Whats the difference between a missed workout?

Some days you are going to miss your workout. I know a personal trainer shouldn’t say things like that, right? Your workout schedule should always be maintained, ALWAYS!!! NO EXCUSES!!! The truth is there are going to be days when you just can’t make it happen.

Perhaps your schedule got screwed up or perhaps something came up at work. You might come down with the flu or maybe your cat sat on your lap and you just can’t bear to move the sweet feline. No matter what the reason it’s not a reason to PANIC!!!

Everyone misses a workout now and again. I used to get really bothered during triathlon training season about missing workouts. Partly because workouts are what kept me sane, but also because I was afraid. I was afraid that if I took a misstep, I would fall off the path completely.

When you are first transforming your life this is very natural. It’s likely you have some little internal critic warning you against the numerous failures and violations of trust you have committed against yourself in life. It’s not something to be ashamed about we all do it. We start with good intention and we stumble off the path. In a way this voice’s diligence is important for you to pay attention to. Missing workouts can become a pattern and a habit that develops into a longer trend.

The trick is how to tell the difference between an occasional exception and a growing rule. Here are a few tools you can use assure you are sticking to your workout plan.

1. Make weekly instead of daily goals – When you are setting your goals try to make weekly goals that you sometimes exceed. This way if you miss a day you can always make it up another day. By setting weekly goals you can shift your work out schedule to meet whatever needs arise.

In addition by setting weekly limits you’ll be less likely to try to get a bunch of workouts in one week, to make up for the last week. Fitness doesn’t really work like that, by breaking your schedule down into weekly chucks you can manage your progress. If last week didn’t go great that’s ok you can start up again this week. These short manageable commitments makes long term progress possible.

2. Commit to a max number of days between work outs- I’ve heard many people decide not to go more than two days without doing some sort of physical activity. This tool is simple you just set this standard and keep to it. This way if you workout daily and you miss a workout for some reason, it’s alright you’re within your limit, but after three days it’s likely your slacking or making up excuses.

 The important part of regular exercise is the regular part. Even if it’s just getting out for a short walk, if you make exercise part of your week you will be more likely to keep it up. Even if your max number of days is three or four, your rule can be your workout snooze button. If you decide you need an extra day to rest, your snooze button rule will make sure you don’t slip into a prolonged no-exercise slumber.

3. Commit to a workout group or workout partner – Social pressure is a powerful thing, you might as well use it to your advantage when you can. If you know that you will have to meet with someone or a group of someones, you are more likely to make it to your workouts. In addition  knowing you will see others who are working out regularly will encourage you to stick to your fitness plan.

When I was training for Reach the Beach, a one hundred mile charity ride, I knew each week I was going to be meeting up with other riders to train. These were serious cyclists and if I was going to keep up with them each week, I needed to stick to my training schedule. Every time I got sick or took a day or two off, I would feel it on the weekend rides. These rides became something that I looked forward to, but were also a tool to keep me focused on my long term goals.

There are many way to find people to support you, getting a personal trainer is one of the best ways to do this, but so is meeting regularly with a workout group or just having a workout buddy. Having someone hold you accountable keeps you honest about your effort and helps you make sure you stick to your long term goals. A personal trainer, exercise group, workout buddy, or even just an active friend can inspire you with their dedication, commitment, or resilience, and often you can inspire them as well.

These are just a few of the tools you could use to make sure a missed workout doesn’t become a pattern, but there are many others. Take some time this week and ask yourself, what can I use to keep myself on track? Are there any groups that will support my goals, or are there any friends who might have goals similar to my own? What will motivate me to keep going when life gets in the way? What are some other tools I can use to make sure I don’t quit when my life gets complicated?

No matter what your commitment to fitness is and what your goals are, using these tools to help keep you on track can make the difference between a short term change and a life long transformation. A missed workout is no big deal, but every  Often we put too much emphasis on personal will power in fitness. Sure having will power is great, but having support is even better. It’s not about doing it all on our own, instead its about just getting it done.

Thanks for reading and Be Well,