“To see progress, you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
If you want to get bigger, stronger, fitter, more powerful, leaner, faster, (name your adjective) then your body needs to be challenged enough to make those changes. My simply going through the motion in your workouts, even if you are doing them consistently, you really won’t see any changes unless you push yourself out of your comfort zone.
I see this all the time, women are so strong and capable, yet they are afraid to push that little bit further. I know it can come down to a lack of belief in their abilities or even simply worrying that they will hurt themselves, and that can lead to feelings of anxiety and fear. These are all very normal feelings, and they seem to be exaggerated during midlife when hormonal fluctuations leave us less able to cope with anxiety.
When you workout don’t be afraid if you get out of breath, if your heart starts pumping or your muscles get tired, these are all good things providing you don’t go to extremes. Each time you workout you want to feel as though your body is working hard enough and that is what can be confusing to a lot of women.
When is too much of a good thing too much?
Being self-aware and having the ability to judge what feels right in your body will take time and practice. I know for myself, I can gage exactly when I can push harder or need to pull back. If you are still unsure use these cues to help you.
When is it ok to pull back?
- when you are still sore or too fatigued from your previous workout
- when you can’t seem to recover properly
- when your firm goes to shit and you open up your chances of injury
- when you stop getting enjoyment
When is it okay to push?
- when you still have 1-2 reps to eek out and you want make it happen
- when your form is still impeccable
- when you recover quickly ready to go again
- when you feel super happy because your body is oozing endorphins
Exercise should always give you enjoyment, you should end your workout feeling better than when you started and you should be excited to do your next session. If you don’t have these feelings then you may need to take a step back and reflect on what is right for your body right now.
It’s ok to push hard, but not too hard.
It’s ok to want to stop if your body hasn’t recovered.
To make change and see progress in your body you have to honour both of these things. Be uncomfortable in your workouts but not to the point of pain and utter fatigue. Recover well and let your body heal. By focusing on both these elements, change will happen and your body will thank you.