Honesty is a necessary virtue in every aspect of life, among those being self improvement. It takes honesty to take a look at oneself and recognize one’s own weaknesses, but doing so is to avoid being blindsided by them, and it lays the path to overcome them. It is how we successfully develop fitness, grow stronger, learn new skills, improve nutrition habits, avoid injury, and manage pain.
Applying this concept to the gym requires that you pay attention to yourself. Take some time to reflect: How often do I miss the intended stimulus? Do I often feel disappointed in my performance? Am I regularly contending with persistent aches and pains? How often do I feel run down and lack motivation?
The answers to these questions may reveal the need to evaluate your approach to training. It is important to push slightly past your comfort zone, but it is equally important to prevent overreaching, especially on a repeated basis. This does mean avoiding anything that is challenging, but rather, intently picking your battles. For example, a workout may prescribe large sets of chest-to-bar pull ups. You are capable of chest-to-bar pull ups, but only in small sets. You decide to perform chin-over-bar pull ups instead, and work on chest-to-bar pull ups at a different time outside of class.
Simply put, the vast majority of training should take place within or on the edge of your capability. Refraining from repeatedly leaping past that mark will mean avoiding burnout, and will result in a much more enjoyable and successful experience on the road to self improvement.