Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Body by Science Session 7: Some Progress Despite Halving Rest Time

Location: Woodcock Sports Centre, Aston University
Date: 27th July

Seventh BBS Big 5 session:

Week 8*Week 7*Week 6Week 5Week 4Week 3Week 2Week 1
Seated Row120
Chest Press95
Overhead Press60
601:28601:37601:49601:37601:38601:4480, 700:35, 0:25
Leg Press310
3002:012903:242802:12260-2503:02230, 2704.312002:57
Total Time
14 mins25 mins25 mins22 mins28 mins27 mins
Rest period
11 days6 days8 days7 days7 days8 days
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.
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 = got worse; Blue = improved; Black = weight changed

Post Workout Nutrition: scrambled eggs + strawberries, one hour later.

Total Time: 14 minutes.

This week I was sans training partner, so I was able to whistle through the exercises with 60-90 seconds rest between each.

Surprisingly, despite slashing the total workout time in half, I still made progress on chest press and did not disgrace myself on the pulldowns, which I always find particularly taxing as the third exercise.

Another important factor may be the rest time - since I have just returned from a 10-day holiday, this session took place 11 days after the previous one. I have created a 'rest period' row in the table so I can also monitor this.

I suspect the real casualty of the reduced rest period was shoulder press, where I once again appear to have lost ground. However, I intend to be patient with this one. Clearly, as Don pointed out in the comments on session 6, this exercise uses the same muscles as chest press, so there is an inevitable effect of the exercise sequence. Next week I will be back to the normal resting time and it will be interesting to see the TUL for OH press.

I am finally getting to grips with leg press - I have the right seat setting, am sticking to wearing the Vibram Five Fingers during these sessions and seem to have found my weight at around 300 lbs. Still not quite in the sweet spot, but 310 lbs next time should get me there.


Bryce said...

Hey Methuselah,

Glad to see your progress. I noticed you said that you were able to move quickly between exercises because you had no training partner.

Do I take it correctly that you normally alternate who is exercising and who is spotting between exercises? As in: you row, he rows, you press, he presses, etc.

If that's the case, I wonder if you wouldn't benefit from doing all of your exercises before he does any, as it recommends in BBS.

Just curious.

Methuselah said...

Bryce - yes, we normally alternate - but we have been talking about following each other from exercise to exercise to reduce the rest time. At the moment we don't do any spotting anyway, so this would work fine. However, I do like the idea of taking it in turns and this may become necessary if we start implementing any of the methods that require assistance from a partner.

Anonymous said...


I have a suggestion (as someone who has taught Slow/HIT/BBS/whatever you want to call it for 10 years now): If you're going to stick to the big 5, you're going to want to flip the order of the exercises occasionally. In your case, I'd still want you doing the leg press last since you're not quite used to doing this style of training yet and the upper body fatigue isn't going to cause any problems for your leg press. However, I'd recommend flipping the order from Row/CP/PD/OP to PD/OP/Row/CP.

This would overcome the fatigue you're experiencing on the OP late in the routine, as you already have had 3 sets in front of it. In effect, you're focusing on vertical pull/push one month and horizontal pull/push the other.


Methuselah said...

Skyler - I think we will be sticking for the big 5 for the duration of the experiment (exact length not yet decided) so I love your suggestion. I think we'll stick with the same order for a week or two, then switch as you suggest. Thanks for the advice!