T Nation

Finals, Lethargy, Strength Loss

Hello everybody,

As of Wednesday I’ll finish my sophomore year of college. For the past 1.5 weeks I have had finals (mainly papers, a few tests). As the stress of constant deadlines and writing washed over me, I haven’t been to the gym more than twice.

I wish this could be attributed to a lack of dedication but honestly there was absolutely no time to go. Now, towards the end of it all I just feel constantly lethargic. I did get to lift on sunday and all of my lifts sucked. I did my best to keep my eating up and I don’t think I lost any significant mass.

How do you guys prepare for a time like finals week where you know that you can’t lift?

How do I snap out of the lethargy?

How are everyone else’s finals going?

try some Spike or HOT-ROX makes all the difference, especially Spike can make you study like a beast…

ShadoW

I always took me a couple days of going through the motions to get rid of the tired feeling. Just stick it out and try to be as intense as possible. It will come back. Also sleep a lot.

in the future, don’t put studying and writing off til the last minute. two weeks before is the last minute. you know the finals material all semester because you have been studying it the whole time. review notes continually, start writing as soon as assignments are given and you’ll be fine. no stress, no need to change your schedule, pull all nighters etc.

it is a lesson i learned my first two years too.

Usually during finals week I have more free time, since I have no classes(just finals). But same with you, stress starts to wear on you…

During finals week I usually just go in and do a light work out to feel better and get some physical exercise. I always feel better, and am more motivated when I workout so I make sure to get there during finals week as well. You can’t tell me you don’t have 1 hour to spare in a day… I won’t believe you.

As for as the heavy/intense lifting I normally do, finals week becomes a “light week” where I do some recuperating. You are supposed to have light weeks once every 8 weeks or so anyways, might as well tie it in with finals week.

Typical workout for me during finals week would be just taking the Oly bar and doing push-press, bent over rows, lunges, reg/romanian deadlift, and maybe bench too.

I do about 50 reps or so of each with a minute of rest between each set. Then I jog for about 15 mins. Takes me about 30-40mins total and I feel great after it, and not drained at all, so I have plenty of energy to tackle studying into the late hours.

You have your entire life to train. If your not in any competitions, no need to fret about it. Stress will do more damage than not going to the gym.

That being said 2 weeks off is great if you’ve been bustin your ass prior. When I was in college I did like to overtrain heavy before I knew I would be stressed out.

Although most of the time you should work through lack of desire to workout, there are times when complete change is better. Don’t do ANY or your normal exercises for those 2 weeks. Cross train or try to do something fun when your not studying. Times when you feel like you should be in the gym, don’t go instead focus on how your going to get huge this summer.

Don’t know if you drink but limit the alcohol and lower the caffeine surges. You can get the same amount of caffeine but spread it out so you don’t crash.

[quote]texasguy wrote:
in the future, don’t put studying and writing off til the last minute. two weeks before is the last minute. you know the finals material all semester because you have been studying it the whole time. review notes continually, start writing as soon as assignments are given and you’ll be fine. no stress, no need to change your schedule, pull all nighters etc.

[/quote]

Nailed it on the head texasguy. I learned it the hard way my first year, then after that, just be methodical about it. It’s better to do it early and not worry about than to put it off until the last minute and stress about.

Break it down: If you have a 5 page paper to write. Write 1 page a day for five days, and you’re done. Not stressing about it, but you’re making steady progress on it.

To answer your question, the best way to work through lethargy is to get enough rest. Even if you have to take a nap during the day, it’s a good revitalizer, and you can start fresh.

Also, try to focus really hard. It’s better to focus hard for a few hours than to goof off all day and kinda read the material, then don’t know anything about it at the end of the day. Eat right, rest, you’ll do fine.

Good luck on all your finals.

Thanks for the suggestions, everybody.

Before reading what everyone had to say, I woke up feeling shitty again and decided to go to the gym and push through it, see what happens. Today is a leg day by my current routine, a 4x5 one (pretty heavy).

Squats went fine, I started to feel really good by the last set. I went on and did deadlifts and blew my previous five rep max away by 20 pounds.

At any rate, my last paper is due tomorrow and I’m home free.