T Nation

Tired And Frustrated!


Here it is, the situation that may be more common than we all would like to admit. That is, that we are better at being coached than training and improving ourselves. Case in point (which leads to my frustration) I have competed in olympic lifting, powerlifting, and some (very little) body building along with playing college football. With my lifting I have competed in the world championships, pan am games, won the olympic trials, and whatever else, honestly it is all a blur. I am life time drug free (not making any accusations just pointing out the fact for clearification when you see my numbers)
I am 5'6" and right now around 205 at 12%, oh yeah I am 27.

In my "prime" when I was around 20 to 22
I was able to;

back squat 500x10, 625x2, 405x20
front squat 515
bench 385x6, 450x1
standing military press 295
snatch 345
clean & jerk 440
power clean 375
deadlift 505 (never been good at it!)

the only equipment i ever used was a belt and dont even use that anymore, and all squats were done olympic style ass to the ground baby. Plus I averaged a bodyweight of 210 or so for all lifts listed.

I am currently dealing with a shoulder injury, my bench has sucked ass for some time while my legs are still strong. My point of all this rambling is that, I have two degrees, CSCS and a host of other "certifications" and knowledge as well. I have read tons of great information off this site for some time now, but I AM FUCKING FRUSTRATED TO NO END WITH MY TRAINING!!!! FUCK FUCK. Instead of improving, I am simply trying to get back to where I once was. But like I said, apparently I was better at being coached then training myself. I know all the principles, sets/reps, loading periodization bla bla bla.

Now true I am dropping bodyfat slightly but at the cost of losing the strength I have spent years to gain. By no means did I make this post to impress anyone or sound like a bitter once-was, my point is after all the reading-research-cutting edge supplements-and perfect diet, I have been on the downward slide of improvement now for sometime. I write this as a request for anyone to offer suggestions. Bring it!


I don't get it. If you're training to get back to where you were why not just train the same way you did at your peak?


right that would be the obvious thing to do, but now with a job and other responsibilities I cant do that any longer. I was training twice a day for a majority of the time and had no responsibilities. No things are much different


First tell us- what are your goals now? What type of lifting competition or sport are you training for now? Or are you just trying to look good? This will help narrow down what sort of approach you should take, especially if you have limited time.


well now being summer my main goal is to look good. but i usually rotate hypertrophy blocks with strength blocks. but right now i am actually finishing up a strength/bodybuilding cycle where i use low reps with max weight two days a week and higher reps with compound and single joint movements the other two days a week. It is going well but the problem is I am also dieting to loose a little bodyfat, going down to about 10%.


I can think of one immediate change that can help produce the results you want...


I think you might want to pick up a sports psychology book. Something to get you back to reaching your goals. I think this entire "thing" is all mental.


Twice a day what? 6x/wk or 2x/wk, light, heavy or alternating, split or full body? You're not giving enough info. You've been world-class and have certifications and yet are unable to restructure your workouts to fit the new schedule?

Later you mention that your current plan seems to be going well, then what are you so frustrated about? You're 12% and you still want to cut more and grow muscle at the same time? That's absurd.

You've posted some mixed-up info and I'm finding it hard to pinpoint an actual problem.


my previous schedule was 2x a day on mon, wed, fri, and sometimes sat. i would only train 1 time on tuesdays. these were about 1 hour workouts and this is when i was competing in olympic lifting, so i would squat mon, wed, fri mornings then in the evening sessions i would do the olympic lifts, with some pulls. i would then add my own hypertrophy training with monday/back, wednesday/chest, and friday/arms. we would do tons of overhead pressing so i never included any extra shoulder work. the problem with this schedule is that at times it would come out to 10 workouts per week. now they were not all ball busting workouts either, more along the line of high frequency training. so my goals are to get back to benching 420 or so, squatting 600 and improving my deadlift to upper 500s. specific enough, also i am only cutting about 2% bf, nothing major. just a slight restriction of calories and restructing my diet.


So, what's the deal. You seem like you know what you're doing.

  • With less sessions per week you can increase volume per session.

  • For fat loss just clean up your diet. If it's already clean then add some interval training or reduce rest periods on your lighter non-strength days you've mentioned.

Just something that I could derive so far.


definetly some good imput, its is just that after years of being crazy strong, when you are not at the numbers it is really frustrating. especially when you are used to being that strong your whole life! I would like to train twice a day again, but just dont have enough time in the day.

at work i usually put in 12 to 14 hours, makes for a rough day. but right along with what you are saying, i do do interval work plus some low intensity work (to save my legs from being so damn tired!) and my diet has always been great. I dont cheat, ever, just cant. I am a former fat ass so i have to be really careful. thanks for all the input and help, i am just never satisfied and always looking for ways to improve.

once again, T-Nation has not let me down!



Make up your mind about what you want. If you want to cut you have to train and diet for that. If your plan is to gain strength/size... train and eat for that. You can't really do both at the same time.

When dieting-train to maintain.

When gaining-train to gain.

It's really simple and you know what to do but the problem with you (as with all of us) we're impatient, we want it NOW. I also find it easier to tell people what to do then to do it myself :wink:

Good luck



Actually, I don't think the problem is that you're better at being coached than training and improving yourself. You stated you have a ton of knowledge and always eat clean. I think the real issue, which is something that happens naturally in life, is that when you were in your "prime" at 20-22 years old, you could afford to spend much more time and mental focus on your lifting, whereas now you don't have that luxury (as you've said so yourself).

So ease up on yourself a bit - you can't expect to have the same gains as you did in your prime if you're not training the way you did then. As one get older, life gets in the way and priorities may (or often have to) change. Decide on what you want to focus on and what/how much you can reasonably dedicate yourself to.

Anyway, keep lifting... it may take a while to get those numbers back up, or you may even never hit them again (due to time/responsibility constraints, I mean), but surely keeping up your healthy lifestyle is more important than the specific numbers you can lift?


sure, sure, all very good points. its true though it is frustrating and i am impatient. of course as was mentioned i am torn between goals, as i think we all are. we want to be big AND cut, but for most of us that take the natural route (and maybe for all i am not sure regardless of natural state or not)it is not always likely unless we have absolute perfect genes. i really do appreciate all the input from everyone it really has put things into perspective. and as was also mentioned, it is always easier to tell someone what/how to do something that it is to actually do it!