And although this type of flexibility is very important….
…I am actually speaking about flexibility in our workout schedules and, for that matter, all of our schedules and plans.
Without a doubt, I am a scheduler and planner and overanalyzer. I actually get pleasure out of coming up with detailed workout plans that are laid out for any day in the foreseeable future. Wanna know something neurotic? I had 6 months of workout plans lined up and ready to go for after I gave birth to Makenzie and was able to workout again! Dedication or madness? You don’t have to answer that! 😉
Part of this is my passion for being creative with my workout setups and seeing what new things I can incorporate to challenge myself. Part of this is also my self-proclaimed exercise ADD where I can’t do the same exact workout for months on end…or even two weeks in a row. Part of this is a way to express myself and practice for an interest I hope to pursue as my career one day. All of these parts added up to a good thing; nonetheless, it was a good thing that could and would bite me in the ass with unnecessary and misplaced stress.
Having a plan is a good thing. I still have a workout schedule. I even have it posted here for the world (aka my handful of followers and readers) to see. For me, there are many benefits to having a plan for my workouts.
- schedule in the appropriate workouts for balanced amounts of cardio and lifting or a race/competition plan
- plan and space out workouts optimally for your body’s needs
- keep things in order with other tasks – similar to the concept of putting your workout in your appointment book
- able to know and be prepared for your workouts/rest every day
Problems arise, however, when your plan becomes THE plan. The be all end all of your training life. It becomes an issue with any of the following:
- don’t spend time with loved ones or focusing on other tasks because you refuse to try to rearrange it
- don’t listen to your body because you are focused on what you “have” to do that day in the gym
- it affects your attitude negatively when things don’t happen as planned
- participating in negative self-talk because you didn’t stick to your training plan and suddenly feeling you aren’t “good enough” or will “never” make progress
Do any of those sound familiar to you? I know I have personally experienced each of them. Mostly during competition training, but my thoughts on that process could be another post for another time. Back to the point, which is that the problem in each of the above situations is allowing your schedule to control you. If you made up the schedule, shouldn’t you be allowed to change it? Yes! Which is why it is so important to be flexible. Have a schedule and follow it as much as you can, but be prepared to switch things up. Life doesn’t always happen as we expect it to, even in the small details of our workout routines. There are even benefits to changing things up:
- to relieve stress
- to try out new workouts or a new rotation in your plan
- to give your body extra opportunities to rest considering many planners like to overschedule themselves
- have more time for other important areas of our lives
Now questions for you. Do you have a workout schedule? How important is it to you to follow it 100%? What do you think the biggest pros and cons are to schedules? Have you noticed any benefits in being more flexible with schedules and plans? I know I have! Mainly in the stressing less department. 😉