If you’ve been training a while you have probably experienced this:
Things are going good, then great then they suck. I’m not talking about injuries or recovery, sometimes your training just gets stuck in a rut.
There can be any number of reasons:


  • Lack of a challenge
  • Your program
  • Lack of hard work
  • Lack of focus
  • Monotony

I’ll toss this out there, it could be monotony kicking in and that can cause all of the other reasons I listed (except your program) to come into play.
Let’s assume you are not one of the current crop of people who expects changes to happen overnight.
Here I go off topic again….
Many of the younger generation thinks things should happen FAST.
I have this discussion a lot with newer lifters.
They think they will do a 12 week wave and they will add 50, 75, 100 pounds or more to their lifts.
I’m not kidding.
It just doesn’t work like this.
I remember being at an EliteFTS Force Production seminar many years ago and Dave started it off by holding a 2 ½ pound plate and explaining that a veteran lifter may take months to add a small amount of weight to a top lift.
It takes:



  • Patience
  • A solid program
  • Hard Work
  • Effort
  • Dedication
  • Trust in the process

It does not happen overnight.
To get better you have to put your time in Under the Bar.
Let’s make sure this sinks in to the younger crowd.
I’ll use myself as an example. You may have read my recent post on My Quest for a 315 Bench.
It chronicles me building my bench back up after a long layoff from training it.
I could be totally unrealistic and think that I can jump back in and get to a 500-pound bench in only a few months.
This is just not how it works.
I laid out a plan to get to 315, and then 365 over about 24 weeks.
That’s a long time for a goal like this, but I am ok with it.
And it’s working.
The current goal to realize is 365 and I am confident I will hit that when I test again in two weeks.
I smashed 355 with chains yesterday as a matter of fact.


tps, total performance sports. training, rut, stuck , elite fts, cj murphy;
As I said before, this is pretty unimpressive, but think of it like this:
Steady and slow progress is lasting and permanent progress.
Taking time to build work capacity, strength and technique lasts.
Shooting for ego lifting and instant gratification is not the name of the game here if you want to remain healthy and continue making progress.
If it worked the way many in the younger generation thinks there would be a crop of 2000 pound benchers in a year or so.
Take your time and trust the process.
Progress will come, but it is slower than you may like.


So let’s get back on track and look at something I think will bust you out of a rut, assuming your program is solid.


How many of you listen to the same type of music all the time while training?
I know I did for years and it seemed to work.
I needed LOUD and hard metal, punk or hardcore blaring in the gym or my headphones to smash weights.
I’ve even fallen into the trap of being DJ Max Effort and needed to have the right song on to hit a PR or heavy set.
This approach was noticed by a few of my training partners over the years and they commented, but I never listened.
Well, one day I was going for a Bad Hip PR Deadlift and I went over to the stereo, picked just the right song, Supremacy by Hatebreed and stepped up to the bar and missed the weight.
They both said that they knew I was going to miss because almost every time I did that I missed.
This time I took it to heart.
This showed me that I had a lack of something and was using the music as a crutch.
It also showed me a pattern.
Patterns repeat themselves everywhere in nature.
Training is no different.


What did I learn from this and how will it help you get your training out of a rut?

Well, I realized that I needed to get less jacked up and just do the work.
Save the getting jacked way the hell up for the meet.
If you don’t compete, save it for test day.
Using external stimulus too often can burn you out. Try to focus internally and think of your training as work that needs to get done.
Now on to the monotony.
You thought I forgot about that right?


Do you listen to the same music or same type of music ALL the time?
Are you in a rut?

Try adding different music into your training.
I have found that tossing on my headphones and listening to Classical music to be very helpful.
Classical music has many varieties, and many styles can help you with mental focus.
Some can get you jacked up too.

Don’t think so, try Beethoven’s Symphony Number 9 in D Flat.
It’s badass.
The point is that if you do the same thing all the time and expect different results you are crazy.


Is your training stuck in a rut 2 tps, tps, total performance sports. training, rut, stuck , elite fts, cj murphy;
Try adding in a different stimulus.

If you listen to Metal, try something different, like classic rock.
If you listen to Pop, well you get the idea.
Don’t do this on a test day or at a meet.
Try it in training and see how it goes.
I’ll be you will be surprised at how much of an effect it has on your training in a good way.
Switching it up in some ways has many benefits.
So, before you jump ship on your program-try doing something just a little different for your stimulus.
Using different music can make a big difference.

Oh, and….

TPS needs your vote.

We’ve been nominated on the Boston A List in three categories:

This is a popularity contest meaning most votes wins.
We are up against some BIG BOX gyms that have thousands of members and every vote counts.

If you like my logs and have a few minutes to spare, please give us a vote in one or all three categories.
The site is a bit confusing to vote on.
If you vote in one category, say Best Gym, you can go back to the Fitness category and click on the other ones, such as Best Personal Trainer and vote in all three.
Best Gym
Best Personal Trainer
Best Boot Camp


Maldens Strongest Flyer
Next Saturday July 29th we are running the Malden’s Strongest Contest to benefit Housing Families.
We will be at the Idle Hands Tap room in Malden and the event starts at 12:00 noon and runs til about 3:00 pm.
Watch some awesome Strongman, drink some beer, eat some food and raise some loot for a great cause.
I hope to see you there wearing your best EliteFTS t shirt.

Ask me a question-Be sure and Type to Murph in the header

Find me on Google-search for Total Performance Sports Malden, Mass. The Best Gym in Boston, Facebook too.

Oh, yeah, follow us on Instagram too. TPSMalden



Vincere vel mori