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.