Friday, January 31, 2014

I grew weaker and ego got in the way

I just finished another 5 weeks cycle and for the first time in a while, I actually grew weaker! I always try to max out on 2 consecutive days and this time I couldn't pulled more on the 2nd day.

Look at that video:

405lbs x 1 rep

I actually pulled 405lbs the day before and failed 425lbs which should have told me that I should be careful. I pulled 385lbs and it felt heavy, but since my target for this cycle was 455lbs, I listened to the numbers instead of my body. I should have known better by now, but it seems I'm not there yet. This was probably on of the first time I was close to my 100%. I felt dizzy and about to throw up. Today my back reminds me how stupid i have been.

Strangely enough, my side press was pretty good! 

Dumbbell side press 80lbs x 1

I injured myself with this lift in my 3rd week and switch to an inclined bench press instead which kept my scapulae together and avoid any pain. I was just playing around, learning the lift and not pressing anything serious. When I tested out my side press almost 2 weeks later without any practice, I improved by about 20-25 lbs.

On a bright side, dipping every day really improved my shoulder's flexibility, hurray! Probably the best exercise with the clean to keep your shoulders healthy.

I was impressed by +Vivianne Carrier 's progress. She doubled her hip thrust PR in 5 weeks and added 15lbs to her side press. 

Final thoughts

I think there is a mix of external factors and programming factors that led me there. I was tired, haven't slept well for a couple of days which might also be related to the way too intense programming. 

Since I hate to calculate, keep track, etc, it's way easier for me to rely on instinctive methods. However, by trying to create a build up with my 5x2 / 3x3 / 2x5 / 5x3 (deload), I also exhausted my CNS and 1 deload week wasn't enough. I think it could have worked with less intensity, but I felt like I had to lift more doing doubles than triples so i pushed myself instead of listening to whatever was going on. 

Plus, my ladder protocol for the press was also way to intense! It probably would've been ok 2-3 days top, but 4 days was way too much. We were both sore all the freaking time, I hurt my shoulder and it's a miracle the same didn't happen for Vivianne. 

What's next?

I still didn't find the perfect protocol that would keep me fresh for dancing, but would also help me grow stronger. Still being an intermediate lifter, I think change is good to grease a lot of different movement patterns and get a lot of stimuli. 

I wanted to switch to a single protocol and it seems like the perfect timing. Again, I get my inspiration from Pavel and his single routine. It's an 8 weeks cycle, but basically 2x 4 weeks if you check it out carefully. The number of total reps/week is about the same than his classic Power to the people template (50 in PTTP vs 51 in this one). I already laid out the numbers according to my new 1RM which is less than my last. The % will stop me from overdoing it again and I just have to take it really casually when it's time to max out next time aiming more for a kinda max than real max. 

I'm still puzzled about the pressing portion of my next cycle. I think about an approach similar to the Grow stronger method and mix different strength protocols like bench pressing 3x3 on Day 1 with auxiliary exercises throughout the week. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

various dance clips from last week

Jam sequence reminder: I do have a tendency to forget my routine!

Nicker bucker or back flip practice: this has been a challenge for +Vivianne Carrier, but she is getting there!

One of my favorite drills: swing out on 1 or 3. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Current cycle: just changed a few parameters

Since +Vivianne Carrier and I are now joining programs, I had to choose carefully the best protocol for us. It goes as follow:
-4 days/week starting on Wednesday with a movement day in the middle and 2 days off at the end

-Box jump 6 singles

-Sumo deadlift for me / Hip thrust for her (She has been experiencing pain from the hip flexors area after deadlifting a couple of weeks back)

  • Week 1: 5x2
  • Week 2: 3x3
  • Week 3: 2x5
  • Week 4: deload  5x3
  • Week 5: 2 days kind of max
-Dumbbell clean & side press
  • Pick a weight
  • 1,2,3 x up to 5 ladders (more if increasing the weight is not possible)
  • 1, 2, 3, 4 x up to 3 ladders (more if increasing the weight is not possible)
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 x up to to 2 ladders
  • Increased weight
-1 Auxiliary exercise 
  • It has to be a high tension exercise, preferably multi-joints
  • I picked weighted dips / she picked barbell curl
  • 5 1 or 2 sets
-Ab Roller 5 x 1-2 sets

We're at our 3rd week, so I already have some thoughts about it. My original plan was to alternate this 5 weeks cycle with a similar one twice. I changed my mind, for we are way too sore. I really thought doing 1 exercise instead of 5 would change something, but on a 5 weeks program, not that much. 

What I have in mind would be to alternate the ladders with a standard ''magic number 10'' protocol and see if we can make any progress.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New toy to mess around in the bus

I just got that my parents for Christmas. Hearthmath has many products and the Emwaves2 seems the most suited for my needs. This is a biofeedback device that allows you to coordinate the frequency of your breathing and your hearth and reach the state of coherence. I’ve been experimenting with Dr. O’Hare’s pen & paper method for years, but I have never been consistent at it. My 2 major issues with that method were the 3min x 3 times/day (harder than you think!) and the absence of direct feedback. With the Emwaves2, you know if you are in the zone or not and offers 4 different difficulty levels. I have been doing it for 5-10 mins/day for a week and a half now and I still can’t be in the zone at the 2nd level despite some improvement.
Being a clear sympathetic dominant, I hope to reach a better equilibrium sympathetic/parasympathetic and enjoy all the benefits from it in a couple of months, like putting money in the bank!