Friday, January 20, 2012

Don't get greedy

Over the last two months I've hit some PR's.

500 x 1 pause squat
6 plate t-bar row x 20
Shrug 675 x 3
Just missed a 405 incline on a very bad night

Last night I was supposed to squat.  So I did.

315 felt like shit.

I shut it down after a few sets.  Mind doesn't want it, body doesn't want it.

Didn't bother me a bit.

One of the things you will read about from guys often, and I've done it as well, is when you have a -10% workout (where everything sucks elephant balls), and then go into a depression about it.

I do not do this anymore.  Especially after I've had weeks and weeks of solid training with a few PR's thrown in there.

In both my books I wrote about the peaks and valleys of training.  You must learn to not get too high when you're wrecking shit in the gym, and must not get too low when the gym is wrecking you.  It's all about balance.

When the pendulum swings very hard, as it has for me the last couple of months, and you're making great progress at some point you're going to overrun yourself, and your body will ask you to take a break.  If you don't listen, it will force you to take a break.

Learning to listen, and using that time to your advantage is a way of getting better.  Not worse.  Many bad workouts in a row, with a lack of enthusiasm about being in the gym is a way of your body telling you to take some rest.  You can be greedy, and try to push through it, or you can be smart and take some time off until your hunger returns, and hit more PR's shortly after.

You have to remember something, the lull in the valley is a good thing.  It generally indicates you have run up some very productive training of late, and now the body has some recovery and repair it needs to do.  Be appreciative of the time off you need to take.  Play some video games, take your kids out to eat for some of those evenings, catch up on some movies you have been wanting to see, etc.  Point is, relax.  The gym isn't going anywhere and a bad session or two after weeks of kicking ass is NORMAL.

For the next few weeks I will probably cruise a bit then get my mind ready for meet prep.  I am revamping the strong-15 a bit and I have no doubt it will pay big dividends.

I'm also working hard on the new book.  The injury rehab and prevention section will be worth the money alone I think.  When you've fucked up as much shit as I have, and rehabbed it, you learn a lot.  So I'm pouring everything I have into these sections.

I hope everyone has a stupid good weekend.


  1. I needed this. Almost like a mindfuck reverse pep talk or something, but it worked. I always put too much pressure on myself.

  2. This is one of the toughest lessons to learn in this sport. Learning that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and to train accordingly. If I could add one thing, it's that if you don't hit your goals or numbers by the date or certain meet that you wanted, don't freak out and depress yourself over it. That number is still out there for you to strive for, and with consistent work, you will conquer those goals. Thanks Paul.

  3. Holy shit, you hit the nail right on the head. Week after week I've been hitting bench and squat PR's, but now I'm getting crushed under the bar. I've been feeling like a piece of shit, but seeing you relate is definitely making me feel better about it. Thanks for the wise words Paul, and thank you for so much work you put into this.

  4. Yep this happens. I caught myself in the mirror at work yesterday and stopped. Holy shit I looked terrible, with dark circles under eyes. Little good will come of training hard in this state. Time to reap the work. 4 weeks with 90+% pulls, PR triples... rest and harvest.

  5. "I'm also working hard on the new book. The injury rehab and prevention section will be worth the money alone I think."

    I think the line to buy it is already forming.

    - EdK

  6. When you've fucked yourself up as much as I have, you get pretty good at the rehab shit.

  7. Paul,

    I've started to read Jamie's writings these past few days. I was wondering what is the most craziest workout you've ever been on?

  8. Probably the dumbest one was the power burst training I did in my youth. Training 3X a day 6 days a week. idiotic. But Leo Costa is a fucking moron, and that's what I get.

  9. Damn, did you eat, sleep and shit in the gym during that? This might be the most stupid thing I will ever embark on but I will try to hit a Squat PR everyday (triples/doubles/singles, up to Rep PR's of 8 to 10), then go for a record on a push or a press movement (Press/Bench vs. Power clean/Deadlift). If I feel so terrible, I will do some steady state + rehab work, but will go to gym everyday. And I will video record every workout and keep the whole thing under 45 mins.

    I will do this for a whole year to see what I'm made of and hopefully learn something. How does it sound?

  10. Pretty awesome. Let me know how that goes.