Not every day at the gym is going to be good. Even veteran gym goers have days where they find they just don't want to go to the gym, for one reason or another. Even when you are at the gym, you might be sluggish, sore, weak, bored, and any combination of negative emotions that easily inhibit a workout. For beginners, negative emotions are compounded by the overwhelming feeling of being in a new environment they are entirely unfamiliar with.
I've had bad days too. On days when I go to the gym and feel absolutely fed up with the idea of having to drive out there, I try to make up for it by crushing my workout, either with getting a new PR (personal record) or successfully lifting heavy loads at high volumes within all of the goal repetitions I've had planned for myself. Even when my clients come to the gym feeling absolutely haggard, I always make sure they have a successful session, and there are a few ways I go about doing this.
I believe one of the most common reasons people drop out of a workout program is because they're not getting the results fast enough--but I believe boredom may play a factor as well.
Any time I've ever seen someone sign up for a membership, there's always an aura of fresh excitement about that person. Any positive change within one's life is always met with excitement. That excitement only begins to die when we realize this new change wasn't what we expected it to be. In the case of a fitness routine, this would be hard work. I believe people begin to view their fitness routines as undesired hard work because they grow bored. After all, to keep your routine fresh, you have to know HOW to keep it interesting. Many people are unsure of how to do this without spending several hours researching how to structure workout programs.
There are a myriad of training styles out there. The most common routine I've seen newbies do is that they'll visit each selectorized machine once, bang out a few reps, and then hit a piece of cardio equipment. Or sometimes they'll do nothing but cardio and then leave. It's no wonder why they then eventually give up! That's a dull routine, so for those new to exercising or those really needing to change up their routines, I'm going to explain how you can do this.
Out of the blue, I decided to pick up running again. I hadn't ran since stopping ballet and hesitated running for a while due to a hip impingement. Yet, as I sped up the treadmill at the gym, I had the sudden urge to run, to see what I was capable of doing and what I was capable of tolerating. I aimed to run a mile without stopping, which actually proved to be much easier than I thought it would be. Of course, doing HIIT workouts tends to lead to excellent cardiovascular conditioning. In any case, the running did not aggravate my hip impingement. In reality, I should have known it wouldn't, as there is no extreme hip flexion involved in running if you're doing it correctly. Yet, hip flexion was never the only thing that aggravated it. In fact, hip extension, the kind needed to elevate your leg to 90 degrees for an arabesque, would tighten my back up fast thanks to the improper positioning of my hip joint within the socket. So I did have reason to believe that running would cause some sort of aggravation from the constant pounding on a hard surface. However, I attribute the lack of aggravation to proper running biomechanics.
This past Saturday, after five months of intense studying, I took the CSCS exam (certified strength and conditioning specialist) and passed...on my first try, with no degree in exercise science; however, I do have an exercise science background and solid experience from being a trainer with a good book of clients. Even so, experience won't help with rote memorization when I have no way of truly applying the sliding filament theory, other than wondering if the I-band and H-zone are shrinking during the concentric portion of a lat pulldown I'm having my client perform.
In any case, I've never felt such pride upon achieving a hard-earned designation before. Certainly I was excited upon earning my personal trainer certification, and I did study hard to make the test easy for me, but it didn't induce the stomach-curdling stress on exam day that the CSCS did. I was also completely apathetic about getting my Bachelor's in English, mostly because it wasn't that difficult of a degree to earn. I obviously can't speak for others, but English has always been a strong subject of mine, so I've never had problems writing essays. Granted, I did have core classes I stressed over, like statistics and geography, but these classes gave me study guides with exactly what was going to be on the test. You memorize that study guide, and you've pretty much bagged the test. Yet, no amount of studying made the CSCS exam any easier for me--and I threw money at every legitimate study guide I could find.
I was hoping to single-handedly save a business that wasn't mine. How great of a story would that have made? Amber managed to save 9Round Evans through hard work, determination, hope, and a desire to not believe failure could be possible in a gym loved by what few members it had, with a concept no other gym in the area could compete with. Yet, that's not what happened. At all.
ACE Certified Personal Trainer, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, nutrition coach, young adult author, moody ballerina.
I help people perform without pain.
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The views expressed on this blog are entirely my own. Any advice I offer is not to be taken as medical advice. If you think you have contraindications to exercise, please see your physician before implementing any sample workout plans I present on this blog.
All images are either my own, from Canva, or Creative Commons