When things aren’t going your way at the gym and maybe also in other parts of your life, it might just be time to make some changes.
I recently hit a minor roadblock with my training where motivation was fairly low, so I made the move to simplify things for myself and focus on the important aspects of my training routine. Namely the actual lifting.
I was logging my workouts on two web sites (bodybuilding.com forums and Fitocracy) along with the handwritten notepad I take to the gym with me. Then I also plugged the workouts into spreadsheets to analyze how efficient my training was. While this is a solid approach and being part of online fitness communities may be fun and worthwhile to learn new things, it was just taking too much time and lifting started to feel like a job when it’s really just supposed to be a hobby I enjoy.
I noticed that this added stress in my life and made lifting less fun, so I’ve cut back and only keep my handwritten log now. I try to still get some efficiency out of my training, but mainly I depend on a few base parameters and let auto-regulation do the rest for me. At some point, I will probably be willing to analyze training data again and go back to plugging things into spreadsheets, etc. That time is not right now.
I have also cut back on my extra workouts a bit. Mainly foam rolling and stretching. While I think these things are extremely important and have a lot of benefits, I was foam rolling and stretching my entire body daily. Now I do it with a 2 on, 1 off system. Day 1: Upper Body Stretch & Roll, Day 2: Lower Body Stretch & Roll, Day 3: OFF. I still do a general warmup with mostly dynamic stretches before lifting, but I don’t spend an extra hour a day stretching and foam rolling anymore.
I’d say I dropped cardio, but I really haven’t done much cardio in the traditional sense in a while. I still walk for an hour a day with my dog.
Other than that, I took on a new project for work which occupies quite a bit of time. This might seem counterproductive to reducing stress, but my stress was mainly coming from all the shit I was doing training-related. This switches that up a bit.
I also haven’t updated this site too much as a result of all this, but I will try to publish articles more regularly again going forward. No promises though.
After a couple weeks of no tracking and less fitness-related activity on the Internet, I can truly say I feel refreshed with my training and thoroughly enjoy going to the gym again. I have plans to start building my own garage gym in the near future. (Hopefully this spring. I’ll do my best to make that happen!)
As always, this is all just my opinion. Do whatever you think is best for you.