Those darn training bumps, we all get them at some point. Getting out of bed seems to take longer. Meals go from good to bad. That “pump” just seems to be elusive and when you are training your mind is elsewhere. It happens and how you handle them will determine if you miss a week, a month or exit completely.
For me, I train usually 5-6 days per week at 6AM fueled by coffee, Clinical BCAA’s and a scoop of F.E.A.R. Pre-Workout. I do Wednesday’s completely off, a true complete rest day meaning exactly that, complete rest. Not sure why I chose Wednesday as my CR day but that’s just the way it has been for decades. I can go months without missing a regular workout as I love training and love the lifestyle and the feeling of being healthy and fit. Having said that, about once or twice a year I feel myself getting into a rut. I have found a couple things that help me get through it.
You know when you are heading towards a period of training that will be unproductive and might result in an injury. Do something about it. Do not wait. The worst thing to do is to try to work through a “rut” and suffer with crappy workouts, diminished sleep and endless periods of muscle soreness. Be aware and act.
Here are a few things I do to help get through that training bump:
Try something different in your workout. Instead of chest then triceps, do triceps then chest. Instead of 8 reps, do sets of 15 reps. Rather than waiting 2 minutes between sets, wait 60 seconds. Change it up. It refreshes the mind and stimulates the body.
If you work out every morning at 6AM, try going at 5PM. Switch your off days. Seeing a different group in the same environment can be enlightening.
Change gyms. Sometimes a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered. Many gyms offer a free week as a “trial” or you can get a discount. You will be surprised how much this can affect your workouts.
CARDIO & ABS
Put down the barbells and dumbbells for a week. Do a week of cardio and abs only. No, you’re not going to get weaker or shrink and when you do come back, that first week is going to be amazing.
SHUT IT DOWN
If you have been training for a period of 12 or more weeks, take a break. By a break, I mean taking a week completely off and doing nothing. The key to this is to keep eating clean. This is not a break from eating healthy. You might want to lower your carbs a little but that is relative to your condition.
HAVE A PLAN
One of the best ways I have found to keep out of the training rut is to have a plan with monthly goals. Sure, we all have “resolutions” to get in shape but be specific and be monthly. I might weigh 221 on April 1st so my goal is to weigh 217 on May 1st. Make small attainable goals and work towards them. Also, and this is KEY, reward yourself for hitting your goal. Not saying splurge at the Golden Arches but enjoy a nice meal with dessert. Buy a new shirt then set up your next month’s goal and be specific.
Ruts stink but trying these things may help you get through them before you abandon months and years of committed hard work.
Train Hard and Be Healthy. Should you have any comments or want to contact me, send me an e-mail at email@example.com.