T Nation

Working in Hot Humid Weather, Bad Training Week. Reset TM?

Hey all- kind of in a strange situation with my training and work. I have a log in the training section and the whole situation is laid out in there, but the general idea is this…
Doing 5/3/1 with PR sets, then fsl 5x5 for all movements.
I am Deloading every 2 cycles.

I was making good progress on all lifts (except OHP), hitting well beyond the recommended reps for + weeks, I’m still pretty new to lifting which is why I think that is the case.

Recently work has gotten pretty intense. From the weather changing to real summer weather (85°+ with high humidity) in upstate NY and much longer hours than typical due to AC season, it’s taken a serious toll on my body and training. I am a commercial heating and cooling service technician so I’m typically on roofs, boiler rooms etc. All unconditioned areas for the majority of the day.

Here is the questions I have-

This past week my lifts have been abysmal. For example last cycle my deadlift on 1+ week was 325x8. This week I only managed 335x1. I don’t know how long work and the weather will be this way, so I’m looking for a work around for the time being. I am scheduled for a deload week- which I am definitely taking, and thinking of possibly re setting my TM back to 90% of it’s current value for the week after.
Does this make sense to do?
Should I get rid of PR sets for the time being and switch to 5’s?
Should I remove the fsl sets and slowly work them back in over time?

It’s crushing the confidence I have built over the past year or so just to have it seemingly stripped away in a week, especially when I was progressing, in my opinion, so well.

Sorry for such a long post

Hello Boilerman

It’s clear that your current intense workload and temperature increase have taken a toll on your body and it’s ability to recover.

Whilst your work continues like this my advice would be to run 5’s PRO with perhaps a few sets of FSL if you feel like it. The aim would be to hit 5 strong, fast reps which relies on you having a TM of around 85%.

Assistance exercises should also be kept to a minimum, perhaps focusing on Bodyweight movements as they are easy to recover from.

Once your work gets a little easier then you can start to increase FSL sets and eventually work back to hitting your PR’s.

Give it a try and see how you get on, sometimes less is more when there are other demands.


have you been tracking your bodyweight over the period? What do you eat a day? has that increased over the year? do you feel you are eating/resting enough to recover from the workouts?

only asking because I hit the same wall you did on 5/3/1, and I found it boiled down to the fact I was no longer eating enough, soon as I added in another extra little meal, the progress came back!

Thanks @jgood23 and @tj55 for the replies- I’m definitely eating enough. I have been trying not to weigh myself as frequently as I was, but as of today I’ve gained roughly 3 lbs in a little over a month and a half.

Typical day of eating is

2 breakfast sandwiches which includes
2 English muffins
3-4 eggs
Sausage patty on each
Slice of cheese

~930 am
2 scoop Protein shake with water

1 pm
1/2 to 3/4 lb Chuck eye steak
Usually sweet potato fries- sometimes I skip this.
There have been a couple days this week where I’ve skipped this meal due to time restricted issues at work

Preworkout (somewhere around 5-7 pm these past couple weeks)
2 scoop surge workout fuel

2 scoop protein shake with water

Dinner ~8-830 pm
This meal varies depending on how tired I am and how much I feel like cooking but typically consists of
1/2-3/4 lb Chuck eye steak
7-10 scrambled eggs
Good sized salad-spinach, advocado, onions, peppers etc

Before bed
Whole milk protein shake with casein ~1/2 liter milk
1/4-1/3 pineapple

I drink 2-3 liters of water at work, and probably another 2-3 after getting home. Sleep has been decent, I’m getting 6 1/2- 8 hrs. Once I hit the pillow I’m out for the night.

I had tried cutting some weight earlier in the spring because I was up to like 208 and it wasn’t helping my lifts progress so I cut back to 191ish and am slowly working my way back up. Weighed 194.5 this morning.

@mortdk has been giving some great advice that mirrors what you said jgood23- take it easy, eliminate PR sets for now, and limit the fsl sets. I just don’t know what to expect while doing this- is it possible to get stronger with such low volume? I’d hate to stall here for the next 2 months because in my opinion my lifts aren’t even that great and to be honest my bench and ohp have been stagnant for quite some time.

I don’t know what time your day starts or whether you are a morning person, but can you work out in the morning when you are fresh?

Also, if you are up on roofs a lot in the heat, even 2-3 liters a day of water may not be enough, and you may still be losing electrolytes. Maybe even more water and or a sports drink?

I am in a roughly similar situation except it is kayak endurance training instead of working on a roof in the heat. I went to 5s pro, no supplemental, set the weights back, and will cruise like this to the off season when I will start pushing the weights up again.

Usually up at 5:30 and to work by about 6:30. I was toying with the idea of morning workouts but that would mean I’d be in bed by 9… which leaves me with about 3 hours after work to cook, clean up and regroup for the next day. Very possible but it doesn’t sound much like a life to me haha.

I’ll try downing a Powerade today in addition to my normal water intake. Going to be a hot one so it’s a good test run.

This made me :rofl::rofl::rofl:


Yeah that’s midnight weather here lol. But I’m sure OP can take the cold a hell of a lot better than I.


I understand! But you can usually put enough clothes on to stay warm, but can’t take enough off to stay cool😜

Tell that to the ladies in my office lol. Sorry for the derail OP!

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Being from New England, I think the issue with the temp is the swing we see. It’s hotter some places, and colder others, but because we see pretty intense versions of both, our bodies never adapt to one or the other, the way someone who lives in an area that is predominantly hotter or colder all the time might.


More on topic: you could certainly switch to 5s PRO, as has been suggested, but at least part of the idea of PR or + sets is that they let you auto regulate a bit. If you have a day when you’re wiped, just hitting the minimum reps is fine. If you’re feeling good, go for the PR.

Same thing with the FSL sets: there’s no problem just doing 3 sets instead of 5 on days when you’re dead. Don’t be a slave to the plan and grind yourself into the ground. Make adjustments as needed so you can continue to make long term progress.

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Haha figured someone would say something to that effect. I’m definitely not built for the heat. Don’t mind the cold- I actually prefer it. Very difficult to get accustomed to the heat especially when it’s only 2 months out of the year haha. Mandatory work boots and pants don’t help much either.

I’m thinking of sticking to 5’s for the time being however boring it will be. Going to do 1 set of fsl and feel it out, if I feel like doing more, I will do up to 5 sets. Going to have to seriously listen to my body as going HAM has dug me a pretty deep hole. Thanks everyone.

After you deload you should retest your TM’s as layed out in 5/3/1 Forever. This will help you determine where you stand and whether or not your poor gym performance is strictly related to your current stresses or maybe you have actually hit a wall and need to adjust your TMs. Hell, it bet after you deload, then test, you will hit your perscribed TMs you will regain your confidence. Dont be discouraged from training just because you are doing less work; listen to your body, you are clearly over taxed. YOUR TRAINING IS ONLY AS GOOD AS HOW WELL YOU CAN RECOVER FROM!! Your current work situation isnt going away, for now, so you must adapt to it. :slight_smile: