Saturday, October 19, 2013

42 Day Block Completed and Results!!

So for the last 6 weeks I've been training like a mad man where I managed the following:

 - 30 sprint sessions in 40 days

 - 27 squat sessions in 41 days (would have been more if my pelvis didn't discombobulate!)

 - 35 hip thrusting sessions in 41 days

Yep block training gone mad!

Obviously the focus was on sprinting speed so why didn't I just sprint and go home?

Hip Thrust Strength + Back Squat Strength + Sprinting = Speed

You could probably just do these 3 exercises in your life and be faster then 90% of the people on your Facebook page (even the one's you "don't" know.

So the results?

I tested my 10 and 40 meter sprint about a week and half before I started the program which was actually the Tuesday before out last game but considering I barely trained this year and basically only played on a Saturday my readiness was fine (no soreness from the weekend and also not run down from a long season).

10 Meter Sprint = 2.2 seconds

40 Meter Sprint = 6.22 seconds

Bloody slow!!

With these times you can work out of you need to work on strength or speed which courtesy of Kelly Baggett, looks like this:

Step 1 - Test 10 meter sprint

Step 2 - Depending on your 10 meter time you'll add a specific amount of time to it

 - 1.6 - 1.7 seconds add 3.25
 - 1.5 - 1.6 seconds add 3.10
 - 1.5 seconds or less add 3.0

Step 3 - Test 40 meter sprint

Step 4 - Compare your estimated and actual time

 - if timed is slower then your estimate then work on speed / max velocity
 - if times is faster then estimate then work on strength / acceleration

Step 5 - You can go a step further for further clarification and do a split time of 20 meters (which I didn't do):

 - if first 20 meters is faster then your second 20 meters then it conforms you need to work on speed / max velocity
 - if your second 20 meters is faster then your first 20 meters then work on strength / acceleration

So for my pre-program sprints looked like this:

Step 1 -  2.2 seconds

Step 2 - 2.2 + 3.25 = 5.45 (if you're slower then 1.7 seconds then you're meant to drop fat and get stronger which is what I was planning to do anyway during my 42 day program so my estimated should have been slower then this as I was so far off to start with)

Step 3 - 6.22 seconds

Step 4 - Timed 40 was sslloowweerr then estimate so my focus needed to go on speed / max velocity.

Now here's what happened some 55 days later:

10 Meter Sprint - 1.6 seconds

40 Meter Sprint - 5.56 seconds

An improvement of just under 25 and 11% respectively (if my math is correct which it probably isn't)

Assessing them again:

Step 1 - 1.6 seconds

Step 2 - 1.6 + 3.25 = 4.85

Step 3 - 5.56 seconds

Step 4 - Again my timed was slower then my estimated indicating I still need to work on speed.

The encouraging thing is that my speed did increase as you can see here:

Pre Program Test

40 meter time (6.22) - 10 meter time (2.2) = 4.02 seconds for last 30 meters

Post Program Test

40 meter time (5.56) - 10 meter time (1.6) = 3.96 seconds for last 30 meters

You can also see that my 10 meter sprint decreased by more then 25% which was helped by taking my back squat from 113 to 128.5 for 1 rep during the 42 day program. I also increased my romanian deadlift from 95 x 3 to 115 x 4, Squat Clean from 20 to 65 x 5, high pull from 45 to 75 x 5 and bench press from 100 x 1 to 100 x 3 using a sub maximal high-ish volume program.

So now I have developed another 5 week block that will take me up to Christmas where I am running another cycle of Triphasic Training but only for 5 weeks to top off my high frequency squatting for the last 7 weeks.

I must also thank Bret Contreras, Joel Smith, Christian Thibaudeau and Kelly Baggett (linked from above) who all had some input on this program through some emails we exchanged.

So the moral of the story is if you wanna get better at something then do it, and do it a lot!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pelvis Broken but Mending

In the back end of the 42 day program earlier this week and had a moderately heavy squat day on Wednesday working up to 115kgs x 2 reps for my top end set. Not a ball burster for me by any means and a fair way off the 140kgs I hope to top out at before Christmas but on the very last rep a felt a pop on the right side of my pelvis and literally belatedly said to myself "oh, fuck!"

Since I was in my early to mid 20's I've had some reoccurring back troubles. After each footy game it would be stiff as a board where I couldn't really bend down to get my shoes on after the post game shower. It would come good later and off I went again.

It wasn't until the mid 2000's when I was working at the YMCA that I started going to a Chiropractor who would do free consultations 2 or 3 times a year to drum up some business (he was located across the road from us) that I actually had done x-rays done where there was some minor damage to the right side but nothing major.

We concluded that the near on 2 hours of basketball played on concrete each day at and after school may have affected my pelvic stability and brought on some loose ligaments. With my programming skills I am able to hold it at bay for 90% of the time and it pulls up footy nicely most of the time even now at 35.

So back to these squats. The load wasn't something I shouldn't or couldn't do. About 10 days prior I did 110kgs for 2 reps so I've built up to it and didn't expect any trouble with it. I think I remember just holding the bottom for a slight second longer knowing it was the last rep of the session and to get a good one in to finish with. I also remember not loosing any tightness while I was down there which is usually what blows out a person's back during squats.

I did have some very light lingering pain from my am session where I did some prone single leg hip extension work which my back didn't like for some reason but in my previous sets and warm up exercises it wasn't a problem. Anyway I don't really know why it popped but it did.

So I hobbled to the car and rubbed some Voltaren cream on it to get me through my evening clients then heat packed when I got home and also in bed that night with another dose of Voltaren.

I could not find a position that I couldn't feel the ache in while in bed so I had a prick of a night sleep wise (coupled with a snoring almost 3 year old in the bed too!!) so it was about the same when I woke up.

I Voltarened again in the morning and heat packed a few times during the day. The Voltaren didn't really seem to be doing anything but the heat pack was bringing some slight relief.

Come Thursday evening and I headed back to train upper body. I had some sprints ad some basic lower body stuff scheduled in but wasn't going to do any of it. The main sprinting stuff was prowler sprints on what I call level 2 (I have 4 levels I can push from on my prowler with level 1 being the lowest level).

The beauty of the prowler is that you can still train the legs more then effectively even with knee or lower back pain. The velocity is low so there's minimal impact and the position takes compression stress off the spine as well. In amongst my bench press sets I managed to do 10 sets of progressively weighted prowler sprints that actually took 95% of the lower back pain away. I knew the upper body training would help it anyway but this was a pretty good bonus.

The dull ache came back once I got home but I slept pretty well and when I moved I didn't really feel it that much.

Today (Friday) I woke up a bit better then the day before and again heat packed through the day.

With my schedule thrown out anyway I thought I'd back up my 14 or 15 sets of bench presses with another 9 today (yes you can back up the next day with the same exercise) and thought I'd try some light squats to see where I was at. I did some glute bridges that always fry my glutes pretty good and then popped 75kgs on the bar. I unracked it and took in some deep breathes and went into a slight hip hinge where I could feel it so chucked in the towel. Quickly grabbed the 30kg dumbbell and whipped out 2 x 8 goblet squats to train the pattern and had no problems at all with it.

I think I'll head in tomorrow and do some more glute and goblet squat stuff and hopefully I can get some 40 meter sprints in and by Monday hopefully I can back to the program which has only a week to go anyway.

The point? Continue to train when you're injured, even the injured area.