Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Recovery or confusion?

I was leaving the locker room yesterday as Jeff was coming in. We had a brief discussion about workout style: Jeff was wondering whether he should continue doing full body workouts or do the alternate day thing (legs/shoulders one day, chest/back another, for example)

The thing is, the reason to do an alternate day style workout is that you overstress the muscles and they need time to recover. In my experience, this is the only way to build strength beyond a certain point: that sort of training is what got my bench from a 160# plateau to 185# in a couple of months.

Jeff's point was that going into a fatigue condition one day, though, would prevent him from doing a power workout the next day: for example if he did squats and deadlifts to failure he might get to do sprints for a while. I wondered if having that sort of strategy would just create good muscle confusion.

I tend to alternate between targeting strength and targeting power, myself: do a heavy lift to fatigue one day, and the next do all plyometrics. For example:

Yesterday's workout :

Bench Press: pyramid to 185# followed by alactics at 165#
Dumbell Snatch: one-hand snatch, ramping to 4x65# (new best)
Incline Negative Situps: 30# kettlebells each hand, 2x5 slow.
Kettlebell swings to vertical: decending sets from 8 reps, 30#.
Lat Pulls alternating with Incline Dumbells: 175# and 55# respectively, 3 sets to failure

Today's workout (planned):

Burpees: maybe will go for 20! ... will see how long that takes.
Box jumps: single leg and double leg with 30# barbell on my back. 2 minutes on, one off, 3 sets.
Heavy bag: 3 rounds, 3 minutes on / 1 minute off
In between all this: track sprints, one lap slow and one lap fast

We'll see how I do... my whole body is a good sore from yesterday's big weights. Everything I have planned for today is about speed and power, not strength.

UPDATE: the workout ended up being,
1 lap sprint warmup
20! burpees with at most 45 seconds rest between sets (210 burpees total)
3x 3 minutes heavy bag with 1 minute rest between. Did not have speed for triple jabs coming off the burpees. Good right cross today.
30# weighted box jumps: 30 seconds on / 20 off / 20 on /10 off/10 on / 5 off / 5 on
(two minutes? What was I thinking!)
3x 1 lap sprints

Actually I feel pretty good. Enjoying a bowl of seafood gumbo from the cafeteria, with lots of tabasco.

1 comment:

  1. Those workouts look awesome, as usual. Since things are working for me I would like to think it is more confusion over recovery. If anyone else has thoughts I would love to hear them.

    I try to do a similar speed workout for my "off days". I also do static exercises like planks.