I had a tough month last month; it’s not something I feel I can speak to online. I went through deeply personal loss and emotional battle which shook my world in a way I could never be prepared for. I was floored physically and emotionally, so much so that I had to just stop the world, as I knew it, for a couple of weeks. Take some times to recoup, regroup and refocus.
This blog post isn’t about my personal story. Some things should be private but it is about the art of “making a comeback” in your life when you take a knock; whatever that knock may be.
There is so much pressure out there to be 100% on form and at the top of your game, but the reality is, sometimes life hits you and you have no option but to kind of start over. This was me a few weeks ago. My training had dropped in intensity over January and February, then I had to add about 4 weeks off. Stepping back in to the studio where I teach sessions was humbling. I was nervous before stepping in the door and I had to really scale my sessions back. I designed the Sweat It concept, to really allow for a lot of autonomy in regards to picking treadmill speeds, and the first two weeks of training really allowed me to see the importance of that. I was back to beginners speeds and in some cases, a little under in order to be able to hold endurance runs.
This is where there is no room for ego. Training is so individual and you have to work to your personal 100%, whatever that might look like that day.
I’m about three weeks in to training; the first I double rigged and worked to a 70% effort vibe, then picked it up to 80% with treads and last week I felt like I was giving my version of 100%.
I felt like I have learnt a lot about myself and my clients over this period. It’s easy as a trainer to forget just how hard, both physically and mentally, training is and it’s so important to give people space to find their own feet without forcing it upon them.
I wanted to share some tips and points on coming back to, or starting out in fitness.
Learn your body. Get to know it. Respect it. If you are training in a group fitness setting, you will always be given guidelines, but remember, ultimately what you select is up to you and a good training will respect that. Sometimes they may challenge your selection, especially once they get to know you and we can tell when a client has more to give. Take that shit as a compliment is they ask you to give a little more.
Small increments can make a big difference. Being uncomfortable is a positive. Know the difference between “I can’t do it” and “I don’t want to”…there is a massive difference. Gradually push the envelope of what you believe you can do. The worst outcome, with a small increase, is that you’ll need to drop down after a few reps, but it’s likely you will surprise yourself.
There is no benefit to over training. Getting it done 3-4 times per week is more than enough. Don’t get caught in the hype. Even your favourite fitness influencer doesn’t really train more than that, they are just saving content to post daily. Rest is imperative to success. My rule is no more than 3 days in a row; I prefer 2 days on, 1 off…around that kind of pattern.
Change one thing at a time. I put on about 6kg over about 4 months, so I wanted to slowly bring that back to my comfortable 60kg. To do that I am loosely following macros, again allowing a level of autonomy based on how I feel each day. I started doing this about a week before getting back to training, this allowed me to make a habit in one area before making a habit in the next. I find this is a recipe for more success than trying to change so many things at once.
Some days, are not your days, and that’s okay. While I am committed to my training and giving 100% to that, I understand and respect that somedays it’s just not going to feel good or right. I don’t get bogged down by the detail of how fast I ran, how much I lifted or how many calories I burnt. I focus purely on effort. Did I give 100? Did I do myself justice?
I hope this helps. Training is hard. Whether you have never done it, so are comparing yourself to the people you look up to or you are coming back, so comparing yourself to past results, it’s hard. Try to focus on the now. Focus on the present. Take each day as it comes!!