So you’re motivated to start making really good progress towards your health and fitness goals, but have now begun to realise that it isn’t always as easy as it first seems. There’s pressure on you to go out with friends on a night out but you have training the following day, however at the same time you don’t want to appear anti-social either.
If you love training and value having a great social life decisions like this can be difficult to make, right?
I mean after all, in an ideal world you would love to tick all the boxes and be able to do everything. But that’s just not how it works. It’s annoying to say it but one thing will always suffer in order for another thing to benefit from whatever decision you make. For example, going on a night out will mean that your social life is awesome but training progress slows down. Similarly with the reverse, not going out lets say on a Saturday night because you’re training the following morning will mean that yes you’re staying on track with your fitness goals, but your social life is hindered as a result.
So how do you maximise both?
One might say to do everything, trying to be this superhuman who gets everything done. I can say that from experience this may work in the short-term, but long term this will only result in fatigue, overtraining and just not really enjoying how you spend your time because you’re constantly on the go.
I think the most suitable way to approach this is to think to yourself “What is my goal? What do I actually want to achieve?” and “How much do I value social life?” This is huge because knowing what you want to achieve will determine things such as how often you train per week and how seriously you will take training in general. As for the second question, knowing your answer to this means you can estimate how much time you may spend with friends etc each week. If you’re a social butterfly/extroverted then you may have to consider this more carefully than someone who might be a bit more reserved and values alone time.
A good guess is what I suggest for predicting when your social life is at its greatest in any given week and guessing what days of the week this includes has helped me massively in the past. If you just want to develop general health and fitness then your answers to the questions above will be a lot different to someone who is looking to compete in the next year or two. Therefore, that is why the questions above are crucial in terms of how it impacts the balance being discussed here of training and social life.
Once you have your answers for both of these questions things start to become clearer. You know what you want to achieve with your health and fitness and likewise you know how much you value social life and how much you want this to be a part of your life.
I try to keep things relatively consistent on a weekly basis. Trying to keep things consistent on a daily basis involves too much variability, as I’m sure you’re all aware things can change on the last minute in terms of social life or training. That’s just life and so viewing things on a weekly basis rather than daily, in my opinion, is better. What I mean by ‘keeping things consistent’ is the average balance of social life and training each week. It’s impossible to keep it exactly the same but if you follow a training split or know how many days per week you’ll be training, then around this time you can kind of predict when you’re time will be spent with friends.
What’s great about viewing it like this is that it provides opportunity for spontaneity, which we all know happens all the time in terms of social life. You can’t plan everything!
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