I’ve been strength training for five years, and on many days, I feel like I have absolutely nailed a session. However, there are some days where I struggle with something that should be easy by comparison.
This isn’t just the case with resistance training either. For example, I have never been an avid runner, but during COVID restrictions, I aimed to make running part of my workout routine. Again, on some days I felt like I could keep going and on others I found it hard to complete the bare minimum.
It is important to understand that it is normal for some days to be harder than others and that not every workout session will have us performing at our peak.
Several factors can play a role in the outcomes of our workout sessions including:
– Sleep – Our exercise performance is negatively affected during periods of sleep deprivation. Sleep is the time our muscles rebuild and recover, so a lack of sleep could be responsible for slowing muscle recovery. Bad sleep effects cognitive function and mood stability, which is also important given that it is so often mind over matter when it comes to nailing our sessions
– Recovery – Our body needs to work hard to rebuild muscles that we tore and if not given a chance, they will never get stronger
– Menstrual cycle – Due to constantly changing hormone levels, women’s strength may be influenced by the menstruation cycle
– Food – Our performance can be a result of what we have or haven’t eaten, and different foods affect our energy levels
– Time of day – There is no right time to train; it is about paying attention to when we feel the best
– Stress – Stresses of everyday life and things that are on our mind affect our energy levels.
Getting through the tough workouts simply means adapting and preparing. It is important to pay attention to our mind and body and understand how we feel on the day. Taking the above factors into account, we can change up our session and reap the benefits of exercise.
Doing a workout, even if it’s not our strongest or what we initially planned, is better than doing nothing at all. It is still progress!