Morning makes or breaks the rest of the day.
A good morning makes it a good day.
A bad morning makes it a bad day.
So always start your day in the right way.
How do you have a great morning?
A great morning starts the night before.
You have to wake up at a reasonable time to have a great morning.
You cannot wake up at 1pm and have a great morning, because morning is already over by then.
One should get to bed at a reasonable time if one expects to wake up and kick butt.
I'd like to be able to say I go to bed at 9pm every night and that I'm not dicking around on the internet like everyone else, but that would be a lie.
However, I do two things to make sure I get the best sleep I can:
- I don't take my laptop into the bedroom.
- I sleep in the darkest room possible.
Sleeping in the dark can be a dual edged sword.
The lighter it is in the morning, the earlier you will wake up. The darker it is in the morning, the later you will wake up.
I find it impossible to sleep past 7am in a light room. In a dark room I can sleep much later.
(I can remember staying in a pitch black villa in Bali and not waking up until 12pm, the latest I have slept in in at least 8 years.)
I try to get the best of both worlds. I try to sleep in as dark a room as possible and wake up at a reasonable time.
I could just wake up early every day and take a nap in the afternoon, but I do not like taking a nap during the day.
A nap feels like defeat, so I try to get adequate sleep.
I simply try to go to bed at an adequate time to get enough sleep to not require a nap.
I typically get to bed anywhere between 10pm-12am and I find this time satisfactory for waking up before 8am.
When to go to sleep / When to wake up
- To wake up at 7am I'd get to bed no later than 11pm.
- To wake up at 6am I'd get to bed no later than 10pm.
- To wake up at 5am I'd get to bed no later than 9pm.
Figure out your needs and adjust accordingly.
Left to my own devices with no time schedule, nowhere I need to be in the morning, and no partying at night – I end up going to bed between 10pm-12am.
I always wake up the same – tired!
Now this is just my experience, you may wake up as refreshed as a daisy and I'd be happy for you.
I personally have sleep apnea and wake up repeatedly throughout the night.
I haven't had a full night's, refreshing sleep in 15 years.
Boo hoo for me, but I wake up and kick ass in spite of not sleeping, not because I sleep well.
And my 3C morning routine plays a big part in it.
The first C – Coffee
The first thing I do when I wake up, after I visit the restroom, is brew my coffee.
I always, always, always do this. The only time I don't have coffee is if I'm catching an early morning airplane or I'm in some crazy hotel that doesn't have coffee.
Making and drinking coffee is a great morning ritual. I enjoy the routine, the taste and the smell of morning coffee.
Coffee for me is more than a “waker-upper”, because it does much more.
Coffee has been my most abused tool for productivity.
Each and every great article I have written has been with the help of a lot of coffee.
I have tried and would try every productivity tool or drug in the world to make me better, and the best has always been coffee.
Each morning when I wake up, I brew my RED Coffee.
Start with an idea and add coffee.
A lot has been made of the supposed ill effects of coffee, but I tend not to believe the coffee hate and there are many reasons why coffee is healthy.
Benefits of drinking coffee include:
- Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine in the brain, which leads to a stimulant effect. This improves energy levels, mood and various aspects of brain function.
- Drinking coffee enhances mental performance.
- Drinking coffee enhances physical performance.
- Coffee has shown to have a positive effect on depression.
- There is clear evidence that caffeine is very beneficial on attention span.
- Coffee has shown positive effects on long term memory.
- Coffee has shown positive effect for assisting with weight loss – increased metabolic rate, energy expenditure, lipid oxidation, and lipolytic and thermogenic activities.
- Several studies show that coffee drinkers live longer and have a lower risk of premature death – coffee drinkers get less diseases.
- Many of the compounds contained in coffee help fight cancer – these compounds are known as polyphenols, lignan phytoestrogens, and flavonoids.
Long story short? Drink your morning coffee.
The second C – Cardio
The next thing I do, after I drink one mug of coffee, is think of reasons why I should skip my morning cardio.
I've never been a big believer in cardio for weight loss, so I never did regular cardio.
Cardio doesn't do much for weight loss, but it has many other benefits that I was ignoring.
Cardio makes you feel, in a word, “ahhh”.
You've probably heard of “runner's high”, well, you don't quite get that from morning cardio but you do get a similar, peaceful feeling we'll call “runner's high lite”.
Reasons you should do cardio:
- Cardio reduces stress and gives a great sense of well being and “zen”
- Cardio relieves depression and anxiety
- Cardio can increase mental clarity (especially when used with coffee)
- Cardio can help to relieve soreness in muscles
- Cardio increases your endurance (she'll thank you)
- Cardio improves heart health
- Cardio increases metabolism (I have never been a big eater but doing regular cardio makes me very hungry)
- Cardio gives you more energy for the day
- Cardio can help you sleep better
So when I wake up, I know I'm going to do some morning cardio so I can start the day in a feel good way.
And each morning is the same…
On the one hand I know that I always feel great after hitting 30 minutes of morning cardio, but on the other other hand “I'm tired right now and don't feel like doing it“.
After going back and forth in my head I simply get dressed and make myself go to the gym.
And I'm always glad I did because I always feel alive after I do.
I love to get that morning sweat out of the body, I love to get the blood pumping, I love to get the lungs burning – I love to wake up.
What type of cardio should you do?
I personally use the exercise bicycle or the eliptical treadmill.
I don't run because I'm not built for running.
I have the flattest feet in the entire world, my feet are enormous like a clown's feet, I have tiny calves, one leg is shorter than the other, and I have a big upper body.
Running actually makes me hurt, so I just don't do it.
Bicycling is great and I endorse cycling 100%.
I don't often cycle because I live in a filthy city and I don't want to breathe the nasty street air.
If you live in a clean city I would wholeheartedly suggest picking up a road cycle and hitting the road each morning.
[If you're interested in cycling here is a good video about bikes for beginners.]
Running works fine if you like running. Swimming works just fine if you like swimming.
But then again, a gym works just fine. Pick what you like and do it.
Each morning I go do my 30 minute session and I come back home covered in sweat.
Should you eat before or after cardio?
I can go either way.
Sometimes I have fruit before I hit cardio, sometimes I hit cardio on an empty stomach.
Just be sure not to eat a big, heavy meal before your cardio session.
You will definitely be hungry after cardio and you'll likely need to eat a meal then.
Should you listen to music during your cardio session?
I don't tend to listen to music when I'm doing cardio, I prefer a light, “talk radio” style to have a little fun.
Cardio can be monotonous so I like to have something to take my mind off of it.
I put on a podcast before I leave the house to get myself into a good mood.
Podcasts I like include:
- The Fighter and the Kid
- You're Welcome with Chael Sonnen
- The Mike Cernovich Podcast
- Mohr Stories with Jay Mohr
- The Joe Rogan Experience
I listen to podcasts only when I'm doing cardio, so I'll only listen to 30 minute chunks at a time.
If the podcast is good I leave it on a cliffhanger and it gives me added motivation to hit cardio the next morning, because I'll be able to continue the enjoyable podcast.
Do you need a rest day from morning cardio?
No, a rest day is not necessary.
Cardio is easy, you don't need a rest day from easy.
The human body should do something physical each and every day.
The third C – Cold showers
After I hit my morning cardio, I come home covered in sweat.
Just in time for a cold shower.
The cold shower is the simplest thing in the world to wake your ass up.
Cold showers don't even hurt when you're covered in sweat, they feel great.
They wash away all the sweat and grime off of you and prepare you anew for a full day of kicking ass and taking names.
If you have a hard time jumping into a cold shower you can turn on a warm shower and gradually change the water to cool, then to cold.
Cold showers are a big part of the reason 30 Days of Discipline works so well.
Cold shower benefits include:
- Increasing your will power and resilience
- Increases immune system strength
- Increases testosterone levels
- Improves mood and alertness
- Helps to burn fat and increase metabolism
- Improves blood circulation
To put it bluntly, cold showers just make you feel f*cking good when you get out of them.
And that's the 3C morning routine.
- Cold showers
The 3 Cs boost mood, boost metabolism, increase well being, increase mental clarity…
And they wake your sleepy ass up and make you feel good.
It's impossible to not feel great after you follow the 3C morning routine.
Wake up, grab some coffee, get your cardio in, hop in a cold shower and kick the day's ass.
Rinse and repeat.
Until next time.