One of the most frustrating things about following any type of exercise regimen is failing to see improvements. In my case, I have been working out to get stronger, so I try to see either rep or weight gains in whatever I do, especially with squats or the bench press.
Unfortunately, there have been a few times when I actually not only didn’t see some form of improvement, but even (GASP!), strength loss. Considering all the time and effort I put in to working out, the normal rush I would get from a kick ass workout is over-powered by holding back tears and fighting back depression because I just lifted less then I was able to a few days ago.
Okay, not necessarily depression and tears, but you get the idea. Instead of pouting, the best thing that I have found to do in such cases is analyze everything that I have been doing on both the days that I feel on and days that I feel off.
Rather than going to the gym and knowing what I will be working out, I have found that it is important to take a more macro view of the day. There is a method to the madness. Knowing what you will be eating and when, along with how much can make a huge difference. Another thing that I have recently discovered, which may be obvious for some but was not for until last week, was how much of a difference a day without my Labrada LeanBody60 makes.
I normally take a few of these shakes a day, though not at the recommended dosage. (I just can’t stomach 4 scoops in one sitting). I ran out of my latest batch last week, and went a few days without taking it. Boy, was there a noticeable difference. On my squat day, I could barely budge 225 lbs, and it was pretty embarrassing to load up plates, fail to move them, then drop the weight (and it’s not even that much!). I normally start my squats from a low position, so getting them up is often the toughest part.
At the time, I was pissed. When I got home, I actually thought about how I had been sleeping and eating, and both of those were pretty normal for me. The one thing I pinpointed was the shakes that supplement my diet with approximately 50g or protein and another 20g or carbs.
Am I happy that my performance may be worse on days without a supplement? No. Could it be just all mental, and this whole “method” and analyzing all the little things you do each day is just a crock? Quite possibly. But, if it’s a crock I need to see gains, I guess I’ll have to live with it.