The following words are as important for me to read as they are for you to read:
IT’S OK TO MISS A WORKOUT!
We are constantly reminded how important eating healthy and working out is for the best chance to live a long life. We see commercials on TV, it’s in magazines, and ads are popping up constantly on social media. Adding to this commercial pressure to workout, every advertisement is filled with super fit looking people. So, it is not wonder we become obsessed with exercise and develop conditions like body dysmorphia.
How It Starts
When someone new joins the gym, it is easy to see the ball start rolling. They see a little change in their body, and they want more, and more, and more. Then, something gets in the way and they miss a workout. It can be catastrophic. When I client comes to me with this FOMO, it can be really hard to convince him or her that a break will actually be a benefit. It’s especially hard when I am just as guilty of not wanting to take a break as everyone else.
Fear of Losing Progress
One reason people don’t like to miss a workout is because he or she is afraid to lose progress. Becoming stronger, increasing cardio capacity, or seeing real change takes time. When you put in the time to improve, you don’t want to see that improvement go away. So, you develop a fear that if you miss just one day at the gym, your progress will start to reverse.
Recently, I had a particularly busy Tuesday. As many know, I also work part-time as an attorney. This Tuesday, between coaching classes starting at 5:15am, attending two hearings, private trainings, client meetings, and wanting to get home in time to make and eat dinner with my family, there was literally no time to workout. And, for many people, this is a common daily issue. The workout that day had pullups (one of my favorite movements). Sure enough, I found myself worried that if I don’t do the pullups on Tuesday, my ability to do them would diminish ever so slightly.
What I had to remind myself is that losing progress takes more than missing a workout. Until you are at the fringes of your ability, missing one or two workouts a week will not have a negative impact on your progress for any particular area of fitness. Furthermore, here’s the truth, most of us aren’t at the fringes of our ability. We have plenty of room to grow.
So, Miss a Workout
Really, you will be ok. You won’t get weaker, you won’t get fat, you won’t lose the ability to do anything.
I am the first to climb on my soapbox and preach about consistency. First, find your purpose. Next, set your goals. Then, you must perform CONSISTENT work toward those goals. Without consistency, your progress is simply luck. However, if you miss a day here and there, you will still see regular progress. Life happens, work gets in the way, families get in the way. Sometimes, we just need a break. When one missed workout turns into three or more in a row, it’s time to start worrying. However, fitness will be there when you come back tomorrow.
Matthew E. Becker