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How To Avoid Bad Workouts

Learn How To Minimize Those Off Days You’d Rather Forget

Posted by TimeIsMuscle - January 12th, 2017

Unfortunately, every so often, we all encounter off days in the gym. Now and again we have those days where we fail to get going or find our rhythm in the gym.

The causes for having an off day can be for a variety of reasons, such as…

  • Poor diet
  • Lack of rest
  • Lack of motivation
  • Injuries

Whatever the reason, we all face these common challenges that often can be discouraging. The key is to look for solutions to avoid the possibility of you experiencing too many off days in the gym.

Five Principles That Promote A Good Workout

Some of us will fail to plan out our workouts, and if you fail to prepare then you might as well prepare to fail. Here are five principles that promote successful and productive workouts.

1. Plan Your Workouts

Don’t be that person who walks into a gym and wonders what they’re going to do, searching for equipment that currently isn’t in use. I caught myself doing this recently and because I didn’t plan my workout properly I found myself becoming frustrated and disengaged from my training. I didn’t plan any alternative exercises in the event that all of the popular gym equipment was in use, and as a result I had a bad workout.

2. Eat Properly

When you’re planning to go and put yourself through an intense workout, you need to be consuming the right sources of nutrients/supplements in advance to ensure you have enough energy to perform at your peak. I have failed to do this in the past more times than I’d like to admit. I have previously attempted to lift weights for strength gains with around 80-90% of my one rep max without consuming enough carbohydrates prior to a workout, and as a result I had a bad workout.

3. Get Enough Rest

I think this is probably the most common problem people have in the fitness world aside from nutrition. You have to try and get enough rest. For some this may be four to six hours. Others will need eight hours or more every night. The amount of rest we all need will vary. The key is to listen to your body. We all have lifestyles that can be demanding outside the gym. Some of us have jobs and work long hours and some of us have families too. These external factors are a challenge for us all and the lack of rest is directly linked to our lifestyle and commitments. Many people will argue that their lack of rest in these circumstances is unavoidable. Occasionally during the day on weekends if I have the time I’ll have a quick “Siesta” or power nap to catch up on the sleep I need. Lack of sleep has previously affected my performance in the gym and without the adequate rest our bodies will struggle to recover from previous workouts.

4. Stay Motivated

Whether it’s self-motivation to reach your goals, or the motivation you get from someone you look up to, you have to bring that energy to the gym. If you are lacking motivation and focus you will struggle to excel in the gym and reach your goals. It’s important to remain positive and set yourself realistic goals that you can meet. These goals and what motivates us will be different for everyone. The key is finding out what motivates you. For me it’s my obsession with the Rocky Films. If I don’t listen to the Rocky Soundtrack frequently during my workouts, I don’t feel as motivated or pumped up to do my best.

5. Listen To Your Body

This is another mistake I am sure we have all made at some stage. If your body is telling you something is wrong, you have to rest up, go see a doctor, or in some case’s stop doing certain exercises altogether. For me this meant no longer doing skull crushers with an EZ bar. I often get tendonitis in my wrists which can make it almost unbearable for me to do the exercise. I initially ignored what my body was telling me and this led to some more bad workouts. Eventually I wised up and I sought an alternative exercise to combat this problem. Now I do tricep cable extensions using a straight bar lying down on a bench, and I no longer get any pain in my wrists. In fact, I find it actually gives me a better workout for my triceps. This goes to show that if your body forces you to make changes, those changes can still be positive.

An off day here or there is unavoidable really. But you can definitely minimize how often they occur. It all starts by applying the five principles we discussed in this article. Remember, if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

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Great read bro!


awesome motivating article Jason! Sometimes even I need something like that!

TimeIsMuscle  Edit  Delete  Close

Thanks @scott_herman every so often we all need a lift and a reminder of these important principles