I don’t think I’m the only one who deals with this, but I feel as if I’m cursed with the fact that every week, I will deal with a bad workout. The day is always anonymous too–sometimes it’s on a Wednesday, other times it’s on a Sunday, et cetera. I will start exercising, continue on through it, but know that I’m not making any progress with my fitness levels or getting in a good workout. It’s SO frustrating if you’ve never felt this way. The question is, what defines a good workout? Is it defined by sweat, soreness, heart rate, breathing rate, calorie burn mid and post-workout, what exactly tells you that you got a good workout in the day?
Last Sunday, I actually got in an “eh” workout. I broke quite a sweat, my heart rate and breathing rate shot up several times, but it wasn’t the best that I’ve done. The day before, not only did I have an amazing workout where I literally died afterwards, but I was also walking for hours and hours running errands, shopping, doing whatever I needed to do. Last week I didn’t perform at my most optimum level. Honestly, it frustrated me for a while, but I realized that I shouldn’t have been upset because it’s so unrealistic to have the perfect workout every single time.
I’m no personal trainer nor do I have any certification to be 100% sure about this, but I think that a supposedly bad workout definitely means something more. If your body is not performing at optimum level, then it probably doesn’t have enough energy to do so. In fact, it might actually be giving a very important message that you shouldn’t ignore. Your body isn’t giving in its all because it’s resting, it’s recovering from the last workout and it’s repairing the muscles, the glycogen, the joints, basically everything that you need to exercise. This is why it’s so important to take a rest day, or a light performance day; you don’t have to workout the same body parts every day, and you shouldn’t. You may find that your body’s recovery process will show off awesome results on your body the next day!
Working out is not meant to be easy. That is why it is something that you have to work towards and that is why it takes so much hard effort, dedication and motivation to reach your goals. Straining your muscles for too long can actually result in very dangerous injuries. It’s better to take 24 hours out of the gym rather than working through it as long as you can until the day you find that you’ve injured something in your body so severely that that day becomes a week, a month, or even several months. They say that sometimes it takes one step back to go two steps forward. I had a pretty less-than-mediocre workout one day, and the next day, I killed it. Simple as that.
I absolutely can’t stand fitspo photos that seem to force you to work out until you vomit, you die, you break something or you basically just bleed to death. It’s not the end of the world if you decide one day that you don’t want to work out. It only becomes a problem if you skip your workouts for more than a month or so and you see a difference in your energy levels. Sometimes a bad workout might just be your body’s cry for rest. Less is more, and no, one day out of the week to not work out is not going to ruin your progress or make you fat.
If you want to do a lighter workout, just incorporate more walking in your day than normal, and vice-versa. I personally just make sure that one of my workouts is significantly lighter than the others so that I don’t injure myself. Rest is not a lack of motivation or lack of strength, but the strength to listen to your body’s cues and treat it right. (Because baby it’s cold outside…)
Do you ever have bad workouts?