Coach at Outlet Online Store Locations

Pushing Through the Pain During a Workout

As I prepare for my third round of 90 days, I'm trying the Insanity workouts so that I know where to put them in my upcoming hybrid workout schedule. For those of you who have never tried Insanity, I assure you that it is accurately named! I love it at the end of Pure Cardio when Shaun T says, "That s%*t is bananas!"

Doing Insanity has reminded me just how important it is to push through the pain and discomfort that comes with working out hard. If you want to maximize your results you have to learn to push through! In the weight room, if you get to the last two or three reps of a set and you aren't struggling then you're not doing something right. During a cardio workout, if you aren't sweating like crazy and gasping for air like a fish out of water then you probably aren't going hard enough. The point of these types of routines is to fatigue your body as much as you can. Then when it recovers it will come back stronger than before. The harder you work and more fatigued you get (to a certain point) the stronger your body become. It's cause and effect. But how do you know when it's OK to keep going and when you need to stop?

Here's when you should keep going. When your muscles are burning like they're on fire but you can maintain form then you should keep going. When you're so fatigued your brain tells you to stop but you're still holding the form then you should keep going. When you're struggling for air but not light headed or ready to puke then you should keep going.

If the pain and discomfort comes in the form of sharp pain then you should STOP. If you are seeing stars, light headed, or about to blow chunks then you should STOP. If something in your body feels like it's about to give out or tear then you should STOP. If you can't maintain form then you should STOP. Learn to tell the difference between your brain and body wanting to stop and needing to stop.

A few years ago, I participated in the hardest mountain bike race in the United States. It's called the Leadville Trail 100 and it is nuts! One day on a mountain bike, 104 miles, 14,000 feet of climbing and this all takes place between 9200 and 12,600 feet of elevation. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to quit. However, I kept thinking about a quote that race director Ken Chlouber told us the day before the race. "You're better than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can." Have that mindset going into your workouts, and you'll be amazed at what you can do and the results that come as a result.