Well, they do say that women are fickle!
One of the instructors at the gym teased me last week by saying that I change my training program every week and would be unable to see progress that way..
Yet, I have made another change.. or rather, am going to do so..
For 2 reasons: my weak arms and my goals as a cyclist.
I have a problem with 4 exercises with which I was using my arms today: front squat (quads), Romanian deadlift (hams), db lunge & step up (gluteus).
These exercises require me to hold the bar or db with my arms. Because of my weak arms, I cannot load as much weight on the bars, or use heavy enough dumbbells for the strength I have in my legs.
This means that I can easily do these exercises leg-wise, but suffer in my arms that weren't supposed to work out today (but tomorrow).
Form suffers as well.
Furthermore I forgot that I am not a PLer or even a bodybuilder.. I am a CYCLIST!
PLers need sets with low reps to gain strength. Bodybuilders need sets with intermediate reps to gain muscle mass.
But cyclists need to be strong with as little muscle mass as possible.. but not just strong, above all they need endurance.
I have strength and I have endurance, but somehow I don't have both! I can power up a very short hill fairly well, but if it is any higher than a bridge, I'm dead. I can climb a very high mountain at a snail's pace though and still not be exhausted..
But I can't climb that mountain at a higher pace or power up intermediate/longish hills!
So, this is a long story to ask whether I should switch from my PL/BB-oriented approach of 4 sets with 20-6-6-6 reps to 4 sets of 15-20ish reps at the highest weight I can bear to do, leading to (almost) failure in the last 1-2 sets.
Sometimes I think that when I'm done with the last set of an exercise, I might have been able to do another set or 2 for the same exercise.
E.g. today I did leg press at 110 kg and only managed 16 times as I was still tired from the sumo and front squat (last sets at 8x40 kg for sumo and 6x40 kg for front squat).
The 2nd, 3rd and 4th set were
and 10x160 kg.. I gritted my teeth to get out those 10 but thought I might have been able to get a 170kg set done..
Last exercise of the day was a standing gluteus machine.. I had already adapted my step up (had done a regular 20-6-6-6 set for db lunge, but had to leave for the spinning lesson, which I managed to do with much more resistance than I use normally (guess I was warmed up).
I wasn't spent when I came back but continued with the step up.. now with the new strength-endurance approach
not 20x2x4kg, 6x2x6kg, 6x2x7kg and 6x2x8 kg where my form suffers but
20x2x3 kg, 15x2x4 kg, 15x2x5 kg and 15x2x6 kg.
A much higher volume than normal!
And standing gluteus
instead of : 20x2x40 kg, 6x2x50 kg, 6x2x55 kg, 6x2x60 kg I did
20x2x55 kg.. I was quite spent at the last rep..
But now the interesting fact comes.. I took a sun bath and after a chat cycled home (17 K as I took the long way = 10 miles)..
I was able to go waaaaay faster than I normally do and actually, though my legs feel like lead now I am feeling quite content..
This was a major increase in volume, but I finally feel that my legs really got a workout from all of this..
A good idea for a cyclist?
I think this is a good thing to do for my legs.. but I am wondering what to do with my upper body.
I see no reason why I should change my program here, as I don't need to cycle with my upper body, just develop extra strength.. the 20-6-6-6 rep sets still seem appropriate.
Is this true???
Lots of questions again...
PS.. was quite happy that the sumo squat went better again and the front squat didn't give me too many problems either now I did it with a normal bar...