The Experiment

Age 46 and very excited to kickstart a plan of attack heading into the 2017 Season that I’m calling “The Experiment”.  

The whole “EXPERIMENT” is based on this key premise:

  • No matter how “good” your program is at delivering an exercise stimulus, if the body is not adequately recovered, NO ADAPTIVE RESPONSE will happen.

WHEN YOUR ACCUMULATED WORKLOAD EXCEEDS YOUR RECOVERY ABILITY, PROGRESS STOPS

In Scientific American, September 2000, “Muscle Genes and Athletic Performance”, Anderson, Schjerling and Saltin observed that championship sprinters break records shortly after a period when they are required to take time off due to unexpected injuries. These athletes had situations in which their muscular motor units finally had an opportunity to recover properly, after which they went on to achieve World Records.

The address for the article is provided below:

http://me.umn.edu/labs/hmd/lab/docs/muscle-genes.pdf

My Story:

When was your best progress as an athlete? Mine was when I first started lifting.  I had no clue of what I was going, but I trained 3 times a week, did three sets per bodypart, and “tried my best”.

Here were the results:

  • Year 1: 16 Years Old: 135 to 155lbs
  • Year 2: 17 Years Old: 155 to 175 lbs
  • Year 3: 18 Years Old: 175 to 195 lbs

It was at this point that I believed that I was “Elite” and started training for 60-90min daily, 6 days a week.

Progress halted.  The next 4 years, I went from 195 to 200 lbs.

What happened? My workout partner and I were training 6 days per week, for 2 hrs a day at that point.  We dreaded Reading Week or Exam time because it was a halt in training, as the University gym would be closed.  We ALWAYS noticed that after a layoff, we got stronger and resumed productive gains.

It was not until I was 22 years old that I made a jump back up from 200 to 210 lbs, after 4 years at a snails pace.  What changed? I moved to more days off, lower training volume and higher intensity.

Once again I revisited this training in 2011 in search of my pro card in bodybuilding. Training happened on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 4 days per week for a total of 3 hrs of training.  I looked my biggest and my best for the 2012 OCB Pittsburgh Steel City Contest.

This time I’m back at it, with this experiment: 

  • Tuesday: Full Body Workout
  • Thursday: Full Body Workout
  • Saturday: Legs and Shoulders
  • Sunday: Upper Body
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday off.

Less than 30 sets TOTAL per week.

A couple of key observations:

  • The desire to crush the weights in huge; something I have not experienced in years
  • Strength is through the roof with rapid progress in some key areas
  • I don’t feel worn down mentally or physically
  • I’m excited about my progress once again

More to come………

 

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