” I gotta new sensation,
In perfect moments
Well so impossible to refuse”
(lyrics from the song “New Sensation” off the 1987 album Kick)
Stimuli: (1) A detectable change in the internal or external environment. (2) That which influences or causes a temporary increase of physiological activity or response in the whole organism or in any of its parts. (Biology Online.org)
In training, one of the driving principles is the Stress,Recovery and Adaptation cycle. A digest explanation would be that stress taxes our bodies, recovery heals us from the taxation and adaptation is the improvements in our bodies needed to cope with the stress.
If we keep encountering the same stress (stimuli) it will eventually become very easy to recover from, and create no need for our body to adapt any further. Over-stress could be more than our body can recover from.
My training was negatively impacted for the month of July. This was entirely due to social reasons and not a result of any training related injuries. While I did go to the gym consistently and continued to advise lifters, I had moved away from performing maximum effort, or maximum speed work. I knew that performing either with my mind not fully into things represented a physical risk, so I focused on relatively safer hypertrophy training methods.
That said, I was in near violation of a major training principle.
“The purpose of training is to train with a purpose.”
My purpose was clouded over. One night as I laid awake I decided to part the clouds, and that the next morning would be different. I would show up to the gym with a purpose.
From Westside to…novice? I know that de-training is a reality and that my reduction in overall training volume coupled with a loss of bodyweight would impact my strength levels. I had no problems facing the fact that I would be re-starting from a lower state of athletic readiness, and that it would be ill-advised to try picking-up exactly where I left off, as I felt it would invite injury.
FACT: I’ve seen others injure themselves by going too hard to soon, and I have no intentions of repeating their mistake.
Where I left off roughly called for the following:
Maximum Effort Upper Body Day: Bench Press (or a variation of the lift) taken to the days maximum single effort, followed by high-volume hypertrophy work on the Triceps, Lats/Upper Back,Lateral and Posterior Deltoid.
Maximum Effort Lower Body Day: Squat (or variation) taken to the days maximum maximum single effort, followed by high-volume work to the hamstrings, low back,glutes
Dynamic Effort Upper Body Day: High Speed Bench Press using a percentage of the maximum lift for sets of triples, followed by the same high-volume hypertrophy work.
Dynamic Effort Lower Body Day: Squats in Doubles for speed (performed in a three-week wave of increasing percentages, Deadlift variation focusing on speed off the floor, high volume hypertrophy work.
Rest time between sets varied, but rarely exceeded 90 secs. On dynamic days rest could be as short as 30secs.
In between those sessions I would perform short (@30min) restorative sessions)
Upwards of 8 sessions per week is not something you should jump right back into after a lengthy time off, especially in the case of a person well into middle age…even one with a competition date coming up in a few months.
Currently, I’m training myself using simpler methods, and this appears to be the right stimulus for me at this time.
Hypertrophy work for lagging muscle groups: Calves, Biceps, Posterior Deltoids,Triceps.
Squat 3 sets of 5, Bench Press or Overhead Press (alternates) 3 sets of 5 and Deadlift 5×1. Each session the loads increase 5lbs/2.2kg (BP/OHP),10lbs/4.5kg (SQ) and 20lbs/9kg (DL)
Rest for SQ,BP and OHP are a strict 3 minutes. Rest fro DL is set at 90secs,
Personal notes from the new training stimulus:
I am unaccustomed to performing squats in repetitions beyond two. I am adapting to the new demands and speed is actually fairly decent.
I complete the total work in less time than my previous sessions, recovery has not been an issue. I could easily repeat the same session 6-8hrs later.
Due to training history and competency, my form in the SQ,OHP and BP were not lost and all l5 working reps would pass Powerlifting standards of performance. That said, all lifts are being performed using sub-maximal loads. Use this time to perfect technique.
Although from is passable, DL required initial adjustments to the breathing pattern and neck posture. The latter will take time to fully correct, and an adjustment is needed in my set-up. Grip strength remains strong due to weight pull-ups done during July.
Within 3-5 weeks I will likely need to begin varying the press movements.