Scheduling Flexibility In

Posted: March 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm

And although this type of flexibility is very important....

ummm....OUCH!

[Source]

...I am actually speaking about flexibility in our workout schedules and, for that matter, all of our schedules and plans.

Susan from The Great Balancing Act recently did a post where she mentioned her workout schedule and asked about everyone else's schedules and how they approach their own workouts.

Without a doubt, I am a scheduler and planner and overanalyzer. I actually get pleasure out of coming up with detailed workout plans that are laid out for any day in the foreseeable future. Wanna know something neurotic? I had 6 months of workout plans lined up and ready to go for after I gave birth to Makenzie and was able to workout again! Dedication or madness? You don't have to answer that! 😉

Part of this is my passion for being creative with my workout setups and seeing what new things I can incorporate to challenge myself. Part of this is also my self-proclaimed exercise ADD where I can't do the same exact workout for months on end...or even two weeks in a row. Part of this is a way to express myself and practice for an interest I hope to pursue as my career one day. All of these parts added up to a good thing; nonetheless, it was a good thing that could and would bite me in the ass with unnecessary and misplaced stress.

Having a plan is a good thing. I still have a workout schedule. I even have it posted here for the world (aka my handful of followers and readers) to see. For me, there are many benefits to having a plan for my workouts.

  • schedule in the appropriate workouts for balanced amounts of cardio and lifting or a race/competition plan
  • plan and space out workouts optimally for your body's needs
  • keep things in order with other tasks - similar to the concept of putting your workout in your appointment book
  • able to know and be prepared for your workouts/rest every day

Problems arise, however, when your plan becomes THE plan. The be all end all of your training life. It becomes an issue with any of the following:

  • don't spend time with loved ones or focusing on other tasks because you refuse to try to rearrange it
  • don't listen to your body because you are focused on what you "have" to do that day in the gym
  • it affects your attitude negatively when things don't happen as planned
  • participating in negative self-talk because you didn't stick to your training plan and suddenly feeling you aren't "good enough" or will "never" make progress

Do any of those sound familiar to you? I know I have personally experienced each of them. Mostly during competition training, but my thoughts on that process could be another post for another time. Back to the point, which is that the problem in each of the above situations is allowing your schedule to control you. If you made up the schedule, shouldn't you be allowed to change it? Yes! Which is why it is so important to be flexible. Have a schedule and follow it as much as you can, but be prepared to switch things up. Life doesn't always happen as we expect it to, even in the small details of our workout routines. There are even benefits to changing things up:

  • to relieve stress
  • to try out new workouts or a new rotation in your plan
  • to give your body extra opportunities to rest considering many planners like to overschedule themselves
  • have more time for other important areas of our lives

Now questions for you. Do you have a workout schedule? How important is it to you to follow it 100%? What do you think the biggest pros and cons are to schedules?  Have you noticed any benefits in being more flexible with schedules and plans? I know I have! Mainly in the stressing less department. 😉

Before you leave, checkout these cool giveaways going on around the blog world 🙂 Em is giving away a yoga mat; Jenny is giving away Almond Milk coupons;  Julie is giving away a Yoplait Goddess Pack.

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No Comments to “Scheduling Flexibility In”
  1. Ok did you write this for me or what???!!! I am on the verge of shear panic b/c I can’t get a new weight rotation planned out. FREAKING OUT! I have experienced all of those things too. It’s usually when I’ve hit the overtraining wall. I am the worst with negative talk too. I try really really hard to roll with the punches when things come up. But it’s not easy and takes a great deal of effort on my part.

  2. lessonstolearn says:

    This was a great post and a great reminder for me. I am such a planner! For the post part that makes me organized and on top of things. But it can also make me inflexible which is not good. Luckily my husband is more of a go with the flow sort of guy, so we balance each other out.

  3. Therese says:

    Sometimes I think my planning just creates more anxiety for me instead of keeping me on track! I am a constant planner too.

    I’ve gotten a lot better with just rollin with life when it comes to my workouts…if my body doesn’t feel up to it or life gets in the way? Ah well I’ll hit it hard tomorrow!

  4. homecookedem says:

    Hey!! Great post, like something out of a health magazine, so well written!! 🙂

    I plan out my workouts each week, but don’t always stick to them exactly due to various things (mood, illness, a friend asks me to hang out, unplanned meeting is scheduled, muscles sore, weather, etc.). I’ve become much better about not having to have perfect and absolute control over everything and it’s made my life so much less stressful.

  5. omg – that picture! WOW.

    I do plan my work outs in advance now, since I take classes at the gym instead of only running like I used to. My schedule has been roughly the same week to week, and I’m TRYing to allow for some wiggle room. Like, my sister is probably having a baby on Wednesday – obviously my work outs will NOT be a priority then! But it is something I’m working on…and not just with working out. I’m the type of person who has to have something planned almost every minute of the day – it’s annoying! 😉

  6. Keri says:

    Great post! It seems that so many blogs (or at least the ones I’m following) have been posting about stress lately. Glad I’m not the only one who is stressed 🙂 I have a problem not going to the gym. I think because it is how I usually de-stress so even if my body is too tired or needs to recover, I find myself trying to go!

  7. Jessie says:

    Oh my goodness … your first picture … :O

    I have to confess that I used to be TERRIBLE about workout flexibility – I had to exercise every day, and I had to do it a certain way, and nothing was going to get in my way. Not a healthy attitude. But, I’ve gotten SO much better, much more flexible, that I’m actually proud of myself 🙂 Great post on flexibility!

  8. I always have a plan for my weekly work outs, but I am learning to listen to what my body wants to do. If it feels like running an extra mile on a light cardio day, go for it! If I’m not feeling that well I should take a rest day, rather than doing a half-attempt and getting angry with myself. Its all about listening. I try not to get too stressed out, but I always get upset with myself if I don’t get the workout accomplished that I think I needed to

  9. I love that first pic!
    i get my workouts/yoga in, time of day, ordering, etc i have to be flexible, im a mom, wife, worker, etc.

  10. kbwood says:

    HEY sugar!! your comments are always so encouraging! thank you so much! i always pray for everybody in the blog world and thank God for sisters like YOU! 🙂
    i do try to follow a schedule but if im too tired then i dont workout..college is so busy!

  11. sophia says:

    Great post, Tina! I think this also ties in with the previous post I did abt passion vs. obsession…working out should definitely stay in the enjoyment lane, and not cross boundaries into something that is rigid and controlling.

  12. eatspinlive says:

    Those are some wonderful and really true words to live by! Sometimes it is definitely hard to find balance between important things like school, work, and working out…but I think making the people you love the biggest priority is the best thing to do 🙂 Great Post!

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