Training Diary 4/15/2020

Training Diary

Training Diary 4/15/2020 Strength Work With Eccentric Emphasis

Warm Up:

2 X 15 clams

Hip Abduction- banded below knees, lateral movement, straight knees, 2 times

Banded squats- band below knees, 3 X 10

Main Sets:

Front Squats- 3 X 5 Tempo 8010; rest interval 2 minutes

Set 1- 75 X 5; RPE 5; no belt

Set 2- 85 X 5; RPE 6; knee sleeves

Set 3- 100 X 5; RPE 7; belt

Set 4- 105 X 5; RPE 8

Set 5- 110 X 5; RPE 8

Set 6- 115 X 5; RPE 10

Notes: I need to work on left shoulder mobility, internal rotation is slightly restricted in shoulder due to prolonged sitting and crappy posture. I use a full grip on the bar when doing front squats rather than just the finger tips on the bar.  Right elbow felt a little tight when gripping the bar. This could be due to the prolonged sitting that I have been doing over the last few weeks.

Barbell Romanian Deadlifts- 3 X 5; Tempo 8010; rest interval 2 minutes

Set 1- 115 X 5; RPE 5; belt and knee sleeves

Set 2- 120 X 5; RPE 6

Set 3- 135 X 5; RPE 7; right on the money with intensity for the RPE

Set 4- 140 X 5; RPE 8

Set 5- 140 X 5; RPE 8/9

Set 6- 145 X 5; RPE 10; sets 4-6 were the right weight because on set 6, I couldn't do any more reps at 145

Technique Tip: Think of squeezing oranges under your armpits when doing deadlifts. What this does is to make sure that your back is staying tight throughout the entire movement. If your shoulders and/or upper back is rounding when lifting, you are using too much weight and/or using improper technique. When doing deadlifts correctly, they are an excellent builder of mass in your back. And NO ladies, you won't look like a bodybuilder by doing deadlifts and squats. So don't be afraid to do them!

Incline Barbell Bench Press- 3 X 5; Tempo 8010; rest interval 2 minutes

Set 1- 55 X 5; RPE 5; elbow sleeves

Set 2- 65 X 5; RPE 6

Set 3- 70 X 5; RPE 7

Set 4- 75 X 5; RPE 8; weight right on the money for the RPE

Set 5- 80 X 4; RPE 8/9

Set 6- 85 X 3; RPE 10

Notes: Sets 4-6 are pretty much the max that I can do for that tempo. Strength will build slowly throughout programming. Bench press is usually the strength movement that takes me the longest to advance in strength. I typically do stretches for the pecs with bands in between sets. Each stretch is held for 15 seconds for 2 -3 sets.

Technique Tip: Think of "bending the bar like Superman" when pressing the bar and lowering the bar. This really adds a lot of intensity to the movement and activates the entire chest wall. Don't be surprised if you have to drop some weight from your usual poundage when using this technique. The slower tempo also adds more to the intensity of the lift. You will be activating more of your muscle fibers in your chest this way.

Lat Pulldown- (modified using Spud Inc. Econo Lat Pulley); 3 X 5 Tempo 8010; rest interval 2 minutes

Set 1- 80 X 5; RPE 5

Set 2- 90 X 5; RPE 6

Set 3- 95 X 5; RPE 7

Set 4- 100 X 5; RPE 8

Set 5- 100 X 4; RPE 8/9

Set 6- 100 X 3; RPE 10

You can find the Spud Inc. Econo Lat Pulley here

I have several pieces of equipment from Spud Inc. They make very high quality durable products that are ideal for home gym use.

Why Eccentric Work?

Eccentric muscular contraction occurs when a muscle is lengthening under load. To make it easy to figure out when the eccentric phase (negative phase) occurs in different exercises is to think about when the weight is working against you. In a bicep curl, you curl the weight up and flex your bicep. This is the concentric phase positive phase. When you lower the weight, that is the eccentric phase- the weight is working against you. When doing a squat, the eccentric phase occurs when you are lowering your body into a squat- the weight is working against you.

Training in the eccentric phase can help promote strength and speed up muscular repair among other benefits. Some studies have shown that eccentric work is excellent for rehabilitative training and for the elderly as well.

I've been doing eccentric work in my programming for over a year. I have found that I repair much faster than doing heavy concentric work all the time. My joints feel a ton better.

A word of caution on heavy eccentric work, very slow eccentric work can be mentally tough. Your concentration needs to be on point. Try squatting slowly for 10 seconds down into a chair. Now imagine squatting a challenging load for 8 seconds or more of eccentric work. Now you can see why you do need to determine the right amount of weight that is used for eccentric loads. In a future training log, I'll explain the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scales and why you should use them. I'll also cover other cautionary issues that can occur with eccentric work in future training logs.

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