I have been training for 37 years. It is incredibly uncommon for me not to work out. At the same time, it is a good idea to know when you simply need to raise your hands and, as the meme says, "Fuck this shit."

How do you know when to say fuck it, or when to ride it out--staying on track with your training and diet? This will be different for everyone. If I have a "rule" for myself, it is this: If I can train and compartmentalize the problem or situation and be locked in, I will train. If whatever is going on in my life for that day or week is causing me to not lock in to train optimally, I won't train. Now, before you start in about being "hardcore" and accusing me of being weak, I will explain further. 

I have trained longer than most. If you have trained as long or longer than I have, you will understand that more can go wrong in a workout than can go right. What I mean is that my workouts aren't going to cause huge gains, anymore. Yes, I do still progress but nothing on par with what I was gaining and how I was progressing years ago. After building decades of training sessions, every time I go into the gym it needs to be with a strong mental approach, and I need to weigh out the pros and cons of everything--sleep, mental focus, current injuries, diet, stress, etc. The things you can get away with when you are younger, you won't always get away with when you're older. This means that I do not prefer to train 100% if I everything is not "in its place." 

You might be asking why I wouldn't just do a light workout to get the workout logged. Um, no. I do light or easy workouts when I am scheduled to cruise or deload. If I am in the middle of a bang week, I'm training all out or not at all. Taking an extra day or two because I have a ton of shit on my plate, is not a set back considering the length of time I have been training. Training light doesn't accomplish a damn thing (unless you are cruising or deloading). I consider it a giant waste of time. The only thing I could "accomplish" by forcing myself into the gym without the proper mindset is to potentially cause an injury. In short, the cost-to-benefit is not worth it. I have more to lose than what I could gain. Again, an extra day or two of rest will not stop the gain train.

Another reason not to train is if you simply have so much on your plate that you need that gym time to get something done that takes priority. I know, I know, nothing else should matter outside of training. Grow up. No one reading this is a pro, and I'm damn sure not a pro. Most all of us have careers, businesses, children/family, financial issues, etc. If absolutely nothing takes priority over a workout, ever, you should check your priorities. 

Some people can leave their home to train and be back in 1.5 to 2 hours. When I leave for the gym, it involves an hour commute one way, 1/2 hours of stretching (that has to be done to mitigate the risk from past chronic lower back injuries), roughly 1.5 hours of training, and all of the prep to ready for the gym (packing a meal to eat on the way and the post-workout meal), etc. My training days involve roughly 4 hours. Missing only one workout allows me an extra 4 hours to get a lot of shit done.

This last week was a bitch. I didn't train even one day last week. The week started off with a broken-down car for reasons that were completely my fault. However, I will not get into what I did because my man card would be quickly revoked. Suffice to say that there is a reason I do not work on cars or motorcycles--my dumbass is clueless. The car had to get to the shop, I needed to get a rental, and I needed to cancel client appointments.  It wouldn't have looked very good if I showed up to the gym to train and ran into a client who, only a few hours earlier, I had to cancel with. 

Getting ready for the holiday, I had a lot of extra work--including moving the day after Thanksgiving. 3 movers were scheduled and none showed up. To my wife of 30 years and my daughter: "I know we have to move today, but I need to get workout number 5,751 in the log book, so you two will just have to deal with it and get all of this shit moved on your own." If you said this to your wife, you probably wouldn't be married very long. If you say this to your daughter, you aren't a very good father.

My workouts are important to me, and I don't like missing even one of them. If you train long enough, and you are a mature adult with responsibilities, obligations, and people who depend on you, you will need to miss a workout every now and then. I remember keeping track of my workouts on a wall-calendar when I was in high school. I went 10 months while doing a 3-on-1-off training schedule and didn't miss one workout. I was 15 years old. I had no responsibilities; no bills to pay; no family that support; no business to run to support that family; and I didn't have any idea what optimal training meant. As long as I got a good pump, I thought I was going to get huge. 

I'm not 15-years old, anymore; I'm 51 and I have priorities. Life happens. Just sayin'.



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