5 Ways To Cope With Failure, Setbacks and Bad Training Days in CrossFit

Bad days, missed lifts and setbacks are all part of the process when it comes to CrossFit and training. Here are 5 ways to get through them and not let them get you down.

Working out is always a fight, especially for CrossFitters – Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and bad training days, setbacks and less than ideal results at a competition are bound to happen to everybody at some point. But although we know that defeats and failure are a part of life, we tend to struggle coping with these „bad days“.

It is just way too easy to let yourself drown in self-pity rather than analysing what may have gone wrong, or even to just move on from there. However, you don’t have to surrender yourself to those feelings of frustration. These five tips will help you bear this annoying, but necessary part of CrossFit and progress in general.


When I started CrossFit, I had been working out moderately for a year or so. I couldn’t do a proper squat, push-up or skip, even before I had to start on all the other things I had to learn.

What I want to tell you here is this: We all come from humble beginnings. Everyone of us had to start somewhere.


So if you’re having a bad day at the box and all your training buddies are way ahead of you, just remember what shape you were when you started CrossFit. Even if you did a crappy time during a workout or didn’t complete as many rounds during an AMRAP as you planned on doing, remember how far you have already come – and that everybody has a bad day now and then.


Celebrate your small victories. Adding a pound or two more onto your lifts, or being a second faster at a certain WOD is still a victory if it is better than last time.

Being happy about each small step forwards will help you feel good about yourself.

Although this is more of a preparation thing that won’t help you after a bad workout, you can try to prevent these days from happening if you challenge yourself during each workout. Commit to giving it your all every time you start a WOD at your box and you won’t have a true reason to be frustrated even if you didn’t beat your time.


In this context, the following quote comes to mind, and is applicable to a WOD or lift that might not go as planned:

If you try, you can lose. If you don’t try, you have already lost.

What you should remember here is that if for example you don’t feel well, or you’ve had a bad day at work, this doesn’t mean your workout has to go badly. Start with a clean plate when you walk in the Box, regardless of what happened during the day.

build muscle upper lower split programSource: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Challenge yourself. Put a little more weight on. Try harder. Because if you go easy on yourself, you will become prone to frustration – just like when you use bad food for compensation. But if you challenge yourself and you win, you are bound to feel a lot better. And if you fail, you can at least admit that you tried and didn’t give in.

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