Sunday, 22 November 2009

Body by Science Session 21 + Knee Rehab Work

Location: Woodcock Sports Centre, Aston University
Date: 20th November

21st BBS Big 5 session:

Session 22*Session 21*Session 20Session 19Session 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
851:20851:19851:21851:15851:24851:19851:2085-851:32 *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
9 mins8 mins12 mins10 mins11 mins9 mins11 mins3 mins8 mins8 mins11 mins14 mins10 mins

25 mins14 mins25 mins25 mins22 mins28 mins27 mins
Rest period
8 days9 days11 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
Times amazingly similar to last session. Truly, this is maintenance. Leg still in brace so no leg press. Almost no change at all.Had knee surgery 6 days previously but having to keep one leg straight not really a problem for upper body exercises. 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 =
no TUL change /weight changed / improvement not exceeded a previous best

Additional Exercises
  • Romanian Deadlift (with dumbbells) : 2 x 10 @ 22kg per dumbbell, slow & strict
  • Hanging Leg Raise: 2 x 10
  • Standing under the smith machine loaded with 60kg and legs lightly bent for 2 minutes
Total Workout Time: 25 minutes

Post Workout Nutrition
: 6 x scrambled organic + chopped apple & cocoa powder, 45 mins later.

The TULs for this session are so close to the previous session, it's spooky. Bear in mind I cannot see the timer during the exercise, so this is not a case of me giving up because I know I've done enough. This is clearly maintenance in action. I have never recorded my progress (or lack of it) so meticulously, and would previously have dealt with stagnation by changing exercise, thus dodging the truth.

My weight and fat percentage have made good progress in the last 2 weeks and I am on target to shift out of caloric deficit into caloric parity or surplus after another couple of weeks, which I hope will break the stagnation. I will follow my hunger instead of fighting it.

Having taken advice from my physiotherapist on Thursday, I chose this time to throw in a few exercises to maintain quad strength while the knee recovers from the operation.

He told me I could do deadlifts with nearly straight legs and that raising my leg in a straightened form was also good. So I did some Romanian deadlifts with dumbells (didn't fancy dragging the bar past my keyhole scars!) and some hanging leg raises.

In addition, loading the quads with some weight by standing with them slightly bent is an acceptable way to stimulate them whilst still protecting the knee - so I got under the smith machine and loaded it up.

It was refreshing to go back to some of these exercises after a period of monastic adherence to Body by Science.

The knee coped pretty well and some mild swelling was easily quenched with the ice pack.