Cheat Your Workout, Cheat Yourself.

In the almost six years I’ve worked in the fitness industry, I feel as if I’ve seen it all. Exercises done incorrectly, ridiculous diet strategies followed, unnecessary (and expensive!) supplements purchased, and that’s just to name a few in a list I’m sure will continue to grow. But through the craziness, there’s still one negative constant that rises to the surface: honesty.

Honesty with yourself, first and foremost. Then your coach or trainer, maybe even friends and family. I’ve been there. It’s easy to lay out the perfect day in MyFitnessPal and neglect to add in the cookie in the break room, a few pieces of candy off your coworker’s desk, and the ice cream at the end of the night. But it adds up! Just wait a few weeks and you may be wondering why you’re not making progress when the nutrition and workout program look perfect on paper.

While with nutrition it’s easy to leave off a few foods from the journal, honesty is important in our workouts as well. When you go into the gym, are you giving it your all or a half effort? Are you engaged with what you’re doing or just going through the motions to say you did and check a box?

If you’re going to put in 45 minutes at the gym, PUT IN THAT TIME. Don’t slack just to waste time. If you’re going to be there, don’t waste time by giving a half effort. Show up to work as hard as you can and leave when you’re done. Train with intensity.

That doesn’t mean you have to crush yourself every time you go into the gym. Sometimes, it means taking at 100% and putting that energy into recovery, such as soft tissue work, mobility, and correctives. Being honest with yourself is about listening to your body and giving it rest when it needs it, while simultaneously recognizing when it’s time to push a little harder and give it everything you have in the tank.

In both training and nutrition, be honest with yourself. Did you finish every rep of the workout? Did you have a cookie or three? Did you give 100% effort during your long run? Did you have a serving size of protein or a few bites? It all matters. You won’t do yourself any favors by leaving off a treat at the end of the night from your food log or telling your coach what they want to hear. Coaches are there to help you, but only if you let them meet you where you’re at. The best way to do this is by being honest. You’re only cheating yourself.

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