

    I don’t work out at 5 am bec my body just doesn’t like it…BUT I still get up at 5 am every morning. I like having that head start to the day to get work done. Plus, its one of the only quiet times in this house. 😉


  11. Laurie says

    I totally agree about morning workouts. It gives me energy in the morning and throughout the day to push through the 2pm wall. I’m jealous Ryan goes too — the only thing that would make my workouts better would be if the bf went (but he is an evening workout kind of guy)


  12. Becka says

    When I was a senior in high school I took a kickboxing class every weekday morning from 5:30am to 6:30am, so I woke up at 4:45 every morning. Back then I thought it was no big deal but thinking about doing it now makes me want a nap!


  13. says

    i’m impressed that you can continue to get up that early. i’m trying to transition to morning workouts. i’m a naturally early riser–sleeping late for me is around 8 am. However, the darkness in the mornings is killing me. is it summer yet?


  14. says

    I’m right there with ya! If I don’t get up and get it done with there is a very high probability it won’t get done at all. Getting up early is tough only until I’m awake – then I love how much extra time I have!
    I love that you and Ryan have that time together. Nick and I used to run together and it was so nice – I can’t wait to get back to running after PT gives me green light!


  15. says

    I’m working from home now and I’m terrible with getting up to workout because I think, oh I can do it any time during the day…and then it doesn’t end up happening! I really admire your dedication, and this post is totally motivating me to get on a more disciplined schedule!


  16. says

    That’s great that you’ve found a schedule that works for you! I’m definitely an afternoon exerciser. If it gets too late I stay up too late, and I have never been an early riser. I’m impressed that people can do it!


  17. says

    I think it’s great that you’re stil so motivated to get up and work out even though you could put it off during the day. It shows commitment and a dedication to both your health and your job as a full-time blogger. And it’s great motivation for the rest of us!


  18. says

    I’m with you on the early morning workouts! Even on my days off I always try to get there early because I know if I wait until AFTER breakfast to go, I’m less likely to actually go. And I hate when the gym is packed with people – it just makes me want to leave.


  19. Colleen says

    Hi Julie! I’m a new reader and am so amazed by your ability to get up so early every morning!
    I’m wondering what you eat before you work out to keep your energy levels up so early in the morning? Or do you go straight ot the gym and eat a big breakfast afterwards? I’ve tried a bunch snacks before early morning workouts and can’t seem to get it right. Thanks!


    • says

      hey colleen! i usually don’t eat anything before my workouts on weekdays b/c i get really crampy if i eat w/in an hour of working out and don’t wanna wake up at 4 a.m. to eat. on weekends i always eat before a workout since i know i’ll have more time to digest.


  20. says

    I, too, am a morning “work-outer”. I find that if I put off working out, I am not as apt to do it or get as good of a work out in for the day!

    I wake up about 4:45 in the mornings-I do feel better at work & throughout the day. Helps making a “desk job” more bearable!


  21. Rachel says

    Hi Julie! I’m a fan of your blog a such long time but i’ve never comment before..sorry for the poor english, i’m from Brazil, state of Sao Paulo. I’m 30 and my daughter is Julia. My workout is also 5:30 in the morning, in the gym that my husband works as jiu-jitsu coach, because the weather is not too hot like later (now is 42 celsius degrees here). You make my days happyer and motivated to carry on!!! Thanks


  22. says

    I’m with you.. even when I don’t have work or anything else to do for the day I always prefer to get my workout done super early.. I definitely get more done in the day and if I want to swim or some other activity I still have a ton of time.


  23. karina says

    Julie … do you eat before working out in the mornings? I don’t think I would be able to work out on an empty stomach but am stuck on a light alternative. Love your blog (& Sadie too!)


    • says

      i don’t on weekdays b/c i get really crampy if i eat w/in an hour of working out and don’t wanna wake up at 4 a.m. to eat. on weekends i always eat before a workout since i know i’ll have more time to digest.


  24. says

    I always feel like I’ve accomplished so much by the time I get to work in the morning after I’ve already worked out! Granted getting up at 5:15 isn’t ‘fun’, but by the time I get to the gym I’ve usually forgotten how bad it was to get up! The only part I don’t like is walking to the gym in the dark that early… cold and spooky! Makes me walk extra fast!!
    I also like to workout in the morning on the weekends too… If i delay it I loose motivation and get lazy, sad but true!


  25. says

    I could never. I can’t even get UP at 5 am. Let alone workout. On 6 am wake-up days I still need at least an hour before I leave the house. NOT a morning person. But I do like getting to bed early, though that doesn’t happen often since I have my boyfriend and we are usually up quite late.


  26. says

    I totally hear ya on the early morning workouts. I actually found that, for the 4-5 months that I was unemployed, early morning workouts were the only thing that would actually get up and moving for the day. Otherwise, I’d dilly-dally around, and before I knew, half my day was shot. But with getting up and moving right away, it definitely made for some much more productive days!
    P.S. – I miss your face 😉


  27. says

    I totally agree. I’m still in school (going into high school– am I one of your youngest readers? :P) and I have to workout at 4-5 P.M. and by then my energy is almost all gone! I love working out on the weekends or on holidays because then I get to start my day with a workout! :)


  28. Daybelis says

    Hey I am new to your blog and I am so happy I found it. I am a recovered anorexic and these type of blogs help me see that being healthy is possible with enjoying life too. You don’t restrict and enjoy treats yet you are healthy and exercise and overall you look beautiful.you are a role model to all those girls out there who don’t enjoy their youth by restricting calories and not indulging once in a while.I also concur with you I need t workout early in the morning because if I don’t it wont happen any time soon lol. Again love your blog!


  29. says

    I ran Cross-Country and Track in college, and I thought working out anytime before 8AM was crazy. However, I’m now a teacher and leave to get to school at 6:30AM, and now really enjoy waking up at 4:50 to workout! It’s crazy how much things change overtime :)


  30. Stephanie says

    Totally agree that getting a workout in nice and early just sets the tone for the rest of the day! Love feeling productive before the sun even comes up! But still, if I was able to make my own schedule I dont’ know if I could stick to getting up that early! Major props.


  31. Ida says

    I should workout in the mornings too. I love how I felt when I did it once :p Does it make a difference whether or not you eat before? I always take wheatgrass/spirulina/etc mix of greens as soon as I wake up.


  32. Anne Marie says

    Hi Julie! I am new to the blog and I already love it! I’ve been wanting to step up my strength training and this is exactly what I needed to do that! I too am a morning girl and I love to get up and start my day with a 5-mile run before I head to work, but the early starts are causing early ends to my days. How do you keep up your energy level throughout the day? By 9pm I am exhausted! Looking forward to reading more!

    Anne Marie


  33. says

    I just found your jump rope workout before heading to the gym and I am off to try it out right now! I started incorporating jump rope a couple of months ago, and I love how it gets your heart pumping. And I get up at 5AM to work out too so I totally hear you. I wouldn’t change it even if I did work from home. It’s such a great way to start the day!


  34. Amber says

    I LOVE this banana oatmeal recipe! I have a quicker similar version that Ive been hooked on for a few months. A girlfriend of mine (who is also a KD) and I share a GNC card and have fun with their flavored protein powders and the quality of it. I blend a scoop of the banana protein powder with a cup of soy milk in my blender ball and then pour it into a cup of the plain instant oatmeal after I cook it with water in the microwave for a minute. If I have fresh bananas its an extra treat, and if not, it still takes less than 2 minutes and is delicious. Your blog is WONDERFUL and I love your inspiration and dedication!



  35. Rachel says

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and I love it! I just have a random question: what do you use to make those fun images for your workouts?


  36. Alaina says

    Julie, I know it’s probably freaking you out that you get a new comment on a post from years ago, but I found this recipe after searching for protein powder + oatmeal on pinterest and this came up! Funny enough, I regularly read your blog, so I’m surprised I didn’t see this recipe sooner. Anyhow, I was curious if you are able to prevent the protein powder from making the texture of the oatmeal gritty…I always seem to have that problem. Is it gritty for you?



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