Blog Header Image

Vee Payne


January 9, 2024

Prepping for Setbacks

No matter how organized and safe you are, life will always find a way to throw a wrench into your plans. Usually several… all at once… very aggressively… at least going from my personal experience. When this happens, it’s very easy to lose track of your routine, and very difficult to get back into it. One thing that’s often the first thing to go is the time and energy to get out to the gym, and once you miss a few days it can very easily start to snowball and turn into weeks or more. If enough time passes, when you manage to return to the gym it can be really discouraging to realize that you may have lost a little bit of the progress you had made, making it even more difficult to get back into a routine. This has happened to me many times, and will certainly happen again along with probably everyone that’s ever tried to get out to the gym consistently. One good way to combat this obstacle is to get ahead of it. Developing a plan for any curveballs that might get tossed your way is an excellent way to deal with them, both with exercise and any routine or hobby that you try to stay consistent with.

The first and most important thing to do is to hammer into your head that experiencing a set back or losing a little bit of progress doesn’t erase the progress that you made before. Improvement is never a straight line and being able to bounce back from a stumble and not get caught in a downward spiral is a skill that comes in handy throughout all points in your life. It’s something that is easy to know, but very difficult to believe when it’s actually needed, so practicing being mindful of it before a situation arises will make it so much easier to apply.

Another good way to prepare for a lapse is to make a plan. This is something that a personal trainer can be super helpful. If you’re going on a long holiday or business trip, you can work together to develop a workout routine that will be doable at a hotel gym. Or maybe write up a short workout that can be done at home, even if it’s just five minutes, so that when life gets busy or leaving the house gets difficult you have something to keep you moving. There are all sorts of things that can help you stay active when getting to the gym just can’t happen, and working with a trainer is a great way to find what works for you.

At Pittsburgh Fit we have a wonderful, supportive community and this is another tool that you can use to help yourself bounce back. Asking for help can be difficult and it’s easy to feel like a burden, but there are so many people who will be more than happy to support you when tough times arise. Reaching out to a friend for a ride to the gym or some motivational words, or asking a coach to help find ways to help you get back in the groove of things is exactly what community is for.

One trap that can be easy to fall into upon your return to the gym after a long break is to try to jump right back into where you used to be. Be patient with yourself and mindful of where your limits may have shifted is so important. Going too hard too fast is a great way to get discouraged or, in a worst case scenario, get hurt and send you right back into being unable to exercise again. Easing back into things and having to work back up to where you were sucks, but with patience it will pass faster than you think.

These are just a couple examples, but there’s an infinite number of things that can help prepare for setbacks and get you right back on course when they happen. Working with coaches and communicating with friends will help find what works for you. Life will always find ways to knock you down, but you can find the tools to make sure you’re ready to fight back!

Vee Payne, Personal Trainer at Pittsburgh FIT

Continue reading