Sunday, 27 September 2009

Body by Science Session 15: Progress in Spite of Alcoholic Weekend

Location: Woodcock Sports Centre, Aston University
Date: 24th September

Fifteenth BBS Big 5 session:

Session 16*Session 15*Session 14Session 13Session 12Session 11Session 10Session 9

Session 8Session 7Session 6Session 5Session 4Session 3Session 2Session 1


Pull Down155
Seated Row1201:441201:421152:021151:561151:311102:021002:15803:08
Overhead Press60
Chest Press951:37951:52951:39902:01901:391001:111001:17901:28
Seated Row105
Pull Down1451:561451:461402:091352:111302:151301:561252:151102:26
Chest Press85
851:2085-851:32 *851:1485(1:10)901:13951:03
Overhead Press601:33601:28601:37601:49601:37601:38601:4480, 700:35, 0:25
Leg Press340
Leg Press3102:303002:012903:242802:12260-2503:02230, 2704.312002:57
Total Time
11 mins3 mins8 mins8 mins11 mins14 mins10 mins

25 mins14 mins25 mins25 mins22 mins28 mins27 mins
Rest period
14 days (8 for legs)20 days (for legs)7 days7 days7 days7 days8 days

9 days11 days6 days8 days7 days7 days8 days
In spite of alcoholic weekend, some good progress. Could legs have benefited from the weekend laziness? Chest is blue because it's the best time on the correct machine. Leg press only this week due to recently skipping it - but no upper body because seeking longer rest period overall. Full session next week. No leg press because recovering from race. *Chest press not on ususal machine so may have affected time. Still feel like stagnation rules. No leg press because race on Sat. Stagnation on all exercises suggests 7 days rest no enough. Or not enough calories?Finally got that 4th rep with OH press. Because the chest press was in use, did leg press before chest and chest press on a different machine. Lack of progress in pressing is mitigated by pulldown and leg success. Overhead felt better even tho TUL staticLess rest and a change in exercise order threw timings into disarray. Surprised by Overhead Press not being better

Baffling underperformance on chest and surprising improvement on legs, which may partly reflect increased intensity.Finally finding the sweet spot for leg press. Much less rest, so not surprised by overhead press suffering. Previous week's overhead press gains may have been due to slower reps. First real signs of progress now that I have stability on the weights.No leg press, hence shorter workout time. Was saving myself for fell race at the weekend.Still finding it hard to judge the right weight for leg press.Struggled to find right weight for leg press. Still finding the correct weight for all exercises.Had to change weight with overhead because misjudged it.

= Time Under Load
Red =
got worse
Blue =
Black =
weight changed or improvement did not exceed a previous best

Post Workout Nutrition: Primal/Paleo Breakfast of Champion - with plums (recipe here), 60 minutes later.

I drank a lot of booze between last Saturday and Tuesday. Cellebrations stacked on top of cellebrations. So I was surprised when Thursday morning did not see me struggling with the weights.

Leg Press provided a surprising jump in TUL, which could be attributable to very little physical activity at the weekend aside unless you count trips to and from the bar. Perhaps the recovery opportunity this provided exceeded the damage from the alcohol.

The small slippage on pull down is not a concern, especially given the steady progress I have seen on this exercise so far. I will really push this one next time, aiming to break the 2-minute barrier and graduate to 160 lbs.

Most gratifyingly, I saw an improvement in the overhead press TUL, which as you know has been dogging me for a while. I am hoping to break that 2-minute barrier next time as well.

Chest press has become difficult to monitor because I've been forced to use an alternative machine twice in recent weeks; but looking back at previous posts I see that 1:20 is genuinely the best time I have achieved with this weight on the correct machine (with this exercise
order.) I should probably drop the weight to allow me to get into the 90-120 second TUL sweet spot, but am minded to continue with 85 lbs to see if I can't break into the sweet spot next week anyway.

That's the great thing about blogging workouts - it enforces a level of rigour that was previously not possible. I would not normally have forgotton the precise machines and times from previous sessions. It has prevented what Skyler calls 'fitness ADD' in his comment on session 13.

So, having brought legs and upper body back together this week, I will now rest probably for 13 days before doing either. I have a mountain race planned for 7 days time, which will mean either I skip legs on the next session, or risk insufficient post-race recovery. Either way, I am happy that a couple of days between the race and an upper body session is enough.

In any case, I have managed to make progress on leg press in recent weeks in spite of missed sessions - I wonder whether this is because skipping sessions means longer periods of rest. Perhaps there is different optimum rest cycle for different body parts? I should look into what the BBS book has to say about that.