Demished strength...sometimes 6, sometimes 12 reps!

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by wungun, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. wungun

    wungun Member

    Iam trying to determine what's going on in my workouts...
    Some days, say when I'm doing incline presses, I can rep out 11 or 12 reps, and on other days, 5 or 6 reps...with the same weight!!
    This is doing the same form and cadence.
    Obviously, the exercise I do prior to this example greatly affects it. i.e. flat bench as opposed to mil presses...
    All my rest periods are 90 seconds, which I find optimal for myself. Usually a 3 minute rest between exercises.

    Question: is the quality and types of food I eat the previous day greatly effect strength and energy levels?
    The meal/supp's prior to my workout?

    Surely, it's been hot as hell here lately, and that would play a role. But by THAT much?

    I usually do an AM workout, but not always. Sometimes an AM/PM split.

    My preworkout meals, maybe bowl of oatmeal and banana, or banana and peanut butter toast, an hour later, cup of 1% milk, 1 1/2 scoop protein with flax seed and hemp seed, half a banana or a few fresh strawberries, creatine and glutamine, sometime a couple of NO caps, large glass if water pre, during and post workout, followed by another shake.

    Anyone have a view on this?
     
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Rest periods should be whatever length is necessary in order for you to be able to complete all reps. Trying to confine then to only a 90 second period could potentially cause a drop in strength for subsequent lifts that use similar muscles or have overlap. There is nothing magical about minimizing rest periods, it does not cause a heightened GH response to an extent that you will notice increases in muscle gains or anything like that. It does serve to reduce the amount of ATP available for energy during subsequent sets, however.

    What about your nutrition the night prior to lifting? The meal you have for dinner can effect your strength levels the next day, especially for an AM workout. What are you eating the night prior when your strength is higher? How about on the days when your strength is lower than expected?
     
  3. wungun

    wungun Member

    I wouldn't say my diet fluctuates all that much on low/high strength workouts.
    I have a hunch though that I might be taking in more or less carbs which might be causing the difference. I wouldn't think it would be THAT noticeable from workout to workout.
    I am also trimming back my calories as well to trim off some fat...so there isn't an over abundance of "energy" in store.
    Overall, I'm down 5 or 6 Lbs over the last 4 weeks. I'm retaining muscle pretty good, but I need to come down 5 or 6 more to get those abs out! Stubborn belly fat!

    I think I need to better log and keep track of my meals day to day.

    I take NO most workouts...just 2 caps. I don't think it's worth the $ as a supplement.
    Overall, I feel the same fluctuations regardless.

    As for the between the set rests, I'm going to try and adjust where I need to.
    I find the 10 rep range lifts require more rest.
    The 5's, I can complete all reps, on all exercises, except maybe calf raises, DB inclines and mil presses.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  4. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Flat bench prior to incline bench is obviously going to leave your incline suffering.

    90s rest period is quite short, IMO. I suppose that's fine for higher rep ranges but anything heavier than ~8RM wants longer than that, frankly.
     
  5. Definitely track your calories if you are cutting. Now that I've been tracking calories daily, I'll likely never stop; just so easy to do and the information is critical to whatever your goal, cut, gain or maintain.

    Totz is right on. Nutrition is critical, it's 90% of the game. I always eat a ton of complex carbs the night before training and for breakfast and lunch the day of training. Most of my carbs are in the form of vegetables, rice, oatmeal, and quinoa. I've never liked oatmeal before a workout; sits too 'heavy' in my stomach so I opt for white rice or quinoa (oatmeal and blueberries in the morning.) I also always eat very simple carbs about 20-30 minutes pre-workout (100 calories worth of dextrose) and 100mg of caffiene; I also supplement pre and during training with BCAAs. I personally wouldn't bother with the NO supplements though creatine is definitely worth the $$.

    How consistent is your sleep? 7-8 hours a night?? When all else is consistent, I find that sleep can be the key variable that can throw off a workout pretty badly, though probably not a 50% cut in strength.

    I agree with Alex. 90 seconds is short. I always take at least 2-3 minutes and when the loads get really heavy, I will go 5 or more minutes between sets. Also, agree that doing flat bench before incline will compromise your incline. Set up your workout so you are not training the same muscle groups back to back.
     
  6. wungun

    wungun Member

    Awesome info! Thanks...
    So when you carbo-load the day before, are you up in the "gain" range when it comes to calories?
    Seeing as I'm still wanting to cut some more, I might simply go with simple carbs preworkout, and a few complex carbs the night before...but no more than maintenance.

    I supp with creatine and glutamine pre workout and glutamine again, post workout.
    I need to restock my BCAA's.

    And I'll try for lengthened rest periods tomorrow, see how that feels...

    On a nutritional topic...have you ever had white rice with a fried, runny yolk egg or two on it?
    Yum!!!
     
  7. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Just some kind of complex carbs the night before can help a lot, depending on how early you lift the next day. I like noodles for dinner. Some simple carbs prior to workout can help too but if you already have stuff in your stomach, then it's not going to make a lot of difference since you're stomach will still be digesting whatever you've eaten earlier. A good preworkout supplement can help as well.

    For me, the biggest factor other than the carbs the night before seems to be mindset. You need to be in the right mental state prior to your workout. That's why I, personally, institute a preworkout ritual that I follow prior to every workout. It isn't anything special, just the precise series of things I do to prepare for the workout. Packing my gym bag, drinking some protein (I add fat free dried milk to it for some carbs) and everything else I do. After doing the same thing over and over prior to almost every workout for the last several months, my body seems to respond to the ritual by gearing itself up to move some weights around and I find that my workouts go much better than the few times I have to skip my ritual for various reasons.
     
  8. Agree with Totz. I'm a big fan of the ritual... The pre-workout ritual, for me, starts about 1.5 hours before training and includes caffiene which, if used properly (and not so much that it negatively impacts sleep patterns), can be an amazing training supplement.
     
  9. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Caffeine so good.


    That is all.
     
  10. wungun

    wungun Member

    Just to bring this back from the dead...
    I've found my carb backloading routine has helped a lot in this department...
    While I might not feel alert or energetic at the time of working out, the energy /strength is there to get 'er done. And I'm hitting PR's still in my 5rm's.
     

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