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Old 05-28-2009, 07:28 AM   #1
Duke McCall
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 63
Default Days When The Tank Is Empty

Do others out there have a workout (or workouts) they default to on days when the tank is empty and the scheduled work out is just not happening? I usually try to push through and make myself complete the scheduled workout, even if I do not feel up to the task. But then there are days (like yesterday) when I am physically and mentally exhausted and I conclude that trying to force the workout, even at reduced weights, is just plain stupid. Rather than give up completely, I try work on my form, but having to stop mid-workout, regroup, and come up with a new work out on the spot is not easy for me.

Do others have a form workout or workouts they default to on such days? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:48 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Nothing wrong with taking an extra rest day if you're feeling beat up or too tired

However, if you can I would always do the warmup... sometimes I feel like crap and then do my warmup and then I feel great and set a PR.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:18 AM   #3
Duke McCall
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Thanks, Steven. I almost always attempt at least the warm-up and the initial reps. Usually that works for me as well. But I have learned (the hard way) that being stubborn and forcing it is not smart. At the same time, I hate to quit once I have started. So, I am looking for something I can back-off and warm down with and still feel good about. I plan to try to put together a few "form workouts" this evening, but am open to any and all suggestions.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
Garrett Smith
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If you have some sort of plan/cycle/periodization, there are points where you are almost supposed to feel tired and push through--usually because a break is coming to allow for supercompensation.

For example, I'm in my third straight week of pushing hard with both gymnastics and OL. I'm getting tired, my OLs are getting a bit slower, but I'm still making them. After I finish this week, I have my two weeks to prep for my OL meet. I'll drop the frequency of gymnastics stuff, do my OL prep work (dropping my typical back squats and pulls, only doing comp lifts and front squats), and try to increase my yoga within reason. Once the meet happens, I take a week off from all lifting.

With a schedule like that, I know "rest" or lower volume programming is coming, so there are times where I push through expected fatigue. That being said, if I have a bad day or days, I'll simply take a day or two off, regardless of schedule.

Also, the way I have my program set up, with a goal number of workouts of a certain type in a week (ie. 2 OL workouts, 1 DL/plyo, 2 yoga, 2 full and one "half" gymnastics sessions), I can pick and choose what I do on a certain day depending on how I feel.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:11 AM   #5
Gavin Harrison
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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I'm using Wendler's 5/3/1 program.. so days when that happens, I'll just go in and do the set reps for the day, instead of as many as possible on the last set. Then depending on how empty the tank is, I may or may not do any assistance work following the main lift.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:21 PM   #6
Mike ODonnell
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If you are not progressing with a workout.....and that is the plan.....then it's better to take a day off and go at it again when you are more energized....otherwise mine as well just go for a walk or something fun and give your brain a rest too. The key is knowing how to listen to your own body.....that and just enjoying what you do.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:11 PM   #7
Duke McCall
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 63

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I think my problem is that my fatigue is often work related, rather than work-out related. I get frustrated because I miss work outs due to work obligations and want to come back and hit things hard. Most of the time, that works out fine. But other times, I just don't have the energy. I want to make the most of the opportunities that I have, so I try push through anyway, but that does not always work.

I think a large part of the solution probably is to adjust my expectations. I think weekly workout goals (rather than a set schedule) are a much better option for me as well. I still plan to come up with alternatives for those days I am out of gas, so I am not left with the feeling that I have squandered an opportunity to work out, but I will keep it very light.

Thanks again,

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