How to Bounce Back From a Bad WorkoutPosted: January 13, 2011
In the wise, wise words of my yoga instructor Erin, “Some days you feel like a rock star, other days you just feel like a rock.”
Last night was one of those “rock” days. Mentally, I just wasn’t focused. Physically, I was shaky and unbalanced. Goddess pose killed my quads, pigeon pose downright hurt, and holding airplane pose beyond a single breath? Forget about it.
I hesitate to call any workout “bad”. Rock star or just plain rock, you’re up, you’re active, and you’re putting effort into taking care of your body. Regardless, when your efforts just don’t line up, it’s hard to move beyond that “bad workout” feeling of letting yourself down.
It’s far too easy to wallow in the aftermath of a sub-par workout. Driving home from the hot studio, I wouldn’t have believed Kathryn Budig herself if she’d told me my self-worth wasn’t measured by the depth of my downward dog.
A workout, however, is just that. It’s not a life-or-death matter (unless a gunman is dictating your shoulder stands, in which case I suggest you find a new studio in a better part of town). It’s not a competition or a means to invoke jealousy. It’s you, working on your endurance, your strength, and your dedication. It’s a practice.
You’re not going to kill it at the gym every night. Heck, even Peyton Manning has off days. And look at it this way: your off days don’t end your season ;) Just remember:
Don’t blame yourself… It’s natural to accuse yourself of poor effort, crappy balance, lack of skill, lack of speed, lack of coordination…you get the drift. None of that is true, and if it were, you wouldn’t be able to work out in the first place. An “off” night is no reflection of your overall competence, fitness, or ability as an athlete, whatever your chosen sport may be.
…But don’t make excuses. Sure, crappy playlists, unenthusiastic instructors, stressful days at work, inadequate hydration/nutrition, and lack of sleep can all throw off your workout…but blaming them for the workout doesn’t do you any good either!
Leave it in the past. It’s done. It’s over. Leave the stress on the mat/treadmill/elliptical/court. Tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to bust it out!
Remind yourself of previous successes. When you’re feeling bummed and incapable, draw back on a time when you set a PR, nailed negative splits or completed your first headstand. Reliving the endorphin rush that accompanied your accomplishment can set you back on the right track to replicate the feeling in your next workout!
Do something to put the fun back into working out. Fitness fiascos can put a huge damper on my enthusiasm to get moving. One 37 minute 5k training run resulted in a two week hiatus from running simply because I dreaded getting back into the swing of it. A few zumba classes later, I had gotten back my enthusiasm for a good heart-pounding workout and was ready to take it back to the pavement! Whether it’s setting a new goal for the same sport or looking into a unique new workout like rock-climbing or pole dancing, shaking up your routine can put some excitement back into getting moving!
Plan to BEAST your next gym sesh. Positive thinking, Little Miss (or Mister) athlete! Need I really say more?
What do you do to recover from a less-than-stellar workout?