Post-Program Blues. I got a little too attached to Shortcut to Size.

So, as all of you blog readers of mine know, I did the 12-week Shortcut to Size program by the super fantastical Dr. Jim Stoppani. Anyone who is in anyway involved in the fitness world and knows who this man is – knows he’s amazing and well, amazing.

My body is constantly changing. I do more weight and less cardio in the winter, and always find myself doing more cardio-centered workouts in the summer. So my muscles are constantly leaning, bulking, leaning, bulking… I wanted big changes for the coming warmer months (Read: I wanted a banging beach body. More banging than I’ve ever had before), so I tackled STS.

A month in, I knew that I was not going to be a happy camper when the program ended. The changes to my body in those four short weeks were better than I’d ever seen in any of my programs I’d done before. My shoulders were shaping up quite nicely and… were those traps I saw?

By the end of it, I was in love with the way I was looking. That last week, I was growing fearful of what came next. I didn’t want to lose any of the incredible gains I had made on STS. Panic set in.

Was I seriously panicking over a workout?

I most certainly was.

Damn, look at those arms! I thought to myself as I flexed and posed in the mirrored studio room at my gym. I felt my heart kind of dance in my chest, sad at the possibility that I wouldn’t be able to come up with the right fit to stay on track.

Then that week ended, and I went into the weekend. I never workout on the weekends (unless I need a make-up day). Weekends are reserved for nature fitness like hikes, runs with my dog, etc. The only form of workout I do on the weekends is in my Sunday morning Weekend FITT class. I do all of the workouts with the people who attend.

I felt that dark, icky cloud looming over my head that entire weekend. I wrote myself seven different workout programs for the next 12-weeks. By the time I finished writing each one, I found a flaw that in my mind’s eye, threatened the loss of my gains. So I’d scrap that program and start all over. Until I realized that I was stepping into the land of insanity.

Does Post-Workout Program Blues really exist?

It was something that I began to question a lot in those days following my last workout of STS.

Venturing over to Dr. Google (which I rarely do, I prefer books for information)… I discovered that yes, PWPB really does exist, and I wasn’t the only one going through it. It was a legit and real thing. Did that mean I really wasn’t losing my mind?

They equate it to things like post-marathon blues. Symptoms are all the same.

The only problem was, there were no clear ways to overcome it like there was post-marathon blues. I ran a marathon, ages ago it seems now (never doing it again) at Sugarloaf with two friends. I experienced PMB only slightly afterwards. Probably because I was living with my sister at the time and her crazy, chaos filled household kept me distracted when I was there. Getting past PMB was easy. PWPB was proving to be a different story all together.

On a whim, that following Monday, I did Day One of Erin Stern’s Elite Body workout. It’s only a 4-week program, but after that first day, I was sure I made the right choice. I’ll have four weeks to come up with a solid program of my own that will keep me on the track that STS had me on, and during this four weeks, it’ll be a good change up for my body with different exercises and of course, my new favorite: push jerks.

So my advice in the end to work through PWPB? Find a quicky, intense workout program. A four week program that is pretty much the polar opposite of the program that you just completed. It will throw not just your body/system through a loop, giving it a bit of a shock, but it will help reset the “blues receptors” in your brain, waking it up and making the transition into your next long program a lot easier.

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Mother. Photographer. Writer. Founder of Fit Fridays for Mental Health. Former powerlifter turned weightlifter. Coach & Nutritionist. Spondy/PCOS/Endo. Bully breed advocate.

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