Why Workouts Seem so Hard Sometimes

Many of us have come a certain way in fitness. First, you treat each workout as it is: do this activity or go with a friend to the gym. Then you realize that you can make progress in your sport – whether it’s climbing, running, or whatever – and you start following a plan designed to lead you to a specific goal. So far, so good.

Profit for newbies is fun and motivating. In each workout, you run further or lift more than ever before. But soon things slow down. You may be disappointed, but hopefully you can handle it. Before you know it, you hit your personal best again. After all, if you train for years, you know you will get stronger. It has to happen. You just need to trust the progress.

But if you become an accomplished athlete, it will be difficult for you to remember that the ups and downs are part of the process. If you’re not exercising as well as you used to, or if you sometimes feel tired, that doesn’t mean things are not going well. In fact, if your coach (or whoever writes your programs) knows what he is doing, the preparatory phase of training is a necessary part of the training cycle.

Here’s an example. If you’re preparing for a weightlifting or powerlifting competition, the last few weeks of training will be less tiring than usual to give yourself time to recover and prepare for success. (If you are a runner, you have a similar experience in the cone before a big race .) This is a special phase of the workout where you prioritize recovery over achievement. But this means that at other points in the training cycle, you prioritize achievement. You work hard with your body and as a result, you will become stronger in the end.

The problem arises when you forget the context. Some people, when they realize that lifting weights seems harder than before, assume that something is wrong with them or with their programming. It’s tempting to fire the coach, get frustrated, stop trying so hard because obviously something isn’t working. But in reality, you are probably in a deliberately difficult part of the training cycle.

(All of this, of course, assumes that your workouts are planned carefully. Maybe you have a coach, or maybe you are using a tried and tested plan that has been developed by a coach or instructor who knows what they are doing. For now. the person who plans your workouts does their job well, or at least does their job well, and as long as you listen to them, you are probably on the right track.If they are not, then yes, it is possible, you are running in fainting and you should consider changing something.)

I was reminded of this reason for the rough spots when I saw this post on Instagram by weightlifting coach Tom Srok . You walk in a clockwise circle, with progress at the top and bumps at the bottom. When you exercise, he says, the highs get higher, but the lows (rough areas) also get lower. But in order to progress, you need to trust the process.

This is true. Here’s one example. Earlier this year, I tried to combine training with two different trainers (this is crazy, but that’s a different story). I quickly realized that I was doing too much workout, so I stepped back a bit. Soon after, during a relatively easy week, I managed to get a bunch of unexpected PRs. Great, I thought, I’m getting stronger.

But guess what happened when I increased my training volume again? My body coped with everything normally – I didn’t feel too tired, I didn’t have any injuries, but this unexpected progress seemed to disappear. I could no longer dial the same numbers. It was another difficult period. And then, when the day of the meeting came, and I had a good rest and preparation, you know what? I’ve put in a whole bunch of PR.


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