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How to Get Ready at the Gym, No Sweat

Posted by Cariset on

I was recently chatting with a friend who's trying to become a morning workout person. I offered the usual tips -- start going to bed earlier, get a friend to sign up for an early class with you, etc. As it turns out, she actually doesn't mind exercising in the morning; it's the pre- and post-workout part that she finds daunting. I understand that all too well. Running out the door to catch a 6am yoga class, only to realize you've forgotten a change of shoes; battling for the blowdryer in a crowded, sweaty locker room before 7am; we've all been there, and it is the worst. 

But, I'm happy to report that with five easy changes, I've made my morning workout routine much less overwhelming, and even more efficient than my at-home routine. Read on!


#1 Make a Plan

I like to plan all my workouts for the week on Sundays. That way, if I'm trying a new class, I've got time to check whether the locker room has towels, face wash, etc. so I don't need to lug anything extra with me.  

Even if you go to the same gym every morning, you're much more likely to go if you plan your workouts in advance -- plus, if you're like me, it'll help you figure out when you should wash your hair (major key!). For example, if I know I'm going to Barry's Bootcamp one day next week, I'll plan to wash my hair on that day because a.) Barry's is a super sweaty workout and b.) they have Oribe products in their showers, which I love. The day after that, I'll try to do barre or something less sweaty so I don't need to wash my hair two days in a row. 

#2 Pre-Pack

This is a non-negotiable. The night before, lay out your workout clothes and sneakers so that you can roll out of bed and into them the next morning. Then, choose your outfit for work, and pack that, your makeup bag, laptop, etc. before you go to bed. The pre-pack reduces the likelihood of forgetting your underwear/wallet/mascara 10-fold.

#3 Pare Down

Speaking of pre-packing, only pack the essentials. Remember, you've already done your research, so you know which locker rooms stock razors and deodorant and which don't. Here's how I pack my backpack:

Bottom compartment
Change of shoes
Water bottle
RX bar (for hangry moments)

Main compartment
Change of clothes
Travel-size dry shampoo
Makeup (pick 5 essentials! I stick to concealer, tinted moisturizer, brow gel, eyeliner, and mascara)

#4 Pre-Treat Yourself

No one's happy to hear a pre-6am alarm go off, but it makes me feel way more motivated knowing I've got something to look forward to as soon as I get out of bed. Whether it's setting your coffee pot so it's brewing when you wake up, or picking a podcast you can listen to on your way to the gym, find something that'll motivate you not to hit snooze.

#5 Find Your Zen

A few tips for finding your zen in a crowded locker room post-workout. First, give yourself enough time so you don't have to be that girl sprinting out of class to get first dibs on the showers. Use those few extra minutes to drink water, stretch, and let your body temperature cool down. Once I've showered, I like to put an earbud in to listen to the news or some music as I get ready. Music actually helps me keep myself on track timing-wise -- if I've spent more than two songs putting on makeup, then I know I've got to wrap it up.

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