A setback?  How to get your savage back.

I know, I know.  We are Savage Masters.  We crush goals.  But what happens when we have one of those days or weeks or months when we don’t crush our goals?  What happens when our goals crush us?


I’ve been less than stellar on the nutrition front this week.  Partially because I’m experimenting a little, verifying my guesses as to what works for me and what doesn’t, and partially because every now and then I just loosen up a little more than I should.  I continue to be amazed at how a poor day of eating for me turns into instant crappiness in the gym.  Instant.  Like the next day.  Apparently, gone are the days when I could eat a ton of sugar and then feel fine and go kill a workout.  It just doesn’t work for me.  So after having too much sugar yesterday, I sucked during a workout today.  Sucked.  Doing movements I know I can do.  More on that later…

I like to play around online and here is a small sample of some of the setbacks I’ve seen folks posting about just this week:

  • I’ve worked so hard for so long in Crossfit and my Open workout results were just not what I’d expected.
  • I trained like crazy and bombed out during my powerlifting meet.  Couldn’t even lift what I thought were my easy opening weights.
  • My goal was to break 28 minutes during my 5k and couldn’t even break 30 minutes today.
  • I thought my shoulder had healed but I tried to snatch today and it hurt so much.

So, what do we do?

1.  Spend a little time trying to figure out what happened.  Don’t dwell on it and don’t sit there and rhyme off a litany of excuses, but be honest with yourself and think through some questions, such as:

  • Was my goal realistic? Really?
  • Was I truly prepared to be at my best today?  Did I sleep well?  Did I eat well? Had I recovered from my latest workout?  Am I under a lot of stress?  Did I warm up properly?  It’s not always obvious, but seemingly little things can affect us in ways we’d never though possible.
  • Did I “get in my head” and throw myself off of my game?
  • Am I trying to come back too quickly from injury?
  • Was I too wrapped up in what everyone else was doing?
  • Was everything okay, but it was just not my day?

2.  Once you’ve been completely honest with yourself you can begin to move on.

  • If your goal wasn’t realistic, adjust it.
  • If you feel your goal was solid, check into your plan.  Have you been doing the right things to get there?
  • If you realize that you weren’t well prepared on this particular day, think about how you can better improve your nutrition, sleep, warm up, or whatever area you think messed you up.
  • If you were too ‘in your head’, or too wrapped up in what everyone else was doing, give yourself a smack in the face!  Just kidding (kind of).  It happens to everyone.  Give yourself a pep talk and if it’s a recurring issue for you, read one of the awesome articles out there about stepping up your mental game. *
  • If you simply just had a bad day, and this happens to everybody, don’t make adjustments, just stick to your plan and…

3.  Move on!  Put it behind you and get back to training!

Back to my story.  I don’t have a lot of issues with being honest with myself.  I think it’s one of the gifts of age and maturity.  I can own it and I know that I ate like crap and therefore I performed like crap.  Shocker!  Lesson learned.  Again.  Moving on.  With better food this time. And you know what?  I still got out there and trained.  Better than sitting on the couch.

Stay savage, y’all!

*some good resources on the mental side of training can be found at: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/build-muscle/mental-toughness-training; https://strategicathlete.com/6-exercises-improving-mental-toughness/.

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