When you’re in the gym, you want to give it your all to reap the benefits of your hard work. Whether you are an avid runner chasing the high and trying to set records or a bodybuilder carving out your dream physique, sometimes there are obstacles that can affect your performance.
Some of the most common things that can affect your performance in the gym are:
- An illness (both serious and non-serious)
- An injury (even a minor one)
- An increase in stress
- Shifting priorities
- A lack of motivation
Below we’re going to touch on how some of these factors can making less progress in the gym or wherever you work out.
Illnesses, both serious and minor, can naturally affect your level performance in the gym as well as in everyday life. Even if you feel alright during the day, a hidden health issue can creep up on the sly and take kilograms off of your bench press or add seconds onto your mile times.
If you’ve been diagnosed with something serious, you’d naturally expect your performance to decrease as your body isn’t in its optimum condition. However, you must make sure you listen to the signs your body gives you even if you have not been diagnosed with anything, there could be an underlying condition you don’t know about yet.
Conditions like cancer and heart disease are on the rise, which makes it even more critical to get checked out if you notice something isn’t right when exercising. You can seek professional medical attention for conditions like these at places like The LOC London Bridge in the UK or The Cleveland Clinic in America.
Even something as small as the common cold or the seasonal flu can temporarily decrease fitness aspects like lung capacity and core strength. Also, if you’re trying to build muscle or strength during a period where you are feeling under the weather, you may find that you make less progress, or even none at all from your efforts.
When it comes to a non-serious illness, it’s probably best to take a break from the gym until you’re feeling better – your body needs a break to recover.
This is probably the most common of legitimate reasons why performance in the gym can take a hit. Common muscle injuries often affect the lower back, knees, and shoulders, often from poor form or using too much weight.
The best course of action with an injury, like an illness, is to take some time off from the gym and return back when you can give it your all. If the injury is very minor, you may be able to work around it, just make sure you don’t overdo it – if you feel pain during the workout, stop.
The two most common psychological factors that can harm the progress you make in the gym are:
- Lack of Motivation
- Increasing Levels of Stress
Everyone suffers from a decrease in motivation every now and then – it’s only natural, and is usually nothing to worry about. Some of the best things you can do when struggling with motivation are to have a rethink about your goals, change up your workouts, and/or take a small break.
When it comes to stress, the gym can be a source of it as much as it can be way to reduce it. If working out a few times a week is a source of stress for you, you need to have a think about what aspects of it are making your frustrated. Are your goals too unrealistic? Do you not enjoy your program? Is your gym a bad environment?
Once you figure this out, make a few changes and see if things improve – keep iterating until you start performing the way you want in the gym.
Recover, Then Give It Your All
Sometimes you just need a break to recover and deal with the factors that are affecting your gym performance. Whatever your own personal issue is, make sure to stay healthy throughout and visit a medical professional if you think you might be coming down with an illness.