Joshua Jacobs wants to know what to do when you’ve missed a workout on the StrongLifts 5×5 strength training program. Quote…
My name is Josh – I’m in my third week of your StrongLifts 5×5 program, and am already seeing gains. This is my first time lifting weights and your website has been a terrific help – thank you.
Today, I have to miss a workout for reasons that cannot be avoided. I workout Monday/Wednesday/Friday and this Thursday I have a 2-hour bike ride. In your opinion, am I better off…
- Missing today’s workout and carrying on where I left off on Wednesday?
- Missing today’s’s workout, but catch-up with a workout Tuesday – and then also lift on Wednesday?
- Scheduling this week’s workouts Tuesday/Thursday/Sat and lift weights on Thursday before my 2-hour bike ride?
If you could please let me know what you recommend, that would be much appreciated. Thanks again for your brilliant website.
Take care Mehdi,
It’s a shame you didn’t explain why you HAVE to miss a workout, because I’m really curious about these “reasons that cannot be avoided”. Quick anecdote – 9 years ago, I got hit in the rear on my driveback from work. Crashed against the 2 vehicles in front me, suffered a whiplash from the hit, and my car was declared total loss. Most people would call that a good enough reason to skip that day’s workout. Yet I went to the gym, trained as planned and take pride in it.
Extreme? Probably. But, most guys are even more extreme in their willingness to miss workouts for whatever reason, like a headache. The truth is that if you browse through the training logs of my most accomplished StrongLifts Members, you’re going to have a hard time finding missed workouts – they’re rarer than personal trainers who can show you how to Squat. Why don’t we have “reasons that cannot be avoided” to miss workouts, but others do? Think about it.
Since you already missed the workout, go with option 1 – do StrongLifts 5×5 on Wednesday as if nothing had happened. No need to lower your work weight or whatever, you don’t lose strength from skipping one workout. The only reason why I recommend option 1 over 2/3, is so you don’t mess with your planning the rest of the week. You should have fixed days and times to train, because that’s how you build a habit, and training consistency is a matter of habit.
So carry on where you left off with StrongLifts 5×5 next Wednesday, but stop missing workouts from now on. The big secret to accomplish this is by making the decision – these are the days you train, these are the hours you train, and when those days/times come you train whatever the heck happens. Remember success in strength training is directly correlated with how consistent you are.