Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Resting Up

I have had a great quarter for training, this last twelve week cycle as seen some great gains with 20 kg added to my bench press and 15 kg added to my shoulder press. While this is great it has come at a price though.

This past week has been an uncomfortable and unfortunate one as my Sciatica is playing up. For those that dont know there is a nerve called the Sciatic nerve located in the lumber region of the back (lower back), when this nerve is trapped or pressed on it gives pain in the back, bottom and down the leg of the side affected.

I am affected on my right side and this problem has been an issue on and off for a long time but give it a week Ill be back in action.

One of the problems I see with this is a psychologvial one. I always take a one week break after every twelve week cycle which is great for recovery but this injury has caused me to have only trained once last week doing shoulders and I havent trained this week yet. Ill probably leave it to the weekend then go and do some light training to keep myself going and to put my mind at rest.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Strength Does Not Equal Size

There is a common myth with weight training that the stronger you are the bigger your muscles will be, this is not totally true and is not the case.

While building strength will see your muscles grow because you are building muscle tissue, you will not see the muscle hypertrophy you may want to achieve just by lifting the heaviest weights for lower reps.

Strength is in part related to muscle hypertrophy but only in a small way, strength is actually more related to genetics of tendon length and thickness as well as muscle power.

It is this important factor that causes many of us to visit the gym and see big bodybuilders lifting smaller weight because they know size is not all about strength, so whats the secret they know and we dont?

Truth be told the "Secret" which isnt much of a secret is that to gain big muscles through hypertrophy you need to lift lighter weights for more repeititions as this gets the blood flowing into the muscle.

This lighter workload carried out for a longer time causes sarcoplasmic hypertrophy that sees muscle mass increase at a faster rate than myofibrillated hypertrophy that strenth training causes.

So whats the difference?

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy means that sarcoplasmic fluid builds up in the muscle giving added size but without the added strength, this is what bodybuilders aspire to achieve.

Myofibrillated hypertrophy means that the myosin and actin fillaments in the muscle increase in number giving the muscle more power and a little extra size.

So you can see a bodybuilder can increase in size quite dramatically with smaller strength gains while someone strength training will see their strength increase dramatically without so much gain in muscle size thus strength does not equal size.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Optimum Hydration

When training I see a lot of people neglecting to drink water which is a huge issue as it can impact your training and possible cause dehydration.

Previous posts have gone over the need to drink water and stay hydrated but I have never really gone into talking about drinking while training.

While training your body is perspiring at a greater rate than when you are resting, this means your body is losing water at a faster rate than normal as you sweat and breathe out H2O. To counter this problem you need to drink more water than normal to ensure your water hydration levels are balanced.

But how much water is needed?

The rule of thumb is that when training you should drink about 250ml of water for every 15 minutes of training so this is around 1 litre of water per hour. This may sound like a lot to some people as normally a person would only expect to drink 2 litres of water in a whole day, trust me when I say its not a lot.

When training always keep a bottle of water with you and ensure you take regular sips of water to keep hydrated. By taking regular sips rather than large amounts less often you will find your need for the toilet will not occur so often.

If you do not drink enough water while training you could find yourself starting to become dehydrated and feeling drained of energy, unable to lift your usual amounts, legs feeling like lead and general tiredness.

Dehydration is not healthy as a vast amount of your body is made up of water so it is one of the most important yet simple structures your body requires. If your someone who doesnt take water with you while training make sure you do next time and you could find yourself feeling better.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Reasons for Weightlifting

The latest poll finished last week and didnt achieve the amount of results as I would like although the results for reasons for weightlifting did put a smile on my face as they were very interesting.

The results:

As you can see us men are alot more vain than we give ourselves credit for! nearly one in three who answered said that vanity sis the reason they go to the gym and pound the weights. I shouldnt really be surprised but I couldnt help being a little surprised.

The three that came joint second were Powerlifting, Bodybuilding and General Fitness with 18.18% of the results each. Personally I was surprised (and happy) that Powerlifting reached the same level as general fitness and bodybuilding as its not such a well known branch of the weightlifing world as bodybuilding and general fitness, well that encompasses so much.

Third place was other sports, now weightlifting is used for varying reasons in other sports such as football, rugby, American football and the like as a way. weightlifting in other sports is for conditioning and increasing strength so this was not too much of a surprise.

Olympic lifting came fourth with only4.55% of the votes, to me there is no surprise there as Olympic lifting is not a sport carried out much any more in the west.

Lest was the beach with zero results, this was potentially because of the vanity choice which in a sense is the same thing.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Diet and Nutrition

I thought it time to talk about my own training in my journal as its been a short while.

Today I wish to talk about my training and my nutrition, firstly though its the nutrition. I had a long chat with a friend who is a bodybuilder a few days ago and he was talking about his nutrition and that he cant understand why I eat the way I whats the difference between us?

We both eat 5 to 6 times a day, we both try to get as much protein in our diet as possible every day to ensure we hit our daily amounts, the difference is the foods we eat.

My friend is a puritan, a real bodybuilder who will not intoxicate his body with fatty foods where I am a powerlifter and do have a little "Dirty food" in my diet as I feel I need some enjoyment from my food and also it helps give me the energy to push harder. I would like to mention that everyones body is different and my body does require me to eat alot because my metabolism is quite good.

So what do I eat.....well to be honest what ever I feel like. Today for example I had two slices of wholemeal bread with lutenizta and chicken for breakfast then I trained at the gym and had a chocolate tea cake when I got back. Since then I have had a lucozade sport and Ackee and saltfish with rice and kidney beans.

I plan on chicken in the afternoon with rice then beef in the evening...probably with potatoes or again rice (I like rice!)

Now to training, how is my training coming along....below is my current workouts utilising the heaviest weight possible for each exercise:

Chest and Triceps

Flat Barbell Bench Press - 4 x 6-8
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 x 6-8
Incline Dumbbell Flies - 3 x 6-8
Close grip Bench press - 3 x 6-8
Skull Crushers - 3 x 6-8
Tricep dips - 3 x 6-8
Tricep extensions - 3 x 6-8
Dumbbell Wristies - 2 x 6-8
7.5 minute run


Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 4 x 6-8
Barbell Military Press - 3 x 6-8
Rear Delt Flies - 3 x 8-10
Lateral Flies - 3 x 8-10
Shoulder Shrugs - 3 x 6-8
Wide Grip Pull Ups - 3 x 6-8
Dumbbell Wristies - 2 x 6-8
7.5 minute run


Wide Grip Seated Row - 4 x 6-8
Dumbbell Row - 3 x 6-8
Barbell Row - 3 x 6-8
Close Grip Pull Ups - 3 x 6-8
Dumbbell Biceps Curls - 3 x 6-8
Barbell Biceps Curls - 3 x 6-8
Dumbbell Wristies - 1 x 6-8
Crucifix - 1 x for time (min one minute)
Rowing Machine - 1km


Squats - 4 x 10
Bulgarian Split Squats - 3 x 6-8
Calf Raises - 3 x 6-8
Deadlift - 4 x 4-5