VIDEO: Feeling Sluggish? Try Adjusting Your Warm-Up

Despite your faith, dedication and pagan sacrifices, sometimes the fickle Lifting Gods frown on you nonetheless. As a mere mortal, how can you respond when they thwart you from lifting mightily? What can you do when, all of a sudden, 75% feels like 90% and you just don’t have the juice?

One very quick tip is to adjust your warm-up. Sometimes we all have days when we need more warm-up sets to get our body firing on all cylinders. If things aren’t feeling great, then take a few more warm-ups and see if that solves the problem. Often it will. And by being more aware of the connection between warm-up sets and workout performance, you’ll realize that you need more warm-ups on certain exercises than others.

Have a look at this video where I explain exactly how to tweak your warm-up sets for this purpose.

If you find that you often feel sluggish/lacking pop, try setting what I call a ‘feel-good-weight’ in your warm-ups. It can make a huge difference. I explain the whole thing here.

If that doesn’t help, you want to consider some other possibilities.

First and most obvious, you might be tired. If you had a crappy sleep (or a few days like that) or if you’ve been stressed at work, eating poorly, or you had one or more monster training days earlier in the week, there’s a very good chance you won’t feel much pop in the gym. There’s no shortcut to solving this. You need to get your lifestyle factors back on track to support your training if you want to feel better. Or you might need to plan your week or month of workouts more effectively to better predict the days when you’re under recovered and plan lighter workouts here.

Second, it is always possible that you’re just having an off day. Just like five to ten percent of your workouts will feel incredible, five to ten percent simply aren’t going to be spectacular. Actually, they’ll be pretty crap. And you can’t predict this 100%. Adjust the weight or drop the number of sets if needed and get through it. If it’s really a terrible day, you might want to completely change your workout, skip it, or save it for another day.

The other option is that your program simply isn’t working well for you. I’m going to get into that next week, so stay tuned. This is one of the most important concepts in effective program design and you won’t want to miss it.