T Nation

Under Recovering?


So I have been running a modified version of the TM, very modified actually as its barely TM. The only thing on TM percentages is the bench. The rest I'm using a linear progression because they are lifts I have been behind in due to injury or surgery. I'll post the program below. Anyways I'm in college, and two weeks ago I got pretty sick (vomited once, fever, sore throat, etc) and had to take a week off. Well I came back the week after and did a light session and felt great, then a moderate session and felt great.

I took two days off and then started the next week with my volume day. The day after (yesterday) I had a sore throat and felt like shit. Today its worse. I'm trying to decide if I was never fully recovered from the last sickness and went too hard too soon (I felt great for atleast 4 days before lifting heavy again), or I'm somehow under recovering and its making me sick. Like I said I'm in college but I haven't been drinking or partying. I usually sleep from like 11-7:30, and I've been eating atleast 3000 calories per day.

Here's a sample of my last full week of training without feeling like death after.

Monday Wednesday Friday
BSS 90x3x5 BSS 95x3x5 BSS 100x3x5
Fat Grip Bench 180x5x5 Press 105x3x5 FGBP 230x5
Rack pull 155x15 Rack Pull 165x15 Rack pull 175x15
Chin up 20x5x5 Face Pull 9x3x5 Chin up 80x5

A couple potential problems I see. 1) My rack pull reps are high. I have a bad llower back and I started rack pulling from the knees for higher reps and it has made it feel tremendously better. As a result I have been doing a linear progression where I would do them 3 times a week, for sets of 15, then drop to ten, then drop to alternating once and twice a week with sets of 5. I felt justified in 3 days a week with such high reps because they felt good and also the weight was so light. Maybe this is the issue.

2) The chin ups may be too much volume coupled with the rack pulls and bench press.

My linear progression for the press was almost over, and I was soon going to put that into the TM format. I was also going to switch bulgarian split squats to holding one DB in each hand instead of goblet, and alternating them with goblet squats. I was also going to soon switch rack pulls to alternate with GHR.

Any advice on if this programming could be causing my sickness? Also any advice on how to transition back into the TM programming with bench press? I've basically lost two weeks already.


Man, it could be any number of things. At my last job, I got sick every three months due to that I wasn’t sleeping well, I was under a lot of stressed, and I was around a LOT of people that were sick.

If you’re in college, and especially if you live in a dorm, you are around a ton of bugs that can make you ill. I would start with the basics in asking myself these questions:

  1. Am I truly sleeping well?
  2. Am I eating well?
  3. Am I under a lot of stress?
  4. How is my mental health?
  5. Am I taking any medications for anything?
  6. Am I exposing myself to anything potentially harmful? (toxins, bad air, poisons, spoiled food, mold, etc.)

If you feel you are good with all of those questions, then how long has this been going on? If it has just been a few months you might just have had an unfortunate string of events. If it keeps going, and you are staying sick in some form, I would go see a doctor.

I seriously doubt it is your training that is causing it by itself. Perhaps the training combined with one of the above, but you are not doing an insane amount of physical work. I would just deal with it and focus on the six question above. If you find yourself still sick or getting sick easily when you are nearing the end of the semester, go to a doctor if you haven’t already.

I know when I get sick, 3 days seems like a month, so another good idea would be to start a journal and how you feel each day. Include how you are sleeping and such.


Thanks for the reply. I honestly find it hard to believe that it would be my training alone, as like you said it’s nothing too crazy and the weights aren’t that heavy. It’s weird that it went away completely and now it’s back. But this makes me believe it’s not some serious sickness or whatever. Also I’ve been going through those factors you brought up and have made a strong effort to improve my diet the past month or so. However I don’t get enough sleep for me personally, and it’s hard to being in college. Something I need to improve. Also I do get anxiety, so that is probably an underlying factor in this situation.

Any other input from people? Also any suggestions on how to transition back? I have spring break next week and was hoping to get some good training sessions in while Im home but idk if I should take the week off or not. Of particular concern is how to transition my bench press back into TM programming. Like should I go back a week, 2? Thanks in advance


It’s not the programming. Rack pulls don’t give you a sore throat, fever, or vomiting. If the health issues persist, go to a doctor.

As far as bench press, just choose weights that you know will be easy for your first week back, and work up from there. If 180x5x5 was a challenge before getting sick, try 170x5x5. If 230x5 was close to a PR, drop it back to 210 or so. It’s worth noting that that’s a relatively large gap between your volume and intensity day weights, though (180 v 230). If you got 230x5 solidly, then 180x5x5 shouldn’t be too hard and you could start again at that weight or maybe 175, and just drop the intensity day weight, then work back up. But these programming concerns are secondary to figuring out your health issues.


Yeah I intentionally have a larger discrepancy between volume and intensity day after reading the Texas method by Justin lascek. 230 was a pr and 180x5x5 was not terribly difficult. If I hadn’t of gotten sick again I would have bumped up the volume next week to spur progress on intensity day. I went to the health center at school before this for a sore throat and she told me it wasn’t strep or anything. Next day is when fever and vomiting happened but after a few days I was good. Only vomited once actually. Then I gave myself a few days before easing into lifting again. I think it was about a week before I did my volume day, then felt sick again after. I think if this was something serious it wouldn’t have gone away…