Some days at the gym are physically advantageous, and some are mentally advantageous. Sometimes, they are a blend of both. If we remain self-aware, it will be easy to decipher one from the other.
For example, the other day, I had to complete a workout that was 3 rounds of 5 minutes on the Airdyne at 85%, and 3 minutes at 50 %. That’s 24 minutes on the Airdyne. Now, if that wasn’t bad enough, I was exhausted from a long day of work, feeling down on myself from a previous workout, and was doing it alone. When I began the first round, I thought to myself, “Ughhhhhhh…there is no way that I’m completing this today. I can’t. I just can’t do it today“. But, I stayed on and I completed it. You see, what was getting in my head was the fact that I had to stay on the Devil’s Bicycle longer than I ever had been in the past. Now, to be quite honest, I probably wasn’t working at 85% of my max for the 5 minute intervals, therefore detracting from some of the physical advantages of this WOD; however, mentally, I was able to endure this bike for longer than ever. I didn’t quit when my brain told me to quit. Case in point: this workout had a tremendous mental advantage for me.
It’s far easier to recognize when we have a workout that is physically advantageous…heart rate is cranking, you’re sweating, form is legit, you’re beating people that you normally cannot, your muscle scream the following day. But on those days when you feel like you could’ve done better, ask yourself, “What have I gained mentally from this workout?” “What have I learned?”
I guarantee that you will find yourself concluding that no day is a wasted day at the gym.