Saturday, 5 December 2009

BBS Session 22 & Battling the Wasting Quad

Location: Woodcock Sports Centre, Aston University
Date: 1st December

22nd BBS Big 5 session:

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 Down155
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 Press85
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)70.4
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 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
11 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
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

Post Workout Nutrition
: 6 x scrambled organic + chopped apple & cinnamon powder, 50 mins later.
Crutching and Alcohol Tiredness
I was tired from a sleep-deprived and alcohol-sodden weekend, as well as physically weary from excessive and enforced crutch cardio. I am far to tight to pay for taxis between home or the office and the train stations, so my upper body is getting a fair hammering on a working day; and for this session I also had to crutch 25 minutes across the city to get to the gym because my partner was not there with his car.

So you can see some slippage on the TULs. The really odd number is Pull Downs. Due to a jammed machine, I was forced to drop the weight to 150 lbs - yet my TUL was significantly lower than the previous session on 155.
Switch to Deadlift
I am switching to Romanian Deadlift with dumbbells for lower body for the next few months while the knee heals. I have found the right weight for the sweet spot, which is 32kg per dumbbell, although for consistency I have converted this to lbs in the table.
More Aggressive Knee Rehab
I saw the physio on Thursday, who told me I should be more aggressive with bending and exercising the knee. This was annoying to hear, since my excessive caution has largely been borne of the impression he gave me at the previous session.

So now I am regularly taking the knee out of the brace and bending it through the allowed range of movement at this stage (90 degrees) as well as walking up the stairs with my weighted vest on and doing free standing squats with my heels on a thick book.

Hopefully this new work can arrest the progressive wasting of my left quad.

What I'd not realised is that the pain I was getting when I tried to bend or put weight on the leg was simply a result of the inactivity and weakness of the leg while it has been in the brace. I had assumed it was the internal surgery wounds and so was unwilling to push it for fear of rupturing something and undoing the good work.