Thursday, 1 January 2009

Body by Science Experiment

In June 2009 I tried out a method of training detailed in Doug McGuff's book, Body by Science. Details on the book and the exercises it involves can be seen here.

I have been recording my progress (and lack of it!) week by week, but am now just updating this page after each session to save time and space.

Session 25Session 24Session 23Session 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
13 mins14 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
9 days7 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
Now have all exercises in the sweet spot. After a week of plenty of calories and no crutching, I expected more gains than I saw. 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