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This Monday I squat a PR of 245lb for 3x5 and honestly felt great doing it. Today was a total disaster. This past weekend I loaded up on carbs from breads(and had other foods, hamburgers a couple of times, angus meat home cooked of course) and today I had a lot of chicken split between 2 meals before I went to lift at 5.

I'm hoping that maybe if I give enough information about what happened between monday and today, someone might be able to point me in the direction of why I couldn't even squat 245lb without struggling insanely on the 2nd rep, and even going back down to 240 wasn't easy either.

Here is one major thing that might be playing a part in this:

Ever since I came back from a 2 week vacation my deadlift just sank. I deloaded and asked you guys for advice and adjusted my form to "squeeze" the bar against my body. This has greatly improved my form and kept everything tight but I also feel like it hit my hips HARD because this is probably the first time I'd done a deadlift and actually used my hips more to lock out instead of anything else. I deadlifted 195lb on this previous monday with my 245 squat using the squeeze method. Today when I went to squat my hips were feeling pretty sore and tight. I did my warm up sets of 45x2, 100x5, 150x3, and 200x2. I was also playing around with form a little today. I kept my stance width the same and pointed my feet in a little more and tried to open up my hips a bit. I also was going for a low bar squat.

Other possible factor might include sleep on monday and tuesday. I had coffee around 6-7pm but had no issues getting to sleep. However, I understand that even if you can get to sleep while under the influence of caffeine that receptors in your brain are still haywire and this prevents you from getting GOOD sleep. Other than that my diet has been the same.

Thank you.

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My checklist, roughly in order, of what to look for when I have a bad workout:

  • Food. Am I hungry? Was I hungry yesterday? Did I eat enough protein after my last lifting session? Did I eat enough carbs today? Have I been eating enough fats the past few days?
  • Other exercise. Was my warm-up really long today, or did I muck with the order I do my lifts? Did I go to judo last night? Did I go for a jog this morning? Did I finally fix my front squat shoulder position/deadlifting pattern/back squat stance, which could stimulate greater demand on my recovery? (This is what I think happened to you here.)
  • Sleep. How has the last week of sleep been? It's cumulative, so just last night isn't enough.
  • Stress. Am I pressured at work? Did I have a tiff with my lady friend? Is my friend Bill going through tough times and I'm distracted thinking about it?
  • Luck. Sometimes we just don't know the reason for bad workouts. They just happen. In these instances I let Ecclesiastes 9:11 comfort me:

I returned, and saw under the sun that the race goes not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill, but that time and chance happeneth to them all.

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Instead of "chance happeneth" I like to say "life happens." +1 –  maxywb Feb 27 at 16:32
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