Friday, 22 January 2010

Another '300' Workout Defeats Me

Location: Esporta Gym, Wimbledon, London
Date: 20th January

Workout: Cheat '300' Workout

25 Chin Ups - 14, 5, 3, 3
50 Deadlifts (Romanian) - 40, 10
50 Push Ups - 40, 10
25 x 2 Assisted Pistols - left leg (15, 10) , right leg (15, 10, 5)
50 Floor Wipers - 13, 9, 8, 8, 5, 7
25 x 2 Clean and Press with Dumbbell - right arm (25) , left arm (25)
25 Chins... did not start them!

Total Time: 31:02

Post Workout Nutrition: this, 40 minutes later.

I've decided to adopt the emoticon system to represent progress or lack of it on a particular exercise. I think it's better than the colour system I used on the BBS experiment, but would be interested in your thoughts.

This session took place in a gym in Wimbledon, where I am staying on business, so an unfamiliar layout led to more time between exercises than normal. Of course this means more rest, so there were some improvements on the numbers of sets required, in return for a longer total time.

Once again I did not complete the full circuit. I could have finished, but given I had already crossed the half hour mark and this is supposed to be an easy week, I decided to save that challenge for next time.

I did complete the floor wipers this time, which took some doing as you can see. I am puzzled by the inability of my arms and chest to keep the 60kg barbell in place for very long during these. As I recall, I could previously do the 50 reps in 2 or 3 sets.

Overall, the pain of this routine is becoming more tolerable. Some of this will be familiarity, but I hope there is a fitness component too. Given how heavily I find myself breathing during the session, it must be producing at least some fitness improvements.

I've described the gym in more detail here. Not bad for one of those generic leisure places, but with a couple of the usual irritations (nowhere to do proper chins and ceiling too low for dumbbell snatch.)


Asclepius said...

Think 'effort' NOT 'numbers'! ;)

Methuselah said...

Asclepius - I know, I know. It's just so hard to let go of those metrics! But there is a degree of consistency around effort, in that I ensure that each sequence of reps ends just before failure, so that the next 'set' can be commenced with minimal rest. Does that sound like the right approach to you?

Asclepius said...

I hear ya! The thing is that if you go in to a routine with a 'hard target', you are in danger of setting yourself up for disappointment.

For me the longest shadow on this is cast by Devany when he states "there is no failure, only feedback".

In a HG framework, you wouldn't have ANY metric on killing a mammoth (only a 1 : 0 final score!). Throughout the battle you would only know that you tried 'bloody hard' as and when required to kill the thing. The energy expended would vary from hunt to hunt even though you might have tried 'bloody hard' in EVERY hunt.

So although I go in to a session with a rough idea of sets, reps and weights, what really matters is that I 'try hard'. My use of sets and reps (and exercises) is actually as a tool to stop me from falling in to a steady state form of training.

So on reflection, unlike in my workouts, I guess you NEED the metrics as you are following a BBS protocol!

(Just don't get bummed out if your figures go down!)

All that aside you will be aware of my recent RM on the RDL. Damn my ego!

Methuselah said...

- I'm actually closer to that philosophy than I think my blog post titles imply. I tend to look for the most interesting / newsworthy aspect of a session and bill it on that basis. Is this tabloid blogging? In truth I do work on the basis that provided the session has felt like a minor (or major) violation, then the job is done. In fact I am relishing the 300 workouts in spite of the failure to complete them, and just see each one as a challenge in its own right. I find that metrics fixation is easier to bear when one applies effort-centric thinking because you can always comfort yourself with the knowledge that the most important goal was reached, which as you say is that you tried 'bloody hard'!

p.s. you may have noticed an absence of recent BBS... I think I'm knocking that on the head for a while and will be posting some conclusions and rationale soon!

p.p.s 140kg on Romanian Deadlift (if I have understood your abreviations correctly) is a good weight. That's a little more than mine 1-rep max and I'm a regular!


Asclepius said...

Clarence Bass had a good post on the 'effort' thing. I think Chris at CR linked to it recently, although I am sure you will be aware of it already.

I guess the thing with numbers is that it IS a handle on effort. Sometimes it can be hard to 'give it your all' and I have sometimes finished a set thinking I didn't try hard enough. I suppose fighting a woolly rhino you'd never go into it half-arsed! (Well, maybe once, and once only)

Methuselah said...

Yes - I saw that article - it was excellent. I need to get back to the wooly mammoth / sabre-toothed tiger mindset. I miss my sprints. :-(