May 8, 2013


Cydney “Ci Ci” Smith


Powerlifting or strength training is a way of life for most of you reading this.  It has to be; how else could you explain taking your body to the brink of its limitations with little payoff other than a record, a title, bragging rights, or personal satisfaction; none of which seems to matter to mainstream Joe Q. Public.

There is, however, a semi-taboo subject that few of us are willing to broach.  How does one simply explain to their training partners that they’ve lost the will to pour their soul into every single day at the gym?  People are quick to judge and hypothesize about your dilemma.  You’re overtrained, your nutrition has been piss-poor, your significant other has been a discouraging factor, you just need someone to “fire you up”, your priorities have gone askew….the list goes on to infinity.  Maybe you don’t even want to admit it to yourself, but you are probably burnt out.

I can honestly look in the mirror and say that I’ve fallen victim to this a couple times.  The psychological impact doesn’t have to signal the beginning of the end.  Here are some lessons learned:

1.  Rest is good for you.

Repeat that 100 times.  Accept that your strength levels are going to drop.  But trust me when I say that unless you take a year to do absolutely nothing, it’s not going to drop off as bad as you think.  Imagine how much better it would feel to lift without the pain of all those pesky injuries, threatening to sabotage your next training session.  Imagine not having the pressure to hit certain numbers with time ticking down towards that next meet.  Maybe you can use ridiculously light weight for a while and fix that bad squat form.  When you do feel a surge of motivation again, the gains will come fast and furious, almost like when you were a newbie.

2.  Tackle that to-do list.

You’ll have all sorts of extra time to take care a few things you’ve been putting off for a while.  Schedule that long overdue doctor’s visit.  Take a leisure trip that doesn’t involve cutting weight and displaying bench shirt bruises when you wear a tank top.  Make time for the people in your life that matter.

3.   Opportunity awaits.

During your scheduled hiatus, you may discover things that will forever alter your previous outlook.  You may find out that you are far better at crossfit or strongman than powerlifiting.  You may lose some unwanted weight and have more energy.  A new hobby could be acquired during your time off, opening up a whole new circle of friends with those similar interests. This is a great opportunity for personal growth.

When your heart is on fire to crush supra-maximal weights again, the sport will be waiting for you.



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