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Not doing the weight you know you can do
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Kapanda Offline
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Post: #1
Not doing the weight you know you can do
So, today I tried to squat some weight I am fairly comfortable with, and I would just psych myself out of finishing the set after just one rep. I came back to it at the end of my session, hoping I would be more switched on, but not much changed, so I ended up doing about 40 lbs less than I normally would, so I would at least do the exercise, instead of doing nothing at all.

How do you guys deal with mental blocks like that?
09-07-2017 12:05 AM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Not doing the weight you know you can do
It happens, to some more than others. Some days you just don't have it in you.

Once in a while, it's ok. Go back tommorow and give it hell.
09-07-2017 12:10 AM
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realologist Offline
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RE: Not doing the weight you know you can do
It happens. Just make sure to grind through and finish the workout at whatever weight you can do for the day. These days are more important to show your mental toughness. Next time you work guarantee you will do better.
09-07-2017 06:13 AM
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not_dead_yet Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Not doing the weight you know you can do
Squats always psych me out. My dad has a bad back and I'm always worried I'm going to hurt mine too. Here are some things that have worked for me:

- Do higher reps at a lower weight. If 5 at 85% 1RM is freaking you out, then do, e.g., 10 at 80%. You'll still get stronger, and you'll feel the difference when you go back to the higher weight.

- Replace 45s with, e.g., two 25s. For some reason, the weight looks smaller to me and I just feel better doing it.

- Space out your reps by a lot. Do one rep. Rest five, ten minutes. At that point, it's not two reps. It's really two sets of one rep. And if you did that yesterday, then you can do a set of two today and so on.

- Lift in a power rack and set the safety arms to catch the bar if you drop it. Set them to the height just where you break your knee line with your butt. Practice dumping the empty bar (don't let it roll up over your neck!, obv). Make sure you know it's not going to kill you if you fail the rep.

- Make sure you're 100% happy with your form. Sometimes I get nervous because I know my form is breaking down, e.g., on that third rep. If that happens, rerack it, rest five minutes, and focus on doing that one perfect rep. Repeat until you finish your set.

- Make sure you're controlling your descent. Two seconds down -- one one hundred, two one hundred. Don't bomb into the descent.

FTR, I was having these problems back when I was trying to break 135 (lol). I'm up to 243 now and I'm much more comfortable with the higher weight. You'll get there too.

"I'm not worried about fucking terrorism, man. I was married for two fucking years. What are they going to do, scare me?"
09-07-2017 06:38 AM
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The Man w/ the Golden Gun Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Not doing the weight you know you can do
(09-07-2017 12:05 AM)Kapanda Wrote:  ...I came back to it at the end of my session, hoping I would be more switched on, but not much changed, so I ended up doing about 40 lbs less than I normally would...

You're going to be more tired at the end of your workout than at the beginning, so I'm not surprised. I've been placing my priority lifts at the beginning of my workout and putting exercises like planks at the end.

We get an idea that strength training and bodybuilding are supposed to be linear (Starting Strength program, "I go to bed a stronger man than yesterday" and your muscles are supposed to get bigger) but that is supposed to be over a long period of time, big picture.

Over the course of day to day? Maybe not. I was mentally stuck on a 135 lbs bench for a long time. I actually went down to 65 lbs with an alternative isolation bench exercise for a month. Now that I'm back with traditional bench, I'm pressing 175 lbs.
09-07-2017 08:08 AM
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H1N1 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Not doing the weight you know you can do
Sometimes it's just the way it goes - you're more tired than you realised, or are dehydrated or underfed etc.

Sometimes it's because one of the muscles in the movement group is a weakness, and as soon as it becomes fatigued the effect on your performance is exponential. For something like the squat you could look at your core work and see whether you are putting in enough time to supporting movements (back extensions, rollouts etc). When I see someone fail a squat, it is usually not due to a lack of leg strength - typically they can't maintain the structural integrity to move the weight through an optimal path.
09-07-2017 09:04 AM
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Going strong Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Not doing the weight you know you can do
I'm more concerned about not doing the 8s I know I can do...

As to workouts, I'm following the excellent McEnroe day-training Blush, and Connors night-training Banana, practices; both reached the world's Number-1 spot, after all...
09-07-2017 09:11 AM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Not doing the weight you know you can do
To echo other lifters in here: some days are just off days. Could be any number of variables, but you just aren't at your strongest. We all have bad days. At the same time, we all have good days too. There have been days where they weight just flies up.
09-07-2017 10:51 AM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Not doing the weight you know you can do
Fwiw, I've had days where I fell several reps short of where I was previously, and other days where I just felt incredibly on and threw another 40 on the bar and raped it.
09-08-2017 09:51 AM
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