Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hitting the end of a training cycle

Gotta know when to say when...

It has been a pretty good couple of weeks of training - my squat has really come on strong (hitting my previous 2rm for multiple sets) and I had some great DL sessions (hitting my previous gym PR). And while I knew this and should not have tried to train yesterday - I did anyway and found the end of my training cycle the hard way.

After some floor press and weighted pull-ups I went into my deadlift for the day - which after Saturday's deadlift session should have been a clear "Do not pass go - do not collect $200" but after looking at the weeks left to the AAU meet in Dec. I decided to anyway. Mistake - and after the first rep I knew it - felt my lower thoracic musculature tighten up and after the next rep it turned into a spasm - so just to be sure I did one more rep and then called it a day.

Now this is progress actually - at one point in my life I would have continued to push and survived the session but been out of commission for a while. No longer - knowing when to say when and having a long term perspective have become more important then proving anything. So I called it a day and went to the store to get a bag of frozen peas to use as an ice bag. Then went home - iced for 20 minutes and then put my legs up the wall for 10 minutes. After that a little childs pose stretch and the spasms were much better. (I was also fortunate enough to get a bit of massage later that really put the spasms to rest.) This immediate action was key to a quick resolution to the issue.

What lead me to make a mistake like this - thinking too much! I started looking at the calendar and trying to plan out the next couple of weeks and let that override the fact that I needed another day to two days off from deadlifting. There is the plan and then there is reality. Reality wins most times.

The benefits of having someone design your programs for you and guide you is that an observer has the distance to make good objective decisions. This is what I provide in my program design services - clear, objective design and decisions on progression.
When training myself I usually do quite well - until I start to "plan" and force my training into a time schedule and feel that I "have" to do ________ - whatever that may be.

No one has a gun to my head and we should all feel able to adjust the plan to reality.

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