Bad Workout Today?

Have you ever mumbled to yourself, “I had a bad workout today?”

Bad workout?

Bad workout?

I would hope that you have never uttered those destructive words. However, I know better. The chances are pretty good that most of you have said something quite similar from time to time. Having been in small gyms and large fitness centers for years, I have unfortunately heard this comment all too frequently. From the seasoned workout individual, to the gym rat, to the newbie bursting with enthusiasm, to the weekend workout warrior, from the young and from the not so young, from male to female, everyone thinks it and most verbalize it.

Typically, this is how an exchange will take place. I have just finished training one of my students. I eagerly greet someone new who awaits both my instructive and challenging training style. Among other things, I will inquire as to the particulars of this person’s most recent exercise efforts. Invariably, I hear “I feel as if I did not have a good workout.”

My desire today is to share a few thoughts on this concept of an alleged bad workout that just might give you reason to change your tune.

First and foremost, I must pose the question, “Did you hurt yourself?” If the answer is, “No!” then we are off to a great start. Simply put, if you have sustained some type of injury during the course of exercising then I would concede that there is clear evidence that a less than desirable workout took place. You are now on the dreaded disabled list for a while and nothing could be worse. You, however, said that no such travesty occurred. Therefore, I need more information. Tell me why you had a workout you’d soon wish to forget. Here are some typical responses: “My session just wasn’t as good as my previous one.” “I just didn’t have much time and I didn’t feel as if I accomplished anything.” “I was struggling with energy and couldn’t do a full workout.” “I have been exercising with my friend and she seems to do more than I am able to attempt.” The responses could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. If you are indeed guilty of uttering something comparable to these statements, I say that you are undermining your work when you have a mindset that could even produce such a response.

Please permit me to explain. Allow me to make this very clear. No one singular workout will now nor ever make or break your efforts to achieve your fitness goals. Comparing workouts is absolutely pointless, because it very much misses the point! An accumulation of all your good work will certainly prove to be fruitful. Your patience and diligence and amazing commitment will pay off. You can feel the positive effects of your accomplishments in the gym setting spill over into all other areas of your life. Do you have bad days? Well, sure. We all do in some way. But remember, each day is a precious gift and there are always blessings to be found if we just look around us. So, none of us is particularly immune from obstacles that prevent that “perfect workout” from occurring every time we train. Yes, we all deal with distractions such as work related issues, strained relationships, stress in its many forms, fatigue, and seemingly not sufficient time in the day to fit in an appropriate exercise session. Individually or packaged all together, these realities of life can rise up and punch us in the gut and leave us complaining, “I had a bad workout!”

I am here to tell you that in all likelihood you did not have a bad workout! You survived it, and emerged unscathed. You did not hurt yourself. However long and grueling it was, you did it. Quality always trumps quantity in regards to exercise! I ask you, “Did you give your very best effort today?” If you can tell me that you did so, then you will begin to understand that there can be no such thing as a bad workout. Given all that you drag with you to the gym, your current day’s experiences as well as previous day’s garbage heaped upon this one, if you give your all, you’ve done all you should ever expect. There is no such thing as a perfect workout, other than a completed one. Ten minutes, twenty, half an hour, or a full hour, it really does not matter. If you find yourself distracted, if you are running low on energy, if you have a million other things to do and as many other places you’d rather be, don’t be discouraged. Simply modify what you do! You are the only one who really knows if you put forth your very best.

So, go forward with confidence and hold your head high. Give your best effort in all that you do today. You are in the midst of something special, even magnificent. If you just can’t see a pathway to the optimism which I have, please reach out to me. I’ll even let you tell me about your mythical bad workout. If you are not sure exactly how you can overcome some of life’s pitfalls and still produce consistently good workouts, fear not. I can help.

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