So, The Rock works hard. Like, real hard. In fact, while he is doing his 4am workouts, I am dreaming about working out. Despite those motivating dreams, the first thing I do after waking up is let my dogs out, drink a beautifully crafted cup of coffee made with my Chemex, and read the news on my phone for 20 minutes.
Now, I crush it later in the day, with either jiu-jitsu or weight lifting, but I don’t have the motivation (or million dollar movie contracts) to get me into the gym that early.
So, if The Rock has the option to workout when he wants, why does he choose 4am?
The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) has a few important defining characteristics and given the uniqueness of those characteristics, they also make up his competitive advantage.
One habit is his willingness and eagerness to out-work everyone else in his lane. What makes that so significant is that his lane includes blockbuster movies, professional wrestling, Instagram, and really just anyone trying to build a fortune.
In order to out-work all of those competitors, he needs to create the best movies, which involves 16 hour days on a movie set; participate in wrestling events that draw 100,000+ attendees (Wrestlemania 2016); capture and post all of the exciting and motivating moments of his life; and monetize the crap out of all of it.
To add another degree of difficult onto it all, at the core of his image is his well-sculpted and extremely hard to achieve physique. It’s hard enough for a majority of the population to maintain a 3 day/week workout schedule while only working a 9-5, but The Rock manages to put in the miles at the gym while simultaneously living at least four dream lives.
So when he arrives to the set of his blockbuster movie after a morning workout and is greeted by his co-stars, he has already out-worked them, before the day even begins. By setting the bar so high, he earns the title of “Hardest Working Person In…” (fill in the blank).
Energy for the day
You have to endure an 8 hour work day no matter what, so why not have more energy rather than less? By squeezing in a workout at the beginning of your day, you’ll likely find that your overall energy level is higher than those days without a morning workout. But why?
Essentially, exercise is a form of stress that your body has to defend against. As a result, your body strengthens its defenses in order to safely handle the stressful environment.
This means that all the way down to a cellular level, your body is more activated and engaged, giving you a greater ‘buzz’ throughout the day. Similar to a rush of adrenaline after avoiding a car accident, you are more alert and awake.
This opposite also holds true. The rush you get from evening workouts may keep you up later than usual.
When we talk about metabolism, we are referring to the rate that your body converts food within your body into energy.
In practice, if you have a slower metabolism, any calories in excess of what is absolutely necessary to operate your body will jump onto your waistline (men) or your hips (women). So if your goal is to burn calories, either for weight loss or maintenance, what are the ways to boost your metabolism?
Well, morning workouts are among the most effective ways. This is why you will see The Rock slowly sweating away on the stair climber or elliptical while you are still sound asleep. The short and quick explanation is that following a workout, Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) occurs. This means your body requires, and is utilizing, more oxygen than it normally would while at rest (during your work day), resulting in more calories burned over the course of a day.