How to have a great workout even when you don’t feel like it

Some days you feel on top of the world. Your working day goes swimmingly and the universe has aligned to serve you a plate full of feel good emotions throughout the day. You bring that energy to your workout and nine times out of 10, it’s a great session full of purpose and progression.

However, some days you just don’t feel like you’re winning. Your day starts to fall apart and everyone seems to get on your last nerve. Usually, grinding out a gym session whether pressing iron or running on a treadmill, is the last thing you feel like doing. You want to go straight home and crash out. Do nothing for a bit and recuperate. Maybe you crack open a beer, or bottle of wine and possibly even deliberate ordering a Deliveroo. This is absolutely essential sometimes but irrespective of whether it’s healthy or not, it should only occur once in a while. The gym is a fantastic form of therapy and can fix the worst long day funk. You can harness the healing powers of a sweaty session but you need to fix your mindset in order to do so. Good news for you is that you’re going to learn how to do exactly that in this article.

Lower your expectations

Regardless of your energy levels, mood or desire to work out, you can have a great workout that leaves you feeling fulfilled. The simple solution to achieve this is essentially by ‘working with what you’ve got’. If you’re still reeling from a disturbed night’s sleep coupled with a heavy shift, then you’ve probably not got a PR in your locker. Focus on your lagging body parts that perhaps can’t handle as much weight. Swap out a compound lift for another isolation exercise using machine resistance and take the exercise to failure. Training to failure can be just as effective as lifting heavy weights via compound exercises. Really focus on the muscle contracting whilst doing the exercise and keep pushing through the pain.

Channel your emotions into the workout

So, we’ve addressed energy levels.. Now we need to uplift your negative mood. If you feel hopeless after a turbulent day then you need to channel that energy into your lifts or your cardio session. Use that anger or discomfort and leverage it to generate more explosive force in your lifts. You’ll be surprised at how much these thoughts in your head can motivate you in your training. If something is getting you down, don’t let it compound by adding more coal to the fire. Basically, don’t skip the gym! You can reduce a negative aspect of your life by introducing a positive one into it.

Find your why

Remind yourself of the reason why you started exercising in the first place. If you’re experiencing lethargy and brain fog then it’s possible that you might forget about your usual driver to workout. So, think back. What was your reason ‘why’ for incorporating it into your life? Use this to ignite the spark within you and get your trainers on!

Cut down your workout duration

You may not be able to get your body to produce 90 mins of solid intensity, so why not halve it. Reduce the amount of sets you were planning to do. Instead of doing 4 sets, cut it back to 3 or even 2 but make sure you train hard in those reduced sets. If you attempt to do your usual 90 minute session, you’ll probably spend most of your time resting and on your phone.

Workout from home

Why not build a home gym set up to fall back on if you don’t fancy the trek to the gym. Or, maybe replace the need for the gym entirely. You can build a small gym set up at a relatively cheap expense nowadays and this removes the need for a gym membership. What’s more, you can plonk yourself on an exercise bike in front of your flat screen tv and binge whatever you want to help make the time pass quicker. Our IC300 PRO is our best-selling exercise bike, with a sturdy build structure and heavy flywheel it’s no surprise. If strength training is more your thing then perhaps it’s worth checking out our weights section.

So now you shouldn’t have any reason to skip workouts anymore. Even if you’re not feeling quite up to it, just do something to keep the consistency going. Hope this helps!

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Theo Lawrence

Digital Marketing at JLL Fitness

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