Today must have been one of my worst days at the gym, ever!
From the start, my brains and body were telling my to pack and get back home.
I was not in the mood and felt weak.
I was barely able to go through my warm-up sets.
I did the best thing to do in those cases. I did a light day: deloaded and carried on with my workout.
So I used 75% of my scheduled weight and did the rest as planned.
It was hard, after each set I wanted the give up. But each time I told myself, one last set and I’ll leave if it’s too hard.
Finally, half-way through my deadlift sets, it started to feel better. First set at 225lbs was easy, so I added 20lbs. Second set was also easy, so I added another 20lbs. And finally, I did my last set at the planned load.
At that point I felt great, so I stayed another half-hour making a few heavy bench-presses, calf exercises and more presses since the first one were real light.
So what’s the point, I’m a masochist? No…
Forging good habits
The point is, even if you don’t feel like it, never skip a workout. Unless it is planned (more on the topic below…). Unless you’re puking everywhere, have severe diarrhea ( deadlift and diarrhea don’t mix well :-S ), or you’re so sick you can’t get out of bed, just get to gym and lift!
Why is it important? Because we want to reinforce a good habit here, try to forge a routine. Skipping a workout for no reason doesn’t help. Lots of people gave out training this way. It’s better to get there and reduce your load, sets or reps, but do some lifting anyway.
Take this as an opportunity to improve your form with lighter weights. Practice makes perfect and staying home isn’t the way this achieve it.
About planned days off
Taking planned days off, once in a while, by example, every 12 or 15 workouts can be a good way to prevent overtraining and exhaustion. Personally, I prefer having light days once in a while and periodically deloading the weights. More on periodization in a future article.