Three Ways to Avoid Training Frustration

Image by Chris Wigginton

Training Frustration is when you are unable to reach your goals. This may happen for a number reasons:

  1. You were unable to meet your fat loss goal.
  2. Your training session was not as intense as you’d liked.
  3. You’re stressed out with your life.
  4. Your nutrition was not perfect due to a negative environment.

The reasons are numerous, but when the going gets tough, you need to be reminded of a few principles that will prevent training frustration:

Principle One: Analyze your Weaknesses

Each time you fail, you’re one step closer to succeeding. For example, did you just try two hours of cardio, five days a week? Why was this program a failure for you? Did any part of it work? Did you lose even one pound of fat? Did you gain any weight? What kind of diet did you follow?

Analyze your mistakes and move forward. This is how I discovered quick, intense workouts. I realized that cardio did actually work for me, but it was just that I did not enjoy it very much, and so was never able to stick to a cardio program for more than two weeks at a time. It took a lot of false starts to realize what I was doing wrong, and figure out what I can do different to get results.

Principle Two: Find your Reason

Motivation stems from intention. Find the right reason, and you’ll never lose motivation.

At first I thought my goal was to lose weight. But one day, as I was watching my grandmother struggling to walk up a short flight of stairs, I realized what fitness really meant to me. It meant being as agile and strong at 75 years old, as I was now. All of a sudden, I no longer cared about every single calorie, or how much weight I was lifting, or what the size of my waist was.

Image by ymcapdx

I started looking into mobility. I want to be able MOVE when I’m 75 years old. I began to focus my attention on figuring out which activities, movements, and programs I could perform that would enhance my mobility and athleticism.There was a criteria I used in determining how my program would change:

  1. The program needs to be exciting, so that I’d never get bored
  2. The program needs to be something that I can accomplish even if I have very little time on my hands
  3. I need to able to perform the workouts anywhere, even if I have no equipment
  4. The movements need to be safe and simple

This new found reason to exercise allowed me to develop the type of programs I develop right now. I’m actually able to maintain a lower body fat percentage and weight than before, without any sort of insane caloric restriction diets.

Principle Three: Challenge Yourself

Once you’ve found the right program and right motivation, it’s time move forward with it. The idea is to consistently push yourself to new levels.

Functional fitness revolves around being able to move in daily life. Dead lifting 200+lbs and being able to do 50 push ups in a row really goes beyond the necessities of daily fitness.

So then why do we do it?

We do it to push ourselves. Remember the first criteria: “The program need to be exciting.”

Challenge = excitement.

Think about it. When are you most bored? When you’re doing the same thing over and over again, and when the activity you perform becomes too easy. Find a way to challenge yourself, and you’ll not only make progress with your program, you’ll have fun with it!


Think about these principles the next time you face training frustration.
What are you doing wrong and how can you fix it? Are you training for the right reason? Are you challenging yourself?.

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