The more you understand WHY bad days can happen in the gym, the better prepared you will be to adjust and make the necessary changes. Just knowing the "why" behind a bad gym day can help you feel better about it and not get discouraged or blame yourself. Know YOU have the power to change things! Things don’t just happen for no reason with you having no control.
Let's check out the most common culprits behind a bad gym day:
- You slept poorly the night before.
- You haven’t eaten in a few hours.
- You haven’t had water in a few hours.
- You’re stressed.
- You’re fighting/getting over a cold.
- You’ve already lifted heavy multiple days this week.
- You’re pushing through pain.
- You’re going through hormone changes.
- You’re pressed for time and rushing through the motions.
Let’s talk about each of these:
- Optimal sleep allows your body to recover and feel fresh in the morning. The amount everyone needs may differ, I always suggest 8-10 hours depending on activity level, age, and individual needs. Life can get in the way so do what you can to optimize your sleep and you’ll notice better training days and recovery.
- And 3. No matter what type of nutrition you follow, sufficient hydration and nutrition support your training. Something as simple as a glass of water and a snack 30 minutes before a training session could make a MASSIVE difference in your energy levels for training.
- Stress affects your body more than physiologically. If you’re stressed about a test, a fight you had with a friend, etc it can hinder your ability to perform in the weight room. Journaling is my favorite way to relax and get my thoughts and feelings out into the world and organize them better. This can be a great first step to taking control of your response to stress. I also really like writing a gratitude list.
- If your body is busy fighting/getting over a cold and isn’t ready to train-you may want to take an extra day off until you’re feeling 100%, that way you aren’t making yourself more sick and having a bad day at the gym.
- You can only lift heavy too often before your body needs a break. Understand that some days you’re just not feeling it and need to decrease the weight. You also want to make sure you’re not overtraining and going hard every single day 7 days a week.
- Pain limits coordination and muscle performance. There’s a big difference between pain and soreness. Push through pain and your body will eventually push you back.
- Lots of women go through changes in strength based on what part of their cycle they are in. Cramps, bloating, fatigue, and other uncomfortable side effects of menstruating can affect your performance as well.
- You’re just rushing. Good things take time-so relax and maybe cut your workout short so you can really focus on what it is you’re doing rather than go through the motions rushed because you want to cram the whole things. Just make sure you don’t skip your warm up.
If you're still not quite sure what's causing your bad gym days and want some extra support, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.