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Don't Chase Missed Workouts

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro Contributer
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No matter how dedicated you are to the gym, there are going to be days when you have no choice but to miss a workout. We're not talking about a planned vacation, but rather one of those days where something comes up and your best intentions to get there were thwarted. Perhaps you have to work late, or are having some work done in your house. Maybe you simply overslept and ran out of time. Don't beat yourself up over this and chalk it up to one of those things that happens every so often.

If you try and double up the next day and make up the workout that you missed, you may actually be doing more harm than good. Injury possibilities aside (because that is always on the table), you probably will hit one hard and the other not as good due to pre-exhaustion, or over-simplify both to keep the time that you have available at the gym. The best laid plans of mice and men... you know the deal.

The best choice is to pick up as if you did not miss a workout. Let's say for example that you missed your Monday workout and that day you do biceps and triceps. (You thought we were going to say chest, but it's better to do that body part on a different day since everyone else in the gym is hogging up all the benches.) You get there Tuesday to do chest... because the majority of the gym members did it the previous day and now you have your pick of the benches and machines. Stick to your normal schedule and act as if you didn't miss your arm workout; your triceps are going to get a good taxing as a secondary muscle during chest exercises and the same goes for the biceps when hitting back.

Finish out the week and you'll get that arm day in the next time. If for some reason something else comes up the following Monday, then it may come down to a decision of what body part is one that you can afford to miss or not. Whenever possible, try not to skip the same muscle two weeks (or workouts if you train each body part more than once per week) in a row. So if that happens to be the hard luck case for you, plan your week out and make an exception that one time. Skip or double up, whatever you can fit in to get through a lousy week.

But the main point is that missing one workout is not then end of the world and as long as you are steady with your workout and diet, you will survive and feel no different. Your body may even thank you for the unexpected rest day and respond even better the next day and next time you train the muscle group(s) you had to miss.
 
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