Friday, September 20, 2013

I guess you'd call this "bulking"

I fell over yesterday.

Same thing last week Wednesday. Boom, onto my behind.

Already at Day 10 of Dan John's 40-day workout, I should have known that increasing the weight on my overhead squat tends to make me fall over. Which surely does not garner me new personal training clients in my gym--would you pay the woman who just dodged a falling barbell, and is sitting on her butt on the floor?

The idea behind this workout is a simple one of strength-building. Do the same 5 or so lifts every day for 40 days and they'll get easier, which in turn signals that you're getting stronger. Something told me this would be a great program to help a client of mine meet his goals, but one, I didn't think he'd commit to the tedium, and two, I hadn't tried it myself.

So I'm trying it myself. And I have to keep reminding myself of this: that this is an experiment, designed by well-respected authorities in the strength and conditioning field (Pavel's behind it, too), which I will follow in a month with doing whatever I want. In fact, I'm keeping a list of all the exercises I miss, like a love letter to Santa.

There is something nice about just showing up and not thinking about what I need to do: what Dan John calls the bus bench workout--on schedule--as opposed to the park bench workout, where you're free to do as you feel. And knowing some smart guys are behind it. And seeing the weight go up ten pounds on my 5-rep deadlift today.

(May I just pause here to point out that while I was loading 120 pounds onto a 45-pound bar, one woman in the weight room was saying to the other, "Should we start with the 5s or the 7s?"?)

But what's not nice is my new tendency to eat six meals a day, and not the small ones like you're supposed to. Yesterday, I had breakfast after my breakfast, and after my second supper, ate two large sausages for dessert. You can see these when I turn to the side.

I like that instead of jumping between different kinds of exercises, I'm mastering each one, letting my body take in its effects, and concentrating through each of the five reps per set. Only five, so you can't (shouldn't) lose focus, or they'll be gone before you know it. This daily liturgy of lifts is soothing.

And with a warmup on the bike or treadmill, I'm doing more of that than I would in a week, as well.

So aside from the falling over and the strain on our food budget, the program is promising. It's good to just flat out build strength every once in a while, especially as I have people who pay me because they know it's something I do. And then, after this, I'm curious to try hypertrophy, as I know how it's done but haven't pursued it all out. As a personal trainer, I tend to only want to teach stuff I've done myself, as my body knows it as well as my mind. So I've got some work to do. Day 11, I'm ready for you.




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