T Nation

Need Help with Recovery


I’ve been running 5/3/1 for about 3 years now and have made significant progress strength-wise. In the last several months however I feel like I’m stalling big time and not recovering well enough.

See, I work 12 hour shifts in the ER 3x a week, and when lifting 3x a week became too much, I switched to a 2x/week lifting template (Squat/Bench+minimal assistance / Deadlift/Press+minimal assistance) and even with that I feel like I’m just barely making it.

My strength gains came with the cost of fat gain as well, and part of the reason I switched to 2x/week of lifting was to give myself another 2 days of conditioning/endurance work. But like I said work + lifting already puts me at 5 days of no recovery; add family responsibilities to that and there isn’t a day when I can say I feel properly rested.

What else can I do to be able to safely maintain what I have and add conditioning?


Best ways to recover are prioritizing sleep and diet. Personally aside from that at 36 years old, a couple Epsom salt baths per week and icing some joints now and again help quite a bit.


What are your sleep, diet and stress levels like? I feel like all three of these issues are what are holding you back. There are several people who work construction type jobs 3-5 days a week working 12+/- hours a day who still lift and such. You have just have to be extremely dialed in


Take 2scoops Mag10 or(hydrolysed whey if on budget) immediately post workout. -Makes a night and day difference in recovery.

Perfect world add Plazma as an intra or the whole ‘Jim Wendler stack’…

100mg Krill oil with breakfast the morning after good stuff also


You probably need more sleep.


Along with what’s been said, run a few cycles of “I’m not doing jack shit” and let your body recover.


You have to prioritize your training and life. You are asking too much so something has to give; if not, you have to be smarter in your programming. How? No one knows; so you maintain and aerobic base and figure out the least you need to do in the weight room to suit your goals.

This is exactly how every single athlete/coach has to deal with and is nothing new.