Losing Momentum in the Gym

At some point you’re going to step foot in the gym or on the track with the best of intentions. You’ll get yourself all pumped up but when it comes time to lift that weight or take that first stride, the energy won’t come roaring forward.

They say it is common to have a lousy workout from time to time and that you shouldn’t allow it to set you back. That is sound advice but it is easier said than done when you’re struggling with a workout that you crushed just a few days prior.

I found myself in this very predicament earlier this week. I had just come away from a solid week of exercise. I set a new running milestone, racked up nearly 100,000 Steps in a FitBit Work Week Hustle Challenge, added plenty of sets to my gym routine, and lost 4.6 pounds.

When the weekend rolled around I decided to take it easy so that I would be well rested to do it all over again on Monday. I stepped into the gym, got changed, popped in my earbuds, and fired up the treadmill for my usual fifteen minute warm up. I was jogging a little faster than usual but I was gassed before even hitting the five minute mark. By the time my fifteen minutes were up, sweat was dripping from my face and I was breathing heavy. For just a warm up, I was exhausted!

When it came time to lift weights I was in even worse shape. It felt like an impossible task to reach my usual reps. In more than one exercise I fell short. It was as if I wasn’t just hitting a plateau but actually skidding backwards.

After struggling with the weights, I hopped back on the treadmill for my usual cardio session. Nothing crazy, just thirty minutes at a steady pace to burn come calories. Just like the warm up, I was dripping and out of breath long before my time was up. I wound up slowing down the treadmill slightly so that I could continue more comfortably.

I walked back out the door upset with my performance. I like to push myself and make progress but this was anything but progress. Sure, I pushed hard but what did I have to show for it? Maybe it was poor dietary decisions that lead to a lack of energy? Maybe I should have kept moving over the weekend instead of resting up? Maybe it was just as they say – a fluke that happens from time to time? Whatever the cause, I resolved to not let it get to me too much. I’d be back in the gym and pushing hard the following day.

Tuesday was an entirely different animal. I walked into the gym feeling a little drained but wound up showing progress in almost every exercise I performed. Not only was I happy with the numbers but when I woke up this morning the soreness from my ass to my calves (Leg Day) was like a little pat on the back for a job well done.

Sometimes it is tough not to nit-pick every little performance. The bottom line is this, any day that I get a workout in or make healthy food choices is a good day. As they say, getting healthy is a marathon, not a sprint.

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