True Strength Training
January 07, 2020

Wow! This week has been a whirlwind. After making my progress update video last week, I realized that I must be doing something wrong in my training. For having worked every day for 6 months and not having that much to show for it, I decided to look for some books on programming. I came across Steven Lowe's Overcoming Gravity on Amazon. The reviews were awesome and I decided that it would be well worth spending $50 to check it out.

Thank goodness for Amazon Prime. I read the book in 24 hours (yes, I stayed up most of the night it was that good). I took copious notes and was blown away. I was accidentally sent the 1st edition instead of the 2nd. It was good, but now that I have the 2nd edition in my hands, I can say it is a far superior resource. So make sure you get the 2nd edition. This link will take you to the 2nd edition.

I learned several things from this book:

1) I was overtraining

2) I was training for endurance, not strength

3) My training was not balanced

4) I should program my own workouts

Let's start with the overtraining. HOLY COW! Your muscles need 48-72 hours to recover. One of the reasons my gains may have been so-so is that I have been training every day and not giving my body sufficient time to recover. I have altered my weekly routine so that moving forward, I am only strength training every other day.

My workouts were geared toward endurance, not strength. I didn't realize that there were different ways to train depending on the results you want. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. I need to do sets that contain reps that fall 1 rep short of my maximum reps and aim for at least 15 total reps for each exercise with a total of 25-50 reps for each muscle group. If I can't do a version of the exercise, I can work on the lower progression and gain strength and mastery on that movement until I'm ready to progress to the next level. I will write about this more in my Sept 2019 Mesocycle post as I'll be covering my new routine in detail. I also wasn't resting sufficiently between sets. Strength sets require 3-5 minutes for muscles to recover before jumping back into the next set.

I have focused exclusively on pushing movements for the past 6 months. That isn't optimal for maintaining good posture and overall strength and balance. I should counter every pushing exercise with a pulling exercise. I won't be able to focus on all my handstand press exercises as I should really only be doing 2-3 push and 2-3 pull exercises per workout. I may take longer to achieve the handstand press skill, but I'm okay with that because I'll be achieving some of my other bodyweight goals along the way. I've listed some of my new goals "my new goals" section below. You can check out my new September Mesocycle workout routine here (you'll see how I've ensured that every push exercise has a corresponding pull exercise). 

My New Goals

3 Strict Pull-Ups (I want to be able to do 3 in any handgrip so chin-ups, pull-ups, and ring pull-ups) Beginner Level 3 Skill

Floor L-sit hold 15 seconds Beginner Level 3 Skill

Lolasana (Tuck Planche) 10 seconds Beginner Level 5 Skill

1 Handstand pushup (freestanding) Intermediate Level 7 Skill

Straddle and Pike Handstand Press Intermediate Level 7 Skill

30 second Free Handstand Intermediate Level 5 Skill

Human Flag Intermediate Level 8 Skill

Full Ab Wheel Intermediate Level 8 Skill

Straddle Back Lever Beginner Level 5 Skill

Straddle Front Lever Intermediate Level 6 Skill

Strict Bar Muscle Up Intermediate Level 7 Skill

Pistol Squats (2 on each leg) Beginner Level 4 Skill

Shrimp Squats (2 on each leg) Beginner Level 4 Skill

 I'm super excited about working toward broader bodyweight goals. I think it will be so fun to string together bodyweight movements on my rings and parallel bars and all of these movements should transfer nicely to my yoga practice. Here is my youtube video update where I show images of the goals I'm working toward (FYI, it's the same video embedded above you can just see all my videos in a playlist on YouTube with this link): 

Happy Training!
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