Five Factors to Consider Before Scaling Back a Workout

These just may be the most difficult to pick up on. Are you really fatigued or are you just telling yourself that to give yourself an “out.” The physical and mental aspects of training can become so intertwined that distinguishing between the two is not an easy task. Even for the most highly motivated individuals moments of fear, doubt, or laziness can derail a good workout. Recognizing these moments and pushing beyond them can reward you with breakthrough and extremely satisfying sessions.

On the flip side, the ego of a lifter can be a dangerous adversary as well.  This adversary tells you to ignore all of the warning signs outlined thus far. No pain, no gain, right? Scaling is for weenies. Go hard or go home, man!

There’s a fine line between mental fortitude and stupidity, and learning to recognize when you’re crossing that line is an art only learned through years of practice interpreting the signals from your body and mind. Countless lifters have put themselves on the sidelines for months with a dumb injury that could have been prevented by easing off the throttle a bit. Countless others have pushed through mental barriers to emerge with surprising personal records.

Personally, I’m coming around to the idea of playing it safe. I’m not a competitive bodybuilder, powerlifter, or crossfitter. Most of us are doing this for our own personal health and longevity. That’s a long term game. A marathon, not a sprint, so to speak. The gains will come consistently provided we keep healthy enough to train so erring on the side of caution is the safer play.

If that means we miss a few opportunities due to some misinterpreted signals, that’s okay. Those opportunities will still be there on a day we are feeling fantastic and confident and when we attack the workout that day no PR will be safe.

Submax Superset Workout - A Friday "Fun"isher
Clean and Climb - A Friday "Fun"isher

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