Feb 042012

As you might recall, I quit doing CrossFit for SuperSlow in May for the reasons detailed in this post: From CrossFit to High Intensity Weightlifting. (SuperSlow means resistance training to failure of major muscle groups using slow movements once per week.) In October, I posted my first progress report based on 16 sessions of training. Now I’m past due for the second progress report… so here it is!

I completed this 16-session sheet in early January. (Click to enlarge.)

Here’s a summary of my progress on various movements, starting from Session 16 from Sheet 1 to Session 32 on Sheet 2. All the machines are Nautilus, except the lower back, the torso rotation, and the funky ab cruncher hold machines, which are MedX. My trainer added a few new machines, so now most movements are done every other session. (In fact, only Leg Press and Lower Back are done every session.) Also, the order is switched around with every sheet, and that makes a huge difference in my ability to progress on a given machine.

Every week:

  • LB: Lower Back: 150 to 160 lbs. I’m happy with my steady progress. I like being able to increase by 2 lb increments on this machine. (The Nautilus machines increment by 5 lbs only.)
  • LP: Leg Press: 225 to 260 lbs. The leg press is definitely my focus with every workout. During this sheet, I had to really focus on staying calm, as I was tending to panic as I reached failure. As a result, I made some speedy progress in the middle of the sheet. Overall, I’m pleased with my progress, but mostly, I’m eager to get to 300 lbs!Every other week:
    • Hip AB: Hip Abduction: 75 to 90 lbs. I made good progress in the beginning, but I leveled out in the last few sessions.
  • Hip AD: Hip Adduction: 105 to 115 lbs. Okay progress.
  • Lower Back (see above)
  • Leg Press (see above)
  • Row: Row: 50 to 65 lbs. I alternate between pulling and a 2 minute static hold. I’ve made progress, but I still need to work on my form.
  • CP: Chest Press: 55 to 65 lbs. I was stalled on my first sheet due to my seat position being too high. My trainer corrected that, so I’ve made some progress on this sheet. I’m pleased about that, but I want to do more.
  • PD: Lat Pull-Down: Steady at 115 lbs. This movement was near the end of my workout on this sheet, and I just couldn’t make any progress whatsoever.
  • Ab C: Ab Crunch: Steady at 15 lbs. This movement is not only last, but also makes me feel like I can’t breathe. Fun!Every other week:
    • Rot T: Rotate Torso: 38 to 48 lbs. Every other week. My form is better, and I’m pleased with my progress.
  • New MXCP: (Funky MedX Ab Cruncher Hold): 65 to 75 lbs: Okay progress.
  • Lower Back (see above)
  • Leg Press (see above)
  • New: Bicep: 30 lbs to 40 lbs: Some progress, but I want more!
  • New: Tricep: 65 to 80 lbs: Good progress!
  • LE/LC: Leg Extension: Steady at 50 lbs. This movement was at the very end of my workout, and I struggled with it. The contraction hurts, just due to the nerve endings in the muscle, and I’ve been working on staying calm despite that. (LC is a 90-second Leg Curl of progressive intensity against a stable frame.)I’ve learned a few things in these 16 sessions of training.
    • Sleep matters to my performance… hugely! I need to have a few good nights of sleep under my belt for a good workout. (Sleep is hugely important to my adrenal function too.)
    • The order of machines has a huge impact on whether I make progress or not on any given machine. If I have a strong performance on the leg press, I might not be able to make any progress on any machine after that.
    • I can often go for a rep or two beyond what my trainer supposes. I love doing that. Once, I was telling my trainer that I thought I might have been able to do another rep on the leg press, and as I got out of the machine, I fell to the ground because I was literally unable to hold up my own weight. That was pretty awesome.
    • At the end of my first sheet, I was having some problems with being ridiculously exhausted after my workout. I’ve solved that problem in two ways. First, I run any errands before my workout, so that I’m not attempting to haul around 60 pounds of meat from Costco just after the workout. Second, I take 15 to 20 minutes to sit down in the waiting area after my workout. I drink my coconut water, and I chill out. That really helps.

    A number of people have told me that they’d like to do SuperSlow, but they’ve not been able to find a gym in their area. That’s definitely a problem, and I’m lucky to have such an awesome SuperSlow gym — now TruFit Health — just 30 minutes from home. (For me, that’s nearby!) If that’s your situation, then I’d recommend trying to find a personal trainer willing to do the SuperSlow / Body by Science method. Sure, it’s possible to work on your own, but I wouldn’t have made nearly the progress that I have without a trainer to push me to my absolute limit.

    Also, if you decide to try my SuperSlow gym — now TruFit Health — in south Denver, please tell them that I referred you!

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