Learning from your fitness failures

Trying to get into shape doesn’t always get better with time. There are always going to be ups and downs. Instead of thinking about your bad days as a failure, think of them as just one roadblock you’re bound to overcome.

Embrace Failures

In the gym, "failure" can be a good thing. When you're working up to a personal record, pushing yourself to failure is in fact the goal. The idea is to test your limits and max them out. How do you know when you've maxed out? You fail!

This notion of making failure a positive, goes against the grain. Adding another 10 pounds to the bar becomes less of a risk because you're encouraged to push your limits. It empowers, helps subside fears and encourages you to really go for it.


The plan you have set in place before you got to the gym can quickly get derailed. Maybe the piece of equipment you want to use is taken, or maybe you planned for a leg workout only to still find your hamstrings sore from the day before.

"Fitness failures" like this spur flexibility. Learning how to be comfortable changing your routine at the drop of a hat, no matter the reason, teaches you how to make smart adjustments.


Fitness, especially functional fitness, can be humbling. Maybe you head into the gym wanting to work on your push-up, only to be corrected by an instructor and learn you have to work on your plank too. Maybe you know you're lacking in cardio, but realize you're running, rowing and HIIT all need work.

Because you can always improve or learn a new skill, fitness pushes you to prioritize. Instead of getting overwhelmed, learn how to work on one thing at a time. The lesson surpasses the walls of the gym; that long to-do list becomes more manageable as you learn to cross off one item before moving on to the next.

Consistency is key

There's a saying in fitness: The only bad workout is the one you didn't do. When a sweat session falls short, whether that means opting for 20 minutes on the treadmill instead of the 30 you planned or your intensity in lifts lags, it's important to reframe your "failure."

Instead of focusing on what you didn't do, fitness invites you to see the glass half full: What did you accomplish by lacing up? Even if you lack some drive, making sure you get to the gym and doing something is a plus.

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