I have no complaints as to how everything has been going in reference to progress over the last few months. At the same time, something is off because my motivation is off.

I don't hate training. I have been to that point a couple of years ago and it isn't a very fun place to visit. I'm more in the place right now where I think to myself, "Shit, I have to train tonight."  

In response, I have simply pushed through and the workouts continue to be productive. I am continuing to make solid strides in the gym. However, I am finding that I have minor aches and pains from a physical standpoint and general malaise from a psychological standpoint. When I think about training it's just "meh"; instead of excitement there is apathy. 

I don't typically have motivation issues. In fact, I rarely feel the need to evaluate my motivation because it's almost never an issue. I admit that these days I don't ever feel like, "yay! I am training tonight!" Still, it isn't that I don't look forward to it. I guess I have come to approach my training after so many years as, "this is just what I do. I go to "work" on these days and this is the work I do on these days." If that seems odd to you or you feel I should be more excited, train for 36 years and you will probably explain it the way I do, as well. Again, it isn't that I don't enjoy training. It's just that I do it when I am scheduled to do it and don't give it much thought, anymore. 

Because of the minor aches and pains, feeling a little more tired, and just not looking forward to the sessions as much, I decided to cut back my frequency from 4 days per week to 3. This might not seem like much but taking away the one extra workout day means that I don't train a muscle group twice each week. With only 3 training sessions per week, I only hit every body part once per week. 

In cutting back my frequency, I will obviously allow for more recovery and because I have trained for so long and know my body, this lack of motivation is almost certainly recovery related. When I start to overtrain, I start to lose motivation -- along with aches and pains, etc. 

The aches and pains aren't injuries or anything all that concerning. EG: My knees kill me after a brutal leg session. My right triceps tendon is irritated on and off with no real reason as to why and no consistency as to when it will or won't be irritated. Even my thumbpads hurt for some reason. lol 

Another thing to note is my sleep has been less than it typically is for the last couple of weeks. I am very busy, and I haven't been getting my usual amount of sleep, consistently. I run behind and then after 4 or 5 days I get some extra sleep to "catch up." This has been going on for a few weeks and as much as I thought I was  catching up, I am now quite certain that I have not been catching up.

Another concern right now (with covid and all of the other crap) is that I don't want to gamble with lower recovery and less sleep -- not just for my progress in the gym but for my health, as well. Quite simply, I don't want to get sick. In any other year this might not even be a concern, but with everything going on for the last 12 months, I am more cautious now than ever before. 

So, my first change is that I have decreased my frequency by taking away one session per week. I plan to run this for the rest of this week and next week and evaluate again. If I don't feel any better or if I am not any more motivated than I am now, I will likely take a full week off from the gym. I have not done this since my glute injury last July (into August). 

Because I am still progressing so well in the gym, I am convinced that even though my recovery is becoming an issue, I am not overtrained (yet). If I were, I would not still be progressing and getting stronger in the gym. So, I am guessing that I am only a few workouts away from everything coming to a screeching halt if I don't take action. Anyone who has worked with me knows that I am very proactive (vs reactive) when it comes to reading my body in relation to training. I don't wait for bright, flashing neon signs to tell me something is off. I make changes prior to anything major going wrong.

I had a client ask me earlier this week what he should do with his lack of motivation, lately. My response was what I have told clients for a very long time: I don't believe in forcing training sessions or "pushing through" unless it is just a lack of motivation for a very short time. If it starts to become consistent, time away from the gym is not a bad thing. Nothing will get most people's motivation going again as much as not training will. As soon as you start to feel "small" or you feel your condition slipping, that motivation usually kicks in quickly. If it doesn't, keep resting. At some point, you will get that urge to get back in the gym. If you never do, don't feel bad. It just means that training isn't that important to you, anymore. If that is the case, no one should do something they don't enjoy simply because of the results they can achieve. There is no joy in doing something or even achieving something if you don't enjoy the process.



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