T Nation

Broken Will


I used to be an avid powerlifter. I was very motivated and enthusiastic about my training and nutrition - so much so that I would create spreadsheets of what I was going to eat for the week in exact quantities and mark off my "compliance" in records that I kept in my training log. I would plan training for months in advance. I was incredibly consistent with my training and eating.

However, after a poorly-timed hip injury while attempting the Smolov squat cycle, along with some perspective changing experiences, I've really been feeling like there's no point in doing ANYTHING (not just training, but most everything else). I've lost the ability to want anything, and I'm not really sure why. At the same time, this doesn't really bother me too much, because I don't really care too much about anything... All that's left is a mild nostalgia for the past which has kept me training infrequently and noncommitally.

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I would like to be able to break out of it, but lately I've been so unable to want anything, that it seems fairly impossible to "overcome" in my current state of mind.


Find some incredibly beautiful lady, have sex with her and continue with your training. Read a book or two.


Find yourself a dedicated training partner. Someone who was like you in the past and is willing to help you get back into it.

Then, set goals. Training without any goals is tough. Sign up for a bodybuilding, powerlifting, or strongman competition and get back into training and eating properly.

Use this forum to help you regain that fire you once had.

Good luck.


You sound depressed.

This goes beyond not wanting to train.

If you are able, and haven't done so already, I'd recommend seeing a psychiatrist. Good luck.


How long ago did this onset? I went through something very similar that was because of over training... I became completely down and didn't want to do anything. A month or so off did the trick.


in response to tragedy/injury/major stressors, some people relax, others push harder.. i'd say the majority of people relax.. i myself push harder, sometimes creating an even worse situation (in regards to injury etc).

personally, in response to tragedy in my family and shit like that, i get really amped up.. training helps me get rid of that excess energy.. and as weird as it sounds, i've had some of my best workouts during those situations.

it's just how you're wired man.. don't be ashamed of it or anything..




You need to talk to someone.


realize that you'll be happier if you go back to how you were before. think about it


If thats the way you are feeling about everything I'd say its depression.
Plz see a neurologist or a psychiatrist.


If thats the way you are feeling about everything I'd say its depression.
Plz see a neurologist or a psychiatrist.


x2, this sounds like more of a mental health issue than a training one.


Ive had this before, quite a few times actually. It's always when I have had a bad week as far as lifting goes. I feel as if everything ive done in the last year has done absolutley nothing. Trust me man, keep lifting and once you hit a few PR's youll get hooked again.


I agree with the posts saying to talk to a psychologist, since it sounds like its a general feelings over your life and not just lifting.


I agree too. Benway's remark about not being able to be happy is called anhedonia and is a major symptom of depression. If you also have four our more symptoms of

Sleep-inability to, insomnia
Intrest-lack there of
Guilt-Feelings of guilt or hopelessness
Energy-lack there of
Concentration-Inability to
Appetite-Lack of or maybe overeating
Psychomotor delay-Your movements are dragging
Suicide-Thoughts of

You really need to see a doctor or nurse practitioner about this.


Maybe you're just tired of being so regimented. Even if you ARE depressed it's only a problem if it goes on for more than a year in my opinion. Just coast for a while and do whatever or nothing and see what happens. If you're fulfilling your responsibilities and taking some measure of care for yourself, everything else is pretty optional - isn't it?

You may find that little by little your desire to do SOMETHING comes back. It may not be weight training but so what? This is one of those optional activities and may no longer have any real meaning for you with your new found perspective.

If you find that you are becoming isolated and not maintaining yourself on a day to day basis (keeping clean, paying bills, making friends and keeping up with family, etc) then you may actually have an internal situation that needs to be discussed with someone who knows how to help others deal with such things.

Best wishes.


I appreciate all of the responses. I guess I should go into this a little deeper in order to explain better.

For those who say it's a mental health issue - I do have a very different mental outlook than most. To me, it seems like we're all just a bunch of cells on a big rock. Assigning any personal significance to the things around me just seems like complete folly and a prelude to disappointment... and yet at the same time that's most of what life is.

I used to have a lot of anxiety about my own mortality - the idea of not existing gave me SO much anxiety that I would literally have panic attacks about five minutes long on an almost daily basis. I think my way of getting over that was just to shut down my ego and all of the thoughts in my head telling me I'm more than a bunch of molecules.

However, that outlook has basically caused me to stop caring about anything. So conquering my fear of not existing has basically led me into a state where I feel like I'm not doing much besides existing.

Has anyone else experienced anything like that? I'd like to be able to find some balance where I could put things in perspective when I needed to, but at the same time be able to care about the things going on around me.

The best way for me to describe it is that it feels like I'm always comparing myself and my surroundings to the universe, and it all just seems so inconsequential.


If you are able, and haven't done so already, I'd recommend seeing a psychiatrist. Good luck.


Hi Benway,

You sound a lot like me. I suffered a similar injury (groin) that prevented me from doing anything and completely changed my outlook on life. I think I know exactly how you feel about not caring about stuff around you as this happened to me too.

You are depressed because you aren't what you use to be and you constantly think about that. What you need to realize is that it doesn't matter what you were, but what you are now and could be in the future... which is far greater than your previous self.

Change your training to work around your injury and pursue something in your life you feel is a worthy goal (whatever that would be, you decide). While your perception of things around you has changed (due to your suffering) and you don't feel like you want to continue, realize there's a lot of good experiences to still be gained in this life that are worthy of pursuit.

If you need anything else, send me a PM any time.

Good luck!


I went through very much the same thing, only mine came with panic attacks. It's depression. Some foods, like tuna and spinach, naturally help to increase serotonin levels. Try talking to a professional as well. Best of luck. I'll pray for ya.


Never give up. If it keeps you happy, keep doing it. I will say, however, to work around the injury you do have. So you have to take a break from squats for a bit, get your little stabilizer muscles stronger in the mean time and do single leg work if you can.

I have fought back from injury after injury, and they do put you in a deep depression. The main thing was I never gave up lifting, I just changed things around to get my body back in balance, then I went back with a smarter program and head.

The main thing is, get your head back in the game. I assume lifting keeps you happy as it does the same for me. Do enjoy life outside the gym with family, friends, girls, etc, because it helps to have a ton of social support and communication with others!!!