Friday, July 31, 2009

Putting The Work Back Into Workout

For the past six weeks, I have gone to the gym every single day (well, except for the days we were on vacation). "That's great," you may say. "You must have gotten amazing workouts."

Well, not so much. You see, the reason I make it to the gym every single day is that the toddler loves the child care there, and I desperately need him to expend some energy... Plus, I love that he gets to interact with other kids. Since I am at the gym, I work out. Well, sort of. That is, watching me, it sure looks like I work out: I wear workout clothes, I carry a water bottle around, I lift weights, I run on the treadmill, I use the elliptical, I climb the stair climber. I even sweat a good amount. But what I don't do is push myself to the place where it gets just a little bit uncomfortable, and that's the place where I really get a good workout.

For the past six weeks, I rationalized that since I "worked out" every single day, I didn't need to push myself so hard every single day. And that's a valid point, especially since I have a weak ankle. However, I started to not push myself at all... I daydream while I lift weights instead of focusing on the weights. I "go through the motions" while on the elliptical. You get the point.

So my plan is to still take it easy on some days but to push myself a bit more on at least two or three days per week. We'll see how it goes...

Questions: Do you ever find you don't push yourself hard enough when you work out? Or, do you push yourself too much? What do you do when either of the two happens?

Be well,


  1. i feel the same way...going to the gym is great, but to see results, you really do gotta push it 1 or 2 days. i need to do that with my running to - we'll do it together!

  2. Exercise or food plan, I think we all get to the place where we are just going through the motions and not really going where we need to go. Good luck on keeping that promise to yourself!

  3. Anonymous7/31/2009

    I know exactly what you are talking about, sometimes at the end of the workout I think "Was I even paying attention to what I was doing". Remembering to live in the moment helps me, to stop thinking about other things when I'm doing something, pay attention to what I'm doing right here, right now. Even if I don't "push it" on that particular day I do feel like I got better work out even just from paying attention.

  4. I have totally done BOTH and finding the balance is the whole point (I think)

    good for you!!!

  5. Oh man, back in the day when I had an eating disorder I spent hours in the gym, pushing myself WAY TOO HARD, now I kind of have the opposite problem. I always workout 5 times a week for about 45 to 60 minutes, but the workouts haven't been so great lately. However, I still feel good when I'm done and I know if I wanted to push myself harder, I would! I have very weak ankles and so I can't run outside as much as I'd like, but today I did. Themoment my ankles started to hurt I stopped, then went in, I should have just walked!

  6. You have a great plan! I find if I do 2-3 intense full body weight training circuits (no cardio on these days since my heart rate is super high throughout) alternating w/ 2-3 just cardio days (and maybe throw in some abs/core), I am good to go and get great results!

  7. I like group fitness classes because I end up pushing myself really hard- but to a good point. If I'm doing a workout on my own like the elliptical sometimes I get bored and just go through the motions. I hope your plan works out for you! Do you have any group fitness classes at your gym? I find that they work wonders for pushing yourself!

  8. Anonymous7/31/2009

    Haha, you are funny, Andrea.
    But I'm the opposite end. I used to push myself too hard. So hard that I didn't even listen to my own body's limits, and ended up injuring my thigh muscles...I couldn't walk for 2 months!

  9. I'm not going to lie: sometimes I totally "phone it in" (in the words of my homegirl, Jillian Michaels) and those are the days that I probably need to push myself the most. But I'd say that 80% of the time, I really push myself.

  10. mind you, i'm not an athletic person, nor have i ever been. i feel like i can live with myself so long as i'm not sitting on the couch all day....