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Other/Mixed The Mind is Willing but the Flesh is Weak

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

Ap0c

Level 1 Valued Member
For those who do strength practice 5+ days/week: How do you all practice the restraint that is required for high frequency training?

For those who do strength practice less than 5 days/week: How do you deal with boredom on your off days? I've tried LSS work, but it's so incredibly boring compared to swinging bells and pumping iron.

I like to train every day, but I also like to train hard, and I'm finding that at my desired intensity level I have to knock my number of training days down to just 3 or 4 per week. This leaves me very bored and restless on the off days. All I can think about is the next training session and how fun it will be. It even distracts me from my actual job. That's how much I love it. But, when I crank the frequency up, I just overtrain.

Standard recovery variable check-in: Sleeping 7-9 hours/night, weight is stable/increasing, no serious red flags with form although I'll admit it's not perfect. Regarding form, I have always tried to pay a lot of attention to this variable and will ever strive to pay more attention to this variable, but after several years of consistent movement practice and mindfulness (and working with a couple PTs), I genuinely think something else might be the main problem., but obviously I will continue to check in with my form as I go.

Thanks for any advice!
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 6 Valued Member
For those who do strength practice 5+ days/week: How do you all practice the restraint that is required for high frequency training?
I do something pretty much everyday - whether that's just a few sets of push-ups, or a full-blown barbell squats + accessory exercises type of session.
Age and experience will temper a lot of things. I can't afford to wreck myself anymore, and I know that I will train tomorrow so there's not really a huge need to "get it done" in any single session. I push it occasionally, but often I leave something in the tank.
For those who do strength practice less than 5 days/week: How do you deal with boredom on your off days? I've tried LSS work, but it's so incredibly boring compared to swinging bells and pumping iron.
I do not find long cardio sessions boring. I find them meditative. I try to do this once or twice a week.
I like to train every day, but I also like to train hard, and I'm finding that at my desired intensity level I have to knock my number of training days down to just 3 or 4 per week. This leaves me very bored and restless on the off days. All I can think about is the next training session and how fun it will be. It even distracts me from my actual job. That's how much I love it. But, when I crank the frequency up, I just overtrain.
Find things that you can do with some frequency and/or "intensity" (in this case I mean intensity as focus, not % of 1rm) that will not wreck you. For me, that's accessory exercises like glute-ham raises, band work, and push-ups. Grip work is another thing I will do when I don't want to do a 'work out', but still want to train something.

It sounds like you've suffered some injuries from your training? If it continues, you probably need to get things better planned out and have someone take a look at your form.
 
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North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
For those who do strength practice 5+ days/week: How do you all practice the restraint that is required for high frequency training?

For those who do strength practice less than 5 days/week: How do you deal with boredom on your off days? I've tried LSS work, but it's so incredibly boring compared to swinging bells and pumping iron.

I like to train every day, but I also like to train hard, and I'm finding that at my desired intensity level I have to knock my number of training days down to just 3 or 4 per week. This leaves me very bored and restless on the off days. All I can think about is the next training session and how fun it will be. It even distracts me from my actual job. That's how much I love it. But, when I crank the frequency up, I just overtrain.

Standard recovery variable check-in: Sleeping 7-9 hours/night, weight is stable/increasing, no serious red flags with form although I'll admit it's not perfect. Regarding form, I have always tried to pay a lot of attention to this variable and will ever strive to pay more attention to this variable, but after several years of consistent movement practice and mindfulness (and working with a couple PTs), I genuinely think something else might be the main problem., but obviously I will continue to check in with my form as I go.

Thanks for any advice!
I always think of my off days every bit as important as training days - this is when I recover small joint issues that would become chronic if I trained every single day, and days off are when I build muscle - I love my days off!

Hear me now and believe me later, if you're training hard, your body is still working hard on your days off. Pay attention to this and don't fixate on your next session.

Conversely if doing higher frequency you need to guard against overtaxing your recovery - give the body a training load it can thrive under, not one that beats it down.
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
after several years of consistent movement practice and mindfulness (and working with a couple PTs), I genuinely think something else might be the main problem
Wait, what problem? You mentioned boredom and overtraining, but those aren't things you would work with a PT on (assuming physical therapist, not personal trainer).

If you are busting yourself up, one might expect that training to feel good instead of bad would be a pretty good motivator, but sometimes it takes a few decades to really kick in ;-)

I always think of my off days every bit as important as training days - this is when I recover small joint issues that would become chronic if I trained every single day, and days off are when I build muscle - I love my days off!

Hear me now and believe me later, if you're training hard, your body is still working hard on your days off. Pay attention to this and don't fixate on your next session.

Conversely if doing higher frequency you need to guard against overtaxing your recovery - give the body a training load it can thrive under, not one that beats it down.
+1.

Thinking of recovery as a part of training I may need to "do harder" helps me mentally reframe it as an active and productive process, not just doing nothing. And by "active" I mean metabolically active, not necessarily doing some kind of recovery activity.
 

Dayz

Level 6 Valued Member
Could targeted mobility work count as "training" on off days?

Another crazy (somewhat bad) idea might be to train a bit like a bodybuilder. Focus on one or two body parts a day to allow others to recover.
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
For those who do strength practice 5+ days/week: How do you all practice the restraint that is required for high frequency training?
from my perspective - having kids banished boredom from my life. I crave a quiet empty moment these days. So, I receive an outsized benefit from daily moderate training. psychologically it's valuable for me to be in a program that allows such restraint. but if you need something more frequent - that volume and intensity have to give, as you well know.
But, I guess I'd take a look at strength shortcuts from Geoff Neupert for some thoughts on programming more frequent work.
For those who do strength practice less than 5 days/week: How do you deal with boredom on your off days? I've tried LSS work, but it's so incredibly boring compared to swinging bells and pumping iron.
Recently when I was practicing daily dose deadlifts - I spent my off days doing a variety of sessions. one of the favorites is the squat-a-palooza; where I experimented with different kettlebell squat weights and focused on consistency of form and pacing. and another day being strength aerobics a la @Brett Jones . I had very gratifying hour-long sessions, where it's possible to focus on a heavy-ish weight doing a clean-press-squat EMOM or so. very cool way of training with a consistently elevated heart rate. also played with different intervals and weights on different days and found a good balance of timing and intensity that kept me going for an extended period. and, I've oft thought about those sessions and wonder about how similar the net effect is to LISS training. I will say there are DEFINITELY some overlapping effects from either kind of session.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
For those who do strength practice 5+ days/week: How do you all practice the restraint that is required for high frequency training?
I have trained 4+ days/week for quite some time. These days it's a bit more sporadic because of a busy school schedule, but I try to train up to 5 days/week.

Your question: "restraint?"

My answer: If you train same/similar movements at too high of an intensity at a high frequency, you will either A: get injured, and/or B: not make progress.

Regarding A:
Regarding form, I have always tried to pay a lot of attention to this variable and will ever strive to pay more attention to this variable, but after several years of consistent movement practice and mindfulness (and working with a couple PTs), I genuinely think something else might be the main problem., but obviously I will continue to check in with my form as I go.

Giving us some more details as to what the "main problem" is about may help. High frequency on top of poor mechanics or sore joints is something to be avoided at all costs. High frequency of something that makes you feel better is another story. Do not frequently load poor mechanics. You will 100% regret it.

Two cents from someone who has done a fair amount of higher-frequency training:

You can train hard, BUT you cannot train hard every day. The main ways I have found higher frequency to work are as follows:

-Keeping the intensity and volume at low-to-moderate, and very gradually increasing either, but not both variables one at a time.

-Hard waving of the load. If I am going through a kettlebell stint, that may mean 24kg presses one day, followed by 16kg presses the next day. Some days have high intensity and low volume, some have high intensity and higher volume, some have low intensity and high volume, and some have low intensity and low volume. You get the picture.

Lastly and MOST IMPORTANTLY : if you train at a high frequency, it is imperative that you end your training sessions feeling good, fresh, and NOT worn down. Do not put your ego in charge of your auto-regulation. If you are not getting results, you are likely going too hard too often. So becoming result-driven can be very helpful.
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
I think it's a matter of programming.

For the typical gym goer a three day split is the perfect choice. Squats and the like on day one, pressing etc on second, rows and all on third.
Muscle groups get worked every 72 hours when they've recovered.

I don't think it's optimal all the time and that rest days aren't needed, but I also recognise the need to train every day. Some people just function better so.
 

oab

Level 2 Valued Member
Hi ap0c

It all depends on your goals. The short answer is - do you want to progress or is entertainment preferable?
Off days are just as important as training days (as others have said) - if you want to progress rather than sustain injury and setbacks which inevitably follow from overtraining. These things will increase the number of your off days and depending on the injury or setback can turn them into off weeks, off months or worse.

Perhaps look at learning mobility, flexibility and similar recovery methods on the no-KB training days.

Also, it is possible that part of the buy in to such vigorous training is that it has become an outlet for pent up feelings. A certain amount of drive is a natural human emotion, however, sometimes negative pent up feelings can be involved. Learning to relax to reduce tension and anxiety can be helpful and will also help restoration of mind and body for training. In Dr Ainslie Meares' meditation method one learns to relax the body and mind and allow the mind to slow down and still. In stillness there is calm and restoration. The reduction in anxiety and tension following deep mental relaxation is calming and paradoxically provides more energy. You will definitely still want to train but you might find you wish to train for a goal and progress more than before.

You do not mention what types of training you like - is it barbell, kettlebell or other. Some kettlebell programs allow one to train near to daily eg S&S. Barbell programs can be mixed with kettlebell work eg 3 days bar, 2-3 days kbell. These can allow progress if one closely follows the relevant plan.

Good luck in your training.
 

q.Hung

Level 6 Valued Member
For those who do strength practice 5+ days/week: How do you all practice the restraint that is required for high frequency training?
I ran of gas/time quickly (about 40 minutes) so I choose to do train 5-6 times per week. Sometimes more.
Also, my lift is pretty novice so the training session doesn't cause much damage; plus I'm quite random in training (in terms of exercise, weight, reps). In other words (or I can say, in Eric's word), I'm a slacker.

Some months I tried more formal program, like 5x5 with big lifts or Geoff's The Giant. I trained about 5 days per week maximum. Mostly 4 (if I train 5 times then one session would be light, focus on speed and movement quality). In other day I do some light band work or light calisthenics exercises that generate "feel-good" from training but not affect too much to the day after.
 

LukeV

Level 6 Valued Member
I've done quite lengthy periods of daily or near daily training and they've only been possible with strict programming. I don't have the discipline to auto-regulate intensity and recovery. Justa Singles #1 is a good guide to what's possible with daily training - 63 reps (singles) over a 7 day microcycle, increasing over microcycles from 70% to 80% of 1RM. I found that do-able.
 

Pete L

Level 5 Valued Member
I'm currently running MP and SW on Mon, Wed and Fri.
Tue and Thu I'm practicing double LCCJ with light bells getting ready for the next block. Plus some TGU. Not even breaking a sweat.
 

Alan Mackey

Level 6 Valued Member
For those who do strength practice 5+ days/week: How do you all practice the restraint that is required for high frequency training?

For those who do strength practice less than 5 days/week: How do you deal with boredom on your off days? I've tried LSS work, but it's so incredibly boring compared to swinging bells and pumping iron.

I like to train every day, but I also like to train hard, and I'm finding that at my desired intensity level I have to knock my number of training days down to just 3 or 4 per week. This leaves me very bored and restless on the off days. All I can think about is the next training session and how fun it will be. It even distracts me from my actual job. That's how much I love it. But, when I crank the frequency up, I just overtrain.

Standard recovery variable check-in: Sleeping 7-9 hours/night, weight is stable/increasing, no serious red flags with form although I'll admit it's not perfect. Regarding form, I have always tried to pay a lot of attention to this variable and will ever strive to pay more attention to this variable, but after several years of consistent movement practice and mindfulness (and working with a couple PTs), I genuinely think something else might be the main problem., but obviously I will continue to check in with my form as I go.

Thanks for any advice!

In my particular case, since strength training is just the means to an end, I have no problem doing exactly what is needed and nothing more.

Disengage from the outcome and do the work is my motto.
 

Daniel Vintila

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
For those who do strength practice less than 5 days/week: How do you deal with boredom on your off days?
That's where discipline comes in. Know what you are training for and do what it takes. It can take longer or shorter depending on the person, to learn to be patient and dedicated towards your goals.
In my current training I switched from deadlifting 2/3 times a week during my previous cycle, to only 1 time, and I love deadlifting, but then I know what my end goal is and if this is my current program I have to stick to it.
Also you can have switch things around so you don't get bored. In a typical training with an end goal you will go through different phases of training. Start with GPP and high volume-low intensity > focus on speed > focus on higher intensity lower volume SSP (skill specific preparedness > and peak. So you go through various phases.
When you know what you're training for things are always exciting and off days are an opportunity to grow stronger and train better on the next session.
* This is all my point of view about training.
 

Coyotl

Level 6 Valued Member
I’m a little confused by the post… are you just going in and training randomly until you’re exhausted?

Have a plan. If that plan involves training every day, then the plan needs to account for the stress and volume. If you don’t know how to make a plan like that, work with someone who can. You don’t mention how you train (or I missed it) (kettlebells, barbells, bodyweight, mix, cardio, CrossFit, bodybuilding, etc) and that changes how to approach this, and that’s just assuming your goal is to train every day. This can be as simple or as complicated as you want.

Probably the simplest is “one lift a day” - then all you have to do is pick a lift that day that doesn’t feel worn out from the previous day.

Depending what you’re doing that could look like daily practice of Simple and Sinister, or Pavel’s “Russian Bear” or Bulgarian-style lifting.
 

Ap0c

Level 1 Valued Member
A really excellent series of posts. I couldn't possibly respond to all of them, but they've each been helpful in their own way. I'll try to respond to some broad themes.

First, I am not ever training randomly. I am always training within the parameters of some program for usually 6-12 weeks. Some programs just have parameters that allow you to kill yourself if you want to. The simplest example is "add 5 lbs to the bar every week." Obviously at some point this stops working, but not everyone is great at knowing when. I think my problem is that I'm actually not great at adjusting a program to suit my needs.

To make an analogy, I think the issue is that I am trying to learn to be a chef by just memorizing recipes without modifying them to suit my tastes and abilities. It is a tall order for an author to make a program that fits everyone in all the ways a program "ought to." There's been some good guesses (Stronglifts, Starting Strength, S&S - mostly beginner programs I see, having consistently implemented two of them myself for 6 mo. [stronglifts] and two years [S&S]), but there is no guarantee that 5-6 days/week of e.g. S&S will fit me just because it fits most people just fine.

So, I think where I'm headed with all this, mostly just what I've been thinking the past few days, is that I need a hard look at what my goals are, what my recovery looks like, and I just need to write my own adjustable program to suit those needs. If I can't do textbook S&S because my recovery isn't there, so be it. That is better than trying to adapt to something I don't have the capacity for when I try my hardest to optimize recovery. Taking someone else's recipe is really only getting me so far, and I think it doesn't make sense to keep smashing my head into the same ones over and over again with the same result. If it's my own program, I won't be bored, because it will be recipes that I enjoy. I can incorporate elements of programs that others have written that have strong principles, but sticking rigidly to someone else's program is not guaranteed to give me the same results that they've gotten on it and that's a hard fact that I think I need to come to terms with.

I'll probably make some mistakes along the way, but at least I will be actively playing with the parameters and learning what they do to me in a principled way, instead of just randomly selecting pre-designed parameter sets by authors that are well-reviewed.

I sense that a strong component in all of this will be mindset, in particular "temperament" and "discipline." Maybe sometimes I will get bored with the program that I wrote. That doesn't mean I should overhaul the whole program. It means I should examine the aspects of the program that I am bored with and make some changes to them if it is not necessary for them to be the way they are for the goals that I have. Maybe I will use too much volume at first, and need to scale it back. That also does not mean I need to throw the whole program out.

IDK, kinda just rambling at this point.

tl;dr:
Getting strong "workout of the decade vibes" but with some strong intentions of personal input rather than dogmatically and robotically following another's program.
 

Pete L

Level 5 Valued Member
A really excellent series of posts. I couldn't possibly respond to all of them, but they've each been helpful in their own way. I'll try to respond to some broad themes.

First, I am not ever training randomly. I am always training within the parameters of some program for usually 6-12 weeks. Some programs just have parameters that allow you to kill yourself if you want to. The simplest example is "add 5 lbs to the bar every week." Obviously at some point this stops working, but not everyone is great at knowing when. I think my problem is that I'm actually not great at adjusting a program to suit my needs.

To make an analogy, I think the issue is that I am trying to learn to be a chef by just memorizing recipes without modifying them to suit my tastes and abilities. It is a tall order for an author to make a program that fits everyone in all the ways a program "ought to." There's been some good guesses (Stronglifts, Starting Strength, S&S - mostly beginner programs I see, having consistently implemented two of them myself for 6 mo. [stronglifts] and two years [S&S]), but there is no guarantee that 5-6 days/week of e.g. S&S will fit me just because it fits most people just fine.

So, I think where I'm headed with all this, mostly just what I've been thinking the past few days, is that I need a hard look at what my goals are, what my recovery looks like, and I just need to write my own adjustable program to suit those needs. If I can't do textbook S&S because my recovery isn't there, so be it. That is better than trying to adapt to something I don't have the capacity for when I try my hardest to optimize recovery. Taking someone else's recipe is really only getting me so far, and I think it doesn't make sense to keep smashing my head into the same ones over and over again with the same result. If it's my own program, I won't be bored, because it will be recipes that I enjoy. I can incorporate elements of programs that others have written that have strong principles, but sticking rigidly to someone else's program is not guaranteed to give me the same results that they've gotten on it and that's a hard fact that I think I need to come to terms with.

I'll probably make some mistakes along the way, but at least I will be actively playing with the parameters and learning what they do to me in a principled way, instead of just randomly selecting pre-designed parameter sets by authors that are well-reviewed.

I sense that a strong component in all of this will be mindset, in particular "temperament" and "discipline." Maybe sometimes I will get bored with the program that I wrote. That doesn't mean I should overhaul the whole program. It means I should examine the aspects of the program that I am bored with and make some changes to them if it is not necessary for them to be the way they are for the goals that I have. Maybe I will use too much volume at first, and need to scale it back. That also does not mean I need to throw the whole program out.

IDK, kinda just rambling at this point.

tl;dr:
Getting strong "workout of the decade vibes" but with some strong intentions of personal input rather than dogmatically and robotically following another's program.
I like the chef analogy.
However I would argue the educational journey of a trainee chef includes the diligent practice of other people's recipes for a significant period of time. Then when the basics are mastered the sous takes their own path and gets their own Michelin star.
But, aside from the analogy, find your own path and enjoy the journey.
 

Ap0c

Level 1 Valued Member
I like the chef analogy.
However I would argue the educational journey of a trainee chef includes the diligent practice of other people's recipes for a significant period of time. Then when the basics are mastered the sous takes their own path and gets their own Michelin star.
But, aside from the analogy, find your own path and enjoy the journey.
Absolutely agreed. I don't think people should just start writing their own programs right off the bat. I'm just suggesting that I might be at the point where I need to take the leap.
 
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