words by Iris Ma

Note: This piece is meant to be humorous.

Climbing in the morning is such a chore. You have to wake up before the sun rises and it makes you feel more productive than you should be. The drive is forgettable without the usual vexation of traffic. Then, you get to the gym and nobody’s there, except for the bright and cheery-eyed front desk crew. Your voice echoes through the empty space when you ask for tension and no one is there to watch you send your project except for your belayer. You can do laps on your favorite routes and you don’t have to wait for any to free up. If you encounter a spinner, you get to be the hero and report it to the front desk, who probably knows why you’re there to talk to them anyway. Finally, when you’re climbing outdoors, you’ve developed a habit of an early start and waking up early is no longer such a pain when you want to beat the heat and the crowds to the crag. If these aren’t enough to convince you not to climb before work, here are four more reasons why exercise in the morning sucks:

Burn more calories

Boost your EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) – otherwise known as oxygen debt or the “afterburn”. EPOC explains how your body can continue to burn calories long after you’ve finished your workout. So, the intensity of your workout directly correlates with the amount of EPOC benefit you receive.

Win win win, no matter what 

Don’t get derailed by last minute errands, to-dos, or a late night at the office. Getting your workout done first thing in the morning ensures that nothing else gets in your way and you can stick with your training program.  

Feel rad all day long

If you’re feeling fatigued, the best antidote is more exercise. Some research suggests that morning exercise improves mental focus and abilities all day long, and has the ability reduce symptoms of depression.

Rest & digest better

Morning exercise can not only improve the length of sleep you enjoy, but also your quality of sleep by promoting deeper sleep cycles. Exercise releases a healthy dose of adrenaline which is great for waking up, but not so great in the evenings before bed. The hormones released during exercise also improve your internal digestion and system on a more consistent and regular basis.

Editor’s note: Iris climbs EVERYDAY at 7AM.

With all of this being said, I hope you take my advice and never climb in the morning.

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