“Your workout is our warm-up!”
“Grip it and rip it!”
“We don’t need machines; we are machines!”
I’m sure at one point or another you have come across these quotes or any number of other “motivational” messages. Leave nothing in the tank and the only way to make progress is to redline and go all out. I have heard them all and maybe at one point even believed some of them.
But it’s not true all of the time, and for many of us—it’s not.
Exercise is a wonderful thing with so many benefits, but we need to understand that exercise itself is a cause of stress. It puts stress on our bodies and our minds. If you are already dealing with work, home life, children, family etc… adding this all or nothing attitude is bound to break you down even more. You can’t beat yourself up if the last thing you want to do is a workout that grinds you into the ground.
You might think you have to go all out on a workout or it won’t count. If you don’t leave the gym breathing hard and lying on the ground, “did you even workout?” YES! Yes you did! Depending on your day and where you’re at in your program you may need those lighter days to help you recover so the heavier days will actually count for something!
Have you ever felt that if you didn’t hit a certain weight all the time that you’re life was worthless and you almost want to quit doing that thing? I know I have! It’s a terrible mindset to have. Sometimes going 50% on a day is better than doing 100% all the days and breaking yourself even more. It’s great to be able to crush weights and be destroyed everyday, but I for one don’t have that kind of capacity and it’s not something we try to pass on to our members.
Training as much as life is about consistency and balance. It’s a delicate dance we do everyday. Depending on your goals and your daily life, I’d wager you need to build in some lighter days to ensure you stay stress balanced and keep your body active and not broken.
We all want to achieve greater things. We have to take in account the other things that impact our daily lives. Our jobs, our families, our social needs and our own well being.
Try reframing why you’re training. Are you competitive or just trying to stay in shape? Sometimes the goal can be to get out and be social with others while doing something that impacts your well being in a positive way. Doing some exercise is still a huge positive even if it doesn’t feel like you’re going to die doing it.
If you’re competitive and have competitive aspirations, managing your outside stressors, getting proper sleep and nutrition will all help alleviate those frustrating training days.
If you are struggling with training or have completely given up, here are a couple of suggestions that might help.
Exercise in the morning. Sometimes just getting it done first thing, even if it’s cold and dark out sets you up for a better day and puts you in a better mood.
Pick easier workouts. Listen. I am a husband, a father, a gym owner and even sometimes I don’t get to workout the way I want. Managing every aspect of my life can get very demanding. The members at Marble Strength definitely workout harder and more often than I do and I OWN THE PLACE! haha
But sometimes I need to get moving and I cherry pick a lot of the group classes. Mainly for time and also because I want to move, but I don’t want to push myself to a breaking point. Just getting a workout in can help break up inflammation, take my mind off things and puts me in a better mood. I do like to lift heavy though. 🙂
Train with someone. Having a partner or Coach is super beneficial to setting you up for success. Doing something together, something that focuses on you helps you feel like the thing that you are doing matters. It will also help hold you accountable to the goals and schedule you want to achieve.
There are definitely times to push it and there are definitely times not to. It’s important to know the difference and how to balance that along with everything else you have going on in your life. Don’t add to it by being hard on yourself when it comes to exercise or the lack thereof. Try doing something and working on yourself.
If you don’t manage to get it in today, that doesn’t matter. Try again tomorrow and be consistent.