Everyone has those days where hitting the gym seems like the last thing you want to be doing. Yet, opposed to abandoning ship completely there are actually some very useful tips you can implement to make sure you still get the most out of your workout.
Consistency is key when it comes to any goal. Whether you’re searching for muscle gain, fat loss or simply to get a little healthier then you have to be persistent and regular. If you miss out on one session just because you don’t feel like it then this can quickly snowball into more and more workouts until you’re really slacking. What really makes a difference is what you do in the times you’re not feeling great; when you’re not feeling up to it for whatever reason.
Here are some helpful hints and tips for different scenarios to help you break through any wall in your way between you and a better body.
1 – You’re Not In The Mood
Nobody loves the gym 24/7. Even those people you see with six packs and a toned physique on Instagram don’t always want to go and exercise.
Learning to be responsive to the signals your body is giving you can make all the difference. You know that if your head’s not in it then the quality of your workout is going to dramatically drop. A lot of the time the reason you’re in a mood is because your body isn’t feeling good enough to hit the gym. How do you get around this?
Volume. No, not on your iPod. Instead of blasting your workout with all you have like you usually do, decrease the number of sets. This means that you’re still exercising but the overall workload has decreased and as you’re using the same weight then you won’t lose any strength.
Make quality a priority, not quantity.
2 – Your Sets Feel Like A Grind
Having a plan is extremely valuable. Knowing what you’re going to do in the gym saves you from aimlessly wandering around from machine to machine doing whatever exercises you feel like. It’s also a great way to track progress and maintain that oh-so-important consistency we mentioned before. Yet, implementing this plan and carrying it out are a different story.
Sometimes sets that we thought were going to be easy turn out to be a little harder than expected. Have you ever lifted a weight one week comfortably only to struggle with it the next? It’s frustrating but it happens to the best of us.
Instead of grinding through those reps as you normally would, change up the exercise. Listen to the message your body is trying to tell you. You haven’t fully recovered yet and so these sets are going to be really tough and really draining on your nervous system leaving you feeling run down, beaten and tired.
In order to become stronger, you need to become smarter. Training is built on progression, not carrying out sets and reps because it’s in your plan. No matter what the paper says, if you’re really struggling with a weight then you may want to rethink what you put on the bar.
3 – The Warning Signs Start Early
In a similar fashion to tip number 2, one of the worst feelings is getting to the gym raring to go and the first exercise feels horrible. You’re sluggish, weak and simply aren’t performing as you normally would.
An example would be going through your warm up and feeling a little less powerful than you expected. You reach the squat bar and do your warm up sets, again feeling not as explosive or strong. When it comes down to the working sets you can only manage to hit 3 out of the 6 reps you could do before.
What would you normally do in this situation? Call it a day because your body clearly isn’t ready or soldier on through because you’re just not trying hard enough? Most would carry out the workout anyway because they’ve made it to the gym and ‘need’ to do a workout.
However, a smarter approach would actually be to go home. Your body simply isn’t ready and it’s letting you know right from the off. Don’t try out the next exercise as you’ll only be wasting your time. Learn that in order to progress you also need adequate rest. If you push through then you’ll only worsen the problem meaning that your subsequent workouts will be equally bad if not worse. Take some time off, eat good food and get plenty of sleep. By the next time you put your foot in the gym door you’ll be back in shape and back in the right frame of mind ready to destroy another workout.