Dealing with discouraging factors

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KenDowns
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Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by KenDowns » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:31 pm

I've got a handful of discouraging factors I'm trying to work through, with the aim of altering my program.

A couple of them are easy. I've plateaued on bench, but I know what to do, which is change something. That's not a big deal, but it happened along with two other issues.

But I'm also experiencing a pronounced and progressive loss of flexibility and mobility. Clearly I need to be stretching better and/or differently, which means time taken away from lifting to concentrate on getting this down.

Another point: I actually find myself fatigued going up stairs. I've been adding weight each session to both deadlift and squat, so I should be, um, stronger, right?

On top of that, I'm accumulating aches and pains that are not going away. At one point it was just a stiff neck, which kind of got better and then came back, but now my shoulders and upper back are a collection of pains that hit me when I bend this way or that. They are not getting better, they are definitely getting more numerous and worse.

So the reason I put this in Psychology, even though it may be just about programming, is because I've got that voice in my head that so many of us seem to have that says, "Heavier! Harder! Now! More! Now! Now!" The last thing I'm afraid of is that if I take a week off I won't go back, I'm much more realizing I don't want to take a week off for anything. I could end up a stiff non-mobile bag of injuries and I'd still want to lift.

So the question, "What should I do?" is way too vague and open-ended. I guess I'm wondering if anybody has had this or a similar experience in the past. I'm in my 8th month, lifting more than I thought I ever would, and fully expecting the weights to get heavier, but I don't want to crash now.

Not sure if this question makes sense, but there you have it.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by Nevage » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:32 pm

This happens to everyone from time to time, I'm affected more when I'm dieting in the summer and lifting heavier. The thought of taking a week of just doesn't seem right, but it makes a big difference. I usually do a week of higher volume, medium weight stuff like 3X12 full body. You don't feel like you're wasting away but also don't feel fatigued afterwards. The weight should be quite fun to do, a break from heavy lifting but you can still feel it. After a week of this, I'm normally looking forward to lifting again and my strength isn't usually affected, sometimes it even improves.

This is why I usually alternate between heavy lifting, low volume and high volume 10+ rep, when I plateau.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by robertscott » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:59 am

what Nevage said. Sounds like accumulated fatigue to me, just back off for a week, eat loads, sleep loads.

You'll be back to your old self in a week. Probably even stronger.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by jakegest » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:39 pm

I've definitely dealt with this once... and I'm new to lifting. I think I had been going really strong for about a 2 months and then for a few weeks nothing seemed to budge... I'm trying to loose weight (get a six pack) and my weight hadn't budged in 3 weeks... I also wasn't seeing any increases in my lifts anymore... just stagnant.

I came in one week and felt horrible... I could hardly get through my cardio. I really didn't want to skip the gym because of my weight loss goals so I just trudged through it. By the end of the week I was beat, I got the flu over the weekend and I couldn't go to the gym for a week. I was so disappointed and upset, and was sure I would gain back some of what I'd worked so hard to loose... and have to go down in weight on my lifts. But the next week when I got back to the gym, I had actually lost weight over the week and had hit my 1st goal weight. It took me that week to get my lifts back up... but I've since left those in the dust.

If you ignore your body telling you to ease up a bit, then it will find a way to make you... and in the end it will just be water under the bridge.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by RobertB » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:34 am

Ye, had the exact same thing going from starting strength to texas method - starting strength stopped working and had the issue that I just couldn't squat three times a week anymore due to moving into intermediate recovery needs. But Texas just felt like starting strength but with the 1-3 rep friday, which in itself didn't feel right. My bench was stuck, I had to squat in a smith, I was feeling tired and not getting the bennefit. Started to get a real sense of "its fv(k stuck, end of story, this isn't a sticking point, this is me doing a routine for too long/wrong" - I need that path infront of me, that progress (however small) I cant stand being lost in it.

I'd suggest changing your routine just to test the water, a 6-8 week one, GVT has sparked life back into me and seing progress on weight and bodyfat. not tested my main lifts for 5 weeks though.

p.s. I really can't comment on injuries, the worst I had was being an idiot drunk and arm wrestling for too long, could do pullups for a week, but after 10 days it was pretty much gone.

In my opinion, and to agree with others, do a light week, feeling your way into a new routine perhaps (turning a 6 week into a 7, 8 week into 9.. if you get me, just getting a feel/finding the right weight one week, then starting properly the second)

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by KenDowns » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:00 pm

Thanks for all of the replies guys. I've decided to take this week off, and do some weight resets and resume on Tuesday next week with 3 days/week instead of four. I actually feel better already.

I've also got a bit of deep philosophy here. When I started out, using light weights and adding each session, I stalled a bit when the weights got heavy enough to be real work. At this point the principle of mind over matter came into play and has been my operating principle since.

Now I think I'm pushing it too hard and the principle of listen to your body has to come into play.

So the "deep philosophy" here is this. Both of these principles consider the mind and body to be separate and in opposition. This is very much a Western concept, and much has been written in the past 300-odd years on how the West thinks this way and the East does not. I wonder about a mindset, particularly in regard to lifting, in which mind and body are not opposed but are in harmony. What would that look like? Feel like? How would it come out in the training log?

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by _Wolf_ » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:44 am

You will be surprised at how little you will lose (of anything) if you put certain things on the back-burner and prioritize others.

For example, lets take your mobility issue. You are having mobility problems? Fine.

Let us also assume your Lower Body workout goes like this:
Squats
Lunges
Some PC Exercise
Some PC Exercise (a different one)

Now, if you want to give mobility its due importance (which you should or else end up having to take a bigger step back later on) all you have to do is prioritize your lifts. What this means is, you break down your workout into what is important. First: Mobility Drills. Then, you want to keep the Squats - biggest nerurologically taxing from the above list. Next, you finish off with a PC Exercise. Choose One. Additionally, if you want to improve hip mobility you should also try our some Overhead Squats. It's a new exercise to learn but there is nothing wrong with that and you won't lose strength.

So, your new workout:

Mobility Drills (Hip/Ankle Mobility + Glute Activation)
Overhead Squats
Back Squats
PC Exercise

Done

Start off conservatively (with respect to volume) on the Back Squats and PC Exercise and then over time just build on that.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by KenDowns » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:33 am

@_wolf_,

The actual problem was that I did not have very good form, and my lifts were out of balance, ie, bench much higher than squat. Also, little or no equipment.

So I built a power cage, got an olympic set, and started on Stronglifts. That put me on a new road that I've been on ever since, and all of those problems I listed back in April are a distant memory.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:05 pm

this Ashiem dude has major promise.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by _Wolf_ » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:04 pm

KenDowns wrote:@_wolf_,

The actual problem was that I did not have very good form, and my lifts were out of balance, ie, bench much higher than squat. Also, little or no equipment.

So I built a power cage, got an olympic set, and started on Stronglifts. That put me on a new road that I've been on ever since, and all of those problems I listed back in April are a distant memory.
Unfortunately, with Stronglifts a whole new set of problems will arise. That is the problem with programs which are written in stone. Initially, they're okay but get to a certain weight range and you will see how skeletons start popping out of the closet. Don't be alarmed, everything can be handled and I am not using a fear tactic on you. But yes, with very little injury prevention work and forceful single factor progression...meh. Something will give.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:52 am

he's moved on from StrongLifts...
http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1 ... 7&start=44" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

and he still even benches!
:wink:

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by Jungledoc » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:45 am

Ashiem--did you notice that Ken's thread is from 6 months ago? A lot has happened since.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by _Wolf_ » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:02 am

Jungledoc wrote:Ashiem--did you notice that Ken's thread is from 6 months ago? A lot has happened since.
Good Lord you're right! OMG... LOL..

My apologies for bumping up an oldie like this.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by Ironman » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:42 am

It's easy to do in certain forums, like the psychology one, that gets a low volume of posts.

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Re: Dealing with discouraging factors

Post by lilbill » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:23 am

Personally, yoga has been a huge help in my fitness journey not only to increase flexibility, strength and balance, but also to find peace of mind when a work out hasn't gone as planned. There are a lot of online classes specifically for athletes. I hope this helps!

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