Ever wondered what the world’s most motivated personal trainers do to get themselves going in the morning? Here, we get the lowdown from seven top trainers based in either Los Angeles or New York about their sunrise routines. Get ready to be awed a little and inspired a lot!
Morning routines of top LA and NYC trainers
Heather Dorak – Pilates Platinum, Los Angeles
“I make sure to wake up early to set my intention for the day before all of the unexpected possible things I have to tackle, due to the life of an entrepreneur and owner of four Pilates studios. This usually means waking up about 5:30am, where I lay in bed and catch up on e-mails. Once I feel content in my online accomplishments, I head to the kitchen to make some coffee to sip on while I prepare breakfast for myself. My breakfast usually involved some overnight oats or some eggs and toast. Then my attention if given to my dog. We either play around for a bit or go for a walk around the neighbourhood or on the beach.
“Shortly after it is time for me to break a sweat. If a class isn’t completely full, I will sneak into one of my studios’ Pilates classes or hit the pavement for a run. Sometimes I like to throw in a new to me fitness class, a dance class or a hike in the canyons. All of this happens before about 10am, after this is then when I am ready to take on whatever happens to come across my path!”
Erica Hood – Body By Simone, Los Angeles
“Sleep is very important to me because it’s my body’s time to rest and refuel from my physically demanding and active lifestyle. With that being said I like to try and get as much as I can each night so I will plan for very little ‘get ready time’ in the morning. I set three alarms at night just in case (I freak out about missing my alarm clock). Plus the first alarm I usually snooze.
“By the second alarm I sit up in bed and lean over to touch my toes and do a quick stretch to wake the body up. I then brush my teeth, throw on my workout clothes (I live in spandex), make my coffee, grab a protein bar and fill up huge water bottle for the day. Then I jump in my car and it’s off to BBS for training sessions. Either starting with classes or private sessions. I prefer early morning class because I love building up everyone’s energy to start their day!”
Christine Bullock – Evolution 20
“Early bird gets their metabolism burning all day, so I wake up around 6 am every day to get a little me time in before I start my work day. I typically go straight for the Nespresso machine, make a cup of coffee, adding coconut creamer and MCT coconut oil as sweetener. The healthy fats build neural connections that support mental focus, performance and boost metabolism. Then, I sit with my puppies, read my prayer/meditation book and take at least 10 minutes to re-align before I start my day.
“Luckily as a fitness professional I don’t have to do make up and hair so I throw on some sunscreen, mascara and a baseball cap most days. I pick out my sports gear to match my mood, like blue and white Vie Active Blue Feather set, when I’m pumped for a great workout.
“I make a smoothie before running out the door because I don’t like a heavy breakfast. It drains too much energy on digestion. I combine green veggies, seasonal fruit, and Champion Naturals vegan protein. Then I’m out the door to get in my workout before officially starting my business day! Everyday is a new opportunity to be my personal best and that always starts with making my health a priority.”
Follow Christine on Instagram here.
Brookelin – Barre 105, New York
“My morning routine: I rise and shine and greet the day with gratefulness then I meditate for 22 minutes, get outside and walk my husky by the ocean and then I either take a hot barre class or do my own yoga routine to get the blood flowing. Finally I drink a homemade smoothie get dressed for the day.”
Alexandra – Alexandra Jacob Ballet
“As soon as I get out of bed after my alarm goes off, I drink a whole glass of water, which I like to keep at my bedside. It helps wake me up and recharge for my daily morning routine. I then reach for my foam roller that I like to keep close. It’s fantastic for massaging out any tight muscles and helps with stretching; I usually focus on my back and quads.
“I am currently rehabilitating a sprained ankle, so I also reach for my favorite massage tool: a wooden baking rolling pin that I bought at a thrifty dollar store! I focus rolling out my calves and feet, and it releases my sore ankle muscles while increasing movement range. The rolling pin is also an excellent size for travel, so I place it right into my ballet bag when I’m finished rolling out. It’s my lucky charm and has been all over the world with me.
“The next thing I do is make myself coffee with a splash of maple syrup and milk; all organic! While I have my coffee, I quickly scan through all my emails, then check my social media accounts. I like posting one image a day on my Instagram account, so I usually upload one in the morning, or dig through images of one to post one later in the day. After I’m done with that, I like having a small breakfast; typically organic granola over Greek yogurt, or a granola bar packed with almonds.
“I then hop in the shower, brush my teeth, and get ready with great music to set me in the right mood for the day. I listen to anything from Lady Gaga, to Cocteau Twins; music really drives my morning, and also keeps me company on the subway when I commute to ballet class. Before I’m all set to go, I double check my ballet bag to see if everything is properly packed from the night before. I head to the subway station which is conveniently located a block away from my apartment, and head to ballet class an hour before. Being early gives me enough time to change, prepare my hair, tape my toes for pointe shoes, and do my pre-class stretches/warm ups. After class, my morning is completed- time to conquer the day.
Follow Alexandra on instagram here.
Erin Stutland – Shrink Sessions
“I wake up around 7:30am and the first thing I do is cuddle with my Love. Truly nothing better then waking up next to the person you love most.
“I get up, fix a cup of tea for myself and get into the shower. Even if I am planning on working out in the morning, I still shower first thing. For someone who is not a morning person, this helps to wake me up and warm me up.
“I get dressed and then it is time for some form of meditation. Either I write in my journal using the Morning Pages technique or I head out for a 20 min walk. While this isn’t the most traditional form of meditation, it’s the form that works for me. Being in some kind of motion, whether it’s my hand on paper or my feet on the ground, is the thing that gets me most present to myself. It’s what helps to clear my mind and get me sorted for the day.
“After that depending on the day, I either squeeze in a workout or sit down to get some business done on the computer and get in the workout in later.
“As for breakfast, I admit, I don’t usually get hungry until about 11am, so I suppose breakfast doesn’t officially fit into my morning routine, now does it?
7. Karen Lord – Karen Lord Pilates
“To be perfectly honest, I’m not a morning person. In fact, I’m practically nocturnal and I really have to fight to make mornings work for me.
“I make my cup of hot water and lemon (I really try to stick with the lemon water because can see such a big difference in my skin/digestion/life but I absolutely love the ritual of coffee in the mornings so sometimes I might make a cup of that with cardamom and cinnamon instead). As I’m preparing the boiling water, I do my pranic breathing for 7 minutes. It feels like an eternity, but it’s meditation and the challenge is to keep my mind on the breath.
“At the end, I take note of what I’m feeling most grateful for and set my intention/vibe for the day. Now I need to shower, otherwise it will never happen.
“Post shower I have an intense skin oil ritual. A friend and client turned me on to Pratima and I am obsessed with her skin products. I use the Love and Vata oils from her line all over my body plus a nourishing one and this gorgeous turmeric cream for my face. The coolest thing is that she blesses everything and I can really feel the love that goes into those products. Plus they teach you how to use pressure points to massage the oil into your face. I take the time to do this because I’ve seen a huge change in my skin. Love her.
“The last thing I do before leaving the apartment is a stretch/Pilates combo that flows and feels awesome. I lay my mat down in a sunny spot in the living room and do a little routine that gets out all the kinks and awakens all the muscles. It’s the best way to make sure I feel great throughout the day – running my company, training my clients and tending to day to day studio stuff.”