I have set a number of very big fitness goals over the last 6 months that involve single arm press ups, being able to do a minimum of 5 pull ups, getting more fluid with my prisoner squats and learning how to do a planche. Some of you may know what all these exercises are and some of you might not, but either way, trust me when I say they are incredibly difficult. As many of you may have experienced when goal setting yourself, at the time of setting the goals you feel motived, excited and determined. However, when they are quite big goals that will take a while to achieve, the motivation, drive and, definitely, excitement starts to dwindle as time goes on. The last few weeks I have been massively struggling to keep going during this period and this is how I managed to get over the hump.
For weeks now I have been following a set programme, seeing tiny, minuscule even, progress. Each session is difficult and largely unsatisfying. That is what happens when you are working right at the edge of your comfort zone. There is not a huge amount of positive reinforcement in each session or so I thought. It took me to take a step back for a week, to realise that it was my focus that was all wrong, not my goals, training or drive.
Due to my frustration, I decided to come away from my training for a week. Make everything a bit easier and throw in some of my favourite exercises. This was far more about my mental strength than physical. I felt I did not have the mental energy for those tough sessions that week. I would not say my new sessions were easy, they were just different and included skills that I was comfortable doing. One of the exercises I put in the programme was a close or diamond press up. A couple of steps back from the single arm progressions that I have been working on, but still a very advanced press up. I smashed out 20 reps in one go, something I had never been able to do without a pause before. I could not believe it. I thought, when did they get so simple?
I realised that I was so busy pushing myself forward and being frustrated by what I was not able to do that I had not realised how far I had come. I used to be quite good at finding the positives, but this training plan has just been so tough, that it was becoming more and more difficult to find them. My head was down, I was frustrated and if, I am really honest, I was thinking I am never going to do this! Taking that step back was the best thing I could have done! We all have finite amounts of motivation, drive and determination. Sometimes we need to step back, recharge and, most importantly, try to look at things from a different perspective. My training has been far better since and I would recommend you do the exact same thing if you are struggling to lose weight or reach a certain goal. It might slow you down for 1 week, but long term, you will be far better off!
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