Should You TRAIN When You’re NOT Feeling Your Best?


Today every part of my mind & body is saying, “DONT GO TO THE GYM. SLEEP & EAT ANOTHER PACKAGE OF CHIPS AHOY COOKIES.”

And eating a package of chips ahoy cookies, whether they fit in your macros or not, doesn’t contribute to you feeling any better that’s for sure!

That moves us right into the topic of: should we lift based on how we feel?

When you’re sick, the reason we want to rest instead of train is because when we need to heal or fight off sickness, our immune system requires more calories. That’s oftentimes why we see ourselves losing a lot of weight when we’re sick, and then if you’re not eating enough as it is, we can really drop pounds and not get any better.

If we’re lifting instead of resting, we’re giving less energy towards our body’s ability to repair. On top of that you’re allowing others to be vulnerable to your sickness.

But when it comes to mental energy: when you feel exhausted and just don’t want to go train, you’re missing out on opportunities to make some crazy PRs. 

Have you ever noticed how sometimes you just don’t feel like going and then you realize that you just had one of the most kick ass sessions ever after its over? It doesn’t happen all of the time, but it’s a perfect example of how you’re feeling does not correlate with how you’re going to perform.

In fact, most of my PRs happen on days I didn’t even want to go to the gym. That’s when I made my new 300 # deadlift max; when I really didn’t want to go.

And ironically enough, here I am doing deadlifts again. It turned out to be a really good session despite not feeling the best.


The reason for this is because our performance has a lot to do with what’s going on inside of our bodies and the things we’ve done throughout that day to get us there. For example, how we’ve eaten is a huge indicator of how we’ll perform. Carbs are great to have in our system when lifting because they’re stored in our muscle and help exert energy during the lifts. Another indicator is rest. Have you gotten great sleep? Have you stretched to promote mobility or are you tight & tense, leading to the lack of full potential in ROM. How you feel mentally, emotionally, and sometimes even physically is not always the best indicator to your capability to perform.

So get up and stop making excuses. Go and kick some ass today. This is the year you’re going to kick ass and I’m not letting you let yourself down.

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Lexes O'Hara

Lexes O'Hara is a personal trainer and nutrition coach. Her work philosophy is to teach her clients to, "train, eat, and live like a bad ass." Certifications include NASM CPT and FNS.