Don’t Overthink It

Anyone who truly knows me should be laughing at the title of this post. For the last 9yrs, maybe even longer, I have been the queen of overthinking. 

At work, specifically fire and EMS, that over-thinking becomes a strength in pre-planning and scene size-up. In my personal life, it’s a bit annoying.

But there is one area of life in which I have managed to avoid over-thinking.

When I walk into the gym, I am there to lift or row, and that’s it. I don’t need to run scenarios or analyze every word in a message I’m about to send. Even though I’m getting all my vitals up, I’m actually mentally relaxed, only focused on the next rep.

I realize that others, unfortunately, aren’t as relaxed when they walk into the gym.

What am going to exercise today? 
How much did I do last time?
Should I add more weight? 
What if I’m doing it wrong?

This is the point where that title of this post comes into play: Don’t Overthink It.

Since I usually let out an exasperated sigh or huff when someone tells me to stop thinking or quit over-thinking, I have a few actual practical ways to help you think or worry less before your workouts.

  1. Write out your exercises for a month. Seem to be a bit much? Then start with a week. That way you don’t walk in and feel your blood pressure rise as you try to decide on the spot what exercises to do and end up wandering through the machines and rigs.
  2. You should write those exercises down in a journal or notebook. When you do that, write down how much weight, sets, and reps you do every time. This allows you to track your progress so you know how much you did last time and when it’s time to add more weight.
  3. If you can, workout in front of a mirror so you can check your form. If that’s not an option, put the phone down with the video recorder up and going. Record your movement to review before the next set or later when you get a chance.
  4. Hire a coach. Seriously. That’s what we’re here for. We take care of creating an exercise program specific to you; we track your progress and advise you when to up the weights. You record your workouts to send for us to watch and give you feedback. My clients are able to use a couple different apps (Marco Polo or Signal right now) to send me quick videos during their workout for feedback.


“C’mon. Get up. It’s time to go pick up heavy shit and put it back down. Let’s go!” my dear friend said during an 0430 wake-up call to get me up and moving. (I love working out; I hate waking up early.)

Honestly, that’s all there is to it.

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