OK I have seen this mentioned recently, I think it was by CW, but in the past by just about every coach and contributor on this site.
The past 2 weeks or so I have been smacked in the face with this fact. Life stress and its effect on physical training and recovery.
While stating my personal experience, here as that is all I can do, I am looking for others experience with this and general thoughts, etc…
So over the last few years things have been less than relaxing in my life, between grad school all the issue’s that come along with that (monetary,study, sleep, University politics, etc), usual everyday life stresses, my mothers multiple battles with cancer etc…
Despite all this I have been able to recover fairly well at most times even while many of my everyday recovery issues were sub par, like sleep, which I have had problems with for well over a year now. But have seemingly been able to keep just enough under control as to still recover and make progress.
On to the past week. This is when I hit a wall. While nutrition was as good or better than ever, rest was OK, etc. I had a life stressor hit me harder than previous times. The news of my moms latest battle. This one just seemed to effect me more than the past few due to I had been VERY hands on in the situation, helping her advance and we had been making some major strides. Them BLAM it was seemingly all shot to shit by news of more of the same cancer in her brain. Just gave an instant feeling of failure, that everyhting we had been battling was all for not (NOT TRUE BUT AT THE MOMENT IT SURE FELT THAT WAY)Add that on to the fact I had made the decison to return to Grad school 1300 miles away, with the agreement she was right behind me coming in a few weeks for extended visits so we could continue are work. That got shot down.
Anyway with this added stressors that have NOTHING at all directly to do with muscle growth, stimulation, etc… My workouts started to suffer a bit however. Not progressing in most cases and regression in a few. That and even with the lighter or same volume being used, DOMS became a MAJOR factor. Lasting days after a session. This has not been a factor in some time for me having trained with LOTS of frequency.
Anyway just found it interesting that seemingly unrelated stresses can and do have a huge impact on physical training. How does one know when he/she needs to back off? Many times these life stresses have led to a greater aggression/release in the gym, but this time I regressed even with a diet that was better than the past. Could it just be a case of hitting the life stressor limit this time or something???
Just thought this might bring up some interesting conversations.
Good news is with the latest hurdle climbed in the case with my mom, have had a huge weight lifted for a bit tell we tackle the next. This led to a pretty damn good w/o just a few hrs ago, even though I was still a bit worn out from the LONG road trip.
So if you have any interesting thoughts, experiences, facts to share lets hear em’