Wake Up and Shape Up: The Five Minute Morning Workout Routine

How much spare time do you think you have every day?


There is an entire industry… out there vying for your dollars and attention

Odds are that you severely underestimate the amount of truly “spare” time that you have. Between social media, television, browsing the internet, and a plethora of other distractions, its easy for us to start blurring the lines between being busy and simply doing something. A lot of folks out there (myself included) cite their lack of time as the number one reason why they don’t exercise. There is an entire industry of infomercials out there vying for your dollars and attention by trying to be the lowest “time bidder”.


Only one hour a day for the best shape of your life!


Only thirty minutes a day to cut the flab!


Only twenty-five minutes a day for rock-hard abs!


The thing is – there are people who are paid very well to figure out what appeals the most to the average consumer, and if flipping through the channels is any indication, the average consumer is looking for the fastest way to exercise possible.


I cannot lie – I have made the time excuse throughout my life. Sometimes between work, home life, friends, family, relationships (and countless hours lost to browsing the web, playing games on my phone, and other time wasters), I can convince myself that there is no time in the day for a workout. When I go to the gym, I want to spend an hour minimum (because otherwise the 15 minute drive each way isn’t worth it), and sometimes an hour just doesn’t feel doable. That’s the strange thing about “not having time” though – sometimes we don’t have time because of inflexibility.


Making Time to Workout


Almost anybody can be a bit more flexible and be able to fit some exercise into their daily routine

What do I mean by time inflexibility? I mean that sometimes we have tasks that we assign a set time to (such as my hour workout) not realizing that we are really limiting ourselves on the ability to do the task at all. There’s no rule book out there that says that my workout must be at last one hour – that is a self-imposed rule. Sometimes inflexibility is unavoidable. If I wanted to watch a Lord of the Rings movie, but I only had 30 minutes to spare, then I either need to watch it at 6x speed settings, or I must come to terms with the fact that I don’t have time for a 3 hour movie. With working out though, I think almost anybody can be a bit more flexible and be able to fit some exercise into their daily routine.


Now it’s my turn to make my bid for your new daily workout. You ready?


5 minutes.


Will it put you in the best shape ever? No. Will it make it so you don’t need to do any other exercise or dieting? Of course not. But is it better than not exercising whatsoever? Of course.



The 5 Minute Morning Routine


Minute 1 – Push-ups:


I remember being in the gym one day – in a period of time when I was especially out of shape – and turning to my buddy just before he forced me to join his push-up regimen. Panting from our jumping jacks that we had just done, I said to him “A wise man once said the key to looking good is push-ups. No wonder I look like s**t.”


I love push-ups for a lot of reasons, the two biggest being that you can do them almost anywhere, and that there are lots of variants that help achieve different goals. A basic push-up works out your chest and triceps, and when done fast enough, can also function as a bit of cardio. For minute one, do as many push-ups as you can – with the best form you can – as fast as possible. What you’ll notice quickly is that if you keep with your push-up routine, you can improve on the number, the form, and the quality of your push-ups drastically in a minimal amount of time.


Want the extra kick?


Consider doing one of the push-up variants. A video like this one can point you in the right direction – try doing a different variant each day of the week to target different muscle groups. I am personally a huge fan of the walking gecko push-ups.



Minute 2 and 3 – Burpees:


Burpees are the bane of my existence. But man, do they get the job done. A burpee is a lot of stuff combined into one – a squat, a push-up, a jump, and a method of torture all in one convenient set of movements. The goal here is to get your body moving and your heart pounding, so spending two minutes doing as may burpees as you can will help up your cardio game.


Need some help with burpees?


Check out this video for some tips on burpee form and technique.



Minute 4 – Planks:


Sometime last year I realized that I must’ve missed the memo that people don’t do sit-ups anymore. In their place, planks have taken over the must-do core exercise circuit. The form is easy enough – push-up position but with your elbows and forearms on the ground – but newbies will find that keeping the core tightened and ready for a whole minute does not come so easily. Like push-ups, there are plenty of variants to planks that I would strongly recommend you checkout if you want the extra burn.


Minute 5 – Push-Ups (again):


By now your body is getting a bit tired from the quick pace of all of the work that you’re putting it through, but we want to finish strong. Kick in another minute of push-ups to help tone up a bit more and to build that tolerance for push-ups that we talked about earlier.


Want to finish extra strong?


Jump back into a minute of burpees after finishing minute 5 with push-ups.


The (5 Minute) Key to Success


As I discussed earlier in one of my other fitness posts, the key to finding your fitness groove is consistency. Just as I said you cannot truly replace a full workout with a 5 minute one, you cannot exercise once every other week and expect results. Make the 5 minute workout a part of your morning routine (I personally do it right before I hop in the shower every morning), and stick with it. Do it on days that you cannot go to the gym, and better yet, do it on days where you will be going to the gym. The best part about it is that any of us can find 5 minutes if we just cut back a bit on our web browsing or social media.

Except for visiting LiveLiftCode – make sure you make time for that, in addition to a 5 minute workout routine.


I am a twenty-something coder in training, amateur weightlifter, and newly minted website owner. Aside from coding and lifting, my other hobbies include writing, drawing, reading, and the occasional video game. I live in the ever-wonderful Los Angeles, California where I was born and raised.

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