When the same isn't good enough

When one embarks on their fitness journey, they quickly realize that they have challenges with accomplishing the goals and expectations set out for themselves.  Some people may find that committing the actual time in a day to exercise is the challenge, others may despise cardio, and some may struggle to complete a pushup on their toes.  No matter how easy someone may make something look, chances are they have that one thing in their workout routine that either mentally or physically challenges them.  

For me, it’s doing bench press with a bar and it is a total mental thing.  I can manage to press the same weight when I have dumbbells but when I set myself up with a barbell, my mind tells me I can’t do it before I’ve even tried.  Due to my injury I am unable to train right now but I have already told myself that it is something I want to master in the New Year, when I get cleared to work out again.  To be successful, I will have to make a conscious effort to talk myself up instead of down before lifting; because from personal experience and through my clients, when we see something we don’t enjoy, we immediately get negative, dread the exercise, and our body language changes completely.

The purpose of me writing about this today is to remind everyone that in order for us to see the results we desire, we have to stop doing the same thing and start doing something different.  Think about the last time you were at the gym and you set yourself up to do a set of exercises.  Chances are you gravitated to the same weights you always use, the same modifications for each exercise and then went about your business, right? I see it all the time in my fitness classes;  I used to be the same way. We get comfortable by just being there and then check out mentally and end up simply going through the motions.  

How do we overcome that?

  1. Find a new challenge.  Maybe when you started out your challenge was just getting to the gym and finding time.  But if making the time isn’t your issue now, find something else to work on.  Often times we think we deserve a pat on the back by just showing up.  Yes, for some of us we deserve the congratulations for making the time.  Self-love and exercise are amazing, but, once getting there isn’t a big deal anymore we need to move on.
  2. Try something different.  We also have a tendency to do the same things over and over.  Our bodies need to be pushed in different ways to see results.  Maybe try a new workout class, lift weights instead of always heading to the cardio section or use an app.  If our bodies constantly do the same thing we will eventually plateau and stop seeing the results we are craving.
  3. Adjust the modifications.  Again, we get stuck in the same old routines and forget that we may actually be more capable!  Think about every time you do a plank or a pushup. Your mind and body will take you to where you usually go.  This means our bodies get stuck doing the same old pushups from the knees when in reality we may have gained enough strength to try a few reps on our toes.  Try a pushup from the toes; try a shoulder press with the next set of weights up. Whatever it is, adjust and try something you wouldn’t normally.

The idea behind all of this is that we want to overload our bodies.  That can either happen in the intensity, volume, or the actual exercise.  So, either change the modification to something more intense, lift heavier, do more reps, or try something new to push our bodies to adapt and change.  As uncomfortable as those challenges may feel, our bodies and minds have to be pushed in order for us to continue on the upward path to success.  Next workout, try it out for yourself.  Remember, we won’t master everything in each workout but pick just one thing to challenge yourself.  The small steps will lead to improvements.  You’ve got this!

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.


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