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What If I Miss A Workout?

First off… don’t. Missing a workout not only increases your chances of gaining every pound you’ve lost, it also increase your risk of accelerated fat accumulation by 217% over the course of the following 24 hours.

OK, THAT’S TOTALLY NOT TRUE.

But who hasn’t felt that way after missing a day at some point? Your mind goes crazy– worrying about gaining back what you’ve lost, where to start over, feeling that extra fat pinch that you swear wasn’t there yesterday and maybe doing a little freaking about whether your momentum is spinning down the drain. I’m sure we’ve all been there but don’t go giving yourself mental karate chops and black eyes. Missing a workout is going to happen here and there. The important thing to remember is this: Don’t Panic. And if the first step is “Don’t panic”, the second step is “Put it in perspective”.

The Perspective

Your fitness results are a journey– a journey of small steps and choices that lead you to a body you never thought you could have and a new mental energy and focus that goes beyond just looking good in the sizes you wore in high school. It’s not overnight and in most cases, neither is weight gain or strength loss after missing a workout. Muscle gains can be lost over weeks and months, but missing a day or two won’t set you back too much.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this to give shelter to any excuses. Dedicating yourself to your program consistently (every day but your “rest day”) is the only way to get optimal results. Don’t skip a workout just “because” or under the fake promise of “I’ll do it (or two) tomorrow.”

What To Do

If you genuinely miss a day,  just start where you left off. In my case, I value the resistance workouts so I’ll make sure to get those in even if I lose a cardio that week. I’m OK with that. Some people may double up on a workout by doing one in the morning and one at night. As I always say, “Don’t overthink it” and personally, I think that’s overkill through “workout repentance”. Just take the next step forward and don’t look back.

In the case of missing a week, start where you left off. In cases where it’s been two weeks or more due to medical problems or an injury, I’d suggest beginning of the week you “dropped” out of. If you need to start “easy”, begin with the transitional rest week and go into the program the following week. If we’re talking a month or more, square one is a great place to start.

Either way, don’t beat yourself up but always make sure you get back into it the next day and do your best to Dig Deep and Bring It! 

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9 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Aaron says:

    I’ve missed workouts here and there, and it just helps me to think that I’m not going to stop working out after 90 days. In that way I don’t feel like I missed out on something, I’ll just make it up at a later time when I continue doing the program after 90 days.

  2. Dan says:

    That’s a great perspective to have, Aaron. Hopefully that later time is “later today” or “tomorrow”. ;) Pending any long-term healing for injuries, of course.

  3. Crystal says:

    Hi Dan.
    I miss my workouts once in awhile, too, but the real reason I’m here is to just say “nice blog!” The style is very simple and clean. I really like the way you have it laid out. But now I’m disappointed to learn you got the “How Do I Get Fit” name before I did! That’s how I found you-doing a search for that very same term. You must have done your homework. ;) At any rate, good job with the blog. I like it!
    Crystal

  4. Darnel says:

    I work out everyday, and I feel that if I skip a day I’ll be weaker the next day. Im 15 and started at 14, I got good results in the past 5 months. I always promise myself that I’ll do
    It the next day but end up slacking so much to get my self going. I have distractions that stop me from getting started. With me I don’t have a job to go to like most people, that’s usually there problem but with me I have 9 hours to workout, I usually go for a hour, but is that enough? Right now it’s 9am and I
    Have all the time at the moment to get up and started.

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Darnel, thanks for sharing. You won’t get weaker. In many cases your body needs the time to recover… you get stronger and build endurance in the recovery period, not the actual workout. So don’t worry about using a day for recovery– many time you’ll come back stronger.

      The trick to staying motivated is to know your goal. This post may help:

      http://howdoigetfit.com/tips/motivation/top-10-ways-to-stay-motivated/

      • Darnel says:

        Thx! I read it and feel better. And I just hate it so much when I’m sour, I think about pushing myself, feeling that rush you feel when you can just barley do one more. But when I do it I get rite into it, and I’m over that thought in my head, that sourness I feel and a major rush. I feel like I’m slacking so much to get up, taking to long of brakes In the past 3 weeks. Rite now I have that same feeling to push my self. Yesterday I worked out but never felt that good in the end about if I pushed hard enough, I think I took to much brakes, pushing your hardest and using good form leads to a good workout. Im going to take a photo of me flexing them wait 30 days and see results from before and after, I’m shure this will get me more motivated again. Anyways thanks for the support….

  5. billy says:

    i work in construction n have some really long hard labor days in the sun is it okay to miss a work out even though i hate too.im just so whooped by the time i get home sometimes so i was also wondering if i should tone it down

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