You will no doubt wonder why I have not posted in a while. Perhaps you have been suffering withdrawal symptoms from my lack of posts, probably your life will be empty of purpose.
Fear not as I am still lifting weights, however I am suffering from the madness of love. This love has greatly decreased my bank account and decreased my training time… but as ever I adapt to new situations.
Decreased Training Time
This comes in the form of decreased frequency and decreased time per session. I used to do about 11 sessions per week. 5 of these would be brief 5-10 minute sessions in the morning of push-ups, pull-ups, V-ups, etc. then 6 sessions in the evening of actual weights lasting 40 to 90 minutes. The advantage of training more frequently is that a greater volume of training equates to adapting on more exercise and more types of strength.
Now I do about 6 sessions a week, 3 morning sessions of bodyweight stuff and 3 sessions of actual weights. Sometimes I might only do 4 sessions a week. The morning session might last 2 minutes, the evening session might last 40 minutes.
However all is not lost;
- I have been training for many decades so am accustomed to a large variety of lifts and ways of doing them in a skillful manner, so I don’t need much time to prepare for a lift.
- I have been training for many decades so do not need much of a period of conversion to specific strength. In other words my motor skills and conditioning are such that I might only need a few sessions to ramp up the effort to max.
- Less voluminous sessions allows for greater recovery, so I have more energy to put into harder sessions. So less effort has to go into planning recovery and less effort into training when tired.
- I have lost 4 or 5 kg because of the stress of attending to my beloved, so I can do pull-ups more easily.
I can now do a partial one arm pull-up with either arm and am working on doing the full one arm pull-up. I mass about 76 kg.
For the past few years I have been doing bodyweight pull-ups on a regular basis, this came about mainly because there is little preparation needed for bodyweight pull-ups, i.e. less equipment set-up and less mental preparation. Instead I just got used to doing reps; 10 reps, 15 reps, 20 reps, 25 reps. I practice these in pronated or parallel grip style. Pronated is good for reps and hits the back more, parallel is more like armwrestling and is strongest for pulling. I don’t do supinated as I don’t find them particularly comfortable on the joints/tendons. I ask my beloved to count repetitions in bodyweight pull-ups.
It is important with bodyweight pull-ups not to keep maxing out. If I feel like only doing 15 then I will do only 15 even if I could have done 20. This means I can now do 20 reps on regular basis, whereas before 20 reps was only now and then; now 25 reps is now and then.
Repetitious pull-ups help when it comes to performing heavy pull-ups; perhaps this is due to muscle hypertrophy or perhaps it is due to Pavel Tsatsouline’s greasing the groove. I do pull-ups with weights in the evening or on a separate day, a single set as shown in the video;
Pronated Pull Ups 35 kg × 8 reps
Whilst my upper body strength is progressing along nicely, my big lift strength is also still creeping along. For example in my last session I added a few kilos to my previous max in the high bar squat. I train for this by doing by squatting in the recoil style explained here.
High Bar Squat 163 kg – you can tell its high bar because I wear no wrist wraps. Note in this video I squat down and touch the beams but in training I use the recoil style.
I’ve also added a rep to my 173 kg deadlift. So all in all, whilst my finances have been reduced, my lifts are still going up. When my beloved leaves me she promises to let me live in my garage, so I can’t really complain;