Dec 14, 2021
Niki and Andrew discuss what to do when training becomes a
drag. This is a re-release of episode 337.
Different reasons can arise to make training a drag. You might
simply get a little burnt out after months and years of training.
PRs don't happen as much, and you might not just hit one or two
workouts where you lack motivation--and don't just need a
deload--but need a larger shift in training to help build the
Injuries could lower motivation, as PRs may seem far away and
frustration may grow as you are limited at what you can
Also, if you decide to cut and lose weight, this can make things
harder in the gym as you have less weight--and muscle mass--to lift
the weights, so suddenly your strength may start trending downward.
This often happens over time with some rough workouts.
You may have to adjust how you approach training mentally.
Andrew discusses how he would have an intensive, long process to
get himself psyched up, including coffee, a playlist, and
visualization. While this did help him on the platform--in the
short term--it left him drained and had longer term negative
You may develop a longer term goal that gives you something to look
forward to: a meet or competition. This can help focus your
training and help increase motivation beyond simply getting
Acknowledge that off days will happen, so don't equate one or two
bad workouts with a need to shift.
Focus on the process of training. Remember your deeper why, that
this is your time and you're doing this for yourself. Enjoy the
major change from the rest of your day, which--probably--is not
physical like your time in the gym.
You may also adjust what you do in the gym.
You may add some instant gratification. That might mean some
hypertrophy work to end with a pump. If you enjoy getting sweaty,
it might be your favorite conditioning work.
Similarly, you might favor some of the exercises you like and not
avoid but at least minimize exercises you dislike. If you dislike a
main lift, maybe you back off and focus on some
Or you could shift the focus. If you've done lots of intensity
work, maybe you focus on hypertrophy. If you haven't done AMRAPs or
EMOMs or similar schemes, you could do something like that that
involves the same lifts but with a different application of
Another idea is to put a time cap on the workout. Now--again--don't
let yourself abuse this and drag your rest times, but if you're
efficient in the gym commit to an hour in the gym and do the most
you can--and then call it at an hour.
This is a great time to have a coach--or a workout partner--to help
keep you accountable so an adjustment doesn't turn into taking it
easy for the sake of taking it easy.
So, when training becomes a drag, appreciate the process,
remember your goals, consider adjusting your mental approach to
training & refocusing training. Or, you might adjust training
to involve more instant gratification or variety.
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