Skip a a session?   Or tough it out? Skip a a session? Or tough it out?

starting strength gym

View Poll Results: If under the weather: skip and rest? or power through?

8. You may not vote on this poll
  • Skip and rest / recover

    3 37.50%
  • Power through, even if with less weight than before

    5 62.50%
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Skip a a session? Or tough it out?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Northern New Jersey

    Default Skip a a session? Or tough it out?

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    I'm an experienced lifter (I'm 45 have have been lifting weights since I was 16) and know my way around barbells. I just started SS because Rip's books and radio and youtube content is so compelling, and I needed a change of pace / catalyst. So I started with beginner phase 1 from scratch, and I'm now a couple weeks into phase 2. I'm currently at Bench: 3x5@265, Squat: 3x5@360, DL: 2x5@445, Press: 3x5@180, Powerclean: 5x2@190.

    So my question is: if you're feeling under the weather, and you know you aren't going to be able to incrementally increase weight in a particular session, is it better to skip and rest/recover? Or is it better to back off the weight a little and power through. I'm the type of person who firmly believes that those days on it's difficult are the most important days to push through and train anyway, so my instinct is option 1. In other words, some workout is better than no workout. But I'm just curious that since SS is all about small incremental improvement, would option 2 be better?

    Now when I say "under the weather", I do NOT mean I'm simply not motivated, or not "feeling it". Example: about a week ago, I was nursing a cold, and I slept crappy for a few nights in a row. On the Monday morning I woke up, dragged my butt down to my basement and started the squat-bench-deadlift session, knowing that I wasn't going to be able to even do the weight I had done on Friday, nevermind increase. So...I did the workout, but I backed off the weight from my previous session (about 5% less).

    So what say you? Skip and rest? Or do it anyway with lower weight?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2017


    Depends on the severity of the illness. I go the the gym with a mild cold, or a bit of a stomach bug and see how it goes. If I feel fine after the warmups then I just carry on with the programme. However, if I'm coughing so hard that I can't get a breath, or I feel terrible, then I go home and nurse myself. You can actually push a virus into the heart if you just tough it out, that would put the training on hold for a long time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019


    I go by my resting heart rate that day. If it's around normal I do the workout. If it's 15 clicks higher (which seems about the norm *for me* when I'm fighting infection), I skip it. I read that advice years ago, not sure where, but I've definitely regretted it when I've ignored it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017


    Either push the planned workout a day, or reduce volume and power through.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018


    I used to just train through whatever it was, and I set a lot of PRs that way. What I found was that sometimes this stopped me from recovering from my illness. At this point, if Iím feeling unwell at that moment, Iíll still train, but if I wake up sick and it sits with me all day, Iíll often train the next day so I can rest up.

    Always try sleeping more first, though. Iíve turned days from non-training days into training days by getting a long nap in.


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