More than ever people feel obligated to “crush” every workout. Many even think they must complete every workout utterly exhausted or experience soreness the following day. If they’re not totally spent or sore, they (erroneously) think they didn’t work hard enough.
Social media contributes to this false notion that every workout must be an all-out effort, and it’s easy to understand why. Social media is a nonstop highlight reel. People watch their favorite fitness experts and athletes posting videos of their personal records and challenging workouts and think this is the norm—that this “go hard all the time!” mentality is indicative of every single workout. This creates the mindset that every trip to the gym must result in a stellar workout and, if it doesn’t, then they did something wrong or the workout wasn’t productive.
There is no such thing as a “bad” workout. Yes, even if your performance regressed and you used lighter weights than usual, or you had to go for a walk instead of your usual jog because your energy levels were low, or you cut the workload in half because that’s all you had time for, the workout is not “bad.”
Every workout, regardless of performance improvements or decreases, is a productive workout.
Why? Because it keeps the workout habit alive, for one. Look beyond personal records and performance improvements and grasp the other benefits that come with moving your body frequently and regularly.
Accept that not every workout will be stellar, and be okay with that.
Know that performance can fluctuate on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and Real-Life Stuff (stress, sleep loss, nutrition) will influence it.
If strength training is a lifelong activity for you (and it should be), it will include ups and downs, triumphs and valuable lessons, highs and lows, and maybe even setbacks you must manage and work through.
The next time you have a “bad workout” (or stretch of bad workouts!), remind yourself that it’s part of the process. What did you expect? To work out for the rest of your life and never have a bad workout? You know that’s silly.
Don’t place too much importance on a single workout, or even a whole training phase. Remember that it’s the culmination of consistent effort and performance improvement, over time, that produces results. Instead of defining a workout’s value based solely on how you perform, and thereby deeming any workout that doesn’t result in performance improvement a bad workout, remember the other benefits that aren’t reliant on performance:
- The workout was still an act of self-care
- You reinforced the workout habit
- This is an opportunity to help you practice patience and strengthen your mental resolve
The next time you have a “bad” workout, remove the performance element from it and see what positive lesson you can glean from it instead.
One reason women feel obligated to “CRUSH!” every workout is because they think it’ll help them transform their body quicker. Maybe they’re still chasing a smaller number on the scale or think they’ll finally love their body when it has a totally different shape. If this sounds familiar, you should consider a different path. One defined by enjoyment and empowerment. Discover what happens when you say, “Screw fat loss.”