Muscle Sport Magazine

Heading into the Gym – You Can’t Plan It, So Listen To Your Body

Many people who train head into the gym with a set plan of what they’re going to do for the day. That’s entirely against the productive path of instinctive training. You can’t decide ahead of time that today is going to be a “heavy day” and tomorrow a “light day.” You have to listen to your body and abide by mother nature, so to speak, if you want to give your body what’s best that day. And the fact is, the body may not be ready for a heavy day just because your mind is.


What if you feel absolutely awesome–strong and powerful–when you step into the gym but it’s a “light” day? You’re going to miss out on growth because you’re holding yourself back. On the other hand, there are some days you just don’t have it, and going “heavy” on those days is only going to put you at a greater risk of injury.


Now, that said, there are some days where you’re going to go in just lacking motivation or desire and you’re really going to have to earn that muscle. You’re going to have to really find out what “mind over matter” is all about. And that’s ok — that’s often a mentalblock, not a physical one. When it comes to the weights and the exercises and the repetitions you’re going to do, that’s a physical response. You can’t fight it, you just have to work with it.


There will be some days you go into the gym like you’re on top of the world, and you won’t be able to get a pump. There will be other days that you nearly crawl into the gym but you get the sickest pump of your life and the weights feel as if they’re the elixir of life you’ve been begging for. The body is on its own schedule; listen to it. Work with it.


Factors that you have to consider before training each day: – How much sleep did I get last night? Did my girlfriend keep me up? Did the neighbor’s dog barking keep me up? Did I wake up randomly several times? Did I get enough sleep?


How has work been lately? If you work in a labor-oriented job, you might find certain days tax you more than others, so you have to consider the workload your body has already undertaken.


Has my nutrition been on point lately? If you haven’t been taking in adequate carbs and protein, you’re not going to be as primed for growth as you are in weeks you do everything spot on.


Figure it out, fix it…and train like an animal.



Excerpt from “Essentials of Bodybuilding” by Gregg Valentino with Nathan Jendrick.

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