Wednesday, 9 December 2009

BBS Session 23: Calorie Switch Begins, as does Learning to Walk Again

Location: Woodcock Sports Centre, Aston University
Date: 8th December

23rd BBS Big 5 session:

Session 24*Session 23*Session 22

Session 21Session 20Session 19Session 18Session 17Session 16Session 15Session 14Session 13Session 12Session 11Session 10Session 9

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



Pull Down150
Pull Down1551:401551:411551:421551:501551:431551:451551:48155-1551:551551:511551:491502:131501:51
Seated Row1201:441201:421152:021151:561151:311102:021002:15803:08
Overhead Press60
Overhead Press601:32601:32601:35601:39601:32601:43601:5060-601:36601:44601:48601:38601:36
Chest Press951:37951:52951:39902:01901:391001:111001:17901:28
Seated Row105
Seated Row1051:331051:401051:461051:301051:261051:421051:48105-1051:481051:391051:381101:291201:04
Pull Down1451:561451:461402:091352:111302:151301:561252:151102:26
Chest Press80
Chest Press851:20851:19851:21851:15851:24851:19851:2085-851:32 *851:1485(1:10)901:13951:03
Overhead Press601:33601:28601:37601:49601:37601:38601:4480, 700:35, 0:25
Romanian Deadlift (dumbbells)74.8
Leg Press----3402:153400:553401:33--3302:193301:42330-330-3301:333202:14320-
Leg Press3102:303002:012903:242802:12260-2503:02230, 2704.312002:57
Total Time
14 mins14 mins
Total Time9 mins8 mins12 mins10 mins11 mins9 mins11 mins3 mins8 mins8 mins11 mins14 mins10 mins

25 mins14 mins25 mins25 mins22 mins28 mins27 mins
Rest period
7 days11 days
Rest period8 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
Something weird with pulldowns. Right arm weak. Crutching-related? Day 2 of calorie switch so maybe next week effects will be felt. And I will drive to the gym. Pulldown machine broken so forced to do 150 lbs. Suffering cumulative effects of 'crutch-cardio' & lack of calories.Doing deadlift until knee ready for leg press again.
Notes 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

Other Exercises:
- 3 minutes of Leg Press with just the leg with the recovering knee.
- 50 Swiss-Ball Squats
- 5 minutes on running machine at walking pace to recover my gait.

Post Workout Nutrition: 6 x scrambled organic + 3 tablespoons almond powder, apple puree & cinnamon powder, 50 mins later.

Total Workout Time: 30 minutes

Calorie Shift

This workout took place on Tuesday, the day after I switched out of fat-loss mode. I have been battling to return to 11% fat after various binges over the summer left me hovering around 13%. Finally, at the weekend, I had 4 consecutive readings of 11%, so the time was right for the switch.

I will change nothing else about my routine, to see whether the change in calorie consumption affects the stagnation of recent weeks.

I will continue to eat Paleo food, aiming to eat least satisfy my hunger. I will continue to fast on two days per week, but on the other days will eat to satisfaction, erring on the generous side. When normally I would have skipped breakfast, I will have breakfast. Where normally I would have had two tins of sardines with lunch, I will have 3.

I will do my best to avoid binges. These offer little benefit for the fat increase they engender, so the overall impact on body composition is not a good one.

Exercises and Weight Changes

Pull Down is proving to be a strange thing. I am suddenly weaker on this, and it appears to be my right arm that is flagging. I am going to drop the weight to 150 lbs. I am wondering whether this has anything to do with using the crutches: last week and this week I spent 20 minutes on the crutches to get to the gym. Next week (my final week of crutches) I will use the car.

I am also going to drop the weight on Chest Press to 80 lbs, since I am currently outside the 90 - 120 second sweet spot (and have been for a while.)

My improved time on the Seated Row may have been because of the sudden pulldown failure - so my lats did not get the usual amount of stress. Perhaps this suggests a bicep issue?

I did make progress on the Romanian Deadlift, but this is not surprising given it's a new addition. I expect to be back with Leg Press within a month once the knee has fully healed.

Knee Rehab

I also did some work on the knee. It coped well with one-legged Leg Press and the Swiss-Ball Squat.

The time on the running machine was designed to get me used to walking properly again. Having a leg brace forces you to swing the leg in an ungainly fashion and I am finding that even without the brace, I am doing the same thing. Walking on the running machine in front of the mirror is helping me to correct that.