On Saturday I experienced something I’m sure some of you can relate to – a bad workout. I know, I know, there’s no such thing as a bad workout, or the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do… blah blah blah. Well, if you ask me, there IS such a thing as a bad workout, but it’s caused by your own outlook or mind games.
I love Saturdays (obviously, every working adult loves Saturdays). But, I love them for many reasons other than the fact that it’s the weekend. I love getting up early and going for a walk with Kyle, enjoying a freshly made breakfast, spending time around the house getting chores done, and most importantly – leg day. It’s honestly my favorite training day of the week – it’s exhausting, it burns an insane amount of calories, it spikes your hormones, you leave feeling drained but accomplished, and there are so many exercises to choose from! But, yesterday was (slightly) a disappointment. It had been almost 2 weeks since we’d trained legs because of our vacation, so I’d been counting down to it since Monday. Maybe I hyped it up too much??
Everything was going smoothly until we got to squats, and suddenly I realized that I wasn’t feeling nearly as strong as I expected, then I started to analyze how I looked (bad idea when you’re unhappy and holding water), and then started to get frustrated with my performance. I don’t handle frustration well – my eyes started watering and I wanted to leave. Yup, I’m that lame. There’s no crying in the squat rack.
As usual, Kyle talked sense into me. Even though I felt like all the food I had eaten in Vegas (and on Friday night) should have given me super-human strength, I was also exhausted from the jet lag compounded by a LONG week of non-stop work and stress. Eventually, I managed to shift my focus to be more positive. I dropped my expectations, and lowered my weights and did slower, constant tension work for the most part. There’s always a way to tailor your workout to suit your needs – try different foot positions / grips, use drop sets for some endurance, go lighter weight and higher reps… whatever works that day! I incorporated more functional exercises and exhausted myself that way (weighted, walking lunges superset with leg extensions, and weighted step ups).
Your body is different every single day. You never know how it will react in the gym – some days you’ll be stronger than usual and others you’ll be dragging. I had amazing, strong workouts all week, and fully expected the same on Saturday. Accepting the bad days along with enjoying the good ones is an important part of training for progress. Every workout is not going to be great – you’ll have aches and pains, you’ll be tired and weak. The important factor is that you don’t quit. Accommodate for your needs and push hard through it.
The best news – my legs are sore as hell today, so it was a solid workout after all! And yes, I still love leg day.