Do you remember the feeling you used to get when you first started working out? The tinge and tremor of excitement. Euphoria, motivation, gratification, and the want for more. But then one day it’s all gone.
You’re going in and doing the same old stuff over and over again. Progress slows, and that awesome feeling just isn’t there anymore. The desire to hit the gym doesn’t exist, but due to habit you go in anyway.
Back in college in Iowa, I was a competitive weightlifter and training 6-7 times a week. Competing in any sport requires a lot of practice and repetition of the same techniques, plays, drills, and exercises, over and over again. It can get monotonous and boring after a while. While you may be getting better and more comfortable with what you are doing, you could also be losing the spunk and drive to do it, as I did.
This happens to everyone all the time. It’s a normal part of training. A few weeks ago, Dan addressed the notion of taking a few days off and recovering; which is exactly what you should do. Low motivation, unhappiness, and a general lack of energy are all hallmarks of overtraining syndrome. There’s a good chance your body needs the time to recover and adapt to the stressors being applied to it.
However, what comes after those days off? What if your mood doesn’t change? If you hit the gym, you won’t necessarily enjoy doing so.
Just let it go. Don’t let it consume you. Change things up a bit, and try something new.
I am still passionate about weightlifting. I still do it for fun, but I also have my focus on other interests, such as Muay Thai. I like the challenge. Learning a new sport and switching up my routine has kept my training fresh and new.
I’ve let go, and I don’t feel bad about it.
So if you are feeling awry, try something new. Hit the gym and do what you want, and not what you need. Go for a light but mind-clearing run, do some arms, or punch a few bags. Refresh your body and mind and don’t let your obsessive journey define you. Return to normalcy when you’re ready.