Adjusting Your Training On The Shit Days: How & Why You Should Be Flexible!
There’s always a high possibility you're going to experience a day - two - three or four during a training cycle (or even every week) when you're not going to feel great or at your best; however, as always #NoExcuses , you still need to get it done. Most times, we push ourselves to try to perform the prescribed session that is programmed, which just ends in poor thinking and frustration from missed reps; and an overall shitty training session. Example, reps at 80% following a shit nights sleep and a stressful day at work might not be that easy to complete. Same as, reps at 80% early in the A.M or after a 10-12-hour workday is quite difficult also. We all know performing a shitty session under any of these circumstances is never a good idea, but the ''ego'' can’t resist the temptation. So, we take a bunch of caffeine along with some pumped up self talk and attempt the session anyways, though we might miss reps, struggle or have to decrease the load. Post session, we spend the next 48 hours thinking about how f#ckin crap everything is and obsess over how weak and shit we are becoming. Well, there is an easy way to avoid the above experiences, which is by having self-awareness and know that you have the ability to adjust your training sessions for a better training outcome. In other words, you can base your session to meet the needs of your energy levels or daily “readiness” prior to the training session or working sets, rather than trying to perform the session while you're at your worse, or skipping your session all together!
The reason why this is important: If you try to perform a session when you are not mentally - emotionally and physically ready, you might miss reps, perform terrible and you're at a higher risk of injury, which will compromise your overall training cycle/program, in turn decreasing the rate of long-term hypertrophy, performance and strength gains; and last but not least - it will be a shitty and stressful experience for you.
Any strategy to adjust your session accordingly to your 'readiness' can be effective; however, keep in mind that unlimited adjustments may not allow for appropriate distribution of session-type. Ultimately, approaching your session with the open mind of 'adjusting' if needed – in which you may use a power or light day when readiness is low – can certainly increase adherence to training and can avoid a poor training outcome in which you have low readiness and perform terribly on a high-volume or high-intensity day.
Adjusting your training on your shit days is important for autoregulation (adjusting or progressing load and volume). Importantly, autoregulation is a strategy of making the change within a periodized program. This means that autoregulation in and of itself is not a specific training structure or programming; it is a strategy where you can manipulate variables that can take different training forms. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the principle that autoregulation is about making better decisions for yourself. This is why it is important to receive the correct data and have sound self awareness so you can make better training decisions that translates into positive training outcomes. If you collect the wrong information or let your ego get in the way, then that decreases the chances of you coming to the right training decision. REMEMBER, It's all about ''readiness''!!
Never underestimate the importance of taking self assessments of yourself during warm-ups, as this method will give you a better understanding of what's going on once you get moving or get under the bar. There is many articles and information to help you with your training strategy regarding autoregulations; remember, there is no magic pill. The take home note from the above information is - DON'T BE AFFRAID TO ADJUST YOUR TRAINING SESSSION IF YOU NEED TO! It may not sound like a big deal, but this will help you with long-term progress and decrease your STRESS.
Closing points remember;
* Understand the concept - Have the ability to adjust your training session which will allow you to “push” at a more appropriate level/% training day to avoid poor performance on a heavy/high intensity day when mental, emotional and physical readiness to train is very low.
* Use some common sense - If you're not feeling it, push back or just go home and return tomorrow or the next day.
* Don't let your ego get in the way.
If you would like to receive more information or guidance regarding 'autoregulation' etc, please feel free to give us a buzz.
I hope you find this information useful - All the best with your journey !