As with anything in life, training comes with it’s fair share of frustration. We all have goals in mind with our training and when we’re not achieving said goals it can be maddening. Below, we’ll dive into some of the causes of frustration and some strategies you can adopt to deal with those frustrating times.
This is probably the biggest source of frustration when training. There are times when you won’t see the specific results you want. If your goal when you initially joined No Limit Fitness Studio was to lose weight and you’re weighing in the same three months later, that’s obviously frustrating (it is for us too).
What can you do about it? What should you do about it?
Well, first things first, know that we’re there with you. We want you to see the results you’re looking for. Take the step of talking to myself or Darcie and letting us know your frustration. Sometimes you will actually have taken multiple steps toward your goal but not even realized it. We all are our own biggest critics, so it’s easy to see where we’re not improving while making huge gains in other areas.
Let me give you an example. One of the first clients I ever trained had been working with me for four months with the goal of losing weight. After the first four months we re-weighed her and she was the exact same weight. She was working hard in the gym, had overhauled her diet, and made a lot of changes in her day-to-day life only to see the same number on the scale. She was obviously upset by this, and was quick to voice her displeasure. I had to sit down with her to show her the really good progress she had made. Her body fat percentage was down from over 40% to 30%, she had just told me she had to spend $300 on new clothes because none of hers fit anymore, and we had a side-by-side picture of her from when she started to that day that showed she had made a lot of progress.
Once she saw the progress she had made, she felt better. Was she still frustrated by the scale? Yes. Having the conversation with her showed me that it was an important thing for her to see results in, so we adjusted a few things, backed off the heavier weight lifting, and then the pounds started coming off as well.
Whether they happen in the gym, from doing something a little foolish, or just from everyday life, injuries are an unfortunate part of living. At some point, something will happen that will slow you down in reaching your goals. It might be as simple as rolling your ankle stepping off a curb (guilty!) or as major as, God forbid, a car accident.
The important thing when injuries happen is to temper your expectations, and possibly focus on a different goal in the meantime. We all want to bounce back quickly, and that may end up harming us in the long run. If you have a strained shoulder and take it easy for a week but jump right back 100% into full training, you’re probably headed for another setback.
If your goal is to add 30 pounds to your bench press and in the process you acquire the aforementioned shoulder strain, it’s time to cut back on shoulder work. This now leaves extra time to work on other things. Maybe you’re not a great runner, but you’d like to run a few 5ks this summer. We’ve been blessed with some nicer weather, so you could take the opportunity to get a few miles in.
Making adjustments to your goals and expectations is a necessity no matter what type of training you do, and in life in general. “It is a bad plan that admits no modification” -Publilius Syrus
Not Being Able to do What you used to
This can be a touchy one! Let’s face it, as you get older some of the things you were able to physically do when you were younger just aren’t going to happen. If you were able to deadlift 400+ pounds when you were 25, but now you’re approaching 50 and struggle with 325, that can be pretty irritating.
The best advice I can give to anyone going through this, is to look at the positive. You’re X years old, and you’re still doing Y. A few clients I’ve had loved to look at the younger generations and say to me “I’m over 50 and I can still out-do most of these 20-something year-olds any day!”. Some may disagree, but I think this is a good mindset. It helps keep you moving and striving to improve, even if you’re not quite at the level you used to be.
This isn’t only a “getting older” point, however. It’s often a point of frustration when you aren’t able to commit the amount of time to training you once could. As your life and your responsibilities change, the window you have to train during the day may narrow. Instead of religiously getting into the gym five times a week, you may find yourself only able to make it three. When this happens, it’s important to stay consistent with how much you can do (check out the Consistency blog from a couple weeks ago). That way, when your circumstances change again, and they will, you’ll be ready to hit the throttle and go full speed ahead back into your training.
If you’re feeling frustrated, remember these:
• Speak with your Coach
• Focus on the Positives
• Shift your Focus (If Injuries are the Problem)
• Stay as Consistent as Possible