Hitting a Gym Slump, & How to Overcome It

If like me, you are an avid gym goer, and have been for more than some time, you probably know what I mean, when I talk about hitting ‘the wall’. No, I’m not referring to wall balls, or that infamous wall of sheer exhaustion. This is the wall of frustration. You know the one.. You’ve reached a plateaux. And it’s got you feeling rather down hearted, because you aren’t making any measurable improvements, you’re not seeing progress in your performance, and the numbers are not moving. And perhaps this has been the case for weeks, even months. Urggh. It is the worst. When you know you have been putting the hours and work in, but you don’t feel like you’re getting any better or any stronger. If you haven’t been there yet, trust me, it’ll creep up on you sooner or later. But there is good news; it doesn’t last forever! That is, providing you don’t let this temporary failure get to your heart, and throw the towel in. Lord knows that these are the times where it takes all the will to stop you from throwing a toddleresque tantrum of epic proportions, in the middle of the busy gym. These are the times when quitting becomes the ‘easy’ option. But it’s not. It’s definitely not. Remember that feeling of exhilaration and pride, when you finally hit a new personal best?! Remember that feeling after an amazing workout, that leaves you feeling energised, and fabulous, and ready to take on the whole world? (Good old endorphins.) Pretty awesome, am I right?! And you will feel all of that greatness again. So long as you don’t give up. Take a day off if you need to. Hell, take a week off. But don’t forget the reason you committed yourself to this lifestyle in the first place. You may not see it evidently in every single session, but all your hard work is doing you so much good, and is making you a healthier and stronger version of yourself.

Take last week for example. I took myself off to the gym on Friday evening all set for a big barbell session. Historically, Friday nights have always been one of my best sessions of the week. Maybe it’s the feel good Friday vibes, but Friday workouts have seen me hit now records on several occasions. Alas, it was not to be. I went in with the bar set high, (not literally) but with the expectation of exceeding my recent 1 rep max on deadlifts. Last summer I was lifting 110kg. This year, I’ve taken up running, but my deadlift has slid back down to 100kg. Anyway, a large part of me believes this is more of a psychological block, rather than a physical inability to go heavier. So, I went in with the mindset that I would lift 110kg. Queue the bitter disappointment when I could barely even shift the 100kg’s. I’d psyched myself up to succeed, and failed. I could have very well just laid down on the Olympic lifting station, and cried. I didn’t. But I could have. Instead, I took myself upstairs for a good stretch on the matts, and spent some time perfecting my headstand. – Oddly enough, being upside down brings me a lot of calm. Anywho, I left the gym, painfully aware, and embarrassed by just how upset I had allowed myself to become. But it easily happens. The thing to remember is that we can’t constantly be making visible improvements day in, day out. There are going to be days when our bodies are less capable, less strong, and we even end up going backwards. It’s not worth losing sleep over. We are only human. We fatigue, we run on a cycle of hormones. Some days our food choices may not be adequate to fuel a big session. There are so many reasons you may not be performing at your best. It’s natural to feel a bit crappy when your performance is below par, but it’s just not worth getting down hearted over.

Sometimes, all you need is a good session, where the weight being lifted is irrelevant, and the only thing that matters is that you’ve been moving you body, doing your best, and you’ve given it your all. So, that’s exactly what I will be sharing you. As I said, the Friday session was bloody awful, but the Saturday gym session went down a real treat. It fully made up for my disappointing session from the previous night.

The session took the form of a 2 part CrossFit Saturday, and it is as follows:

Part 1 – a 10 min AMRAP. (As many reps or rounds as possible in 10 minutes, timed)

– 1 power clean

– 1 push press

– 1 front squat

– 1 thruster

For this barbell complex, you don’t want to be adjusting plates, so find a weight that all the movements are manageable at. For me, this was 30kg.. Originally I looked on Pinterest for AMRAPs, and stumbled across this complex, however, I misread the pin as an AMRAP WOD, when in actual fact, it was an EMOM (every minute on the minute) WOD. This actually worked quite nicely, as I ended up doing a fair bit more than the 1 round per minute.

Part 2 – 21,15,9

– wall balls

– pull ups (mine were assisted)

– box jumps

– 400m row after each round.

This part was all about working up a sweat, and although I hadn’t felt progress in other areas in recent days, my endurance improvements become prevalent with this workout. It felt great, and I really did work up a sweat!

Just proof that sometimes you’ve got to forget about the numbers, and how much you are physically lifting, and just enjoy the effort, and focus on working up that sweat. Please feel free to use this 2 part workout, especially if you’re in a slump, and need to take a step back from trying to achieve a new personal best.

It certainly worked for me. And I now feel very much re-energised, and ready to patiently pursue those bigger goals!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I hope it can be of help to you, if you too are experiencing a bit of a gym slump! Drop me a comment and let me know how you get on.

Lots of love


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Love that. As you say progress does stall but from the looks of it you’re doing fantastic. I love the pistol squat and headstand photo. Excellent form! I did my first unassisted pistol squat on Tuesday this week so as someone with big shoulders weighing 102kg I was quite chuffed. Loaded squat jumps at 65kg, power snatch at 50kg and 160kg deadlifts were in my workout this week and very satisfying it was too. Feeling it now, especially after a 10k run last night in the cold.

    I’m working in a brand new gym (I work there) so it’s all new kit, bigger space and it’s lovely and quiet midday when I train. 😁 Those good training days are the best. Keep on it, from the looks of it you’re smashing it to bits. 💪💪💪 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Wow, that’s some impressive lifts! Well done. I’m hoping for some PB’s in the new year, and happy with maintaining at the moment. Not trying for any big lifts for a bit, but will come back better in January ☺️ thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim says:

    This is great. I think we all get too focussed on numbers sometimes so it’s good to take a step back, maybe try something new.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, definitely! I regularly change things up, just to keep excitement and variety in my training. Thanks for reading xx


  3. yvonnewabai says:

    These are great. I started going to the gym when I was diagnosed with PCOS (read about it at https://yvonnewairimuwabai.weebly.com/blog/answering-frequently-asked-questions-about-pcos ) but I stopped because it made my fatigue worse. I went back to doing light and moderate exercises out of the gym. I hope I can go back sometime though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this! I have a couple of friends with a PCOS diagnosis so would be very interested to learn more xx


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