The Benefits Of Bad Workouts

Yes. I mean it…Bad workouts actually have some benefits! By bad workouts, I’m referring to ones that aren’t as productive or aren’t done with as much effort or enthusiasm.

In fact, while I’m using workouts as an example, today’s concept applies to most habits or practices for any skill development.

You see, in order to be great at something, we must first be OK with being bad at something. That may sound strange, but it’s a truth many people often overlook.

Seriously, think about it. Babies don’t just get up and start running the 100m hurdles. They have to first learn to roll, crawl, kneel, take many wobbly steps, and fall over A LOT.

We are the same with every single skill we learn in life. We do the best we can at the time and continue improving each day. While some progress faster than others, there’s ALWAYS a learning curve and there are always some benefits.

Even when we get good at something, it’s important to understand that not every performance is going to be an award-winning one…another often overlooked truth. Going back to the workout example, we don’t always feel like doing a workout. I’ve been there many times and know you have too.

The easy thing to do in this situation is to skip the session and do something else. This is when we need to embrace the concept of doing “bad” workouts.

In these sessions, it’s less about what we actually do, and more about simply “putting in the reps”. If we are trying to build or sustain a habit of exercise, then doing something is more important than the quality of the workout we complete.

Interestingly, often if our motivation or enthusiasm is low, the simple act of “getting started” is what’s needed to kickstart our energy, mood, and quality of training.

Even if the enthusiasm doesn’t come back during a particular session, we have some benefits because we are further ahead than if we hadn’t started.

a man having a bad workout

We’ve learned, progressed, and overcome another challenge.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean we put ourselves at risk. If we are injured, it’s smart to modify what we are doing instead of making the injury worse. Almost always there’s an option to keep moving forward.

However, this isn’t what I’m talking about in this post. I’m referring to those times when you just aren’t feeling like doing something, the timing is inconvenient, or it seems like too much effort to get started.

This speaks to the difference between an amateur and a pro (or good vs. great). Amateurs quit when things are tough, but pros find a way to get the work done even when they don’t feel like it.

Put another way, amateurs are “fair weather” performers, and professionals are “all-weather” performers.

The ability to persevere even when you don’t feel like it is one of the hallmarks of success.

Your performance may not be as good when you aren’t “feeling it” on a given day, but it will always be better than the person who did nothing. By getting the work done, you create several benefits, including:

  • Building the consistency of your valued habit

  • Increasing confidence in your ability to succeed and persevere

  • Strengthening your core identity and grit

  • And much more

So, in these times of rapid change and uncertainty, getting in your “bad workouts” can be just what you need to build your confidence, resilience, and habits over the long term.

Now as one of my awesome industry colleagues says: ”Do the Freakin’ Work!”, or perhaps you are more of a fan of Larry the Cable Guy’s “Git ‘Er Done!” Philosophy.

Either way, the choice is up to you.

If you choose to do the “Freakin’ Work”, we are here to back you up! Just book your FREE Success Coaching Session and let’s ignite your potential together. 

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