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Crappy Workout...Need Advice


i'm on my max-effort lower body day for WS4SB3, so here's what my workout was supposed to be:

Box Squat: work up to a PR of 260 lbs x 3 (from 250x3 last week)
Eccentric Work (for patellar tendinosis): 3x15
Hamstring/PC Movement: Romanian Deadlift 3x8 - 195 lbs
Abs - Spread Eagle Situps - 4x12 (25 lbs)

here's what i did for warm ups for the box squat


normally i would do 5-6 total warm up sets, but this time i did 8. i loaded up 260 and began my set. on the first rep, i got down to the box and wouldn't even budge (thank goodness for those safety spotter rods!). i took it down to 255 and waited about 4-5 minutes. same result! needless to say, i felt completely drained, not to mention pissed off and disappointed. i couldn't even complete my workout.

i've been able to progress steadily on the box squat (rotating with snatch grip deadlifts in 3 week cycles) and deloading every 4th week, which was only 2 weeks ago. also, i know i've been eating enough and well enough.

i think the problems could be with my sleep. my sleep has been really erratic since school started. i would sleep maybe 6 hours, go to school, then nap for almost 2 hours when i get home. i know sleep is critical for recovery especially when you're constantly trying to set PRS, so could this be my issue?

also, as i've said about the warmups, i only do about 5-6 warm up sets. could the 8 set warmup today have left my muscles too tired for the work set?

so now i'm not sure what to do. should i get plenty of sleep (i know i will since i don't have work or school tomorrow) and give it another go, or just wait until my next ME lower day?

thanks for reading the long post, and any advice is greatly appreciated!


Sounds like you know exactly what you did wrong.

The easy answer is to spend a couple of weeks with upped sleep - circa 8-9 hours every night and dropping the warmup volume by a couple of sets.


I personally would have went from 185 to 225 , and then on to 260.

how did the 250 go the week before ? easy , had more in ya ? or strained ?

if the prior weeks 250 went up easy , and you fully expected to hit the 260 , then maybe sleep was the issue ; or a whole crap-load of other possibilities .

if the 250 went up god-awful slow , then it's possible that the 250 is your max .

give the 260 another shot on your next ME lower day.....just dont lose any sleep over it :wink:


thanks a lot for the responses.

yeah i felt pretty good after hitting 250x3 and i even went for 255 but only managed 2 reps. so after that, i fully expected to hit 260x3 a week later. i'll make sure to get more sleep and do a little less for the warmups.

thanks again!


Rotating movements every once in a while can help too.

I've had more success in the past few months switching my ME movement to three sets of 3-5 reps instead of working up to a 3-5rep max. But I'm also not using the WS4SB at the moment.


yeah i would do a certain ME movement for 3 weeks, do a deload week, and then 3 weeks with a new exercise. for lower body, i've been rotating snatch grip deadlifts and box squats.


side question: isn't box squatting for DE?


can be used for both ME and/or DE


I say don't change a thing with your workout. Everyone has a shitty day every now and then, sometimes for no reason at all. You have an obvious reason, bad sleep, also, messing with your warmup sets. Stick with the workout until you stall for 3 weeks.


thanks again everyone!

i'll make sure to let you guys know what happens next friday.


stall for 3 weeks on a 3 week rotation ?

what ?


well everyone, it's next friday and it saddens me to report that i did it! i set my box squat PR of 260x3! i made sure to get good sleep, eat enough, and i also cut down on the warmups. i did it like this this time:


i also went back and read dave tate's article "Squatting from Head to Toe" to make sure i got all the basics down, especially tightening my midsection. i dont think i emphasized that as much last friday as opposed to today.

oh and marlboroman, if you read it like this "Stick with the workout--until you stall--for 3 weeks," it makes sense. i see how it sounds weird, though. :slight_smile:

well thanks for the help everyone and good luck setting all your PRs!