These are all good points and thanks posters for sharing. CT you're probably right about the obsession with leaness and unfortunately these days I'm not even "shredded". Lean but abs not that crisp even flexed.
It's almost like a body just flipped me the bird and is not gaining muscle nor shredding fat.
I think taking a week to two off completelys might be good BUT honestly...I don't think I can do it. Something about daily training, my mood, lifestyle etc. it's become a routine.
What I'm doing now is being a lot more mindful of what I do. Whereas before I'd go in do a bunch of ring stuff, handstand pushups, then rock out the layers now I just do enough ring work as warm up for pump/whole body activation.
And my barbell work is ramping up to ~3RM, wave loading a bit. Then doing a 5x5, being conservative and even backing off from prior poundages.
I'm hoping my enthusiasm and that "Explosive" dominant feel, in addition to pump, come back. When that does, muscle growth surely follows as you noted re: the pump.
I am not IFing hardcore any more. I workout during the morning/early afternoon. I usually do a brain candy (occasionally also coffee) and load up 2-3 scoops of surge workout fuel. I sip on that while I'm setting up my rings and drink the rest just like I would do with plazma.
I"ve been doing this the last 3 days and it's feeling good. Sometimes I get a sugar hypoglycemic effect almost where it's like I "Crash" but my muscles still feel pumped.
But yes, I'm loading up on intraworkout carbs. The rest of day is 2-3 meals of meat, avocado, some veggies, and now potatoes as well (lots of fat free fires with ketchup at night).
Undoubtedly the carbs make a difference. Pure paleo leaves me flat and overtime I even feel like I lose shape (veer toward skinny fat if that makes sense). Perhaps it's also my metabolism like you noted.
So takeaway is increase surge workout fuel pre-intra- and post workout. Eat potatoes at night. Back off training to a ramp to 3RM, waveload, then 5x5. And finish off with ring work for volume.
It's not that significantly different from what I've been doing before but the mental shift towards CHASING PERFORMANCE (vs. going stimmed crazy) might get me back on track. I also wonder if the repetitive movements of ring lever and chins/dips might be imapcting my muscle growth since I basically do these daily AND i train daily. Though you mentioned in the layers that daily 50 ring dips/chins were no problem for you.
I get what you're saying about overthinking things. I do train intensely (and focused) and am aware of my body day to day. But I will focus on something and avoid too much noise (overREADING of fitness blogs,podcasts). Really the missing piece might just be a rest day or two. But I don't like rest days at all ha..