Thursday, November 01, 2007

more hypertrophy notes

Just some thoughts on this phase of lifting

There are 6 sets. And the book calls for 1.5-2mins rest between sets. I used to rush the rest, now I take it all and then some. The workouts take a long time but the rest helps a lot in completing the workout.

I'm definitely fatigued after today's workout. Today was a 'light' day where the weights are 5% less than yesterday. But back to back workouts make it just as hard as yesterday. My lower back especially feels tired. Squats, leg curls and stiff legged deadlifts all fatigue the lower back.

Any riding done during this period is just spinning around for me. The toll on the body is huge during this phase and it is important to realize that I'm not going to be riding well at all for the next few weeks and not to let it get me down if the legs feel like wood when on the bike.

I will be very hungry all the time!

The workouts call for 10-12 reps. In the past I've typically done 10. But I worked out with a friend and he was going for 12 every time. If you can do more than 12 than add weight next time, less than 10 and decrease weight. I'm trying to do the same and go for 12. Need to remember that the next phases of interval training are dependent on the work I'm doing right now. These weight room workouts are creating the foundation for the power development that comes later. So I need to make the most of the workouts and do my best each and every time though know to call it quits if I'm going to do something that might hurt me, like on squats, etc. If the form gets bad than I'm doing too much weight.

There is always a debate about if strength training is the best use of time. My workouts seem to take a long time given the # of sets right now and the amount of rest per/set. So from only a time perspective it's not a good comparison. The key for me though is power development. My limitations always seem to be in the legs. So from the perspective of my own power development I still believe in the strength training component for developing a sound foundation with which to turn into cycling strength and cycling power development.

There are also issue with regards to increasing muscle mass. The definition of hypertrophy is to increase the size of muscle fiber. Sort of a negative thing from the perspective of the weight conscious cyclist. But again the way I'm looking at it is that bigger muscle fibers can make more power. Later in the strength phase we'll be focusing on increasing the strength of the fibers than in the power phases the focus will be on recruiting more fibers but right now the focus is on making the fibers bigger.

1) make the fibers bigger
2) make the fibers stronger
3) recruit more fibers when activating a muscle

I do not follow the exact same routine for the upper body as I do the legs. I only do 3 sets for upper body. The program calls for lat pulls and dumbell press. But I've been in/out of the weight room since highschool and want to do different things for upper body. I've been using this one press machine for chest/tris that seems to put my arms in a similar position as on the bike. I've also been doing different things like upright rows, single arm hanging snatches, inverted rows, dips, pullups, etc.

basically pick one or two excercises and do them every other time at the gyn. So not a whole lot.


At 10:01 AM, Blogger spokejunky said...

Squats should be minimal lower back and ham curls should be no lower back. Check your form in the mirror on the squats to ensure you're not arching your back. If you are then you're not engaging your quads and to correct lean forward, but not beyond straight line of your shoulders/hips. If you feel like you're rocking on your heels then you're too far back. Best practice for this is to place a bench right at the coccyx and touch that barely when you go down for the squat. Beyond 90 degree of that and you're in risk of damaging the knees.
If you're doing a horizontal ham curl, then your pelvis should never leave the cushion. Your spot should either be pushing down on your lower back or unweight the lift to get proper form. If standing isolated ham curl, then the same thing goes..the pelvis should never leave the cushion and the upper body should not be engaged by using the grips to steady the eccentric movement. If you really feel the weight is enough on the standing isolated curl, then ask your spot to push in your lower back to make sure the pelvis is immobilized.


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