So, You’re Having a Bad Training Session… by Jacky Bigger, M.S.

Everyone has off days. In fact, you’re supposed to have off days.

Programming here at Mash Elite is designed to temporarily break you down and beat you up a little. Later in the cycle when the volume drops and your body gets a chance to rest and recover, you’ll build back up stronger and better then you were before. It’s called supercompensation.

So how do we approach these “bad” days of training? Well, you have a couple of options:

  • 1. Throw in the towel, go home, eat some more food, and spend the extra time relaxing and focusing on recovery.
  • 2. Drop the weight a bit and finish up the training session, focusing on good movement and good technique.
  • 3. Throw a fit, cry to your coach, and tell yourself you’re going to quit weightlifting forever because you suck so bad and aren’t getting any better.

Obviously, the first two choices are going to be the better options, but how do you know which one to choose? If you have an onsite coach, ask them. They’ll tell you exactly what to do based on how things are looking.

If you don’t, here’s how I’d choose. Base it off of your mindset.

Are you frustrated, hating lifting, and hating life during your training session? If so, go home, rest, and come back ready to work with a more positive attitude the next day.

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Before you go home, take some time to reflect on your training session and to figure out why you weren’t feeling so good. Take a step back and think rationally.

  • Did you hit a big PR earlier on in the week?
  • Were you on your feet all day long before training?
  • Did you get enough sleep?
  • Did you eat enough before training?
  • Ladies, are you about to start your period?

All of these things can affect your training. After you’ve thought things through, simply forget about the training session and go relax. A short-term memory is a great quality to have as a weightlifter. One bad day doesn’t have to lead to another.

On the other hand, if you’re in good spirits and motivated to train, but you’re just not moving well, drop the weight down and finish the session. Focus on technique and just have a fun, relaxing training session. Go off script a little bit. Do some extra bodybuilding or GPP work. Keep things light with minimal eccentric loading. This will allow you to recover and get ready for the next day of training.

Long story short, a bad training session is not the end of the world. What matters most is how you respond to these bad days. Like most things in life, there will often be times when you’re put in circumstances that are outside of your control. How you respond to those situations is what you can control – and a positive, proactive response can make a big difference.

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