Part 3 of 3 by Coach Mike
The stimulus is the magic, but there are times you SHOULD ignore the stimulus.
There ARE times where it is completely okay to change to stimulus of the workout. There ARE times where it’s more productive for you to do so. There ARE times you should absolutely stay in your comfort zone. There ARE days where just going to the gym and “moving” is the stimulus you should seek.
If you’re feeling excessively sore. If you’re working around an injury. If you’re pregnant or recently had a baby. If you’re more stressed at work or home than normal. If your sleep has been disrupted. These are just a few examples, but these are all situations where it might be appropriate to say “hey Coach, I know this workout is supposed to be a 4-6 minute workout and that’s the goal, but today is not the day for that, I just need to move.” There are days where you mentally and physically are primed to PR your 5K Run, but there are also days where just going out and jogging the 5K is what you need.
And this doesn’t apply to just weights. It’s also okay to say “hey Coach, I’m feeling extremely sore from the Air Squats yesterday, do you have any alternatives to the Thruster that won’t require me to Squat today?” Just like there are days where it’s more productive to jog your 5K, there are also days where it’s more productive to switch your 5K run to a 5K row. This is something your coach should be able to help you with. Whatever movement the coach gives you to replace it will possibly change the entire stimulus of the workout, but sometimes it is better to do something different than pile on a muscle group that is already extremely sore.
Why is that?
Because there are days where “just moving” is the win. The alternative was skipping the gym and not exercising at all. Listen to your body and your mind. It’s okay to come and do workouts lighter and slower than you’re capable of or slightly different than how it is written.
The key is being honest with yourself and having an open dialogue with your coach.
If you’re only ever “just moving”, you’re not getting the most of out your membership and you will not make as much progress as you’re hoping to. Everything I said about the stimulus is true, it is the magic. “Just moving” stands against that concept, but it is a tool you should use to help prevent and manage injuries and burnout. Injuries and burnout will stunt your progress more than dialing back your intensity when it feels right to. If you’ve been hammering it hard and choosing between doing a more casual version of the workout and not working out at all, something is often better than nothing. The key is to listen to your body and mind. Don’t beholden yourself to expectations of what you should be capable of and try to figure out what level of intensity will get you the most out of that given day. Sometimes you need to push yourself (and you might be surprised that once you get going, you actually feel better than you initially thought), but sometimes the smarter thing is not to. It takes experience, and an open dialogue with your coach, to help dial in that balance.
That is how you move better, longer.