or... Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Workout
Let’s be completely honest with ourselves. There are days when the weights just don’t want to move, or you feel like your gas tank is running on less than empty. It doesn’t matter who you are, how long you’ve been working out, or how strong you are... these things just happen. So, what brings upon that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad workout?
Truthful, it can mostly be boiled down to one thing. Stress. Now, stress can come in many different ways and will show up in all aspects of life. It’s no real surprise that you’re going to see it in the gym. Most of the time, we see stress follow people in dealing with work or family/friends. It shows up a couple of different ways:
Things have been crazy at work. We’re launching this new thing/app/process/etc., and everyone’s been putting in a little extra.
Or, man... work has been hectic. I feel like I can’t even catch my breath.
Or, boss was on my case again. I just don’t understand how to make her/him happy and get them off my back.
The point? Whatever it may be at work, if it’s stressful, it will follow you after the time card is punched for the day.
It feels like no matter what we do, things are just tough at home right now.
Or, got an anniversary coming up. I have no clue what I want to do or what to get her/him for it. I just want it to be perfect.
Or, my sister/brother/mother/ father/friend/anyone is really going through a rough patch. I just wish there was a way to help them.
The point?Whether it’s something you, yourself, is dealing with or even just feeling empathy for a friend, that stress adds up.
Regardless of what it is exactly that is causing this no good workout, the workout happens. Maybe you don’t quite realize it until after you finish, or it happens halfway through and just sours the rest... either way, follow a couple rules to help move beyond it and look to the next one.
1) Be Kind: So, you’ve had a rough one. Then why do we tend to follow it up by kicking ourselves while down? One of the worst things I see is when someone is in the middle of a no good workout, and they just can’t be nice to themselves. Sometimes, you have to cut yourself a break. Be kind to yourself. In the famous words of Stuart Smalley, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”
2) Do It, and then Be Proud That something can be anything. Hell, showing up to the gym when you’re down in the dumps is an accomplishment. Start there, and build. Maybe that deadlift at 85% doesn’t want to move. What about 75%? Can you still get through some deadlifts? The sense of accomplishing something, anything, during the workout is big. Not only that, but recognize it. You could have stopped completely and given up. Not you! You stuck with it and deserve recognition for it. Not every day is rainbows and sunshine, and sometimes you trudge through regardless. Kick ass and recognize that!
3) Step Back Have you been going nonstop all day/week/month? Going, going, going? Maybe it’s time to take a rest day… but I’m already at the gym you might say. I know, I know. So, maybe it’s time to take a rest day. What does a rest day look like in a gym? It could be as simple as taking the time to stretch appropriately or do some soft tissue work. Maybe it just means cutting your weights way down and moving without the pressure. Step back honestly, and see where you are. If this is difficult, step back with a trainer. We’ve all been there and can help you through it. That’s what I’ve got. Three things that can help. Pretty simple when you look at it. Simple never meant easy, but simple it is. And I’d be lying if I said that I never had a bad day. They happen, but you can’t let one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad workout let you forget just how badass you are.