T Nation

Anna's Training Log Part 2

When determining the workout you’re going to complete, or whether or not to perform a workout at all, what information do you use?

Seems to me like you need time off. Mentally shit, poor sleep, injured knee, poor digestion, moving slow …

I’m wondering how you process your body’s signals and other factors?

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  1. How I feel after warmup. Usually, I feel a LOT better after a warmup. If I’m mentally zapped, I try my best to complete all reps and cut out frills ie rest period restrictions. This morning, upper body felt great, just mentally off and lower body sore, but it’s press so legs get a rest
  2. How many days have elapsed since last rest day. In this case, I didn’t work out Sunday. If I felt like this on Thursday, I’d have taken the day off
  3. Weekly schedule- can I afford to procrastinate a workout and take the day off.

I’m being whiny today. I experience all of this to some extent most days. Today the mentally shit and digestion part was especially bad so I decided to rant. When these “low days” happen, things usually work themselves out in a couple of days

The basic philosophy is “get the work done unless there’s sufficient evidence otherwise”
If new parents, CEOs or ppl living in extreme weather conditions can get training in, I, a uni student living in Florida, do not have an excuse

I can maybe guess one or two of those people and I once again compell you to stop nitpicking and start seeing the whole picture. Their’s and your’s.


The problem is that I don’t know when I really need a day off or when I’m being a pussy. I take 1 day off a week regardless of how I feel.

I’ve tried googling, listening to podcasts… but I still can’t seem to figure it out
Basing off of others is like having a concrete example to work off of

I’ve also never regretted a workout, but have definitely regretted putting a workout off

If you insist on comparing yourself to others, you need to be aware of who you’re comparing yourself to and why you are different than them.

People have given you countless reasons of why you can’t compare yourself to a man who has been training for as long as you are alive or Stefi Cohen or whoever.
If you ever feel like comparing yourself to me, I’ll give you a rundown on why that is a stupid idea.
Some of those reasons will apply to every single person you try to compare yourself to. That’s because they’re attached to you. Your medical situation, both mental and physical, your age and level of maturity as well as certain characteristics.

On rest: If you don’t give your body rest, it will take it. Ignore it and some time down the road it’s not gonna be your choice to make anymore.


Your body is one unit and reacts systemically to stress. Relying on how you feel after warming up is a shit strategy. You feel okay/good because you are revving up a stress response driven by adrenaline and cortisol.

Find a frequency where you most of the time feel great and occasionally feel run down but only ever so rarely.


Well then you’re being whiny almost every single day. I don’t think you’re being whiny, I think things are most likely not right.

And that second point is idiotic.
There is an ideal amount of work and intensity for YOU. Just because someone is doing x, y, and z, doesn’t mean you should be doing the same.


I’m trying to work on getting sleep quality up, so that will hopefully clear a lot up

I really struggle with inappropriate comparisons.

You are approaching this the wrong way.

You aren’t trying to edge closer and closer to something sustainable. Jump to something guaranteed to be manageable and sustainable immediately. Ride that out and milk it for all it is worth. Then add maybe one additional training session.

Rather than trying one thing, okay, not enough, another thing, okay, still not enough - spending more time under recovered and over stimulated than if you, tomorrow, decide: Okay, I’m going to train 3-4 times per week and walk 8 000 steps per day.

You’ll feel like shit initially, because your beta adrenergic receptors are used to being sent very strong signals repeatedly, daily. They’ll re-sensitize, and adapt to normal levels of being stimulated.


It’s fine to struggle, but break the patterns that allow you to indulge in this behaviour. Don’t look at the people you compare yourself to until you can kick the habit.

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Another confusing thing is that I often don’t feel the best in the morning (when I have time to train), but then feel a LOT better a couple hours later, when I don’t have time to train (class, event, homework, mum watching…)

Is there any particular reason for that?

How much later? As far as our circadian rhythm is concerned I think we’re “peak” at 3 and 11 hours after waking up.

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3 hours sounds about right. I train 30min after waking up

Please don’t start waking up earlier to leverage this. Prioritize getting enough sleep before training at some “ideal” time.

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You don’t have to remind me twice :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I only give up sleep for two reasons:

  1. family emergency
  2. career prospects (ie meeting advisors)

That’s perfectly normal. I’m very much the same.

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In that case, how do you know if you actually need the day off, or if it’s just not being “ready” in the morning?

There is no way I could workout in the morning. I think some people just need time for their body to wake up lol. I’m old and beat up, so maybe that’s why :man_shrugging:

Even after being awake for a couple hours, workout will still be complete trash 90% of the time.


For me, I just have a routine. I work Monday to Friday, so I train those days and take the weekend totally off. Long weekends build in an extra day off once a month or so and vacations add in a couple deloads throughout the year.

There have been times, though, I’ve gone in and felt like crap and I’ll try to get through the main lift, then leave, and there have definitely been other times it just turned into a short mobility/foam rolling session and that was it. Nothing wrong with that, at all. As long as it’s only every couple of months, then I’m cool with it.

I have a routine, so I know if I had a lack of sleep for a couple days (for example), a bad day isn’t unexpected or a cause for concern.

As Voxel said, find a frequency where you feel great and only rarely run down. Maybe that’s 4 days/week, maybe 3, it doesn’t matter in the end. You can’t go off what others do, only what works for you at this time.

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Fun stuff and Daily work:
3x(10 alt clean and jerks+10 rows/side)-32lbs
4x(10 Towel pull apart rows+10 Y to Ws)

  • wanted to have some fun, not pushing pace or anything, cleans felt good

Note: I think I’ve pissed off my left middle finger. It’s slightly discoloured and more swollen than the rest of my fingers. I assume this is supposed to hurt
Will be staying away from swings and cleans until further notice