I can predict when a client will fall off the workout wagon
Summer is here so where the heck has your motivation gone? No doubt this time of year vacations, barbeques and countless social activities are calling your name. No matter where you are in your fitness journey, summer has a way of providing amazingly tempting detours and distractions. Most fitness professionals dread the summer months because just like the holiday season, clients disappear for extended periods only to return wanting a “vacation from their vacation” so what I am about to say to you might be a little surprising.
Follow the distractions and TAKE TIME OFF!!
You heard me right. One of the biggest predictors of fitness failure is NOT taking time off from your routine. Pushing physically or mentally (or both) to get through your normal workout is a good sign that a break is in order and depending on your current activity level this could be days, weeks or even months away from your normal fitness routine!
Over the years many clients have asked, “how do I know it is time to take a break or change my exercise routine?” Listed below are the top signs that indicate a break and a change or definitely in order as well as some great philosophical quotes to make them sound more fancy.
1. You Are Bored.
If boredom has started to set in, it might be a good time to try something new. If you can’t look forward to your workout (even just a little) because it is so mundane and uninspired I can guarantee you will burn out in the near future. Take a break and go play!
In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play. (Nietzsche)
2. You are Tired All the Time.
And this is not because of lack of sleep. If you are catching enough zzzz’s but still feel like a walking zombie it is time for a serious break. A good workout should give you more energy not drain it. Physical rest and a mental break are both vitally important to your health.
"Rest, as soon as there is pain, is a great restorative in all disturbances of the body." (Hippocrates)
3. Your Workouts Hurt.
On the rare occasion I have the pleasure of working with the type A, fit-at-all costs, never skip a workout, client (yes, I am being sarcastic). On one hand, I love this client because they are reliable and dedicated but I am always working around their injuries, which are usually self-inflicted from over exercise and not taking any days off to recover. Healthy exercise should not mean you are sore every waking moment and develop new injuries from your workout routine. When the quest to build strength, fit into a certain size pant or hit that magical number on the scale take priority over your general health it is time to take a step back and refocus on your health as a whole.
"That is better which is inherent in things better or prior or more honourable: thus health is better than strength and beauty." (Aristotle)
There are, however, a couple caveats to taking a break from your exercise regimen. If you are still in the process of establishing a routine exercise program then wait. A real habit takes at least 2 solid months to establish so if you can, wait until your new routine has solidified into your lifestyle. The second thing is to fully and completely be present in your break. If you normally lift weights 3 times a week and go away on a trip for a month and still want to remain active, stay away from the weights. Take a surfing lesson, go rock climbing, or stay up dancing all night. You will never be able to fully recharge and reset your body if you are holding onto any of your normal routine.