One day, I was asking a client about her workouts, pleased when she said yes, she'd done all her workouts for the week. As we were going through the workout, however, I realized something: She was skipping some of the exercises and had been skipping them for quite awhile. When I asked her about each exercise, she said the same thing: "Oh, I really like that one. It really works." I asked, "Well, why aren't you doing it?" A thoughtful look came over her face that made me realize she didn't know. More to the point, she'd never thought to mention it before.
She was surprised, perhaps even pleased, to learn that she could (and should) be an active participant in deciding what exercises to do. She didn't have to do exercises that hurt her knee, or exercises she only 'liked' because I went on about how great they were - and you probably know the exercises I consider 'great' are the ones that hurt the most...pushups, squats, lunges, etc.
Her story made me think about how we all do that sometimes, do things we think we should - or, as in her case, keep skipping the things we think we should do and then feeling guilty about it. This is a good reminder to take a look at your own workouts and figure out if there are exercises or activities that just aren't working.
Your challenge this week? Assess our workouts. I have a handy-dandy article, brilliantly titled How to Assess Your Workouts and these are some of the questions you can ask yourself to determine that:
- Do I like what I'm doing? Loving exercise may be a little farfetched, but you should at least do something you don't hate. If you're on a treadmill or the bike and hating every minute of it, you'll have one more reason to quit exercising.
- Is my program balanced? Doing all cardio and no strength training or all high intensity exercise and no recovery workouts can lead to boredom, burnout and plateaus.
- Am I getting results? Weight loss is what many of us are after, but weight loss is a slow and imperfect process. The scale will regularly lie to you, so think of other results you might be getting: Are you getting stronger? Have you increased your endurance? Are you progressing in your exercises? Are you feeling better about yourself and your commitment to exercise?
These are just a few questions and you should check out the full article for more.
And now it's your turn. Do you regularly assess your workouts? How long have you been doing your current routine and is it working for you? How do you assess your workouts? Leave a comment and tell us about it.