Your Workout's Missing Ingredient...

Your Workout's Missing Ingredient...

Ask yourself, why do I do what I do? What am I trying to achieve? We all have different goals and devise different plans of action to ultimately achieve that goal. The same is true with fitness. Why am I in the gym at this moment in time? What do I want to accomplish from this workout? Truth be told, there are usually countless ways to arrive at the same fitness outcome. Magazines, YouTube videos, internet forums can provide a wealth of good (and bad) training advice from workout plans, set/rep schemes and exercise selection, but one key component is seldom talked about...effort.

When you leave the gym do you feel satisfied simply because you have been to the gym? Do you feel satisfied because you have hit all of the sets and reps you intended to hit based on your predetermined workout plan? Don't get me wrong, going to the gym and completing your workout is great. It takes dedication and discipline...but why don't we judge our satisfaction on a new criteria. A criteria that will continue to push us. A criteria not bound by sets, reps or pounds. A criteria of effort.

Effort is unique to you. Only you know what constitutes total effort and that's what makes effort the game changer. We all have 'off days' at the gym. Something's not quite right and we're not pushing the amount of weight or the number of sets and reps we had planned. At best we may leave the gym feeling unsatisfied. At worst we may be thrown off of our workout plan altogether. None of this needs to be an issue though when our overriding criteria for success is effort. When we're having an 'off day' we may not lift the poundage we had planned but we can still achieve the standard of effort we set ourselves.

Now, aiming for total effort with each and every workout may not be as glamorous as it sounds. You may see others in the gym putting in sub-par effort or you may be worried about pulling ugly faces, sweating or getting your hair out of place. The key though is to remind yourself of your outcome. Re-focus on exactly what you are trying to achieve from this workout and just like magic, pulling that ugly face isn't at all concerning any more.

Effort is habitual. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes. Training with those who will push you can be a great advantage but it is only you who can always hold yourself accountable. You set the standard for your effort and the standard you set ultimately leads to the results you achieve.

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