World-class fitness coach Melissa Alcantara, also known to her 1.1 million Instagram followers as FitGurlMel, is a celebrity trainer, best-selling author, and CEO of her namesake brand. Alcantara, who is Kim Kardashian’s personal trainer, shares exclusive workouts, mindfulness advice, pre- and post-natal nutrition tips, and more in her fitness app.
Alcantara has what she calls a “no-nonsense, no-BS approach to fitness,” which started with her own personal journey of losing 40 pounds in 60 days. The realization that she had total control over her mind and body led her to begin training for bodybuilding competitions while documenting and sharing her fitness journey with others. Alcantara is no stranger to putting in the hard work on a daily basis, and that requires a solid morning routine.
So, how exactly does Kim Kardashian’s personal trainer kick off her mornings?
Here’s what an average morning looks like for Alcantara:
Alcantara says she believes in “getting up with the rooster,” and at least five days a week, she wakes up between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m., about an hour before she has to leave her house to train Kardashian.
The first thing she does upon waking up is make her bed. Then, it’s coffee time, which is key to Alcantara’s morning ritual — in fact, this part of her day is so essential that Alcantara walks through making her morning pour-over coffee in her app.
“I love coffee and I love how I make coffee, because it's exactly how I like it and it's a learning process. I like things that are challenging and that [require] learning because when you do things like that, you learn a lot of things about yourself,” Alcantara says. “So you have to be patient, right. You have to pour the coffee over nice and slow. There's no rushing. It takes like 25 minutes to make, between the time that you start the water and then the time that you pour the whole thing.”
She says she tries to be as present as possible during the process, and likes her mornings to be relaxed. She enjoys listening to soft music — Sade and Hozier are her morning favorites — or Eckhart Tolle while she prepares her coffee.
After enjoying her coffee, Alcantara showers, gets dressed, and heads out to train Kardashian.
“As soon as the sun comes up, it's like, it's time to work, you know?” she says.
After making the roughly 45-minute trek from her home in Venice to Kardashian’s home in Calabasas, Alcantara starts her training with Kardashian around 6 a.m. On any given day, she typically trains Kardashian for an hour to an hour and a half.
“It feels so good. Like, by the time I'm done with Kim or Kris [Jenner], it's eight o'clock in the morning and I've done so much before anybody has even woken up,” Alcantara says. “So [by starting the day early], you definitely feel accomplished, you feel like you get to enjoy the day, you know, you take it at a much slower pace.”
When she returns home, Alcantara plays with her two dogs — an American Bulldog and Belgian Malinois — and takes them for a walk.
Then, it’s time for her first meal of the day. Alcantara’s go-to breakfast is oatmeal with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with half of a banana. She pairs her oats with two scrambled eggs on the side. Alcantara walks through how she prepares her daily breakfast in her app.
Within 30 minutes of eating breakfast, she says she’s ready for her workout.
Alcantara has a three-hour block on her calendar every day between 9 a.m. and 12 noon, in which she takes time to herself and does her workouts.
“I do a workout first and then I do work stuff, like if I have to get on the computer or something, because if I deviate from that, then I most likely won't do the workout,” Alcantara says. “So, it has to be workout first. Everything else comes after.”
One of Alcantara’s golden rules for a successful morning? Don’t hit snooze! Get out of bed as soon as the alarm sounds.
“As soon as your foot hits the ground, trust me… you're going to feel so much better,” she says. “That extra 10 minutes that's going to make you late or give you anxiety or stress is not worth it.”
She also suggests making your bed first thing in the morning.
“You start your day, you organize your bed — boom! Now you've already done one thing in your life that's going to make the rest of your day better,” Alcantara says.
When it comes to creating a morning routine of your own, she advises taking small steps. When we try to completely overhaul our habits and create a new routine all at once, we often get overwhelmed, Alcantara says, because the results don’t come fast enough and we tend to give up. She says the key is to create little changes gradually over time and give yourself time to adapt to those changes.
“You start with one little thing and then you add on something else. You try to do that for a week, you know, two weeks. You say, ‘You know what? Maybe I'll keep my 10 alarms in the morning, but every morning, I'm going to fix my bed and then you'll be like, ‘Oh, how much better would it be if I woke up a little bit earlier and I got to fix my bed and then I'll have more time.’ And you start adding [more] little things," Alcantara says.
Once you choose to create a habit, it becomes easier and easier to add other habits, and before you know it, you’ve created a successful routine for yourself, she says.
“[With a solid morning routine] everything is exactly the same every single day, so that's what makes it easy," Alcantara says. "Just like working out, you know — it doesn't make waking up any easier, but as soon as you're freaking out of the bed, that's all you need to do… I think that approaching it that way also helps in so many other areas of your life, like fitness."
Alcantara also recommends scheduling workouts into your day, since you’ll be more likely to follow through if the time is designated in your calendar.
“People think that what's gonna feel good are the abs or the nice lines that they see on their arms or legs, and that's all great and dandy. But what really feels good is making the decision to do something for yourself that makes you better. And I think that compounded over and over and over again, you'll start to realize that it's not the actual results that are making you happy, but it's everything that you're doing,” Alcantara says.
“The results are just like the cherry on top, and they show the work that you have put in and the decision-making that you have gone through, and that is really difficult. That's hard for anyone. But everything in life is approached this way, whether it's career or relationships or whatever it is, it's like, you gotta be consistent. You gotta keep doing, keep choosing you over and over and over again, and keep doing those things that are gonna make you feel good.”
When it comes to creating healthy habits, be realistic with yourself and the things that you can do right now in the present moment, she says.
“It starts with yourself. It starts with small things like your morning routine and taking care of yourself in that way,” Alcantara says.
About the author
Cara is a passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media. She loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. In her free time, Cara is an avid reader, enjoys meditating, and loves spending time with her husband and their chihuahua pug mix, Callie, streaming the latest horror flick or true crime documentary. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.