Where Strength and Size are the only goals

Archive for December, 2012

Sunday 30th December 2012

Another hungover struggle! As much as I’m enjoying Christmas, the after effects are not helping my progress! 🙂 Ah well, one more session tonight (new years eve), then clean for a while.

Seated Press 46kg x5, 55kg x5, 61kg x10+3+2 RP

Weighted Pull-ups 12kg x7+2+1 RP

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 52.5kg x5, 62.5kg x25

Bicep Curls 25kg x5, 30kg x12+5+4 RP

Deadlift 107.5kg x5, 125kg x5, 141kg x8 – I’ve decided to go back to regular deadlifts from Sumo as can’t quite get the technique right and it’s irritating my hip.

Weighted Dips 20kg x14+5+3 RP

‘V’ Pulldown to Chest (12) x12+5+3 RP

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Thursday 27th December 2012

Random surprise visit to Bath today, squeezed in a session down at CrossFit Bath – Nice to train at the old haunt again!

Bench 90kg x5, 102.5kg x3, 115kg x7, 90kg x15+3+2 RP

Bent-Over-Row 65kg x5, 80kg x15

Close-Grip Bench 80kg x5, 97.5kg x9+2+1 RP

Reverse Grip Curl 27.5kg x5, 32.5kg x6+4+3 RP

Squat 117.5kg x5, 132.5kg x3, 150kg x8 – Great squat session today, thanks Pete for the encouragement!


Wednesday 26th December 2012

Had  few internet issues over Christmas so haven’t posted in a while. Managed to get down the gym on boxing day to burn off some of the alcohol over last few days!

Seated Press 52.5kg x5, 60kg x3, 66kg x9, 52.5kg x12+4+3 RP

Weighted chins (PF) 15kg x7+3+2 RP

Bicep Curls 30kg x5, 37.5kg x6+3+” RP

Stiff-Legged Deadlift 65kg x5, 80kg x17

Sumo Deadlift 95kg x5, 107.5kg x3, 120kg x9

Weighted Dips 20kg x12+6+4 RP

‘V’ pulldown (12) x11+5+3 RP


Sunday 23rd December

Felt good to get back in the gym after a week off, still did my core & stretch class on tuesday and double Spin thursday so not completely lazy! All lifts felt good today, no niggly shoulder pains when benching etc ..

Bench 83.5kg x3, 95kgx3, 107.5kg x9+2+1/2RP

Lever Row 60kg x5, 71kg x18+6+4RP

Close Grip Bench 61kg x5, 85kg x15+4+3RP

Reverse Grip Curls 21kg x5, 30kg x10+4+3RP

Squat kg 110kg x3, 126kg x3, 141kg x11

Happy Christmas!


Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle #6

You’re not getting enough sleep.

tiredSleep is a critical component in building muscle, yet is the most commonly overlooked aspect of it. Muscle tissue repairs itself and grows during rest periods, but sleep is more important than waking rest periods.

The best and most effective routines will not make up for a lack of rest, and sleep is the ultimate rest. Growth Hormone is produced and protein synthesis occurs during your sleep cycles. It also assists a lot of other important body functions i.e. The replacement of aging and dead cells and repair of muscle and tissue,  lowering of energy consumption and recharging the brain.

Rest is one of the most important principles of exercise and the most commonly overlooked. Whilst sleeping, your body goes into a state of suspended animation and is doing exactly what you’ve been striving for – Builds muscle! Why would you cut this short by not getting enough sleep? All mammals, birds and fish observe a regular state of natural rest. The role of sleep in health and wellness has been intensively studied and still is to this day, restorative theories of sleep describe it as a time of healing and growth for all organisms.

Animal studies have shown that sleep is essential for survival. Animals deprived of sleep in studies, died after a matter of weeks! In humans, metabolic activity in the brain declines considerably after 24 hours of sustained wakefulness. Sleep is required for our nervous systems to work correctly and deep sleep is necessary for the release of growth hormone in children and young adults.

Though a lot of us think we can get by with 4-6 hours sleep, the reality is that although sleep is entirely individualized, the overwhelming majority of us need 7-8 hours to function normally. The quality of this sleep diminishes with age, but the need for it does not. Rest is also extremely important if you’re trying to gain muscle. Sleep is the best training partner you’ll have and depriving yourself of it not only limits your capacity to build, it also stunts your mental focus and co-ordination so your workouts are then less effective.

Our sleep is divided into cycles which consist of non-REM and REM phases. It’s during our non-REM deep sleep phase that we get the biggest human growth hormone spike. In short, HGH is an anabolic agent that promotes muscle recovery and growth among other things. In order to gain muscle, you need to make sure you get the biggest possible release of HGH every night .. how can this be achieved?

Since our HGH is released during the deep sleep phase and the deepest sleep occurs mid-cycle (usually around 2am) – try to make sure you go to bed in the early hours of the night. Their is a greater amount of deep sleep earlier in the cycle, whilst the proportion of REM sleep increases later in the cycle and just before wakening. During our restorative deep sleep phase, our blood pressure drops and breathing becomes deeper and slower. With our brain taking a time-out, there’s more blood to flow into our muscles. Increased nutrient rich blood flow and high HGH levels will drastically improve your ability to build muscle.

Lack of sleep however can quickly decrease the amount of growth hormone that your pituitary gland secretes during your deep sleep and growth hormone deficiency is associated with increased obesity, loss of muscle and reduced exercise capacity.

It is recommended you get 7-9 hours sleep a night. Sleep less than this and your seriously reducing your chances of growth and/or progression in the gym. If muscle gain is your goal, start going to bed earlier!

 


Sunday 16th December 2012

Felt really lethargic this Sunday (hangover!!), so just worked through exercises, didn’t push for PR’s for once!

Seated Press 48.5kg x3, 55kg x3, 62.5kg x7+2+1RP
Weighted Chins 15kg x7+2+1RP
Bicep Curls 23.5kg x5, 32.5kg x10+5+4RP
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 50kg x5, 70kg x15
Sumo Deadlift 91kg x3, 105kg x3, 117.5kg x13
Hamstring curls (6) x12+4+2RP
Dips 20kg x10+4+4RP

Taking an unscheduled week off, starting a new job this week and just generally busy leading up to Crimbo. I’ll do some body weight stuff here and there where I can .. Maybe even some frequency chins through the week, but mainly it’s a rest – I’ll continue where I left off this weekend 🙂


Friday 14th December 2012

Felt really lethargic this morning due to lack of sleep and 3 Spin classes in the last 24 hours! However I was determined to beat the logbook, and actually ended up having a really good session.

Bench 77.5kg x5, 88.5kg x5, 101kg x13+3+3RP

‘T’ Row 62.5kg x8, 42.5kg x16

Close Grip Bench 61kg x5, 73.5kg x20+6+5RP

Reverse Grip Curls 21kg x5, 25kg x14+7+5RP

Squat 102.5kg x5, 117.5kg x5, 133.5kg x15 – Struggling at rep 10, but wanted to get 15 so just went for it!

Then added in ‘V’ grip Pulldowns (12) x8+4+3RP

Lying Hamstring curls (6) x11+5+3RP


Conditioning is a Sham – A Must Read Article

T NATION | Conditioning is a Sham.

A great article by Mark Rippetoe. Worth a read by all, but especially beginner/intermediate lifters.


Tuesday 11th December 2012

Really good session today,despite covering Spin yesterday I felt full of energy! I put it down to getting a good nights sleep and plenty to eat (ate dinner about an hour before teaching, and had a big meal when I got home :)).

Seated Press 46kg x5, 52.5kg x5, 58.5kg x9+3+2RP

Weighted Pull-ups 10kg x8+2+2RP

Bicep Curls 23.5kg x5, 28.5kg x12+5+4RP

Stiff-Legged Deadlift 50kg x5, 60kg x20 (dropped weight on these to focus on form, also using as a warm-up for deadlifts, so staying shy of failure)

Sumo Deadlift 85kg x5, 97.5kg x5, 110kg x15, 85kg x10 then Hamstring curls (6) x10+4+3RP

Decided to add in some ‘V’ pulldown to chest (level 11) x12+6+4 and weighted dips 10kg x18+8+4RP


Sunday 9th December 2012

Bench 87.5kg x5, 100kg x3, 111kg x7, then 87.5kg x13+5+3RP

Reverse-Grip Curl 26kg x5, 32.5kg x8+4+2RP

Close-Grip Bench 77.5kg x5, 96kg x8+2+1RP

Cable Row 60kg x12, 80kg x5

Squat 115kg x5, 130kg x3, 145kg x11 – Again didn’t do the follow up set of 115kg for max, if I give it as much as I can on the last set, the last thing I want to do is get back under the bar! I was more than happy with getting 11 reps on 145kg 🙂

Going to continue with this order, I’ve always advocated doing the big lift last as it’s the most taxing. Cycle 2 on it’s way – I’m doing 2 cycles before each deload as recommended and also because it only takes 2 weeks to go through each.