I blather on about Strength Training a lot, because it means a lot to me. In the past, Training has been a way for me to go to ground, so to speak. It serves as a space that is mine, a ritual space that offers emotional decompression from both sides of the ‘yin/yang’ spectrum: if I’ve got some pent-up aggression or frustration, the act of moving around and grunting and brutalising myself is very cathartic; whilst simultaneously it’s a nurturing act of self-care, and an activity that is fundamentally much more constructive than similar outlets I’ve had in the past (e.g. clubbing). As well as this, I’ve went through the majority of my life knowing I’m not particularly attractive, and training helps me feel good about my body by allowing me to glimpse the physical feats that it’s capable of (even if I remain convinced I look like shit :-/).
But what happens when the place you go to ground is itself a source of frustration for you? Something I’ve been avoiding confronting since around May is that, actually, my training is stagnant or perhaps going backwards. I lopped a round or so off of the work sets in my circuit to account for being tired one week, and those haven’t reappeared in ages. Similarly, I’ve seen my form deteriorate on my two favourite exercises; ones where I was incredibly close to finally approaching the progression standard for the movements.
There are many reasons that could be to blame. I could simply be tired, due to poor sleep hygiene and stress in work or what remains of my romantic life. I could be bored with the routine I’ve created myself; a system that once represented growth and playfulness and freedom now may symbolise the stagnation. It’s supposed to be ever growing with me, yet every attempt I’ve made to stimulate it or shake it up has failed. I don’t think I’ve been pushing myself too hard; my routine was objectively more intensive before and I was performing a lot better than I am now.
I guess my next approach should be to ‘go to ground’ for my ground. Go back to the source, what pushed me to train the way I do? ‘Coach’ recommends revisiting the ‘good behaviour’ routine once in a while; saying that it offers even intermediate and advance trainers some room to grow.
Either that or I go full warrior-monk, suspend my PhD, and don’t show my face until I’ve nailed one-arm pull-ups… :-P