• Rob Olson

Why Calling Your Workout A "Workout" Is Holding You Back

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

"I'm going to go workout, be back in an hour!"

"My workout today looks epic!"

"For my workout today, I did the rower, box jumps, and bench press!"

Those are all fairly common phrases we hear.

But what if I told you those statements are holding you back from more gains?

The term "workout" has certain connotations. Most think of sweating, working hard, and being very tired afterwards. After all, hard work pays off, right?

But if you read last weeks blog on deload weeks (click HERE to read if you missed it), then you know that every workout should not be a "workout". Some days and weeks you need to take it down a notch. Other days you just need to go light and work on technique. This is part of how an athlete makes progressions. It can't all be go-go-go.

If you call your workouts a "workout", it is VERY hard to deload or do anything other than "go fast and sweat a bunch". If I'm deloading or working on technique, I should not be sweating as much and working as hard, as the goal is to facilitate recovery or make technique gains.

So how do you still "workout" but actually deload or train technique? You are almost setting yourself up to fail. And failure here is failing to deload or go light enough to actually get better at a technique, and instead just doing your normal workout by focusing on the calorie burn.

Instead, try calling it a "training session".

Training sessions have goals. They have a stimulus. They have direction.

One training session may be to lift heavy. Another session may be high intensity interval training with light weights. Another session may be to deload at 50% weight and 50% intensity.

Switching names is giving yourself an allowance to vary the training stimulus.

If you only call a workout a workout, and you do truly deload, there is almost a sense of failure afterwards, as you didn't sweat and didn't work hard. It's not satisfying. That's part of why deloading is so hard to do.

Do yourself a favor - call it a training session. If the training session is to deload, and you do, the BAM! Training stimulus achieved. Watch your post-workout satisfaction increase ... as well as your gains!

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