Can I Workout Today?

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I love Tuesdays.  For me Tuesday is like everyone else’s Sunday because, as un-conventional as it is, it’s a regularly scheduled “day off” for me.  I know, that was all sorts of confusing, so let me try to clarify.

I don’t have a standard weekend like most people. I work on Saturday (and sometimes even on Sunday depending on the time of year), and my “weekend’ is generally shortened to a 36 hour span from Saturday afternoon through Sunday that generally consists of what I like to call catching up on life.

Translation:  a crap ton of laundry (which, for those curious, is a shade more than a shit ton), and other errands like grocery shopping, food prep, and being dragged , usually kicking and screaming, to Target.

Don’t get me wrong, my girlfriend and I do fun stuff, too.  For instance, we have our “date night” on Saturdays where we pick a restaurant, get all jazzed up (her looking as bootylicious as always, and me trying to remember not to wear brown shoes with a black belt), and head out on the town.

We like to consider ourselves “foodies” and have a fun hobby where we collect cards from all the different places we eat in or around Boston and pin them up on, what else, our “Date Night” Board.

But in the grand scheme of things, my “weekend” is a blur, as it is for most people.  Which is way I savor my Tuesdays.

Tuesday is effectively Tony Time, where I’m able to catch up on emails, writing, programming, various projects in the mix, and episodes of Deadliest Warrior.

In addition, Tuesday happens to be the day where I make the short walk over to Boston University to train with my friend, Dave Rak, at BU Strength and Conditioning which is essentially a candy store for meatheads.

We typically meet up around one in the afternoon, and I spend the majority of my morning salivating at the mouth because both Dave and I have dedicated that day to deadlifting our faces off (and doing our part in the fight against terrorism).


So, as is the case with every Tuesday, I was excited to train.  That is until I actually showed up and realized I felt like I got run over by a mack truck.

Mentally I was just drained, and to top matters off, my back was a bit cranky from what I guess was sleeping on it wrong the night prior. In a nutshell, I was a walking bag of fail.

X Infinity

My plan was to head in and do some heavy mid-shin rack pull singles, but I scratched that idea once I started warming up and realized my back wasn’t feeling spectacular.  I knew I could probably push through it, but I decided not to be an idiot and opted instead to switch things up.

Rather than pull heavy, I performed some light(er) back squats for sets of three, and then, still wanting to get some deadlifting in, set the bar up for some speed pulls.

315 felt like I was pulling the weight out of a tar pit.  It felt sluggish, and by the third of fourth set I was starting to get an exertion headache, where I felt light-headed and a little nauseous.

Again, I cut everything short, and then moved on to my accessory work (barbell glute bridges with some one-arm DB rows).

In hindsight, I probably would have been better off NOT training in the first place.

In my defense, I wanted to move around a little a bit, and I was still able to get some semblance of a training effect in – so there’s something to be said for that.

But really, if I’m going to be honest with myself, it was a craptastic session and I really didn’t make myself any better.

Ironically enough, Dave Dellanave, one of the head trainers at Movement Minneapolis, posted this graphic on their fan page yesterday:

While I can pat myself on the back that I still “trained” yesterday, looking at this simple yet effective chart, I most likely would have been better off doing some foam rolling, dynamic mobility drills, maybe some light pull-throughs and sled work, and calling it a day.

Of course there are going to be the internet warriors and people who talk a big game who will say that this approach is for the weak minded or “gay” (someone actually said this on the Minneapolis Movement Facebook page).

I’d like to take the route that it’s smart, instinctive, self auto-regulating training.

As I’ve grown as a coach, and as someone who’s job it is to make people better, I’ve come to understand that trying to pound square pegs into round holes – while admirable t0 an extent (you can’t fault people for loving to train) and will undoubtedly win you some internet cred – is a poor choice to go about things 90% of the time.

It dumbfounds me that some people (some of whom are coaches) will take such a close-minded, and if I may be frank, pigheaded “all or nothing” view on training.

It’s unfortunate really.  Go HERE to read the thread.

Reverting back to a phrase that both Eric Cressey and myself use regularly:

Fatigue will always mask your true fitness level.

While it would be wrong of me to state that one should never train while feeling fatigued  or tired (that’s a little overboard, and not the lesson being conveyed anyways), I do feel there’s a valuable message being “sold” by the Movement Minneapolis camp.

Which is: it’s okay to take a day off, or to back off a little bit.

The world won’t come to end, and no one will think any less of you.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tweaked my programming, or that of my clients, if they’re not feeling up to snuff on certain days.  While it’s rare that I’ll shut someone down completely, there is some credence behind knowing when to back off when the time is right. (<—-You should Tweet that).

What are you thoughts on the matter? I’d love to hear what others have to say on this topic.  For me, there’s little (if any) advantage in plowing through a training session when it’s just not there.

More specifically, what does it say of me as a coach to take an athlete – or a general population client – and beat them to a pulp when they only had three hours of sleep the night prior; or just broke up with their significant other; or worse case scenario, has a raging case of explosive diarrhea?

Probably not going to do them any favors

That said, do me a favor and sound off.  Seriously, I want to know your thoughts.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

Comments for This Entry

  • Matt

    I feel if you want to stay healthy and workout for the long haul you have to know when to throw in the towel somedays and come back tomorrow.

    September 12, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      I agree Matt. Or, at the very least, know enough to back off a little bit and just tweak the programming accordingly. As I noted in the post, I'd rarely cut someone off completely. We can always so SOMETHING, even if it's just substituting goblet squats in place of heavy back squats.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:44 am | Reply to this comment

  • David

    Tony, I am in a different fitness spot that you are. You are a bad a$s, and I am not. I am early in my fitness journey. For me, the mantra, "Anything is better than nothing" on my planned workout days is important for keeping the momentum going. I definitely cut back on days when i don't feel great, but i feel that I have to try to get into the gym.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Well, I wouldn't go out of my way to call myself a bad ass (I do own a cat mind you).....;o) I agree with your sentiments, too. I can count on one hand the total number of times - IN MY LIFE - that I've missed a PLANNED session. But there have been numerous times where I went to train and changed things up because I didn't feel up to snuff. I think there's a lot to be said for listening to your body and knowing when to back off when needed.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:46 am | Reply to this comment

  • Trevor

    Tony, this is exactly what I needed to hear today. As it happens, today is a deadlift day for me and I spent most of yesterday blowing my nose, and then trying to decide how emasculating it would be to apply a little lotion to my schnoz after each blow. It was getting raw. Whats nice is I knew it was something that I just have to deal with for a couple days, as I live in Cincinnati(the haven for allergies). So, I slept in an extra hour this morning, pounded water like its my job, and have been doing mobility work with veteran clients throughout the day. My hope is that I can do my deads tomorrow at the top of my game. Sadly, I have felt guilty about this decision all day long, as I preach consistency to clients, and thus was feeling like a hypocrite. Having read this, and knowing I'm not the kind of guy to avoid training, has made me feel worlds better. Gracias, fella.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mike Silver

    Agree completely, I've often not worked out when I had a big one planned because I was too tired or had DOMS more heavier than normal. I've also just 'man'ed up' and pushed myself through a workout when I really shouldn't have, didn't feel great during or after it, and ended up more tired then next day and having to take several days off before I felt refreshed again!

    September 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Kudos to you Mike. Nothing wrong or girly about that at all. I think it's one thing if someone makes lame excuses like "oh, I stubbed my toe, guess I can't go to the gym today," and another thing entirely if you legitimately feel like horse shit and just need to scrap your session.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:51 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mark

    I don't know if I buy this. For some experienced lifters, auto-regulation is fine. But for most beginners (and many experienced lifters) I don't think this is the best idea. Far too often in my (limited) experience, people will use this as an excuse to go easy far more often then they actually should. While a good idea in theory (like the whole "instinctive training" thing), it is something that can be abused. The person has to be really honest with themselves when doing this. That being said, if you're really felling like crap (this includes a raging case of explosive diarrhea) then obviously don't go train. Perhaps a solution would be to give oneself one "get out of gym free" card a month for situations like this. That gives you the option to miss/go easy without abusing it.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply to this comment

    • David Dellanave

      I find your "instinctive training" is only good in theory assertion troubling. I have an entire gym (actually, two) full of people who would beg to differ with you.

      September 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply to this comment

      • John J Brooks

        I think there's a bit of a confusion of degrees. Most people have to at least break the "couch inertia" get to the gym and go through their warm-up (I do for sure), possibly their warm-up sets before they can truly assess how they feel. Almost everyone "feels like crap" when sitting on the couch watching the simpsons, but what (I think) Tony is talking about is when you get a little sweat going, mobilize, Get a few light sets in and still don't have their mojo working. Then it's time to change the plan, or just GTFH.

        September 14, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply to this comment

        • Mark

          My opinion is not so much a difference in degrees, but more a belief that some people are capable honestly and accurately assessing their condition while others are not. My wife is PL who has competed at the world level, but I guarantee she would "change the plan" on over half of her training sessions if left to her own devices. Not everyone has both the common sense and the discipline to honestly assess what they can/should do vs. what they feel like doing. Some people need rigid routines.

          September 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply to this comment

          • John J Brooks

            Competitive strength sports are a whole separate animal all together. For something so directly correlated to strength training, one has to err on the side of sticking to the plan/coach's advice. This goes to Dan John's continuum of influence. The more directly the sport is influenced by numbers in the gym, the more one has to keep to the plan.

            September 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm

          • Mark

            That is a good point John.

            September 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      • Mark

        To be clear, I never said instinctive training was ONLY good in theory. However IMO it will not work well for many people. Quite simply, in many cases, a person's instinct is not correct. Sometimes they won't push themselves enough, sometimes they'll go too hard. That's why even elite coaches often get others to write the the their own training program.

        September 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      And I totally agree with you Mark. As I noted before, I can count on ONE hand the total number of times I've missed a planned training session in my life. On the flip side, there have been plenty of times I've scratched what was planned and opted instead to back off a bit.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:53 am | Reply to this comment

  • Barath

    I like your message well enough, but I don't think I know my body well enough to know when I am truly fatigued. If I were to make an honest assessment, I'd declare that I've never been too fatigued to not go to the gym, though I'll admit I've used this excuse. I'll go on a limb and say this is true for most people with under 5 years of training. I was deadlifting one day, and felt like crap. So switched to rack pulls to make things easier, and after a few sets, felt great, and came back and pulled 385 lbs conventional DL. Nothing great, I'll admit, but this is my best lift so far. I've done really well on days that I thought was tired and didn't want to train. My point is, a guy like you would know when you are truly fatigued, but for people like me it's mostly just the mind playing tricks. So unless you go to the gym and start training, you never know.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Michael Ward

      I agree 100% with Barath here. I was thinking that after 5 years of solid training you can probably make the right call, especially when you are pulling 500+ lbs which is gonna stress your body much more than me pulling 350 - 400. I think that if you are genuinely sick then can it, otherwise push through, maybe drop the weight a bit or cut the sets short.

      September 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Reply to this comment

    • David Dellanave

      Barath (and David down below) - I think you aren't giving yourself enough credit. You are perfectly qualified to run your own body. Tony certainly is a certified badass, but that doesn't make him more qualified to run his body. You know just as well as he does if you feel ready to train or not. Certainly it is possible to train anyway on a day when you don't feel that great. It's even possible to PR. But everything has a cost. I can guarantee you that the negative effect (and every training session has both positive and negative effects) of your training session is far greater on days when you don't feel prepared to train. For some people this might be a hard thing to admit, that they can't train as often as they'd like. To those people, I'd say that if training truly is your higher priority, you'll need to figure out how to reduce or eliminate other stress in your life. But don't write this off as something only an experienced lifter can take advantage of.

      September 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Reply to this comment

      • Barath

        David Dellanave: I don't disagree with anything you say. What I wanted to say was that it is usually hard for me to make a call *beforehand*. Many a time have I walked into the gym thinking I'll just get the main lift done and get out, and ended up working overtime. On the other hand, some days I feel great, and a few sets later I feel drained. This cannot be just psychological - it is hard to feel "down" when trying to lift something heavy. It probably is just neurological, but I just don't understand enough to make a call before starting to train - usually I end up modifying my session on the fly. Not that Tony said we shouldn't try, of course - this has just been my experience so far. And I am still a novice in many ways :)

        September 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply to this comment

        • David Dellanave

          I see, what you're talking about is prediction. With less experiences you have fewer instances to draw upon to make predictions for the future. Over time you will of course become better at predicting. I think the important thing is to recognize what you can and can't do and not force anything. Maybe you already went to the gym but if the answer to "can I deadlift heavy" is no, then you need to move on to whatever will make you better. Every time you make the right call you improve your ability to predict, and when you're wrong you learn from those as well.

          September 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Reply to this comment

      • TonyGentilcore

        Hey, I know you! Well stated David (and thanks for chiming in).

        September 13, 2012 at 7:01 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      There's definitely a learning curve to this stuff Barath, for sure. I can't help but think to liken this to people who aren't honest with themselves and UNDER report how many calories they really eat. The same can be said here. A little DOMS is by no means a reason not to train. Some people will use ANY excuse not to train hard. But there are times when you just don't have it, and it bodes in your favor to back off a bit. Sounds like you did exactly that the rack pulls and came back in monster mode. Nice! Maybe all you needed that day was an extended warm-up.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply to this comment

  • John J Brooks

    In my experience it depends on goal, modality (intensity and volume), other training stress, and injury history. For a 20 year old who's trying to get his arnold on. He's doing high volume low intensity (meaning % of maximal load) often with no other training stress. So pull your big boy/girl pants up and push through to deload. For an athlete who is training to be a better athlete, Particularly one in a sport with a high injury risk, especially if they have practices that are outside of my control, I'm going to err on the side of shut it down, go home, take a nap.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Well stated John, and an excellent point!

      September 13, 2012 at 6:57 am | Reply to this comment

      • John J Brooks

        I see this all the time with jits players getting ready for competition. They try to be rock stars in the gym and on the mats. They get fatigued, suddenly they can't control their body in space they way they normally would. Next thing you know they've rolled an ankle, broken a wrist, They don't see the connection. It's "just bad luck." but bad luck seems to happen to the same guys over and over. This is one of the last places where dogma is still the norm.. in both directions. You have very smart folks who ALWAYS go one way or the other.. it's like everything else the answer is "it depends." I'm glad you're bringing it up.

        September 13, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kristin Schaffer

    I saw this as it went down on MM's fan page and was horrified. A smart athlete listens to their body and rests when needed. Sometimes you "think" you're too tired but dig deep for a second and find it was just a mental barrier...other times you dig deep and find there is nothing there to give...knowing the difference between the two is important, healthy, and makes for an athlete with longevity in their sport. I don't want to be an athlete just until I hit my next goal or PR...I want to be an athlete for life, therefore I rest when needed and press on when I can.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sparhawk

    I think it's smart to be able to adjust on the fly or take the day off. I've had clients who have come in looking like dog shit and I scrap the session and just do a long extended warmup and some mobility and if they're feeling up to it maybe some work on the guns bc no one is ever to tired for some gun work,

    September 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jennifer Blake

    The thing we should be asking ourselves, and our clients, is "Is this going to make me better today?" I might go into the gym with a certain plan for myself, or a client might come in and I have her/his workout all set up but any number of things can prohibit that plan from being the best idea THAT DAY. That doesn't mean you need to throw everything in the crapper; it just means changing your game plan a little. Like Tony said above, he still got a bit of a workout in even with a sore back. But was he happy about it? Did he leave the gym feeling better than when he came in? It didn't sound like it, right? In hindsight, he said he probably would have benefited more from some foam rolling and mobility work. Had he done that, it wouldn't have been a cop out; it would have given his body some time to take the recovery it needed and set him up for success the next time he went in to do his heavy rack pulls. Those below who said that more experience in the gym makes auto-regulating your training easier are right. Then again, there is a lot of quality research out there that you can access for free to set you up for success in the gym, even as a newbie. If you're truly interested in getting better than it's worth the time to arm yourself with some info and a plan before you step into the gym. And the more consistent you are, the more you pay attention to how your body is responding to the training stimulus you are applying. The more you pay attention, the easier it is to tell when what you are doing isn't making you better that day. The smart thing to do is listen and not ignore what your body is telling you; after all, you want to be ready for the next training session, not sidelined by an injury or DOMS so hard you practically pull the towel bar off the wall trying to get off the toilet. Every time you walk into the gym (this can apply to nutrition, too) ask yourself, "Is this going to make me better today? Is this going to keep me moving towards my goal?" If the answer is no, there's no shame in flipping the switch. It's the smart thing to do.

    September 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Nick Efthimiou

    Great infographic. I think some of the HRV that is gaining popularity could help with this somewhat.

    September 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Dmoney

    This is a great post TG and hit's on a lot of great points. As one man said to me that changed my perception on programming and, is that "not everything is empirical for everyone". I agree with your position, for certain people, and vice a versa. I don't work with a lot of athletes, but more so with GP clients. Us trainers and more experienced lifters know our bodies much better than the inexperienced, which is a big reason why we're here; for people to learn HOW to lift properly and HOW to listen to their bodies. I always ask them how they feel (which sometimes they come back with a question of "why") before we get started, always asking how well they ate because it will have a huge effect on how they'll train, as you know. Every training session is an assessment because everyday is different. Sometimes they won't say anything or they'll say they're "fine" but I always know what's really going on when they start lifting; their form breaks down early in the workout, they get tired quicker than the previous set, drinking water like it the last thing on earth or can't even finish the workout. Then the confessions start coming out. If they can't perform a lift the way I want them to the point where they have to decrease the weight, many times I'll deload the weight, but more often than not negate the exercise all together or see if they can perform another exercise utilizing the same movement pattern ('no back squat? no problem, let's try a goblet squat instead, etc"). I'm more of the the "train the movement to train the muscle" thinker; if you can't train the movement, it's a pretty good change you're not going to train the muscle efficiently. To me, that's when you know you have to back it off for another day.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Well said Dmoney. I wish there were more personal trainers out there like yourself. I can't tell you how many times I'll train at a commercial gym and have my chin drop to the floor at how pis-poor the trainers are at exercise instruction.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:36 am | Reply to this comment

  • Roy Pumphrey

    For experienced lifters it's almost like we are convinced something bad will happen if we don't hit certain numbers on certain days. When in reality, unless it's competition, as long as the trend is moving up, taking one day easy when you just don't have it is more advantageous than damaging. Don't get me wrong, I'm still stupid and occasionally beat myself up when I should have backed it down and taken it easy, but thankfully after 15 years at this I'm finally getting better at realizing when its's not there an it's not going to happen. With clients, I have to adjust all the time. I know some people think it sounds crazy but I use the old Dave Tate/ Lou Simmons thing: bar speed. I don't have a tendo and it is a little ridiculous to claim you can gauge the speed of the bar, but after you get to know someone and see them lift a few times it's pretty obvious when a movement just doesn't seem to have the "pop" and speed it should for that person. Since I don't use a TON of variety with my clients and we usually start with a big lift, this seems to give me a good indicator of where to go for that day while we're working up.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:53 am | Reply to this comment

    • David Dellanave

      It doesn't sound crazy at all and it's a core premise that I learned from Gym Movement. I ask my clients to "stop before you slow down". Which you'll notice is a form of prediction. And I know exactly what you mean, you can easily gauge bar speed for others when you have developed an eye for it. Cheers - it sounds like you're a great trainer!

      September 13, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Awesome response Roy! As it happens, I was reading Easy Strength the other day and I think it was Dan John who described one old-school powerlifters approach where he literally dedicated one day out of the week as a "medium" 70% day. Like you, I get stupid with my own training and oftentimes will STILL have an awesome session. But I'd be lying if I said there were times where I just would have been better off scratching everything. GREAT point on bar speed too. That's something that more people need to try to take into consideration as well.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:39 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jen Comas Keck

    This is a great post and as I've grown as a trainer, I've become more and more annoyed with everybody posting status updates and "motivational" posters that say something to the effect of, "Train every day - no excuses" or "Get it done even if it means you nearly die"... okay, so I paraphrased that last one. ;) But seriously, sometimes there ARE excuses. Not feeling well, getting a horrible night of sleep, or simply not feeling recovered are all perfectly good reasons to skip your training and sub in some easy movement, if anything at all. With all of that being said, I think a large percentage of people that are new to the training game haven't learned this yet or they aren't in tune with their body enough to be able to recognize when they haven't recovered properly. I was stuck in the mindset for years that if I didn't train, I was slacking. Now I know better. :) Again, great post Tony!

    September 13, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply to this comment

    • Christian

      Jen, I would actually disagree with you slightly. I love the thought of no days off, no weekends, no holidays. Here is why. I may go 7 days a week, but it doesn't mean I am doing what you think I am doing. My days that I am no lifting, I am still in the gym, doing mobility work. I am still in the cafeteria, eating properly. I am still sleeping 8-9 hours a night. That's what I think no days off, no excuses mean. I'm a college pitcher that has come to find out that I cannot do everything at the same time, but I can do something all the time to allow myself to get better. Even if I spend just 15 minutes every morning and evening on MSR and arm care, or dry mechanics, it means to me no days off, and means to me that every day I get better. 1 day of training, lifting, eating, sleeping the wrong way is essentially not a big deal, but over a lifetime, 1 day every month off, of not getting better equals at least 70 days of my life where I choose not to be better when I go to sleep than when I woke up and thus means someone can work harder than me.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks for chiming in Jen! Always appreciate it. There's definitely a grey area between am advanced lifter who knows his of her's body well (and knows how it should perform), and a beginner who doesn't know how to differentiate between "pain" and, you know, muscle burn. But yes, I couldn't agree more that all of those motivational posters ger a little overzealous at times and do nothing but make me roll my eyes.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply to this comment

  • Derran

    Your first couple of paragraphs describes my life completely. Only, I don't have a Tuesday to look forward to. I need to work on getting my own Tuesday!

    September 13, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply to this comment

  • Bob Carleton

    Tony, The older you get, the more you have to ask that question. Arnold's instinctive concept comes into play. If you are not feeling it you probably will get hurt or ding a pec or quad. Foam roll, do some yoga plex maybe a walk and go home. If your young get into the gym and do some deads.

    September 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mike Samuels

    Nice post Tony. One thing I've found though, is that sometimes when I'm really anrenalized for a workout and feeling great, I can have a really crap session. Other times I can be feeling terrible but end up training like a demon. Case in point - a few months ago I trained legs at 9:30 on a Friday night after working straight through from 7am and feeling exhausted, I'd also had a filling earlier in the day and hadn't eating anything since lunch, but I ended up setting 5 rep all time PRs on squats and good mornings. Had I gone with my initial thought of sacking off training, I'd never have got them. So while I agree autoregulation is key, I'm of the school of thought that even if you're not feeling good, you should at least start your session as usual and see how it goes. If it does suck after 10 minutes, then scrap it and do some prehab/easy GPP/foam rolling instead. Otherwise you never know. Just my 2c. Sorry for the long-ass post.

    September 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply to this comment

  • James Johnson

    This has come about at the right time - I've been feeling sluggish with headaches for a few days, and I've tried every which way to convince myself it's not that I've over trained and need to back off - 'You just forgot to take Omega 3's this morning', 'You had a little too many protein shakes and you've had a reaction', 'You're wearing the wrong underwear...', 'It's a Conservative party conspiracy to stop you bettering yourself' I'm not good at taking days off, but I guess it's time to. There will be other training sessions.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:21 am | Reply to this comment

  • Heidi Childers

    I think it's definitely up to us as trainers to recognize when someone is completely stressed out and physically/mentally exhausted and adjust accordingly. I work with general population, which means every client at some point comes to me in a zombie-state after a week of all nighters for work or a sick kid or something. I think it's unfortunate that those clients are often looking for a beat-down on that day because they maybe have missed a few sessions this weekend... As if that was going to help anything. If they're just having a rough day or week and could use the push, more power to us, but sometimes you just need to recognize when to back off. They may not recognize it and think you're being a weenie, but in the end they appreciate you tuning in.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Top Good Reads of the Week: Edition 15 | LaVack Fitness

    [...] Reads of the Week: How to Deadlift When You Can’t Pull from the Floor – Eric Cressey Can I Workout Today? – Tony Gentilcore 27 More Nutrition Facts – Michael Roussell It Isn’t the Strongest of the Species That [...]

    September 17, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply to this comment

  • Top Good Reads of the Week: Edition 15

    […] Reads of the Week: How to Deadlift When You Can’t Pull from the Floor – Eric Cressey Can I Workout Today? – Tony Gentilcore 27 More Nutrition Facts – Michael Roussell It Isn’t the Strongest of the Species That […]

    September 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Reply to this comment

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