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When you wake up feeling dead tired, it’s hard to get your mind and body right for a workout. But the last thing you want to do is go through the motions (those kickboxing classes ain’t cheap!). Here, five ways to get the most out of your morning workout routine so that waking up extra early always feels worth it.

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1. Set a Goal The Night Before

Sure, you probably have long-term aims: Trim your mile time, hit four classes a week, fit into last year’s jeans by May. But setting smaller daily goals helps focus a specific workout so you can make sure you’re pushing yourself. An example? Hit 100 rpm in tomorrow’s cycling class. By doing all the thinking the night before, you have one less thing to worry about in the morning.

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2. Eat Some Protein As Soon As You’re Up

Working out on an empty stomach is a no-go. But so is cooking breakfast that early in the morning. The perfect solution? Set an RXBAR out on the kitchen counter—or better yet, your nightstand—to eat while you’re getting ready. They’re protein bars made with a few simple ingredients: egg whites, dates and nuts. They also happen to taste delicious (chocolate sea salt, anyone?). And they’ll give you the real, nutritious fuel you need to power through your workout.

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3. Skip Happy Hour

Fact: Drinking alcohol disrupts restorative sleep. So to make sure you’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for barre (or at least as much as anyone can be before 8 a.m.), avoid drinking booze the night before so your body can get proper rest. Sure, drinking can help you fall asleep at first, but don’t let that snoozy feeling lure you into its trap.

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4. Listen to Music On Your Way to the Gym

Loud noises first thing in the morning? Our first reaction is “ugh.” But listening to your favorite pump-up songs right before you start your workout can actually have a positive effect on your performance. Studies show that a carefully selected set of your favorite upbeat songs will actually improve energy efficiency and reduce perceived exertion, leading to an increase in your workout output. So put in your AirPods or turn up your car stereo and get lost in some Lizzo.

morning workout routine kickboxing
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5. Don’t Sleep on the Warm-Up

When the most you’ve done is walk from the bed to the car to the fitness studio, warming up is crucial. Really commit to the beginning movements if you’re taking a class (or a few minutes of cardio if you’re weight lifting) to get those muscle fibers activated before the tough stuff.

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