What’s the bane of your gym existence?

 

Imagine walking into the gym before your workout -- you stroll over to the white board as you warm-up, feeling good and energetic and ready for a good workout.  You look up at the board to see what you’ll be doing for your workout that day, and as you read down the list, you see the one thing that makes you want to turn around and go home.  No, not those!  Not seven rounds of them!  The energy and positivity slowly leaks out of you like the air going out of a balloon.  I hate to tell you, but one of the best ways to get stronger, healthier and more fit is to commit to conquering the bane of your gym existence by doing more of it. 
 
You don’t like pull-ups?  Do more of them.  Box jumps got you down?  Do more of them.  Stop avoiding man-makers and do more of them!  I find the best approach to conquering what is most likely an emotional resistance to a particular movement (unless you’re physically injured) is to set aside a specific amount of time, whether it’s a day, a week, or a month, and work on that movement.  Set a start date and an end date, and practice that thing that has grown into the bane of your gym existence.  Just like anything else, once you put structure to it, establish boundaries and set expectations, your commitment level increases, your training is more effective and your emotional resistance subsides. 
 
Making improvements and reaching higher is what allows your body to continue to adapt – to get stronger, faster, etc., and it also keeps you engaged and motivated as you see physical improvements.  A change ain’t gonna come without variation, and variation is only possible when you open yourself up to all the movements available to you in the gym.  Unless you are injured or have a physical limitation, you can do pull-ups, even strict ones, or box jumps, or man-makers if you work at it.  The only thing holding you back is you.
 
How should I approach overcoming the bane of my gym existence?
What do you like the least?  What is that thing that makes you want to turn around and go home after looking at the whiteboard?  Identify that thing and spend time working on it.  Maybe it’s not one specific movement and maybe it is.  Whatever it is, commit to making a change – just one small change can propel you to the next level.  One small change can help you go from a TRX pull-up to a banded bar pull-up.  One small change can help you go from using a 35-pound bar for back squats to a 45-pound bar.  One small change can help you shave 20 seconds off your mile time. 
 
Keep in mind that changes can come in several forms.  The first is a neural adaptation, meaning you first master the movement.  Second is a muscle adaption, where changes in strength occur.  Imagine someone who has never done a burpee:   first they learn how to put the components of the burpee together safely and accurately.  When they master all the components of the burpee (squat, sprawl, push up, …..) then they can add speed, or load (yup, a loaded burpee). 
 
So, keep it simple.  Focus on small changes.  Set goals.  Don’t be afraid to try something new.  We’ll hold your hand if you like!  You’ll see improvements; I promise.