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Free Fitness Consultation: Why is it that I am so critical of myself ? I am never satisfied with the results.

April 14, 2010

Fitness tip: Use hormones to feel better

Question from Angelique, VA

Why is it that I am so critical of myself ? and never satisfied with the results. I workout so hard everyday and my friends or people always tell me how in shape I am. So why do I want more??? and why is it never good enough???? I will critique myself all the time. It’s frustrating at time and I am afraid that this working out is becoming an obsession. I want my brain to stop thinking negative thoughts


Dear Angelique, that is a great question that puzzles everyone. There can be several reasons, ones regarding to your Mindset Programming, others to do with Physiological Hormonal response.

Lets start with with your Mindset. Always remember that we are trained to never be fully content or satisfied. We always want more, we are in a highly competitive society and that applies to your Mindset program. What I am trying to say Angelique is that no matter how hard you train you may be discontent either with results or because your body is not responding at a high level.

Practical Example: Make sure you write down short and long term goals. You need to be realistic. If you set up your goals in a an unrealistic way your Mind will be extremely mean at you like an angry coach and you do not want that!

A second reason and in my opinion the most important is hormonal response. Exercise science is evolving rapidly and now the latest trend in exercise science is studying how we can train more effectively. Hormones are extremely important for their function. Hormones can alter existing cells in our body. Why is this so important? Because in exercise science we are looking mainly at two of them: Anabolic vs Catabolic Hormones. In simple terms Anabolic hormones tend toward “building up” cells and tissues. These structures produce growth and may alter cells and increase in body size. Examples of anabolic processes include the growth and mineralization of bone and increases in muscle mass. Catabolic hormones destroy cells and tissues in the sense that the constant effort requires the breakdown of molecules producing fatigue, oxidative stress and so on. Again I want to explain it in simple terms since this can be so complicated but it is necessary that you know it since it will help you change how you see your training forever.

In simple terms and again I want you to be practical Angelique, I do not want you to give you a bunch of medical and physiological information without a practical plan.

Ideally to increase your performance and enhance your body physique (lean muscle definition not bigger size) it is necessary that you know how these hormones work. Studies are showing how your first 20-30 minutes are your best ones when comes to training. You are mentally engaged, the different systems are working together in sync and all your hormones are mainly anabolic helping you perform at a high level and building up existing tissues and cells. Now there is a problem if we keep training at a high intensity for over an hour your anabolic hormones will turn catabolic since you are exhausting yourself and feeling that “tiring” effect. That fatigue sensation means that that catabolic hormones are being released such as stress hormones (cortisol) that are so dangerous for our performance and you need to STOP! you may be using energy from the muscle, creating stress and destroying cells instead of creating new ones. Solution: break down your workouts, in other terms: it is better to do 3 sessions of 30 minutes than one session of  1 hour and a half. 3 sessions of 10 minutes are better that one session of 30 minutes.

So having said this just think of training like eating. Don’t you feel exhausted after a big meal? How do you feel with smaller portions? Don’t you feel great? Well with training happens the same you need to finish your sessions great never to point of exhaustion, you are destroying instead of creating and also your Mind will get really skeptical and critical with yourself. I always breakdown my workouts never train to exhaustion. The longer you train the more judgmental your Mind becomes and the more critical you become. That is why you always need to break down the workouts and always feel with a positive atititude.

Check out this great studies:

Optimizing your hormone levels – NATURALLY.

Analysis of anabolic and catabolic hormones

Mark Kovacs, B.S, CSCS, ACSM HFI
Editor of High Performance Training

Anabolic and catabolic biomarkers as predictors of

muscle strength decline: the InCHIANTI study.

Stenholm S, Maggio M, Lauretani F, Bandinelli S, Ceda GP, Di Iorio A, Giallauria F, Guralnik JM, Ferrucci L.

National Institute on Aging, Clinical Research Branch, Longitudinal Studies Section, Baltimore, Maryland 21225, USA. To see the stydy click here

I hope this helps!

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