Muscle Building Morning Routine

7 Things You Need To Do Every Morning to Build Lean Muscle

Muscle Building Morning Routine

A successful morning usually means a successful day.Muscle Building Morning Routine

If we are productive from the word go. The rest of our day is surely to follow. In the world of building lean muscle this is no different.

So why, then, do we start our day with no rhyme or reason? We wake up and follow a routine that has no real purpose to it. It’s simply “what we do” every morning that gets us to the next phase of our day.

A morning routine is pertinent to our success in any walk of life. In our careers, the right morning routine will help us focus and maintain high energy levels for the remainder of the day. In the world of building lean muscle, a morning routine will help us naturally raise testosterone levels, lower cortisol, and recover from the day’s workout.

If you’re serious about building lean muscle, make sure you follow these 7 steps to start your day.

1. Wake up early. At the same time everyday.

Sleep (7 to 8 hours of it) is vital to your lean muscle gains. Sleep is where you’re going to recover. Between 4-6am is when your testosterone levels are at their height. When your body is actively building muscle.

Seven to eight hours is the goal. Any more is laziness.

Coming from a guy who’s suffered from in insomnia my entire life, I’ve tried everything. A strict sleeping routine is the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep. By programming your body to fall asleep, then rise at the same time 7 days a week, you’re guaranteeing that you’re getting the most out of this ‘optimal recovery time.’

2. Prime your muscles.

Follow the following morning bodyweight routine:

A1. Single leg squat – 15 reps

A2. Split squat – 15 reps

A3. Push-ups – 25 reps

A4. Plank or Abs walk-out – 60 seconds (or 6 x 10 second holds for the walk outs)

Following this routine will prime your muscles, wake you up, and boost your metabolism before you ingest any food.

I’ve found it’s also help me become more alert in the morning which has helped with my work. My muscles feel more ‘awake’ during the day as well. And it’s resulted in better workouts.

3. Hydrate.

While we’re sleeping, our bodies are still functioning. Our muscles and organs are using water, without getting any hydration in return.

Come morning time we’re severely dehydrated. But we rarely do anything about it for the first few hours after waking up. Having 2-3 big glasses of water is a must – especially for your muscles. Our muscles are made up of up to 80% water. They need water as much as they need any macronutrient.

4. Have a cold shower.

A cold shower will do more than just wake you up, it’ll help naturally raise your testosterone levels. Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone are the two most important positive hormones for building muscle.

High natural levels of both of these hormones will help you recover faster, in turn, building more muscle than you can with normal or average levels of either hormone.

5. Eat meat and nuts.

Energy is one of the most important commodities we can have it life, let alone with our training. Having a breakfast that consists of meat (bacon, beef, chicken, fish, turkey, wild game etc…) will slow the rise of blood sugar. Meaning you’ll steadily increase your energy levels, experiencing no spike then decline that so many of us experience with breakfasts that include carbohydrates (fast or slow carbs, it doesn’t matter).

The omega-3’s in nuts (almonds, Brasil nuts, walnuts etc…) will increase brain function and improve your ability to recruit fat cells for energy. Add in a few omega 3 pills (buy them here) and you’re off to an even better start.

The saturated and monounsaturated fats from the meat and nuts will also help you naturally raise your testosterone levels in the wee hours of the morning.

Be sure to add a healthy amount of vegetables to this first meal. With a high protein and fat diet, vegetables will help our ph levels remain alkaline. You don’t want acidic ph levels. It’s not a great atmosphere for optimal gains.

muscle building morning routine

6. Drink coffee before you train.

Fast forward an hour and we’re about to head to the gym (assuming you train in the morning). Coffee is a great, natural stimulant that’s high in antioxidants.

As I said before, energy is arguably our greatest friend in any walk of life. The more we have when we train, the better our workouts will be, the more fat we’ll burn, and the more muscle we’ll build.

Have a couple espresso’s before you walk into the gym and kill your workout.

7. Take BCAAs.

If you can only afford one supplement, make it BCAAs. BCAAs increase blood sugar while we train. Most importantly, they are strongly anti-catabolic. Catabolic is a state where we’re burning muscle. When we train, we’re technically in this state due to the fact that we’re making microscopic tears in our muscles, which we then heal with proper recovery.

To have something that’s anti-catabolic during our workout is extremely effective and important. I have a ton of BCAAs before and during my workout. I prefer caps (or pills) because the measurement is more precise. Where it’s suggested to take 6 caps before a workout. I take 12 before, then 12 again 2 more times during my workout.


You can get the best BCAAs HERE.



If we’re going to see our dream body in the mirror, our day can’t be filled with random events. We need routine. We need planning. Our success in our training will be the result of successful habits. It WILL NOT come due to some divine intervention, gift, or as the result of “luck”.

Take your morning routine seriously. Make your transformation a reality.


If your goal is to build muscle and lose fat, check out this video (click here).


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  • nicksantang125

    Awesome post man, appreciate all this phenomenal content.

    I'm all about the cold showers and I throw in an ice bath or two weekly. To get some extra fiber in my breakfast I have been experimenting with Hemp Protein. In one serving it has 9 grams of fiber, 13 grams of protein, 630 mg of Omega-3 with SDA, 2280 mg of Omega-6 with GLA and all 10 essential Amino Acids. It is also a great ingredient for you are into super shakes.

    • Chad Howse

      No problem at all Nick, glad you're liking them, man.

      Interesting. I have a friend who's lactose intolerant who's also on hemp shakes. I like my whey isolate, casein, and why blend but I'll definitely look into that!

  • Johnny

    Hey Chad, your posts are getting better and better man. When you were talking about BCAA's as a great supplement it made me think of a friend of mine who keeps raving about Nitric oxide supplements for preworkout. I was just wondering if you've had any expirience with it, and if so, what did you think?

    • Chad Howse

      Hey Johnny, thanks man.

      I like pre-workout supplements, I think they're awesome. They give you energy, more bloodflow etc… Energy being our greatest commodity in training. So your friend was definitely speaking some truth there.

      Here's what I use:

      Try a few before you settle on one. I've tried dozens, most angered my stomach, the one above doesn't, but it has a lot of kick to it. And it's packed with vitamins as well.

      If you can only do one supplement, go with BCAAs, if you can add another, pre workout is awesome, or protein.

  • Mitchell

    Chad, I'll routinely get my coffee fix before a workout. It surprisingly does pull you through the grind when you need it.


    • Chad Howse

      Indeed it does. Add BCAAs in there, you'll notice the difference.

  • Ryan

    I love coffee for strength training but kind of sickening before running distances any thoughts on replacement beverages? I'll have to give this a shot, It's kind of unfortunate that as a student I tend to be most productive between 11:00 PM – 3:00 AM.

    • Chad Howse

      That's your schedule man. Run with it. The one I've highlighted in this article works for me, and the great men I've read about/studied. Tim Ferris is a guy who likes to work late, I know there are others as well.

      I wouldn't stress. Do what works best for you. Use this article and cater it to your own schedule.

  • eidolon138

    Great posts as usual Chad!
    I like my green tea upon waking- I usually like to slow brew loose teas in a decanter overnight, then use the cold tea in my shakes as a replacement for water, I can also just reheat the brew for hot drinks. I have also been exposed to a indian way of brewing coffee. You use the tea liquid to run through the filter to brew the coffee( talk about more Bang for your buck)
    Also as one who has been on late shifts due to the nature of rescue work- my morning is usually around 1-3pm and my bedtime around 6am. Everyone has different rythems. But sometimes a call may run into the wee hours of the AM so I actually find it more productive to just keep going, staying awake until the next usuall time for bed comes around, instead of trying to switch schedules.

    • Chad Howse

      That sounds interesting man – I'll have a look into that!
      Thanks again for monitoring PHC forum bro. I'm heading over there today and checking it out.
      Always nice to learn something new in the comments section of an article that I wrote.

  • Frank Sparticus

    Number 2 and 4 are interesting. Definitely giving them a go to see. Either way, two would be good no matter what.

    • Chad Howse

      Thanks man.

  • Gurprataap Singh Chadha

    Chad about the bath
    its 3 degree here….i instead pour 3 mugs of cold water after waking up and before sleeping ..
    That wjll raise test levles …and mimic thr response cz the balls r their main stay

    • Chad Howse


  • Julien Roy

    Hi Chad !

    I would like to know if I/ We eat the nuts even if we are following your IF Man Diet even if we didn’t reach our 16h fast ?

    And for the Cold Shower should they really be 10 min long ? It’s not because I find the water too cold… It just after 5-6 min I done washing myself and waiting 4 minute is long when I’m ready to kick ass !

    • Chad Howse

      Keep all feeding within the feeding window for the fast.

      Cold showers: that’s ideally. 5 mins is more than enough.