How to Embrace the Suck and Get in the Best Condition You Can

Last updated Oct 31, 2019 | Published on Sep 25, 2016

Embracing the suck can mean a lot of things.

I’m not talking about the military’s version of embrace the suck:

“The situation is bad, but deal with it.”

And definitely not the Urban Dictionary definition:

“The term would be used when an individual or a group must complete a task that is pointless, tiring, and/or lame.”

I don’t see working out as a bad situation or that it’s a lame or pointless endeavor. But I don’t particularly look forward or get excited about it.

I’ve mentioned it before in my articles, and I’m not ashamed to say it again, I dislike working out.

You might think it strange that a fitness professional that doesn’t like to work out, after all, don’t most trainers love to be in the gym?

Maybe, but I would much rather be on the golf course, in the mountains on a trout stream, at the beach with my daughters, or sitting on the patio with an iced coffee reading a book.

Crap, I’d rather be sitting at the computer writing articles than working out.


However, for 30-minutes a day I embrace the suck so I can play better golf, walk farther in the mountains, feel better about myself and get in better shape.

The fact that I get up early each day specifically to workout, and embrace the suck makes me feel good about myself.

I know many of you have problems keeping motivated and sticking with your conditioning program. We all do and have some tips that you may find useful to keep after it in the gym.

If you stay after it, you will reach a point where you’re glad you embraced the suck and find yourself in better shape than you have been in years.

Tips to Embrace the Suck

Below are some tips that will make it easier for you to stick with a golf conditioning or workout program.

These are the tips I use tor have used at different times to keep my ass in the gym and focused on my conditioning program.

I’m not going to list the tips in any order, but realize some of them I currently use and some were necessary at the beginning before working out became more of a habit than a death march.

Yeah, a death march seems dramatic I know, but at times it does feel like that at first.

Psychology Doesn’t Work

You’ve heard the quote,

“It’s only a dream until you write it down.”

Yeah, that crap doesn’t work for me. If I have to write down a goal in order to reach it than that goal is too big for me to keep my focus.

For example, staying with golf, I have two driving goals. Hit more fairways and hit the golf ball farther or at least keep my distance as I get older.

I’m sure many of you have the same two goals. I’m pretty sure those goals are etched in my mind.

There’re a ton more of these psychological little tidbits that people say will help you reach your goals. I take another view. In my opinion, if you can fool your mind into something then your mind isn’t working correctly. Not sure you like that statement but here is my quote about using psychology,

“If you can fool your mind, you’re a fool.”

I know when I’m trying to pull something over on myself.

Motivation Drives the Bus

Sticking with the premise that our goal is to hit more fairways and drive the ball farther, we need to take actions that will accomplish those goals.

Instead of writing down goals, write down something that will motivate you.

Here is a little sticky note I have next to my nightstand. I see it every morning when I wake up, and when it gets old and faded I replace it.

embrace the suck and motivate yourselfIt simply says,

“Get Shit Done.”

Even though I don’t think you should be able to fool your mind, your brain and body may need some motivation to kick it into gear.

“Your goals should be clear as day to you. The process to reach those goals may not be as clear.”

Reaching goals takes effort, find something that motivates you every morning. Whether it is an action statement, a picture of your family, writing down what is important to you, creating a daily plan, pray, whatever, find something that makes your mind more determined.

Adding emotion, be it fear, love or anger increases the hormones in your brain that drive your actions. Find something that gets those juices flowing and you will be more likely to be motivated.

Writing isn’t all that Bad

Don’t throw away that pen & paper yet.

Instead of writing down your goals, write down the steps that it takes to get to those goals. Then break down the first step into smaller action steps.

For lack of a better word right now, these action steps are objectives.

Objectives should be bite-size, an action that can show you results in one or two weeks.

If you can’t get results that soon, then break it down again.

Get Quick Payoff’s

The purpose of the objectives is to get quick wins. Nothing adds motivation more than a win.

Let’s use an example. You want to hit more fairways and you’ve identified that you have the early extension swing characteristic.

Early extension is causing you to push your drives on almost every hole until an occasional nasty hook shows its face. Early extension is also causing you to lose distance because you are crowding the ball on the downswing and your swing sequence is out of whack.

A mobility screen identifies that you several limitations and you’ve failed the pelvic tilt test and the bridge with leg extension test among others.

Instead of concentrating on all of the mobility & stability limitations, focus on one or two of the limitations that have overlapping exercises.

You read that stabilizing the lower body will help the pelvic tilt and allow you to hold a bridge longer. From that information, you decide to focus on glute and abdominal strength exercises.

After two weeks of working out, you can now hold the bridge longer and you feel some control with the pelvic tilt.

By narrowing down the focus you got a quick win and you can see that the effort is paying off.

You’ll be more likely to embrace the suck and continue exercising hard and working out with the quick win.

Nike Has It Right

One of the most simple slogans in sports is,

“Just Do It.”

You have to embrace the suck and dive in. Nike is so right with the just do it slogan.

It’s hard at first to embrace the suck of getting up early or going to the gym after work. The first week or so might not be so bad, but when you’re tired in the morning, or your friends ask you to get a drink after work it becomes much easier to blow off the workout.

If you can’t face the fact that working out is going to cause inconveniences, it’s going to be hard to stay on point.

Embrace the suck and say no to the distractions or force yourself to make up the missed workout.

When that little devil whispers in your ear, that missing a workout today is ok, tell yourself no, I need to just do it.

The long term benefits will outshine the short term pleasure.

If not, then the objectives won’t be met, and maybe that long term goal isn’t all that important to you.

Just do it. You’ll be happy later that you took the effort to embrace the suck.

By keeping at it, your workout will become a habit. It’s hard to trick your mind, but your body isn’t so smart. It can be fooled into a habit. When you need to skip a workout, your body will feel like something is missing, your body adapts quickly.

Motivation – Objectives – Quick Payoffs – Just Do It

There are the first four tips on how to embrace the suck of working out.

Find something that motivates you.

Take your goal and break it down into small objectives.

A goal is nothing more than a compilation of small objectives. 

Earn a quick payoff that will motivate you and send you on the way to the next objective.

Just do it over and over and over again.

Before long working out will become a habit and you won’t give it a second thought. 

When you embrace the suck long enough and it becomes less of a chore and more of a habit.

More Tips to Come

There are more tips coming in future posts. 

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