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How do you deal with bad workouts?

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Hi Rebels,

I was wondering if you could share how you deal with bad workouts. I've been working out for three months every other day, with some adjustments along the way. It's not a very intense workout but I've noticed some changes and I think it's going well. 


Most days I complete my workout (it's between 30 and 40 minutes) and I feel great. Some days, even though I'm doing what I always do, I feel depleted mid-way. What do you recommend in those cases? Should I force myself to continue or rest? Specially when doing squats and lunges, I feel my legs giving up and my form suffers. It's frustrating to not be able to do today what I could do yesterday! Any thoughts?

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Sometimes performance - both physically and psychologically - can suffer if you don't change things up after a while.  That could mean different lifts, different rep ranges of the same lifts, more time between sets, less time between sets... it could also mean taking a week to "de-load," where you drop the intensity for the next couple workouts.  Sometimes I'm off because I'm just "off," and those days I don't mind so long as I tried.  If I have two poor sessions in a row, it tells me I need to change something: either de-load for a couple sessions before returning to higher intensity, or start working in different weight/rep ranges and different exercises for a period of time.

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Bad days happen. Realize that this is a very long-term thing and that a single workout has little effect on where you are going. The important thing is to do it, whether you want to or not. Becoming consistent in your training is far more important than doing it well, especially in the beginning.

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everyone has bad workouts. Some are just random, sometimes its becasue of outside stresses. Proper nutrition, enough sleep, job stress can all affect workout performance.
If you just have a bad one now and again, shrug it off. If they are adding up, find the source of your issues.

rybo, level 4 Human assassinSTR 16|DEX 7.5|STA 9|CON 12|WIS 8.5|CHA 5 

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I had a bad one on Monday myself.


I just slugged through it and came back to a better one on Wednesday.  It's all we can really do, aside from making sure nutrition and sleep are good.

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Yea, it happens. I usually let it piss me off anyway. Just get back up on that horse the next lift.


Actually I had one yesterday, and what I did to compensate for it was get some additional exercise not necessarily "working out." For me, that meant shoveling my patio off, which had about 3ft of snow on it for about half an hour. Then going for a 40 min walk with my girlfriend. Nothing too crazy, but made the day not seem like a total loss.

"I've torn a hamstring tendon and re-injured my knee, lower back, and upper back while doing yoga. Don't get me started on shin splints. You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't, so might as well be strong." - Some guy on the SS forums.

"Heavy is dangerous, but light is no fun." - Mark Rippetoe

"Squats are a good assistance to bring up your curl, as a bonus you can do your squats while your are still in the curl rack." - SJB


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I look to find at least one good thing that went well at the workout. I realize the bad days will come and they're usually a one-off kind of deal. But it's rare that every exercise in my workout goes bad. If I have even a single exercise that went well- good form, more weight, easier to do- then I focus on that. I can find a win just about every day when I do that. From session to session, it might be a different exercise that gives me the win, but they just about all get their turn.

Quirky DM

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"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."


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