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How do you get yourself out of the trap wherein you start using tiredness as a reason (not an excuse) to skip your workouts ?

I do feel great after a workout and usually use this as motivation but is it right to be pushing yourself when you're genuinely tired ?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The trick I've seen best results with is to tell yourself, "I'll just do a short workout. I won't do A, B, C and D like I'm scheduled to. I'll just do A and B today, because I'm tired."

Once I'm thoroughly warmed up and have some fun with A and B, I usually am in the right mindset to finish the whole workout, including C and D. If not, I have to make the decision whether to push through or cut and run. That decision is best left to a coach or workout partner, but if you have to make the call yourself, then that's how the cookie crumbles.

This trick doesn't work in some instances, like during the last weeks a very difficult novice barbell progression. In those cases, you just need to harden up and do it.

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Sure! something is better than nothing. – heenasurve Mar 1 '12 at 17:51
Works for me as well (long distance running) – Mischa Arefiev Mar 2 '12 at 12:50
A good trick to "harden up" when you really don't want to exercise is to look at your weekly schedule. If your schedule is as hectic as mine, it becomes a lot harder to rationalize not exercising today when you realize that you have no budgeted time tomorrow to do the exercising. This might not work for you though, if you don't have a busy schedule. – Moses Mar 4 '12 at 5:47
@Moses That comment would make a good answer. – Dave Liepmann Mar 4 '12 at 6:12
I find the same mind trick work: "I'll just do the warm up". Once warmed up the body wants more... – Tymski Aug 29 '12 at 13:42

I guess it basically comes down to sucking it up and getting through it! Suffice to say, there are times where tiredness may impact on athletic performance and every now and then, it may benefit from taking the session off to rest. However, as you said, you tend to feel better after your workout so use that as incentive to get through the workout! Just tell yourself that you'll workout for 10minutes, and 90% of the time, you'll be feeling good by the time you reach the 10minutes and won't want to stop. Also, create specific goals that you want to achieve to help motivate yourself to complete each workout! Best of luck!

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