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Why You Feel WEAKER Some Days (And How to Fix It!)

We all have days where our workouts feel great, where the weights feel light and you’re able to lift more weight and do more reps than usual. On the contrary though, I think we can all relate to “bad” workout days where the weights feel heavier than normal, making it a struggle to hit the numbers that you normally do. Well, rather than just dismissing it as “having a bad workout” OR assuming that you’ve lost muscle mass, realize that there’s a few reasons that research has indicated help explain why the workout you’ve been doing suddenly felt harder and why you feel weak in the gym.

The first factor contributing to you feeling weak during your workout is going to be hydration. Research has indicated that dehydration of as little as 2% can negatively impact your workout performance. In fact, one study looked at 1RM bench press strength in subjects that were hydrated then put through a dehydration protocol. Their 1RM decreased by 7kgs as a result of the dehydration! Thus, what I’d recommend is aim to intake roughly a gallon of water a day (obviously this depends on various factors), but more importantly, drink at least a litre of water shortly before your workout and another litre during your workout. Doing so will ensure you’re adequately hydrated and don’t feel weaker at the gym.

Next, sleep deprivation is another major contributor to decrements in workout performance. You want to aim to get roughly ~7-9 hours of sleep a night. But, if you’re unable to do so, you have a couple options. One option is to avoid working out during an extended wake time. For instance, if you will be running on little sleep and have to wake up at 5am, then avoid working out past 5pm when you’ve been awake for 12+ hours if you want to maximize your performance. Another option as I’ve mentioned in past videos is to supplement with caffeine prior to your workout, which has been shown to boost performance when in a sleep deprived state.

Lastly, you want to make sure you’re being consistent with your calorie and overall carbohydrate intake. Even a few days of ingesting much lower calories (especially carbs) than normal can have a negative impact on your successive workouts. This is mainly due to the decrease in glycogen stores of your muscles. Obviously to correct this you’ll want to be more consistent with your calorie intake and avoid having days where you ingest very little carbs (unless you’re doing keto of course!).

Although there are several more potential factors that can affect your workout performance, these three typically have the biggest impact. Correct them and you’ll instantly start having better workouts!

And for an all-in-one evidence-based program that optimizes all your training variables AND nutrition, such that you’re able to progress as quickly as possible and maximize your efforts in the gym, then simply take my starting-point analysis tool below to determine which program is best for you:

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STUDIES:
Hydration:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1…
http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/…
Sleep:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8…
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2…
Food intake:
https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view…

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