The coaches at Omnevio Wellness Academy raised a point that a lot of us miss by saying, ‘every exercise counts.’ Harsh self-criticism makes it hard to feel good about your workouts. For some, getting active at all is next-to-impossible partly due to the belief that anything aside from the perfect gym workout doesn’t ‘count.’
Do you feel that little bit of guilt after you workout, like you’re not sure you did the right stuff? You’re unsure you did all the right exercises and trainers on your socials are doing things you’ve never seen. This creates plenty of room for self-doubt. If you’re unsure whether the exercises you chose count, they count. Every exercise does something.
You might need to break some rules to feel better about your gym visits. So, who’s rules need breaking? Yours, honestly. The rules you’re living with tend to sound like:
I need to do more weight
It’s only good if I can’t walk tomorrow
I can’t call it a good workout, unless I did more weight
It’s not working, if I’m not sweating
Look out for thoughts about your workout that aren’t based in fact or sound that like you’re just making up rules to a kid’s game. Traditionally, you’re taught to argue with thoughts or block them out. You’re invited to try another strategy that offers success.
When rules flood your mind, try learning to let them go on their own by giving your attention to something else. Once you’re done with your workout, you’re already engaged in something else! You might be unpacking your gym bag, eating, working, or relaxing. All of those activities have a menagerie of things to focus on:
Sounds Smells (maybe not gym bag)
Tastes (again, not your gym bag)
A specific task or activity
When you impose a rule on yourself, acknowledge it’s not what needs your focus and move on by attending to something else. Don’t judge or get frustrated with yourself for losing focus. Simply repeat the process as many times as you need; some days it’s easier to refocus than others. Every effort at refocusing helps you build the habit of letting rules go, so you lead a more mindful active lifestyle.
Should you genuinely believe something isn’t right with your workout, there’s resources online to learn what you need to know. Two favorites are www.exrx.net and www.theprehabguys.com. Both have a ton of anatomy, program planning, and exercise technique information available. If your warm up is the weak link to a great training day, learn warm up and mental prep strategies with Win your Warm Up's Strength Coach Co-Founders Dan Allison and Jess Buckley. If the online research seems daunting, find a strength and conditioning coach. Explain that you need some help and wouldn’t mind an hour of their time to learn something. If asked, be willing to pay for an hour of dedicated attention and personalized help! However you choose to approach your rule-breaking fact-finding mission, have fun with it and enjoy feeling better about what you do during your workouts!