Getting Over a Setback at the Gym

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tissues in box

Catching something between the flu and bronchitis is no fun. It’s worse when you’re trying to work out.

Marquette, Michigan  –  February 21, 2014  –  A couple weeks ago, I caught a bug that was going around and missed some workouts.

My trainer, Amanda T. at Synergy Fitness, brought the intensity level of my workouts down for a couple days to give my body a chance to recover.

I was determined to get to the gym, but my body just wasn’t ready for anything too demanding.

Talk about frustrating! After a couple “easy” workouts, I felt like I was behind — like I was losing all the gains I made last month.

Up to that point, I felt like I was building up not only strength but endurance. It’s hard not to feel frustrated when you know your body is capable of doing more and you just can’t make it happen.

Synergy Fitness strength clas

My mind wanted to be here… my body wanted to be back in bed.

Consequently, the muscle cramping I had experienced during the first month of working out came back. My lower back would cramp up within minutes of starting my workout. Then the swelling in my legs came back.

Along with the lingering cold, cramps, swelling, and just not being able to work out the way I wanted to, I also stopped being so careful about my diet.

The loss of energy and momentum really messed with my head. It felt like the more determined I tried to be, the more let-down I felt when I couldn’t perform to my own expectations. It may sound trite, but there is no negative talk more damaging than self negative talk.

I’m not sure why I got sick twice within 30 days. Friends thought maybe I was working out too hard or not eating enough to keep my immune system healthy. I talked to Amanda about it and she made a really good point: My body is not used to moving as much as I have been and it is focused on trying to adjust to this new active lifestyle.

I’m a bit of an insomniac and the thing about not sleeping at night is that you have plenty of quiet time to reflect on the day and beat yourself up about what you could have done differently. There’s also plenty of time to plan better for the next day.

Tips to Overcome Gym Setbacks

  1. New Gear – I’m not sure that this will work for everyone, but the best boost I’ve gotten so far came from getting my new shoes! Just looking at my bright raspberry pink and mango shoes makes me smile. If you need new shoes or clothes, go for something bright that will make you smile or at least make you stand out!
  2. Learn Something New – Spend a little bit of time learning about nutrition or learning about the way your body works. It’s something to distract you from dwelling on your setback and will help things fall together in the long run. The more you know…
  3. Get a Massage – I sleep better and feel taller after a massage. Not only can it help with your range of motion, it helps reduce stress. You can use massage as a tool to help you relax after workouts or just as a way to recharge your batteries.
  4. Switch it Up – Do something different. Try out a class that’s being offered either at a local gym or see if there are any classes or workshops being offered at Northern Michigan University. Synergy Fitness offers more than 30 fitness classes that are centered around strength, endurance and flexibility.

When you suffer setbacks in the gym, try to incorporate some of these suggestions. You might find that one (or all) of them help you stay positive. A quick question for the fitness pros out there: How do you deal with setbacks in the gym? If you have any advice, feel free to comment below. I’d really appreciate the feedback.

If you’re interested in reading my other posts about working out at the gym, you can find them here:

It’s Been a Month Already?!

Should You Work Out When You’re Sick?

Potatoes Have More Potassium Than Bananas

Recovering From a Sports Injury and Losing Weight with the Help of a Trainer

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