T Nation

Adjusting Training Based on Lifestyle/Stress

Happy new year coach hope it’s starting off well.

Wondering what training styles you recommend when sleep is short and/or stress is high. I’ve noticed that good sleep and positive state are essential. My best gains came during this while using layers system.

Now life’s harder and I’m trying to use layers but while poundages/performance are ok, physique is just not improving and even looking smaller, despite good intraworkout and diet.

It’s amazing last month when on break for a week, my training and gains skyrocketed and it’s made me wonder whether training intensely in a stressed state even helps at all if not detrimental?

I see some posters who train hard, leverage that stress and kill the weights and seem to make gains. Yet I can go intense, force my mental state and hit weights just as hard but phsyqiue actually deteriorates?

Would something like 5/4/3/2/1 focusing on performance and leaving gym fresh be ideal for these days/weeks? Explosive non grinding reps? And in my case, maybe just do rings for upper body (I always feel fresher after rings than heavy weights)

Also aside, Power Drive and Alpha gpc are amazing and keep my performance up.

In short, stress + sub optimal sleep seem to override any gains from intense training…

Thanks for any advice.

Everybody has his own hormonal balance and resiliency to stress. I personally have a low resilience to outside stressors. Some people on the opposite thrive on it. I believe that introverts are naturally more affected by outside stressors than extroverts.

My best friend Nick did his first bodybuilding competition working as a ceramic layer, working 50-60 hours a week (and it was his company so he had the paperwork on top of that), also playing semi-pro hockey twice a week and having a family. He would go to bed at 10, wake up at 4:30 every morning, train at the end of his work day, and did great.

I on the other hand, if I have too much outside stress I retain water and feel flat. No doubt a cortisol (among other hormones) thing.

My recommendation in that case is to minimize cortisol production during training.

This means very short bouts of training. And ideally 2-3 bouts per day but at roughly 20-25 minutes a clip.

I also feel that selecting a training style that you enjoy might be more important than the actual result those methods are supposed to be good for. And lastly I feel that you should avoid going all out, focusing on quality of work and focus while training.

Thanks CT for that. You know I’m realizing I still enjoy the layers system the most. I do jumps now as my warmup which made all the difference in getting “activated”.

Cutting it down to jumps, front lever and back lever holds, and ring chin into inverted hang eggs everything pumped and activated nicely.
Then onto the layers. Maybe finish with 25-50 ring rows, chins, dips or flye variations depending on how I feel.

Do you think this is ok or potentially hurting size gains? Sorry for such specific question but I’ve gotten my training ritual down so that these details actually make a big difference in my performance, mood, recovery . Thanks much.

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
Thanks CT for that. You know I’m realizing I still enjoy the layers system the most. I do jumps now as my warmup which made all the difference in getting “activated”.

Cutting it down to jumps, front lever and back lever holds, and ring chin into inverted hang eggs everything pumped and activated nicely.
Then onto the layers. Maybe finish with 25-50 ring rows, chins, dips or flye variations depending on how I feel.

Do you think this is ok or potentially hurting size gains? Sorry for such specific question but I’ve gotten my training ritual down so that these details actually make a big difference in my performance, mood, recovery . Thanks much.[/quote]

I see no problem “size building-wise” with that approach, if you are feeling good an energetic you will get good results from it.

Great thank you. On days where I feel off would a ramp to 3m (maybe wave load a few sets) followed by 5-10 sets of explosive 3 reps at 75% be a good substitute and still somewhat have spirit of the layers?

And surprisingly drinking Plazma while jump, hanging upside down, handstands hasn’t been an issue at all, hope it’s still being absorbed in digestive tract though