Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bad workouts equal bad days, or do they?

We have all experienced those days where we just seemed a little off and we didn't reach the exercise goal we had set for ourselves.  Most stress and worry about these days, but it might be worthwhile to think of these 'bad' workouts as a learning experience.

If you have a workout that goes poorly, evaluate if that workout fits your personal workout style.  Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can take the pressure off your workouts and allow you to have more fun.  Accept that you have some areas that you will be weaker in and slowly work towards improving.

Sometimes we don't give enough attention to the outside influences that affect our individual workouts.  For instance, you are stressed at work, maybe worrying about a deadline and you sneak in a quick workout over your lunch that doesn't go well; from this perspective it's easy to see that your focus is elsewhere and that it negatively affected your workout.  We tend to separate life stress from training stress but they can both have an affect on your overall confidence level.

This idea also applies to environmental conditions.  If it's hot and humid outside, your workout is likely to be more of a struggle but how many of us blame ourselves and not the conditions?

It's worth noting that if you have a several bad workouts in a row, it might be advisable to dial it down a notch.  Recovery is an important part of training and is often overlooked.  Keeping a balance between training and a busy life is possible if you learn to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs.

Some food for thought:
  • Start each day fresh, with a clear mind
  • Improve on your weaknesses
  • Try not to dwell on the 'bad' aspects of your workout
  • Ensure you get enough rest
  • Don't be afraid to cut out one or two workouts until you back to yourself
It can be hard to accept a bad workout when there are valid reasons for it, let alone when there seems to be no reason at all.  Since our bodies do have and ebb and flow that we don't fully understand, we need to realize that it's not all in our control, learn from it and move on.

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. Bowden J. The real-world workout: how to build strength - and confidence - on your own terms. Women's Sports & Fitness. September 1994;17(6):70-72.
2. Gilson T. Outcomes of Confidence in Sport Training Settings. Strength & Conditioning Journal (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). October 2010;32(5):91-96.
3. McMillan G. The Five Habits of Highly Effective Runners. Running Times. April 2010;(375):22.
4. Otis C, Goldingay R. Good pain, bad pain. Shape. February 1993;12(6):58.

No comments: