Last week was basically one big Fail.
I wasn’t sleeping well. I was continuously dehydrated (my own fault for not keeping up with my H2O intake when I get busy at work), I was craving sugar like Cray-Cray (Hello, symptoms of sleep deprivation!) and I had an Epic Fail in the weight room on Tuesday.
I went in for a heavy squat day, did my warm up sets, and then went ahead with my work sets. That’s when my body started to cry. I have been stuck at 145 for at least a month (probably more like 6 weeks by now?) but had been able to complete 3×5 at 145 for each of my last couple of heavy squat days. Last week, however, was a different story. I got to rep #3 on my first set and hit failure.
Ok, Not quite that bad, but you get the idea.
That was just the beginning. Once I realized that my squats were going to be totally craptastic for the day, I lowered the weight and proceeded with a lower weight, low volume leg day. It wasn’t scheduled to be a de-load week (this week was), but the way I was feeling, I knew I had to listen to my body and give myself some slack. I kept the rest of the week
pretty very low volume, but still felt tired, sluggish, and unmotivated. Friday’s leg day was one that would normally be super light, even on a de-load week, but I ended up being sore from it through Sunday.
Not only was I tired, sluggish, and unmotivated, but my hamstring flared up again as well. It hasn’t gone back to 100% since I first started feeling it, but last week it got a little bit more angry than it had been lately.
My body was in fail mode. However, I wasn’t my usual moronic self who would just push through because I wasn’t “scheduled” for a de-load, and I actually listened to my screaming, pleading body. Looking back, I probably should have just stayed away from the gym totally, but hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? And I can’t change that now anyway.
But you know what? My light week did WONDERS. I came into the gym this Monday, following a glorious 9 hours of sleep Sunday night, and hit 150×3 on my back squats. WOOP!
Moral of the story is: I was able to turn my failed lift one week into a new PR in the next. The combination of sleep, stress reduction, and general rest is a powerful thing, especially if you find yourself in a rut or having a generally sub-par workout. After giving myself the time off that my body so clearly required, I have been sleeping much better this week, my workouts have felt much better, and I’m not the irritable B*tch who showed up towards the tail end of last week.
To this I say: Success!
*Note: I was reading an old issue of Shape magazine this morning, where Molly Sims was talking about working out for 30 days straight. It made me want to cry just thinking about it… Give your body a break, people!
Have you ever had to change your de-load week or rest days because of outside stress? Do you take de-load weeks or scheduled time off from working out? Do you notice how much stress or sleep deprivation can effect your workouts?
Happy Friday, Happy People!