Against all odds, uglier than Sarah Jessica Parker.
So... what to do? Take time off? Keep at it? As we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By the same token, abandoning the gym altogether is also a ridiculous concept, which is one of the main reasons why I initially found HIT to be absurd. Therefore, that option is abandoned as absurd on its face- Da Vinci never produced a wondrous work of art or science as the direct result of taking long breaks from creating shit- the man was instead one of the most prolific inventors and artists of all time. Likewise, your squat's not going to go through the roof due to long layoffs and abandonment of that exercise. You don't win a war by surrendering... and all an armistice will get you is years of annoyance, just like it has in the Korean penninsula. I recently discovered, though an unlikely, unusual, and frankly surprising bout of introspection, that my efforts to overcome a slump in the gym fall squarely in line with those I implement to overcome a creative block in drawing or writing. As such, I thought I'd post some suggestions from about.com in re creative block to show you what I mean.
Da Vinci- polymath, evolutionary biologist, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, paleontologist, cartographer, botanist, writer, and the first known person to utter the phrase "I pity tha fool."
- "What I like to do is look at my portfolios of old paintings I did back when I had inspiration. I also look at any other artwork that I left off with, and try to put myself back where I was before I'd lost my inspiration. Sometimes, I'll go back to places I used to spend a lot of time at while painting, either someplace I painted at, or just someplace I frequented that might help me get my focus back." -- Chickymoc
- "I cut out things in magazine, so I can have some guidance when I paint." -- Nonne3
- "Grab a few canvases and gesso or basecoat a color of acrylic paint on them in preparation. Or take some turps, dip a rag or crushed-up paper towel in it and then in raw sienna or ochre or whatever, and create a toned canvas, in preparation of painting in oils. Just this simple action somehow makes you feel that you are 'in the groove' of painting, and who knows, you just might start touching that brush to canvas and be on your way!" -- Rosie"Reading helps but continuing to try is the best way of coming out of a creative slump." -- RPBaker
- "Try a new style or medium." -- RPBaker
- "Hang out with other artists and watch them work, until you find yourself painting (interacting) with them, too." -- Fairygold
The singer from DEP would probably eat the children of the mullets mentioned hereafter.
Notice that none of these people suggested taking time off from what they're stalled on, and these are people whom most mullets in the gym would likely call pussies, and just about anyone on a message board would call gay. You can take those suggestions, however, and apply them to lifting fairly easily, so that they read:
- "I like to review past 1rms in a bunch of different lifts. I'll also come up with lifts I used to love doing, but haven't done in a while. Then, I start forcing myself to do both." -- Chickymoc
- "I read a bodybuilding magazine, realize half of the oiled-up nutbags therein are far more jacked and strong than I, and resolve to stop sucking so fucking much." -- Nonne3
- "Grab any barbells that happen to be preloaded and laying around, and lift them, with no fucking rhyme or reason whatsoever. Just give them hell. It might look fucking stupid, but it could get interesting, and amusing. Additionally, it'll be fun to annoy all of the mullets by grabbing their pissant bench weight and hang cleaning and pressing it from the bench inbetween their sets" -- RPBaker
- "Try a new lift or rep scheme." -- RPBaker
- "Hang out with other lifters and watch them lift, until you find yourself lifting and interacting with them, too." -- Fairygold
All those hours playing Warhammer are about to pay off.
Bring some dice to the gym. If you've got umpteen-sided RPG dice, definitely bring one of them and a 6 sided die, or you can bring a couple regular run of the mill 6 siders- I don't care. Bring two. for each lift, roll 1 die to determine the order. Assuming you have less than 5 lifts, just roll it a couple of times to get your first two lifts, and then arrange the rest arbitrarily... by alphabetical order or something. Once you've got that done, do the following:
- Roll one of the RPG dice or both regular ones. Whatever number comes up will be your sets. If you dislike the number, roll again. You don't need to be a slave to the dice.
- Roll one or both of the 6 siders to get your number of reps.
- Repeat for each successive exercise.
It worked for Benny Podda.