What does easing into workouts mean? why should you avoid it?

Most times it’s us giving ourselves a way out of something that we need to work on or something that is challenging us. Most times when I hear this I see those same people actually perform the movement/workouts/weights without any problem but their mind is telling them that it’s too hard. They convince themselves that by taking a step back and by playing it safe they will be able to do the workout and movements, but in reality you’re holding your progress back. Just because you’re saying you can’t do something doesn’t make it true.

There’s absolutely something to be said for scaling down the weights, speed and reps to work on technique and mechanics before going heavier and ramping up the intensity ( I do this all the time to move better and more efficiently). This is also why warm ups and warm up sets are invented. Use your warm up sets to try out efficient movement patterns, weights and intensity, you will see that it will carry over into your workouts/working sets.

If you constantly tell yourself that you should ease into something then when are you actually going to get better? There’s a direct correlation between intensity and progress, your intensity is your progress. In life and definitely in workouts, there can be no growth without you challenging yourself or obstacles that you have to overcome. Easing into something becomes a crutch, a safe place for you to be and hold onto, it’s very hard to let go off. I have seen it happen many of times and everybody is guilty of it with one thing or another (including myself).

Even when you start working out for the first time and you tell yourself you’re going to ”ease into it”, all you’re saying to yourself is that you’re not going to try and put your full effort into the workout. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you should be lifting the same weights or at the same speed as someone else is but you should do it to your capabilities. If we take the comparison with other people away there’s no such thing as easing into something, because you’re either capable of doing something or you’re not, that’s as straightforward as it gets. This doesn’t have anything to do with experience levels. There’s a big difference between scaling down the weights for technique purposes and ”easing into” something. With technique training there’s a goal in mind of getting better at a movement, easing into it is just shying away from putting your best effort in during a workout.

We can look at it from the opposite perspective as well. When you’re going too heavy or too fast, too often, you’re losing sight of what your body is capable of and that’s when injuries start to occur. This is going back to expectations and goals you set for yourself. If you’re not capable of matching your expectation for that day it’s not the end of the world, rethink your expectations and adjust them where necessary. When you set these expectations for yourself think about what you’re trying to get out of your workout but also what your body is capable of. If my goal is to get stronger in the benchpress and the workout includes bench press at a 100 kilos but I am only able to do 80, it would be silly and dangerous for me to put the expectation on myself to try and lift a 100 kilo’s. Instead a goal could be, I am going to shoot for 85 kilos today but let’s see what I am capable of. You can’t go wrong here, either you exceed your expectations or you don’t. If you do reach your expectations that is amazing and shows you that you’re progressing. If you don’t reach your expectation, but put your best effort in that means that you’re progressing from that workout onwards. You can’t lose if you put your best effort in.

If you haven’t noticed it yet, the key words here are you and yours. It’s all about what you’re actually capable of, not what you think or expect to be capable of. Injuries and experience levels aside, if you’re scaling down a workout for yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re easing into something, it just means that you’re doing what you’re capable of. If you’re truly not capable of something, you will know or your coach will and should tell you. Listen to what your body tells you instead of what the brain is trying to tell you.

Do what you’re capable of, avoid comparing yourself to other people and what they are doing in the gym, because it’s going to take the fun out of your own journey. Unless you want to be competitive of course, which is awesome. Remember, comparison is the thief of joy. Theodore Roosevelt said it so it must be true.

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Categories: Fitness, workoutTags: , , , , , , , ,

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