Sunday, 8 November 2009

Body by Science Session 19: Back Rest Angle Affects Leg Press Significantly

Location: Woodcock Sports Centre, Aston University
Date: 3rd November

19th BBS Big 5 session:

Session 20*Session 19*Session 18Session 17Session 16Session 15Session 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
851:21851:15851:24851:19851:2085-851:32 *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
12 mins10 mins11 mins9 mins11 mins3 mins8 mins8 mins11 mins14 mins10 mins

25 mins14 mins25 mins25 mins22 mins28 mins27 mins
Rest period
11 days7 days9 days13 days14 days (8 for legs)20 days (for legs)7 days7 days7 days7 days8 days

9 days11 days6 days8 days7 days7 days8 days
Rope climbing may have affected pull downs, leg press improvement may be limked to back rest position. Still in calorie deficit. Low sleep & low calorie week & only seven days rest. Yet no other exercise between. Leg press first rep burned me out: maybe seat position wrong. Running at the weekend, swimming on Tuesday and bad sleep may have eroded benefits of longer, 9-day rest. Could have done more on legs but demoralisation set in. No leg due to recent fell face and another on saturday. snagnation across the board. Fatigue from race? Rest period too long? Calorie deficit? 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.

"TUL" = Time Under Load
Red =
worse than last week
Blue =
best time ever on that weight
Black =
weight changed or improvement did not exceed a previous best

Post Workout Nutrition: 6 scrambled organic, fre-range eggs + chopped apple & cinnamon, 45 minutes later.

I was still alternate-day fasting leading up to this session and still working towards the goal of 11% fat, so I remain in calorie deficit.

I was not surprised by the slightly poorer performance on Pull Downs because I got carried away with rope climbing when on holiday between sessions. These were the videos (here and here) of the rope climbing. Shoulder Press, as ever, frustrates.

Paradoxically, since it's still a pulling exercise, I felt quite strong on Seated Row, securing close to my best TUL for that weight. I also came close to my best time for Chest Press.

None of this is cause for celebration because I am supposed to be progressing: but my thinking is that I am treading water in readiness for the increase in calories when I hit 11% fat. If I start messing around with exercise order or movement speed or intensity level at this point then it will be harder to judge the affect of the increase in calories.

Leg Press, on the other hand, may be a cause for celebration. Last session my TUL was under a minute because (I felt) the back rest was too vertical, making it very hard to get the first rep out. This time, I deliberately moved it back to a more reclined position and for the same weight my TUL was over 2 minutes. This is the one setting I had not been recording and I suspect it makes a big difference. I have now noted its position and will use that from now on.

However, since I have just come out of knee surgery, which requires me to wear a splint for 6 weeks, it will be a while before I do leg press again. Needless to say, I will continue with the other exercises in the meantime.