A Little Dash of Volume; Stress and Gluten Tolerance

Here are a couple of workouts in which I injected a little more volume than what I normally roll with.  This is all done in an effort to prevent overtraining, while yet maintaining a relatively high training frequency which I both enjoy, and which my recovery ability can handle.  And just to reiterate a point I’ve made before, I rarely train lower-body volume work in the gym, since I do so much biking and sprinting — which is, essentially, volume work taken to an extreme.  My own n=1 experimentation has shown that lower-body volume work in the gym on top of biking and sprinting is counter-productive — too much of a good thing.  That being the case, I’ll stick to hitting the ol’ wheels with dynamic, power and strength work while in the gym.

Friday (Efficient Exercise, Rosedale)

First up, a box squat/cable flye superset –

box squat, top of quads just below parallel (*safety bar): bar + 160 x 7; +180 x 8; +200 x 6, 6, 6

*I have no idea how much this bar weighs.  It’s a locally-fabricated, heavy-duty, beastly thing is all I can say 🙂

cable flye (from a deep lunge position hold): 95 x 15; 110 x 15; 125 x 15, 13, 12

Then, an ab wheel roll-out/btn push-press superset –

ab wheel roll-out (on toes, minimal knee touch, full extension): bodyweight x 8, 8, 10

btn push-press: 135 x 10, 9, 9

Monday (Efficient Exercise, Rosedale)

This following a bit of fixie sprinting about the Rosedale section of Austin (and a much-needed pitstop by Thunderbird coffee)

clean-grip power snatch (from the floor): 115 x 5; 135 x 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

then a “volume” superset of bi’s and tri’s

barbell curls: 115 x 12, 12, 12

close grip bench: 185 x 10, 8, 9

Stress,and the ability to tolerate gluten

Recently, a  client of mine reported that, for a couple of days following her first session with me, she felt particularly “wiped out”.  This client is normally on an every 7th-day session frequency, and I utilize a to-failure HIT-like protocol with her.  After inquiring a bit as to what she meant by “wiped-out”, it occurred to me that she was, more than likely, gluten intolerant; in addition to the normal indications of a particularly challenging workout (lingering muscular fatigue, a little less “pop”, possibly some muscular soreness), she told of some near flu-like symptoms.  I asked if she thought she might have actually had a touch of the flu, and she said she didn’t think so, that the “symptoms” weren’t that extreme.  I asked if she was gluten intolerant, and she indicated that she didn’t think so.

Now I align myself with the Robb Wolf camp in my belief that everyone is in fact, to some degree, gluten intolerant.  In some people (and I believe, in my client’s case) that low-level intolerance — which has persisted undetected since childhood — has essentially become that person’s norm, or baseline feeling of what it is to be relatively “healthy”.  This is somewhat analogous to people who have to live with some manifestation chronic, low-grade pain.  However, when an unusual stressor enters the picture — in this case, a particularly rigorous workout (but it could be any stress; emotional, physical, psychological…), those “intolerance” symptoms manifest — or, more accurately, are brought to the forefront.

I asked this client to consider trying a gluten-free diet for a while (which is particularly easy to do in Austin, even when dining out), knowing that “gluten-free” is essentially “Paleo-lite” — 90% of a Paleo diet, without the wack (by mainstream standards) PR.  She did just that, and subsequent to a following workout reported none of the same “wiped-out” symptoms.

I wonder how many more people out there would be more accepting of (or able to handle) extreme-intensity workouts, if only their diets could first support such endeavors?

Also, check out High Intensity Training and the Career-Oriented Trainee, over at the Efficient Exercise blog.  Career success and fitness/health need not be mutually-exclusive pursuits.

8 responses to “A Little Dash of Volume; Stress and Gluten Tolerance

  1. The bar is 50lbs and made by Power Lift. We added the extra wrapping because a client was squatting ~600lbs, iirc.

  2. I do not think I, personally, am gluten intolerant. I avoid gluten and have done so without much of a positive effect that I notice. At the risk of bringing TMI to the table… as your client is female, it may also be a menses, female hormone issue. She just may not realize it. Again, we’re back to hormones. And I find sugar management is more of a factor there. Even tho it’s what the body craves at certain phases of the fertility cycle.

    PSST – congrats on the new venue. You are tweeting like a mad man! I love it!

    • Very true, Beck — hormones could definitely be an issue as well (chicken/egg thing here — did gluten-intolerance exacerbate an already shaky situation?); sugar, from what I could gather, though, didn’t seem to the the bugaboo in this instance. Of course we all know that sugar can sneak into places that the unsuspecting might not ever think to look. These are all things to keep in mind, though, when attempting to tease-out solutions to various problems.

      Thanks for the congrats, btw…I am *lovin’* the new gig 🙂

    • You bet, Jessica; your site is a great resource for those of us lucky enough to reside in (or be visiting) the ATX 🙂

  3. A Gluten free diet is one that would help many people. It is an ingredient in so many foods that it is easy to make it part of your diet.

    Nevertheless, I agree leaving out gluten products from a diet is one of the best things you can do. The dilemma for many people is this doesn’t always show up on a test.

    As we know testing doesn’t always deliver. Exposure to gluten starts early, and is one of the most common and unavoidable ingredients in the standard American diet.

    There is enough data to show that avoiding gluten is a solution to many of today’s health problems.

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