One of our members, Ty Rowe, put together a really nice read for us. Its always to keep things in perspective. Your next hot streak might be just a few misses away. Thats the beauty of weightlifting. Enjoy!
A weightlifter heads to the gym after a long workday, duffel bag full of lifting paraphernalia and some pre and post-workout potions. He’s so ready to train he’s practically clicking his heels on his way through the door. He makes his way to his favorite platform and sits the bag down. “I can already tell this is gonna go great today”, he thinks to himself while starting to warm up for snatches with an empty bar. He should rightfully feel this way considering how well his training has been going lately. That positive attitude doesn’t last long though. The technique he’s spent reps upon reps sharpening feels completely off; he can’t move fast to save his life and routine weights feel heavier than normal. He begins to worry that he’s made some kind of mistake, maybe even that he’s chosen the wrong program to follow. Finally our protagonist just has to call it a day. Not even that extra scoop of pre-workout giving him the drive to grind through the tasks at hand. Deciding to chalk it up as a loss he packs up and heads home.
We’ve all experienced this at some point or another, a bad training session that rears its ugly head seemingly out of nowhere. Heck, sometimes it might even be a whole series of rough days in the gym. The worst part is that they will eventually occur at some point, especially in the sport of weightlifting where I would venture to say there are inherently plenty of bad days. What’s important to remember about bad training days is how much the way you deal with them says about your maturity as an athlete. After getting beaten into the ground by an especially rough workout you could always just get depressed or frustrated and stomp out of the gym like a large child. Maybe even go home to spend the evening sobbing and eating plenty of your ice cream flavor of choice. Even though that sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening, having some perspective and a positive outlook is much more conducive to your athletic performance.
Having more perspective on your negative situation with training means understanding why things might be going so wrong in the short term. Next is figuring out the fix for it or even just simply accepting that some of these things are a natural part of hard training. A bad streak of workouts can be caused by a number of things, not all of them necessarily bad. For example, if you’ve just had a hot streak for a while where everything feels lighter and you hit plenty of PRs, you can expect that to be followed by a bit of a slump. Similarly, sometimes those hot streaks immediately follow periods of stagnation in your training (research the “super compensation model” for more information on this). I know in my case, some of the best training sessions I’ve had have come right after a week or more of feeling pretty beat up. We also can’t forget the effect that outside factors can have on performance also. Namely that for all the meticulously planned percentages in our programs, diets with personalized macros and supplement stacks, we still have the countless variables of life that can be out of our control. Between jobs, studies, relationships and the like there is plenty that can affect the quality of your training. So, with all these things that are lying in wait to put a damper on the quality of your lifting, it’s understandable that having a positive outlook can be hard. Just remember that it doesn’t always mean you’re doing something wrong. It’s only one workout and besides, you’re better off for having shown up and put in the effort in the first place.