Set Backs are NOT Failure

The other day I had programmed a top set of 5 reps for my deadlifts followed by a 7×3 round with the same weight. On the 6th set, first rep, I tore a callous at the base of my middle finger. Since it was already torn and couldn’t get much worse, I finished the set and then assessed the damage.

callous tear

I was lucky – it wasn’t bleeding. That would have probably meant the end of my workout. Instead, I stopped one set early on deadlifts and went about the rest of my day.

  • 3×10 Pause Press
  • Skipped Deficit Deadlifts (obvious reasons)
  • 8×3 Weighted Chin-ups
  • 5 Rounds of Bike Sprints

Did I face a set-back? Yes. But what I didn’t do is say, “You know, that was pretty rough. I guess I should just call it a day.”

I wanted to go home and eat.

I wanted to skip the chin-ups because I knew the grip would be harder to pull off.

I wanted to even skip the Pause Press because I knew gripping the bar would feel a little weird.

But I also know you can’t cheat hard work. Life doesn’t take excuses, and muscles won’t adapt simply because they pity me. If I want to get stronger, I have to put in the work.

It’s okay to have set backs, but learn to work around them. Don’t use set backs as an excuse to give up. Set backs does not mean it’s okay to willingly fail. Failure is a wonderful teacher and an absolute necessity if you ever dream of getting better at something. Willing failure teaches you nothing other than you have a knack for self-sabotage.

Strive past the set-backs.

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