I always feel a tad bit “slow” in my first explosive workout following a lengthy layoff; and yeah, 5 days completely off is, for me, quite a prolonged bit of down-time. My theory is that keeping the CNS primed (amped, hyped, what have you) for explosive movement is metabolically expensive, and is therefore quickly down-regulated when the body senses that it is not required for “survival”. And to that end (seeking to “jazz” my CNS a bit prior to each “money” movement), I opted to perform a ballistic, similar-like motion in immediate advance of performing the main movements of choice in today’s workout. Those two exercises were a DB snatch (cred) + push-press (x2) + jerk combo, and an ab wheel roll-out.
The resulting complex looked like this:
drop + rebound jump: x 5, each round
cred + single-arm push-press x 2 + single-arm jerk x 1 combo: 75 x 5, 5; 85 x 3, 3; 90 x 3
straight bar muscle-up: bodyweight: x 2, each round
ab wheel roll-out: bodyweight: x 7, 7, 10, 10, 10
5 total rounds
drop + rebound jump: step off of a low box (approx 18″ high) and, immediately upon ground contact, spring up and over a subsequent, taller (approx. waist-high) box. Focus on minimal ground contact time.
cred combo: number of reps indicates number of db snatches performed prior to the presses for that arm; i.e., 5 snatches (at 75 #) with the right arm and, immediately following the 5th snatch, perform the press/jerk portion of the combo with the same arm. Then switch to the left arm and repeat the process; 5 snatches followed by the presses/jerk.
Why only 2 muscle-ups per round? Because beyond the second rep I know that (from experience), I shift from a speed-strength/RFD emphasis to more of a strength-speed emphasis. It’s purely a speed of execution thing. In this case, I’m simply looking for a CNS stimulus in this particular movement pattern, I’m not looking to work the movement pattern, per se. There is a difference, albeit subtle.
ab wheel roll-outs: now I am looking to work this particular movement pattern (notice how a full roll-out is a very similar movement pattern to a straight-bar muscle-up). Full extension, minimal knee/body ground contact. Lead with the butt on the concentric portion of the movement and don’t allow the hips to sag/sink in the eccentric portion.
TTP reader Alejandro (noted in italics) writes:
The old school “eat to gain” idea is, in my opinion, totally misguided/outdated information. Not that all “old school” guys advocated the notion, either, as Vince Gironda thought the idea was ludicrous; yet another example of the Iron Guru being light-years ahead of the pack. Given the proper stimulus (weight training), the body will more than adequately adjust appetite to compensate for growth. You need do no more than what you’re doing now — eat to satiation, and eat when hungry. The only time I’d advocate (slight) overeating is in the case of someone wanting to gain bulk for unique, sport-specific reasons — an American football, offensive lineman, for instance.
Training-wise, you’ll want to identify if your goals lean more toward aesthetics or sport-specific betterment, as this will determine (in a gross way), how your workouts will be structured.
I think tubers — and just about any root food for that matter — are fantastic carbohydrate sources. Your intake ought to be personalized as to your diet intent (i.e., fat loss, maintenance, etc.), allowing for upswings in times of maintenance, and reductions if weight loss becomes an issue. I don’t personally count calories, macro-nutrient percentages, meal frequencies, or whatever, nor do I advocate anyone else doing so (there are, though, always unique exceptions). I simply eat what I feel like eating within the Paleo umbrella, to satiation, and when I’m hungry. Due to cooking methods/options/recipes, I naturally eat more tubers, roots and such in the winter, and less in the summer. Do a little n=1 experimentation on yourself and see how you respond to varying amounts in your own diet.
Not at all — in fact IF’ing will serve to enhance your gains in the long run. At first glance, this may seem counter-intuitive, however, look at things from a metabolic/hormonal/enzymatic optimization point-of-view, and you’ll see the opposite is actually true. If anything, I’d have you (being still at somewhat of a high BF/low muscle-mass ratio) IF twice per week, 17 — 24-hours a pop. And, under “every-day” circumstances (and if possible), always workout in a 10 -12 hour fasted state.
I’ve always read that Mr. Gironda recommended 4 to 6 week bulk periods. This appears in all the books I have about him and in this post over at WAP:
His hormone precursor diet is very high calorie. He didn’t call it “eat to gain” but it’s strongly implied that you weren’t going to gain if you didn’t pack away that much food.
A nice summary by Randy Roach of things from his book. In the body-building experiments that Roach wrote about in the history portions of his book, ‘Muscle, Smoke, & Mirrors’, the theme of eating pretty large quantities while also maintaining healthy digestion seemed to rise to the surface as optimal for lean mass gain. Folks seemed to key in on digestive health as a signal for good dietary inputs for producing optimal body composition.
Thanks for keeping me honest. Maybe “prolonged gluttony” would be a better term for what Vince recommended against? It would be interesting to ask the old goat, if he were still with us, what he thought of the notion of calorie intake driving (muscle) gains. It remains an interesting chicken/egg question. And, too, I wonder about the truthfulness of the “reported” diets of the physical culturalists of yore. How much of the “36 eggs and a quart of cream (raw!)” can be believed? These guys had to be marketers and self-promoters (times haven’t changed much), and were given, out of necessity, to hyperbole.
6 weeks of overeating with a high volume training routine wouldn’t be considered prolonged gluttony. If one is to believe some of the research that is referenced by the ol’ ABCDE eating plan they’re not going to put to much weight on in the first 2 weeks anyway.
Less keeping you honest, more bringing together all related info for better understanding.
Thanks for the reply Keith,
I am going to add 24h fasts twice a week. I lift in the morning before breakfast, so I am always somewhat fasted.
On the n=1 experiment, I am a step ahead of you. 😉 When I said “I have tested to see how I react to eating tubers” I meant I have tested it and kept eating tubers. I tried it after quitting a 2 months ketogenic diet experiment which didn’t go well (my racquetball performance never returned, lack of explosiveness). This was 1 month ago. Introducing tubers was a good move sports wise, and I have not noticed any gain in bf. I guess I will keep at it and see what happens.