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  1. The P R Thread

    That is a lot of weight Although it seems puny compared to the other posts here I got 7x50kg press this week - my previous best was a single - I was stoked , so good to feel like I am making progress after a treading water for a few months
  2. Help - Sleep, Recovery, Mood

    thanks for the supportive replies - I particularly like Ben's idea of getting Luke to work out with me
  3. This is quite hard to write – I am struggling and looking for advice – it is hard to admit that. I am also aware that this might be a bit too touchy feely for a lifting forum. I am having a lot of trouble sleeping – it is affecting my recovery but also my mood and concentration. At Christmas my marriage ended and my wife moved out with my 2yr old daughter Zoe – I found the break up really upsetting and was not able to sleep for a week – this led me to getting sick with the flu – I was really sick, lost quite a bit of weight and took a month to get back to lifting. The breakup left me as a fulltime single father to my 9 yr old son Luke ( from a previous marriage ) – being a single parent and working full time is exhausting – to some extent I feel like I have just been surviving for the last three months – l have been looking forward to the end of school term when Luke visits his Mum – she lives 1000kms away - and I get a break for two weeks. That two week break has just started, Luke flew out yesterday – last night I could not get to sleep – I feel like the pain/upset has resurfaced because I now have time to think about it again. Given I am busy with work, food, homework and generally trying to spend some time with Luke each day; I work out after 9:30pm and often don’t finish until 11pm. I have written about the above to give context – I am 45 and following 531 – any suggestions around the following:- 1. How does training affect your sleep 2. Should I be making an effort to swap training to the early morning? – this seems an obvious strategy but I have struggled with it in the past 3. I am currently running IF – do I just workout fasted – for whatever reason I am resistant to this 4. How does heavy lifting affect your mood 5. For other single parents – any tips on how you cope, particularly getting some social time with other adults Thanks Paul
  4. Thank you for the replies. I think one of the factors that leads to confusion in this discussion ( or maybe only my confusion ) is we are so used to talking about sets to also imply weight ie if we say 3 sets of 8 reps - we usually assume it to around an 8RM weight. The question I was wrestling with is not why do we react differently to different loads ie 1RM vs 20RM but why does it matter if you complete your reps at the same weight in one set or multiple ones - so if for example you are benchpressing 50kgs which is a 12RM weight why does it matter if you do one set of 8 reps or two sets of 4 - given that you are completing the same total amount of work. I could not remember seeing a discussion about why it mattered how many sets you used to complete you total number of reps or maybe an explanation of how the body reacted to make this matter. I did some research and the explanation below is the best I found From http://www.weightrainer.net/physiology/muscle1.html Muscle Fiber Types Striated skeletal muscle - the kind we're concerned with - comes in three basic fiber types (you may see references to further types of muscle fibers but they are really only a continuation of the continuum that the three basic types represent). They are: Type I: slow twitch (ST), slow oxidative (also called red fibers) Type IIA: fast twitch (FT), fast oxidative (also called white fibers) Type IIB: fast-glycolytic (a kind of white FT fibers) FT fibers have higher myosin ATPase activity rates than ST fibers. This allows them to release energy more quickly and deliver more power than ST fibers (even if the ST fibers were the same size as the FT ones). FT fibers are also larger in diameter because of higher concentrations of actin and myosin filaments within them as compared to ST fibers. This further allows them to develop more force. ST fibers have greater intramuscular triglyceride stores (for sustained energy), more aerobic enzyme activity, more of a substance called myoglobin (which is instrumental in the process of using oxygen to create energy), greater mitochondrial density (mitochondria manufacture about 95% of the ATP that exists in muscle tissue) and greater capillary density. For the above reasons: FT fibers are best suited to generating large amounts of force over a short period and are very sensitive to fatigue. ST fibers are best suited to low-load, long duration activities. Of the FT fibers, type IIAs have both good anaerobic and aerobic qualities. They have high ATPase activity like fast-glycolytic (IIB) fibers, but also a high oxidative capacity like type I fibers. Because of this, they can maintain a contraction longer than type IIBs, but contract faster (thus developing more power) than type Is. Type IIBs do not exhibit this duality and are poor performers aerobically but very well equiped for anaerobic activities. They can,consequently, develop even more short-burst power than the IIAs. Both types of FT fibers have significantly larger innervating neurons than STs and, therefore, have higher activation thresholds than STs. They are activated only after the STs have been fired, but they can twitch faster and more often. FT fibers are brought into play by either the effort to more a heavy load or by the need to move an object faster than is possible with ST fibers. Type IIB fibers can twitch three times faster (and therefore, more often) than ST fibers. Type IIAs can also twitch faster and more often than ST fibers. Because of this, and the recruitment pattern, a FT fiber may begin its contraction after a ST fiber but actually finish at the same time or before. This leads to another contributor to the FT fibers abilities to produce greater force - their enhanced frequency of firing. Because they complete the firing sequence more quickly they can fire more often than ST fibers, thus developing more tension. NOTE: Because of the differing activation thresholds of the different types of fibers, type II fibers may be referred to as 'high-threshold' fibers and type I fibers as 'low-threshold' fibers in future references on this site. The force developed by a muscle is largely determined by the number of fibers that are forced to contract. The more units contracting, the more force developed. In addition, as effort fractionally increases, so does the frequency of firing of each motor unit. A sudden increase in force requirement is met by the recruitment of more motor units. So, on a very fundamental level, lifting heavy weights recruits more muscle fibers than lifting light weights. And as the weight then gets progressively heavier these fibers will fire more frequently to meet the force requirements. Let's look at a typical Bodybuilding-type strength training set. Let's say we do 8-12 reps (it doesn't really matter about the exact number). During the first rep only a proportion of the IIA fibers are recruited, and none of the IIBs. During the second rep other IIA fibers are recruited while the ones used during the first rep rest. After a few reps, continuing in this pattern, all the IIAs start to fatigue (they don't get quite long enough rest periods between recruitments). When this happens some of the IIBs are called in to meet the force requirements. The IIBs don't twitch at maximum frequency, however - they don't have to in order to generate the forces necessary. Eventually, all the available IIBs (and IIAs) are recruited but they still don't have to twitch at their maximum frequency. By the end of the set all available fibers in the muscle are being fired as fast as possible - the problem is the IIBs and IIAs are not capable of firing at their maximum frequencies now because they are fatigued (that's why you're weaker at the end of a set than you were when you started ...no matter how hard you try). NOTE: This example isn't entirely accurate because typical Bodybuilding sets, in the 8-12 rep range, usually result in all of the available fibers (IIAs and IIBs) being recruited right from the first rep, with the IIBs not firing at maximum frequency, however, it does serve to illustrate the basic process.
  5. I realised I don't really understand why different rep ranges affect you body's adaption differently - does it make any difference if you do two sets of 8 squats using your 10RM weight vs 8 sets of 2 reps using the same weight - the total work reps x weight is the same - time under tension is similar - the energy systems are probably used slightly differently - arguably the sets of 2 reps could be done more intensely http://www.weightrainer.net/training/growth2.html - the information on this page and Rip's programming book, seems to indicate that adaption is driven by damage to muscle fibers that is then repaired by the body to be slightly better than it started ( super compensation ) - why is the damage not related to total number of reps completed in a workout session vs the number of reps in each set? Any thoughts or clarifications?
  6. Show Your Home Gym

    my setup I can open the double doors to the left of the photo to get a breeze from the garden - essential on our humid Brissy evenings
  7. Hi I have been trying the leangains style IF - in general quite happy with it. I only want to eat "normal" food - does anyone have an alternative to the recommended 10g of BCAA or Whey pre fasted workout? cheers Paul
  8. Flu Recovery And Restart Training

    I am not sure what sets it off - I just seem to get wheezy - this has reduced but I saw the Doc again today and was prescribed a preventative medication. Overall I think that getting the flu + chest infection triggered the asthma - I am hoping when I get well the asthma will go away I weighed myself today - I have lost 8kg in approx two weeks - I am now wondering how this will affect my strength
  9. Ex-Sl Members List

    cheers Phil - sorry I had not checked back here for awhile - I looked for your log but could not find it. Yes it is interesting to see how SL has changed so often and the effect it has on the ppl who use it - really a textbook case of lame change management - you need to bring ppl with you and get them enthusiastic about changes - not just impose them at a whim - change fatigue sets in very quickly with resultant lack of trust.
  10. Hi Happy 2012 to everyone. I am recovering from the worst flu I can remember - have to lie down and recover from exhaustion after walking to the kitchen; have developed asthma for the first time What approach should I take with restarting training? My intention was to wait for 7 days after I felt well and then do the week 4 deload from my 531 program then start the next wave without increasing weight - comments? Paul
  11. Goals On 5/3/1

    Thanks for the replies guys. @Mathiah - mate at my age it never was a sprint - my joints, particularly my elbows get beat up too quickly. Perhaps I did not make my point clearly enough - 531 is not about 1RM + I have not done a 1RM attempt in the last year - I can work out how my work weight could/should increase in 12 months - 12 x 5kg = 60kg for lower body if I make every cycle - but the work weight does not capture the whole story, that is more completely captured by the calculated max so I suppose my real question is are you guys who are doing 531, setting goals with your calculated max? testing 1RM and setting goals with these or looking at your working weights? @Adam - I am pretty sure I am using your spreadsheet - bloody good - I like the goal for next workout bit. - I have been using it for my short term goals ie meeting or exceeding the rep goal on the next workout to boost the calc max - have you tried setting goals over multiple cycles? @Neil - I am wary of putting too much emphasis on the assistance and am deliberately keeping mine short and simple, when I see how my body and particularly my elbows react to this program I might branch out. cheers Paul
  12. Pr Week 2011 And A Little Summary

    great post - inspiring - thanks for sharing.
  13. Goals On 5/3/1

    How are others setting goals on 531? I have recently swapped to 531 - so far I am really liking the program ( although it is early days ) but my goal setting has become more difficult. Back when I was doing simpler LP programs, goal setting seemed much simpler - I could easily tell when I should get a weight for reps. On 531 my very short term goals are easy - I try to beat the number of reps required on the third set longer term - I am not so sure - should I try to "get" a weight by using the weight x reps calc to estimate a 1RM .. or just aim to complete the program? any ideas welcome. as an example - my goals from start of September while on Madcow My 1 yr goals train regularly over next 12 months 2-3 times a week following a program, stretch + balanced full body workouts do some cardio SQ 300 lbs 136kg Bench + BBR BW OHP 70Kg Bw 95Kg BF < 15% pullup 10 in a set
  14. Ex-Sl Members List

    Hi another ex-SL member - I was not the most prolific poster - so many names I recognise here
  15. Tracking Your Progress

    A comment for those of you who use a spreadsheet - I save mine to a dropbox account - backed up and also accessible from PC, laptop, smartphone, etc all in one.