Yah, I've always thought of lifting as a pm activity. Later afternoon has always worked best for me when that time slot is feasible. I like the combination of looking forward to the workout throughout the day, lifting when my body is completely warmed up and well-fueled, and then showering and relaxing over dinner as I eat my animal flesh and veggies and have a well-earned glass of wine or beer. But there's so much that can go wrong with that time slot. First thing in the morning is great scheduling-wise, but energy and motivation for anything but aerobic exercise is hard at that time of day. Seems like it would be easier to hurt yourself lifting at that hour too. It takes my brain at least 30 minutes, and usually a cup of coffee and some breakfast, before it's fully present. Glad to hear the healing continues. I'm going to see a doctor today to see if there are any other pain management options. All the options I'm aware of so far have serious drawbacks. I try to maintain the "it's the journey, not the destination" attitude, but yesterday I was getting really frustrated. It really hurt, and it didn't feel like I was getting better. The uncertainty is unsettling, plus this is the third or fourth setback in something like nine months. It's getting old. And it's not just the pain, it's the cumulative lack of decent sleep, and lack of appetite, that's starting to wear me down, both physically and mentally. One thing about the Gabapentin, it helped me sleep through the night. Now it's kind of a Catch-22 where I don't exercise because I can't physically or pharmaceutically, or just don't feel like it, which in turn diminishes my ability to sleep at night. I'm ready to cave and go back on the Ibuprofen if the doc today can't offer any better ideas. Still, the possibility of long-term kidney, liver, or stomach damage is scary. So maybe half doses of the hydromorphone? That makes me drowsy, but I think it's easier on the guts than Ibuprofen. Today so far it hasn't been too bad, so that helps. Yah, that was actually the plan yesterday. I was going to take about 25% off everything, across all the rep-counts, just to see if I could get in a full session with all six lifts, but I just didn't feel up to it at the end of the day. One way or the other, I think once I can get back at it with decent motivation and energy, I'll give up on the idea of greater volume and just focus on getting in three sets for each lift until the loads come up and stabilize and I can get in a decent workout in an hour or less. It might take me all of Cycle IV to get there, depending on how much longer this neuralgia sticks around. The right knee should be ready pretty soon, I might even test it tomorrow. It would be good to do something, anything, even at extremely light loads. The more radical idea isn't really program-hopping, but would be something like maintaining everything at 75% across all rep counts (that is, take 75% of 1RM as the base for calculating the 1-3RM, 5RM and 8RM percentages), instead of trying to build the loads back up to where they were, and add sets, maybe even four sets for each lift on Monday and Wednesday. So the loads would be relatively easy, but the volume a little harder to manage. Once I master the volume and can do everything in an hour, I would then reintroduce the micro-loading, but perhaps still keep the 1RM at 90-95% of its true value. Kind of a Wendler approach. It would be a sort of one step back two steps forward idea, with the goal of being able to lift more in 6-12 months than I would be able to do with less volume. And of course, with lighter relative loads, there would be much less chance of injury or overtraining, although I might maintain the intensity levels of Friday's workout (100%, 95%, 90% of my true 1RM, not 90% of it). In any case, with the time off, it's easy to question one's approach. Too much time to think. You're absolutely right though, what I was doing in Cycle II was working. No real need to fix what ain't broken, but then again, a little further experimentation might yield even better results, and it would be done in the context of getting back into shape anyway, so no real time or mass lost if I give up on it quickly.