Listen to Your Body, Know its Limits, and Make Changes When Necessary

I’ve had my share of bad training days. Those days where I’m in there, feeling less than happy, not the least bit motivated, and completely unfocused on the task at hand. I don’t care who you are, and what stage you’re at in your fitness journey, you will always have a day where you’re not feelin’ it—a day when the bed or the sofa look a whole lot more interesting than the weight bench or the squat rack—and that’s okay.

Our bodies aren’t machines, yet most of us have little trouble running them into the ground with the day to day business of living and they are every bit as likely to fail us if we don’t pay attention to the proper cues. For example, about nine-months ago, I was beginning to feel perpetualIy listless. My workouts weren’t as consistent, my effort seemed to be waning, and I was constantly tired. I mean, like, all the time tired. And though I knew it had to be more than just a phase, I continued to push myself in the hopes that I would eventually “snap out of it”.

While it wouldn’t take a quantum physics major to figure out where that eventually led me, I will say that over the course of time my body began to feel the effects of working out six-days a week, 90-120 minutes per day and existing on what was essentially an 1,100 calorie diet. Of course I knew better, but I was more in love with the results than the truth; in the end the truth began kicking my ass and I needed to start rethinking my approach to training.

Once I re-educated myself on what I needed to do in order to both get the most out of my body as well as maintain my current level of health, I realized that I could get just as much out of 4 to 5 days a week, 60-80 minutes per session, on a 1,600-1,800 calorie diet (with the proper balance of protein, carbs, and fat) than the one I was living under the guidance of in the 14-months prior.

The difference was more energetic workouts, less issues due to overtraining, and a lot more focus on my overall internal health as opposed to just an obsession with my outward appearance.

But, I digress.

My point is to say if you’re feeling a bit less than energetic about your training, there could be more to the story than just a bad day—especially if you find that days like it are happening more often now than they once did.

Take the time to re-evaluate your approach, re-assess your goals, and, if necessary, make changes. Sometimes it’s as simple as you’re doing too much and need to back off a bit, while other times it’s a matter of bringing more balance into what you are doing already; either way, get to know your body well enough to understand the message its sending. If nothing else, that’s the one thing I would say is the most important aspect of getting fit.



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