Monday, August 29, 2016

The 4 Stages of Suck

Sometimes working out is fun. Sometimes it's tough. And sometimes it just flat-out sucks.

But how do you deal with the suck? What do you do when your legs and arms are dying and your lungs are burning? I think that it comes down to your mindset.

And thus, the 4 Stages of Suck

Definitely not a quitter.
Stage 1: Quitting

If you're just starting out on your fitness journey, you're going to hit a wall -- and probably pretty quickly. I would be that most people who've tried to set up a fitness routine have given up at least once. And it's usually because of unrealistic expectations.

Stage 2: Survival

Once you've gotten the basic hang of exercise and maybe set up a weekly routine, you'll probably get to the point where, when things really start to suck, you can at least slog through. Your form may suffer and your performance may slack off as the workout goes on, but you'll at least get it done.

Stage 3: Fighting Through
The New Jersey Marathon was a fight!

Regular Guys who've been working out for a while know that just getting something done isn't the same as doing it well. If you want to get the full benefit from a tough workout, you need to try to keep up your performance the whole time. And yeah. it really sucks to push that last interval when your body is screaming for you to slow down, but that's when the improvement comes.

Stage 4: Embracing the Suck

You may never experience this one. Or you might feel it once in a while, but not every time. Regular Guys aren't going to get to the point where this is the norm in a hard workout. But the big jumps will happen when you welcome the suck. You're looking for it. You want it. And you push your workouts to ensure you get it.

I want to add something about Stage 4: Be careful! It's easy to get overtrained or injured when you're actively seeking the suck.

What stage of suck are you at? Sound off on Twitter, on Facebook or in the comments below!


  1. Hello Andrew,

    Thanks for writing this. Sometimes it takes all of me to get up and go to the gym. Often times fitness personalities on social media make us feel that training is a magical world, but for me, a lot of times it isn't. Pushing myself mentally is the hardest part and it does truly SUCK and there is nothing wrong with admitting that. At the end of the day, welcoming the suck is a form of victory.

    1. Hi Rita! Yes, there are days when everything clicks and it just feels great. But people who make it seem like that's the norm are just BSing you. If it were always as enjoyable as a trip to Walt Disney World, we'd all be superstars! Knowing how much suck you can take on, and how much is too much, is the real win. Thanks for your comment!

  2. yes! I agree with all the stages of suck! lol. I float between 2 and 4 most of the time.