T Nation

Unusual: Stronger After Time Off/Illness

Before I get to my point, I would like to explain that I am posting this here because this would not create any sort of meaningful conversation in any other part of the forum.

When I tested for football in the middle of August, I got a 215 lb clean. I know, not that great, but I got the record for O/D Line for sophomores, so I was pretty happy with the result. During football season, we didn’t do cleans are our coach saw them as the of the most exercises that could get us hurt. I understand. Form was important, and there is no point in getting hurt during the season.

Fridays in weight training, we were allowed to “free lift.” You didn’t have to follow any in-season program. I decided to do cleans. Couldn’t get 185 for ONE rep. I was pretty pissed but convinced myself that it was because I was tired from the week of practice.

Next time I am in the weights class on a Friday, I do cleans again. This was an easy practice week. Still couldn’t do one rep on 185 lbs. I got so pissed after that that I stopped doing all together.

After football and wrestling season, I started lifting and was really weak the first weak as I didn’t lift for a month due to no weights class second semester. Then, I got sick on the first Thursday back. Missed 3 days the next week due to migraines so bad that it was all I could do to sit in class. Last week, we had CSAPs (a statewide standardized test) which gave us only half days, effectively shutting down the weight room for an entire week, so I lifted at the local rec center.

I didn’t even get 245 for 5 reps on squats, and I didn’t even do cleans. It just was a total body workout.

Today, we do the “big” movements: squats, bench, clean, and jammers with two other exercises.

So what was all that background knowledge for? Well, I did squats for 275 lbs for 5 reps today and did a pretty manageable 5 reps with 185 pounds for cleans. What the hell happened? I came back from missing lifting for a month and being pretty sick, and I gain strength?

I know some of you might say that this is just muscle memory, but the way I was squatting on Friday, there was no way this was muscle memory. I just found this intriguing. Maybe it means that I could finally get good improvements on my strength.

Time off is your friend.

I took all of last week off and I came back strong as ever, if not stronger.

Rest is a powerful thing. Next to pussy, which is capable of destroying a man.

True.

I knew that the rest helped, but during a sickness? That’s what surprised me.

Oh well, I guess I should have enjoyed. I don’t think I will be taking time off for anytime soon. I got less than 6 months to get a lot stronger.

How can you not understand this? It is basic stuff.

Do some research on dual factor theory

you simply cleared ALL the fatigue from your system. it takes a lot longer to detrain your muscles. So you were experiencing your true gains from all your previous work.

You’re still in high school which means you’re still growing up. I think up until 20 or so, getting older = getting stronger. Even without exercise. Nothing unusual.

Dude, i didn’t lift during the summer until my JR year. Every fall I came back 10-15 lb stronger on everything. I was deadlifting 170 as a frosh, and graduated with 485. Some kinda crazy testosterone burst coming at random times if you ask me, but I never had a problem with getting stronger :wink:

[quote]Hazmaticus wrote:
Dude, i didn’t lift during the summer until my JR year. Every fall I came back 10-15 lb stronger on everything. I was deadlifting 170 as a frosh, and graduated with 485. Some kinda crazy testosterone burst coming at random times if you ask me, but I never had a problem with getting stronger ;)[/quote]

I can’t raise my back squat that easily which is why I was surprised. This was just the first year that I wrestled, so I have never really been that tired before; I could never experience that kind of recovery.

[quote]Magarhe wrote:
How can you not understand this? It is basic stuff.

Do some research on dual factor theory

you simply cleared ALL the fatigue from your system. it takes a lot longer to detrain your muscles. So you were experiencing your true gains from all your previous work.[/quote]

That sounds great, and would be exactly what happened.

I have a sleeping problem due to obstructed airways, so there is a lot of accumulated sleep debt that needs to be cleared. My strategy for clearing all the fatigue from my system is to FIX the sleeping problem by getting the excess tissue in nose & throat airways reduced, and taking a good holiday.

Clearing fatigue from the system is a vital factor in any endeavour.