Know When To Change Directions
In addition, my workouts were really lacking intensity. Over the last couple of months, I’ve kind of been going through a lazy streak. I always say you just need to “show up”, but I almost felt that was all I was doing. My body was showing up, but my drive, ambition and focus was at home (or somewhere else – I’m still trying to find them).
So what does a girl do when she finds herself on a path to a dead end? She takes a detour – a MAJOR detour. Something had to change – and drastically. This means, it wasn’t enough to just increase pace, up weights or add another day of exercise. I need to stop this train, turn around and completely go in another direction altogether.
How did I know something had to change? Easy. There were very clear signs I was on the wrong path. Just like when you are traveling, there are warning signs. We just have to pay attention to them.
6 Signs Your Workout Needs to Change Directions
2.) You don’t like where you are heading.
3.) You aren’t having fun on your journey.
4.) You are just plain lost.
5.) You are backtracking.
6.) You see a major warning signs, which can be as simple as tight fitting jeans or a bad health report.
New Route, New Destination
For me, my detour meant getting away from traditional “3 sets of 12” type of weight training with separate cardio. Instead, now I’m doing more functional training that still targets specific areas that need work. I started setting up workouts that used more multi-joint movements, included a cardio component (I may not be able to do a lot of running, but I sure can burpee & box jump!), and had more intensity with reduced rest time. That meant my workout partner and I were going to be doing the exact same workout at the same time, so no more resting between sets to spot each other (and no more chatting! ut oh!)
First, I would decide what my focus was going to be (ie: shoulder, legs, chest, back, etc) and then I would put together a series of exercises that would target that area, as well as condition my entire body and cardiovascular system. The next thing I changed was my training pace and intensity (like doing workouts for time). Also, I ramped up my effort. If I would normally do 3 rounds of something, I’d write 5 ROUNDS on the white board. If I wanted to do 5 rounds, I’d do 10. My goal was to push myself out of my comfort zone. Once I wrote it on the board, I had to finish it. This has been SO good for me. It’s kept me focused, efficient and effective.
As a result, my workouts have been a lot more purposeful and a lot more intense. I’ve burned more calories, challenged my body, and have seen better results. The only downfall is I can’t talk to my workout partner much during the workout because I’m too busy mouth-breathing everywhere, and grunting – but we get our chat time after the workout over protein shakes, so it’s all good!
For more on my new workout routine, see my new blog: Recipe for the Perfect Workout.
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How many times have you left the gym feeling discouraged? Whether it was because your workout got interrupted fifty times, or you were lacking the energy you needed to hit it hard, it’s easy to forget you did something truly amazing – you showed up.
We all tend to focus on abilities, power, strength and performance, and forget that a bad day in the gym is still better than most people’s average day. There will always be someone faster, stronger, more powerful and more athletic, but most people’s weakness is not how they perform once they get to the gym – their weakness is not getting to the gym at all.
You strive to live healthy, lift strong and train hard, but you can’t forget the commitment you’ve made to keep showing up. Every day you show up, whether your workout is good, bad or ugly, you should celebrate because you followed through – and that requires a strength of it’s own. (love this pic from Patty’s page, Reach-YourPeak.com). Everyone who finishes their workout should get two thumbs up!
While your performance may determine the pace of your progress, your consistency is the most powerful component of your workout program.
It takes discipline to wake up an hour early so you can run before you get the kids up. It takes determination to go to the gym even after a long hard day at on the job. It takes willpower to look past the pizza everyone else is eating and focus on the prize. Even on your weakest day in the gym, you are strong as an ox.