T Nation

Bad Days In the Gym


I've been seriously training for three months, and some days have been better than others, but 99% of the time I leave the gym somewhat satisfied with my workout.

But today sucked.
Really really really really sucked.
I couldn't do anything right, and ended up leaving in frustration.
I know that this isn't just me, but I just want to be told that it happens to everyone, including those of you with very impressive lifts and physiques. You guys have those days where every lift is bad and every weight seems heavier than the last time, right?

On the plus side, next week will be the end of the third month of my training, in which I have gained 15 pounds, and most notably added 60 pounds to the weight I am squatting.


Get more sleep and just do whatever feels right, i.e. if you're chest feels fully recovered, do chest...if not, do something else


I just had one.

It sucked. My squat has been suffering for a while, so I have been ignoring it, and it has been going down...

This kind of stuff pisses me off, but it is also the pivot point where I change direction, re-focus, and improve.

Have a bad lift. Hell, have a few. Then do something about it.


98% of days will be OK. 1% phenomenal, 1% crap it happens both extremes are rare

if you make the good extreme come more often note what your doing do it again. same with the horrid ones fix whats wrong if they are reoccuring



I have had days like that.

I go to the gym all fired up then fail lifts I should ( and had previously) managed relatively easily.

I wondered what the hell was wrong... got changed, went home, slept and tried again a day later.. all back to normal...


I don't recommend doing this consistently, but if you're truly having one of those 1% total shit days, walk away.

It's honestly better to come back than to frustrate yourself and accomplish nothing.


I had one a few weeks ago. I just kept it easy did lifts I enjoy, and I didn't focus on the numbers so much.

There are a lot of variables, but maybe you just need a day off.


I just had one today. Man did it suck. Everything was so much heavier. Not only for me but for the other 3 guys I was training with. We had a heavy pulling session last week and this week is finals week, so im guessing that had to do with it. But regardless we were all very weak in comparison to other days.



you won't catch a fish every time you go fishing.

you just have to accept that not every session you have is going to be the best you've ever had.


Your never gona ace every workout. What i have found though is that the better my diet is and more consistent my sleep patterns are the higher the ratio of excellent workouts to bad ones is.

I remember reading an article by Dan John where he said something like 1 in 4 of his workouts is crap, 2 are mediocre and 1 is awesome.

Dont try to be perfect, you'll only end up disapointed. Just try to keep getting better every day. Do that and you will be satisfied.


I had another poor day, although I did more than I did yesterday.

I've decided to just take the week off (it's just one workout), because my frustration is preventing me from lifting well anyway.

I'll start anew Monday.


That sucks but it happens. If you really feel like a workout isn't a productive expenditure of your energy and you can't benefit one day for whatever reason, then just say screw it. Olympic swimmers will get up early in the morning, warm up, feel that their bodies aren't going to be responsive to training that day, and skip.

So if this happens as rarely as you portray it, then don't be afraid to lose a day if you're otherwise faithful to going to the gym. If you don't just leave, then you could spend your time trying out some new exercises or just working out for the sake of getting a pump and circulating your blood.

Don't be working out if your sick. Your immune system has enough to react to.


I had this recently. My military press suddenly dropped from 5 reps last week (when I felt like I could easily do 10 reps), to 3 reps this week with the same weight.

I think that sometimes other lifestyle factors can effect your lifts. Maybe it's the odd bad night sleep or something. Or something screwing with your hormones.