Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Rope - Cont.

Just following up about the new digital rope I bought from Tesco.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Rope

I got a new rope from Tesco yesterday; £3.50 gets you a rope with a timer and counter integrated into the handle. It's nice and easy to adjust, just pull the loop tabs through and tighten. For £3.50 this is the best rope I have owned to date. I have had around 5 different ropes now:

  • The first is a leather rope and although heavy and slow has lasted the longest (2 years). £10.99

  • The second just snapped the first time I tried some double unders. £1.99

  • The third lasted the longest, almost 5 months. It had a metal handle and some free metal needles attached to the nylon rope, which prevent wear on the nylon thus preventing the rope from snapping. Unfortunately, it has no bearings so the metal pin wore out and eventually came free from the handle. £14.99

  • The next rope I bought was already broken when I got it out of the packet - bin! £7.50

  • Finally the Tesco counter rope. It has stood up to my fearce round of DU's today with no signs of catching or tangling. Will see how it goes. £3.50

I used the counter to see how fast I could go performing DU's today. I managed to pull 101 turns in 29 seconds out of the bag before my arms lost synch with my feet and my brain melted trying to maintain rhythm. I will get some footage of the rope and how it works soon.

Dogg Crapp

Okay, just over two weeks in and feeling pretty good again. Have managed to get about 85% of the load back I had prior to getting ill, so am heading in the right direction. Since HITT seems to really batter my immune system at the moment (I can litterally feel symptoms of a cold the next day), I am going to just do light cardio while my body gets back on form. So since I will be doing only light cardio work, I have room to stress myself a little more during strength sessions.

I saw a blog about the DC (Dogg Crapp) training methodology from Bjorn Granum. After reading his posts, I decided to do some reading myself and have found some similar variations following the same principles. One approach is to incorporate X-reps immediately after the work set; no rest.

The theory is well documented in the link, but to summarise, it describes how maximal muscular growth is triggered at repetition failure. In most workouts we avoid taking muscles to failure since this requires extended periods of rest to repair the damage. However, working beyond failure by performing micro-reps, extends this period of maximal growth, stimulating the muscle to grow 2.5x as much than normal during the recovery phase. Most that have been sceptical about this technique but have actually tried it, have all said it works just as well in practice. The only negative to this is the recovery phase is extra important and it does put you out of action from participating in any extra activity.

I tried the DC X-rep combo yesterday as a start on a new 10 week strategy I have set for myself; starting with the A1 workout: Chest, Delts and Triceps. On completing the A1, I have never been so muscularly fatigued from a strength workout before (probably due to having avoided taking my muscles to failure and beyond before). I really can vouch that this style of DC really is a killer, not for the faint hearted.

I am fairly sore in places today, but not places I'd expect to be. For one, I was expecting more pain in my pectorals and triceps, but I feel nothing there. My delts feel tender, but not too bad. The weird part is my biceps throb, but bearing in mind I hardly used them yesterday. I will put this down to not stretching them during the stretch phase of the DC workout. I only stretched my chest, back and triceps. I will stretch all upper/lower muscle groups for the A2 workout.

Monday, 11 January 2010

It Begins Here

Not made any entries for a while, so I'll up date you. I got really ill towards the end of October 2009, which put me out of action for ages. I had the odd attempt at returning to the gym when I thought I had recovered, to find it just brought back a relentless wave of the same symptoms again. By the end of December I gave up entirely and just waited for the cold/flu/virus (whatever it was), to finally burn out.

I paid the gym a visit last week, for the first time since December, to see if the same thing would happen again. Safe to say I am still in good health (touch wood), and don't feel any of the symptoms returning. What is obvious is the amount of strength I have lost and overall work capacity. I used to be able to handle a full compact hour, every day, without any problems. Now though, I struggle with just a few test sets and no post workout finisher, leaving me sore for days. Not good. The overall strain of the virus has also meant my losing over 14 lbs of lean mass along with any strength gains I had worked hard to achieve over the past year or so. I now weigh at my lowest, 12 st 6 lbs, so have a massive task to regain the year that I just wrote off.

Consider this the beginning; the reboot. I need to think of this as January 2009 and get back everything I lost through nearly 3 months out. I will start really light to avoid injury and avoid needing days to recover. The bar will be set low, but hopefully the bar can be raised considerably as the weeks go by.