Friday, June 26, 2015

Being the Middle Man - er - Workout

We live in a world that oftentimes works in black or white.

The answer is yes or no; situations are good or bad.

As a mathematics undergraduate, I loved definitive answers. You knew whether you were right or wrong. Huzzah binary choices!

Ahh, but life isn't this simple.

On the blogosphere, we console each other with "oh, not every run will be a good one..." and congratulate each other with "awesome workout!"

What about when your exercise for the day is neither good nor bad but sort of both? What about when it falls in the middle?

How do you react when your workout is mehh?

I struggle with this from time to time - it wasn't a good workout, but you can't consider it as one of the "bad" ones because it really wasn't crappy. Does that make sense? Sometimes I think that I might as well mark it off as a rest day, but then I consider the fact that it wasn't rest, and believing (or pretending) that it was and nixing a REAL rest day could lead to injury. Then I think I should do more to make it "worthwhile," but that could also lead to an injury from doing too much when your body doesn't want to. Over-analyzing, eh?

Yesterday, my legs were uber sore from mad ellipticalling and squats. I knew I wanted an easier day, preferably upper body, so I did a little makeshift arm circuit workout at home. I didn't have time to go to the gym due to other plans (hello Swedish massage and baseball game!), so it had to be quick.

Side note: That was the best massage I've ever received. Not only did he help work out my kinky hip, but he put a warm eye mask on me that smelled like oatmeal. You all know how much I love oatmeal.

Unfortunately, I ended my workout feeling as if I hadn't done anything at all. I was a little discouraged; I didn't have any endorphin high, and my arms weren't sore.

If only this could be my excuse.

Later, I stumbled upon this BuzzFeed post that quotes:

"Glorifying pain leads to more injuries, inconsistent results, and a very limited understanding of what it really means to harness the body’s power.

Learning how to balance high-intensity workouts with moderate and low-intensity workouts is a crucial skill for creating a balanced, sustainable program.

—Jonathan Angelilli"

I know low-intensity is an important aspect of training. I know that... but what about the mental satisfaction that was lacking from this workout?

My dad has a favorite saying: "It is what it is."

Accept it, learn from it, mark it in your "DO NOT DO" exercise list, and move on.

Easier said than done.

How do you deal with mediocre workouts?


  1. If I have a few mediocre workouts back to back I usually end up taking a rest day the following day. I find that I typically over do it with a "I must always be active" kind of attitude. So rest days usually give my legs the boost they need to get their head back in the game. It's so hard not to beat ourselves up over it though, especially when I start a new training plan it's easy for me to feel like what the heck this workout used to be easy! But it's all about progress : ) Hope you have a great day!!

    1. I know... I wish your body and your mind could be on the same wavelength but ugh... guess this is why I'm going back to school to be an exercise psychologist :)

  2. Awesome post! I more than likely have one mediocre workout once a week. I've never thought to treat them as a rest day because even if a run is mediocre, it is still a run! I've learned the hard way that not every run will be perfect, but every run does count!

    1. Amen to that! Great, mediocre, or just downright bad, at least we're trying to better ourselves and stay strong, both mentally and physically!