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Old 12-04-2008, 01:11 PM   #1
Donald Lee
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Default Intensity and Recovery Question

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, and I have gotten curious about the whole adrenal fatigue issue. I ordered 2-3 books yesterday on stress and adrenal fatigue.

After reading Coach Sommer's book, I was interested in his Steady State Training protocol of overload, load, and underload (i.e., Frog Stand - 10 x 6 sec for 8 weeks before progressing to something more difficult). I also ordered Pavel's Power to the People. Basically, I am interested in the whole concept of frequent, intense workouts.

After reading one of Eric Cressey's E-books on deloading, I began to deload every 4th week. I also follow Eric Cressey's mesocycle rep scheme of week 1 3x5, week 2 3x3, week 3 5x5. Following this rep scheme, on Mondays I do Weighted Dips/Bench Press and on Wednesdays I do Weighted Chinups/Pullups. I can't do Shoulder Press or Squats, etc. following this rep scheme because I'm still recovering from my lower back injury.

Following this rep scheme, I basically push myself extremely hard each day so that the next day I wake up extremely sore.

I'm in my deload week right now, and I feel like crap. I feel fine during the day, but I've been sleeping 10+ hours a day. I can set my alarm for 8 hours, but I just can't seem to get up.

Has anybody else had similar experiences? I'm thinking starting next week I should try to employ a new workout philosophy. Waking up sore and worn out everyday is no fun.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:29 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Are you doing JUST 3x5, 3x3 and 5x5?
how many days are you working out per week?

Could be adrenal fatigue. Sounds like sleep is fine.

But how's the nutrition aspect? Stress levels in daily life?

Any supplements?

If you're just doing strength work, that should NOT be enough to toast you. But if you're doing that + CF + like BJJ or on the side or something you might be overdoing it.....
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:26 PM   #3
Donald Lee
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Mon:

Front Lever Progression
Weighted Dip/Bench Press (switched up every month)
- 3x5 wk1, 3x3 wk2, 5x5 wk3

Tues:

Frog Stand
Swimming if I'm up to it, but I'm a horrible swimmer so at max 4 laps.

Wed:

Front Lever Progression
Weighted Chinup/Pullup (switched up every month)
- 3x5 wk1, 3x3 wk2, 5x5 wk3

Thurs: Off

Fri:

Frog Stand
HeSPU - 5-7 sets totalling 20-30 reps

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I also squat 3 days/week, and deadlift 2-3 days/week for rehab. I also do some accessory exercises like DB Shrugs, Side Bends, DB Cuban Rotations, Rear Delt Flyes, and some pullups every now and then. I'm trying to limit the accessory exercises though because I'm spending too much time in the gym. I'm also doing some pistol and 1-Leg RDL work, but I only do sets of about 3 reps.

I think WD/BP, WCU/WPU, and maybe HeSPU wear me out the most because I try to lift progressively heavier weights pretty quickly. Basically, I use weights that cause me to go near failure, which leaves me trashed the next day.

I wasn't able to progress linearly fast enough for my liking, which is why I started implementing Eric Cressey's protocol. I felt that the deload week would be good for me, because it'd allow me to train harder for 3 weeks and spend more time prehabing or working on swimming. Instead, I feel sore for 3 weeks, and then I feel worn out during my deload week.

I'm thinking of reintroducing running 2 times/week and 1 WOD with running and calisthenics to train for OCS in late May. I've had shin splint issues, so I'm practicing POSE.

Unlike last time, I want to ensure that I'm well rested and not trashed everyday. I'm wondering whether I should do a mixture of Pavel's GTG, PTTP, and Steady State Training.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:01 PM   #4
Garrett Smith
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You are not recovering well enough. Extreme soreness is not a good sign. Nor is needing to sleep 10+ hours on your deload week.

It sounds like you are being a bit impatient with your progress.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:07 PM   #5
Donald Lee
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I forgot to address the other potential issues.

My stress levels aren't any greater than normal.

My diet consists mostly of meat, eggs, milk, veggies, fruit, walnuts and almonds, and avocados. In every meal I don't eat with fish, I supplement with krill oil. I also frequently take ZMA. Occasionally, I eat some brown rice, corn, sweet potatoes, tofu, noodles, and stuff made from flour. Usually, I end up carb loading on Sundays because my mom is home to feed me and prevent me from eating the way I like to eat.

Usually, I try to replenish glycogen after working out. I do so by eating usually corn or sweet potatoes. I know the corn is less than optimal, but I live with the parents, so I can't decide everything I eat. If there is nothing else, sometimes, I eat brown rice, but I tend to shy away from that because I feel that it's too much of an acidic load on my kidneys with all the meat I eat.

I IF, so I don't eat too much. I was mass gaining before I got injured early September, but I didn't want to gain a lot of upper body mass without my lower body keeping on par.

The fatigue issue might go away if I ate more, but I feel like there's more to play than just not eating enough. My bodyweight has stayed consistent since early September when I stopped mass gaining.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:12 PM   #6
Donald Lee
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Dr. G, I probably am being a little too impatient with my progress, but I'm wondering whether continual linear progression every workout (ala. Starting Strength, etc.) isn't as effective if you're not trying to gain mass by eating massive amounts. I usually don't load up so much that I miss reps, so I don't think the way I lift is unusual by any means.

I've been considering doing some form of PTTP or Steady State Training also to give time for tendons and ligaments to strengthen, since they take longer to grow.

But I'm just wondering if it's normal to feel trashed from training the way I have, because that's how a lot of people lift. I guess a lot of people would try to eat a lot more than I do though. I do eat over 100 grams of protein a day at a bodyweight of 145 lbs, so I feel that it's adequate.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:16 PM   #7
Steven Low
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Soreness should go away with the right volume. If it doesn't go away within a couple days then like Garrett said you're not recovering well. Looks like your diet, sleep and stress is all pretty good, so the biggest factor it probably will be is your training along with possible adrenal fatigue. If those are heavy DLs coupled with the squats that's probably what's doing it.

Go back to a bare bones model (aka SS or modified SS) and then work from there. If you want sub some of the upper body strength work with gymnastics work (or you don't have to). But no more. Eventually, after you're body is used to it you can spread out the volume across 4-5 days better.

If you don't want to do a linear progression I would suggest with starting with 1 legs, 1 push, 1 pull for 4 days a week and then moving up to 5. Then if you can handle that (after another few weeks) add in another push/pull exercise.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:55 PM   #8
Donald Lee
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I don't think the deadlifts and squats have taken too big of a toll on me. I've been listening to my body to ensure that I'm not ramping up the weight too quickly on those.

It's funny that I could train with a lot more volume before I got injured, even when I was trying to lose some weight. I'm guessing this might have to do with the hormonal response from the squats and deadlifts.

I'm guessing that part of my problem may be that I just haven't been gifted with much of a natural ability to recover.

This is what I'm thinking of doing once I fully recover from my lower back injury, which should be within a month or so.

Mon:

(Session 1)
1. Hang Power Clean
2. Back Squat
3. A. FL Progression
B. Pulling Exercise
C. Planche Progression
D. Pushing Exercise
4. A. Glute Ham-Raise/Romanian Deadlift
B. Back Extension

(Session 2)
WOD (Running + calisthenics/ - 10min)

Tues:

(Session 1)
1. Hang Power Snatch
2. A. FL Progression
B. Pulling Exercise
C. Planche Progression
D. Vertical Pushing Exercise
3. A. Pistol Practice
B. 1-Leg RDL Practice
C. L-Sit/Other Abs Exercise

(Session 2)
HIIT Running

Wed: Rest Day

Thurs:
1. Hang Power Clean
2. Front Squat
3. A. FL Progression
B. Pulling Exercise
C. Planche Progression
D. Pushing Exercise
4. A. Glute Ham-Raise/Romanian Deadlift
B. Back Extension

Fri:

(Session 1)
1. Hang Power Snatch
2. A. FL Progression
B. Pulling Exercise
C. Planche Progression
D. Vertical Pushing Exercise
3. Deadlift
4. A. Pistol Practice
B. 1-Leg RDL Practice
C. L-Sit/Other Abs Exercise

(Session 2)
HIIT Running

Sat:
Occasional light jog or hiking

I have never done any form of frequent, suboptimal training before, so any advice would be appreciated.

I am thinking of dropping Mon's WOD every 4 weeks to minimize possible fatigue problems. I've ordered PTTP, but I haven't read it yet so I don't know exactly what he prescribes regarding cycling. I have read about the 2 exercises for 2 sets 5 days per week.

I have quite a few questions:

1. What type of volume should I be doing on the push/pull exercises (i.e., 3x3, 2x5, doesn't really matter)? What should the intensity be (i.e. 80% of 1 RM)?

2. Are the exercises supposed to be the same throughout the week (i.e., weighted pullups each day)?

3. I was considering dropping weighted chinups/pullups and weighted dips in favor of the fundamental bodyweight exercises in Coach Sommer's book, but I'm not sure if I should. I know I could get a good training effect from the pushup variations and the rowing variations, but the dip and pullup variations seem too easy. The XR Bulgarian is probably a challenge, but I probably wouldn't do that beyond a month. And I'm not advanced enough to do the multiplane pressing exercises nor the multiplane pulling exercises. I don't have room in my gym to do the multiplane pulling exercises anyways. And I don't have a spotter for the curling exercises.

4. Where should I add in muscle up practice?
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:40 AM   #9
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That's probably gonna be too much. As I said.. start slow and then ramp up. If you start too fast you can't tell what is too much and what is not enough. Remember, overreaching/overtraining takes time to recover from. If you "under"traing you can always add more exercises or intensity or whatever RIGHT AWAY.

Again, I suggest starting with 1 legs, 1 push, 1 pull for 4 days a week. Then if you can handle that (after a week or two) add in another push/pull exercise and possibly legs. After this possibly add in another day.

Take this training not so much as undertraining but specifically to get to know your body's limits at its current stage. This is where you find out what you can do so you can optimally program for yourself in the future.


1. Doesn't really matter the volume. I'd stick with about 15 reps per exercise... 3x5, 5x3 or whatever. Don't be afraid to go with 3x3 or lesser reps if it's a particularly intense exercise. 25 at max with 5x5 or 8x3 -- in which case you would only do one or at most two exercises if you were doing this.

Start in the middle and vary it up depending on how hard each exercise. For example, if I can only do 4 HSPUs and fail on the 5th.. I don't want to be trying to do 4 per set because I'm going to fail the 4th rep on probably the second or third set. 3x3/4x3/5x3 would probably be a good rep scheme for this.

Intensity should always be as hard as possible BUT avoiding failure. Avoid failure at ALL costs. And by failure I mean form failure. You should never have to do something like what you would call "drop sets" or try to get that extra rep after you failed that set.

2. Not necessarily the same exercises. If you want to progress quickly with one exercise, yes. Otherwise, you'd be better off working a variety to increase your overall strength in all planes. I'd aim to hit each exercise 2-3x a week on a 4-5 day schedule.

3. Either works. I've had success with bodyweight progressions and weighted chin/dips so... do what you want. If you have poor proprioceptive abilities (aka can't hold a handstand for more than 15s easily, can't close your eyes and balance on one leg for 30s, etc.), I would definitely suggest the bodyweight progressions over the weighted work.

4. Work it as a skill and then once you can do it add it in as a strength skill. I'd recommend Coach Sommer's progression. If you need technique help you should post up a vid....
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Last edited by Steven Low : 12-05-2008 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:20 AM   #10
Garrett Smith
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Listen to Steven. Start small and build up.

Also, I want to point out something. If you're getting this far into soreness and lack of progress, you are not listening to your body very well. Your body likely gave you many signals before you got to that point that you disregarded.

Read Dan John's "From the Ground Up!" and make sure you are covering all of the basics.
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