How to Feel Full Energy at The Gym

Eddie asked…

I’ve been doing strength training for 4.5 month now, and I enjoy it. I’ve been eating right, sleeping for 9 hours. But when I go to the gym I just feel weak. I fail all over the place.

I’ve deloaded, and get stuck when I hit the same weight. On the Overhead Press 45kg. I just don’t feel strong at all.

Has someone got any advice on anything to eat? Sleeping hours? Anything that will make me feel more alive?

Average day:

  • Morning: porridge + 2 scoops of whey
  • Mid day: shake
  • Dinner: chicken/pork/beef in sandwich or with potatoes
  • Mid after: shake, either after gym or before finishing work
  • Tea: Jacket potato with breaded fish or chicken with salad

I have at least 8:30 hours sleep. Sometimes up to 11, bit of a slob at weekend. I may need a lot more vitamins and minerals, I don’t get enough. Could that be why I feel like crap when I hit the gym?

You can’t increase the weight each workout forever. Eddie workouts since 4.5 months and weighs 78kg. Pressing 45kg for 5×5 overhead isn’t bad at all. The Overhead Press is a tough exercise, it’s normal to stall on it.

However there are things you can do to get the most of your workouts. Here’s how to feel full of energy at the gym.

Calories are energy for your body. If you don’t get sufficient calories, you’ll lack energy at the gym. Eat your body-weight in lbs x 18 kcal daily. 20x if you need to gain weight. 16x if you need to lose fat.

Eat every 3 hours. Eat veggies or fruit with every meal. Get 1g/lbs protein daily. Don’t rely too much on supplements like whey. Get your calories from healthy, unprocessed food. Example meal plan.

  • 7am. Eggs with veggies “” more breakfast recipes.
  • 10am. Quark cheese with fruit.
  • 1pm. Tuna, brown rice & pineapple.
  • 4pm. Mackerel, brown rice & apple.
  • 5pm. Workout.
  • 6pm. Post workout protein shake.
  • 7pm. Meat or poultry with potatoes & veggies.
  • 10pm. Cottage cheese, berries, flax seeds & fish oil.

Quality sleep influences your recovery, but also your mental state. Sleeping 4 hours/night kills motivation. Some tips to get better sleep:

  • Clear Your Mind. Stop working 2 hours before going to bed. Write any idea/task on a piece of paper & work at it on waking up.
  • Read Fiction. No TV or non-fiction books. Reading fiction will keep your mind away from career/business/etc.
  • Eat light. No heavy meals before going to bed. If you go to sleep at 11pm: dinner at 7pm & light snack at 10pm. Done.
  • Make a Routine. Wake up each day at the same time and you’ll go to bed each day at the same time.
  • Naps. Take 20min naps before working out. Use the time spent in public transportation.
  • Workout. Try Smolov for Squats, you’ll get your best sleep ever. Avoid working out late.

Failing with the same weight over & over will demotivate you. Deload on the Overhead Press if you don’t get all reps after 3 attempts. Don’t hesitate dropping the weight by 20%. It’s good for technique, speed & confidence.

If that still doesn’t work, take one week active rest.

  • 2 workouts. Monday workout A, Thursday workout B
  • 3×3 on all exercises. 1×3 on Deadlifts
  • Drop Pull-ups, Chin-ups & Dips
  • Use the same weights of the week before
  • Don’t increase the weight on the Squat workout B
  • Eat a lot, sleep well & get a change of mind

I want to hear your tips on how to feel full of energy at the gym. Share them in the comments.

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