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Can You Predict Your Workout Performance?

This is a question I have been pondering about for some time.

Sometimes I have the best prerequisites (on paper) with lots of sleep, good food and being mentally prepared - Just to underperform at my workout.

Other times, like yesterday, I felt underslept and tired, hadn’t eaten enough and almost skipped my very late workout (before @wanna_be and @T3hPwnisher came to mind). As things turned out I had my best leg workout in ages!

Can someone fill me in here? Do you share the same inability to pre-read your performance?

Obviously, I often warm up longer when feeling bad, and I would be a liar if I didn’t state that my Plazma brew preworkout makes a difference.

Some of the best workouts I’ve had have been on days I felt like I might die. Some of the worst workouts I’ve had were on days I felt like I could conquer the world and was unstoppable.

I’ve had every mix of emotions/feelings and performance in the gym imaginable. I’m a firm believer that I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen, I just have to wait and see lol

The toughest ones are when you feel invincible and then your warm up weights try to bury you. Those are tough for my brain to handle.


I’d like to hear more about this. Feel free to throw it in my log to keep this thread on track as possible

:man_shrugging: I dunno.

My experience has been similar. Start off just wanting to mail it in, and it turns in to one of those “best ever” sessions.

Other times, bristling with energy, everything feels heavy and goes flat.


I have had the same experiences…goes to show its best to be consistent because you could miss a great work out when it’s not expected


Most times i can predict my performance or the performance of my clients but then there are THOSE days…
There are days when everything feels light but you shit the bed on the top set anyways.
And then there are days when you didnt sleep good, woke up like shit, everything feels grindy and heavy but when you look at your top sets, they are all PRs even tho it was a struggle, it IS there.
That is what being human is all about. Sometimes you really like the girl, you have no ED problems, but your buddy just does not cooperate this time and you look like a loser with a broken dick, and the girl is sad cuz she thinks you dont like her, lol :smiley:

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Once I started using long term training plans like 5/3/1 or Conjugate stuff it became easier to predict how my workouts would go.

When I was just starting out I would go day by day and just take what was there every day. So my performance was erratic and I couldn’t predict anything.

Doing more consistent work for 3-6 weeks at a time then building months of training on top of each other helped me understand my bodies natural Cycle(?) so I could predict bad workouts before they happened. And then trying out stuff like saving a rep or two on PR sets or taking deloads allowed me to have consistent good workouts.


I could never predict my workout performance, even during the warm up sets.
There were days when the warm-up sets seemed light and the working sets felt 10% heavier.
And there were days the warm-up sets seemed heavy and then the working sets felt surprisingly light.

I recall a bench press meet I had been training for. It was in Tallahassee, FL about 160 miles from my home bed. I thought I might perform better if I didn’t try to drive there in the morning to lift early afternoon. I stayed in a motel close to the meet. I tossed and turned all night. It was probably the worst sleep I had all year. But meet time I felt no ill effects of poor sleep. I made all three planned lifts with all white lights. I felt I had 5 or 10lbs still in me. Who knows??


I don’t mean to directly respond to Nomad like this is some argument, I just think this is an interesting topic.

For years my girlfriend and I lifted together or just went to the gym at the same time, so I could see how her sleeping and eating would effect her workouts. Often one missed meal, one day spent mostly on the feet or one bad night of sleep isn’t enough to throw off performance. Each of those is just like one demerit . But once you hit like 4 demerits in two days, your shit will suffer.


Always a crap shoot for me. I never know.

I should state that all my life choices were aimed to improve my effort in the gym.

I would never even get to 2 “demerits”. A bad night’s sleep or the flu were my obstructions.

As far as a bad night’s sleep, I felt my workout suffered more two days later than it did the next day. Who knows?
It was always my focus to do as much correctly between workouts as it was to correctly perform the workouts.

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It is interesting. I think it’s more mental and may be a question for Thibaudeau.

Today, I got off work at 0400, got up at 1100 and took a pre-workout, sat around a minute then went back to bed. We went and got groceries around 3pm and then I had a great workout at 5:30. Typically I only workout when I get up, but today I woke up in a “Don’t give a @$%#” mood.

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Nice timing on this thread. I had a triathlon yesterday so I probably should have known it could go this way but I felt amazing heading to the gym - full of energy, great sleep; etc. Went to start OHP and the bar felt heavy. Uh oh. Circuit was 135x10, Pullups x10, Burpees x20 for as many rounds as I could handle, and the second round was a super grinder on the OHP, third round I failed the OHP at 3 reps and the pullups at 5, lol. Haven’t had a performance like that in god knows how long. Swimming has a way of destroying you without the same type of warning signs.

So this was just a well-timed anecdote, but long story short I usually can’t predict how well I’ll do. As others have said, sometimes my shittiest days turn out the best, and sometimes my “best” days end up as disappointments.

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I’ve found that when I’m lacking sleep quite often the workout goes really well, but I suspect it’s because I’m more irritable so more aggressive with the weights. There is a point beyond which lack of sleep results in reduced performance but that’s during long bouts of insomnia and everything suffers then.

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Total guess work most of the time. I think my head space is more important that my physical wellness. I can think myself into failing.

But like wise I have gone to the gym and had warm up sets almost pin to the floor and then set a good PR.
It is just what it is.


I used to be quite calibrated but it’s been messed up as of late

I’ve had trouble walking up stairs but hit 90%for reps no problem

Warm up sets have felt as heavy as too sets


You might need to eat a little harder

Have you ever tried cluster sets? You might like them. I find they helped me feel more at ease and fluid with form when approaching 90% territory.

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YES! Very much so. I’ve had great workouts on days when I felt like I had nothing at the start, and so-so workouts when I felt great. I’m glad to see I’m not alone in this, that this is common.

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