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      11-18-2011, 03:43 AM   #31
Finnegan
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What kind of lifting are you doing? Volume, type of sets (heavy vs. light), total amount of work per workout, tempo, etc., are all variables that can impact a workout a several days later. If you start logging, you'll have access to this data and can identify patterns and adjust. Some folks just like to add a few more sets here and there and that can, for some, be counterproductive

One thing to consider, lifting in really heavy patterns (6x4 or 8x3) is taxing not only on you physically but neurologically as well. Hitting multiple triples and doubles on a regular basis can leave you a bit burned out and unable to recruit as many muscle fibers.

Another is whether the same plane of motion or recruitment pattern is being used repeatedly (e.g. flat bench every 4 days, whether it be DB or bar). This is also neurologically taxing and tends to generate injuries over time.

Powerlifters have approaches here that are worth looking into (oversimplified, heavy, then light) for managing the neurological side of lifting.

One way to manage the neurological component is to lift heavy (say 6x4, 8x3, or even 4x6), and the next workout go with sets of 12 to 15 for the same muscle groups. That lets the nervous system rest, adds in a nice dose of higher volume work, and sets up another "strength" day the next workout.

Another management technique is to alter the recruitment pattern. Flat bench one day, then decline or incline, change grip (parallel DB bench vs. regular grip, wide vs. narrow grip) etc. the next training day. Mixing up recruitment patterns also gives the nervous system a break, while at the same time preventing overuse/injury due to one recurring pattern of motion.

Last thing to consider is tempo. If you're focusing on the negative portion of the lift a lot, that really eats into recovery. I've dropped the idea of "going slow" on the negative, just control the weight, and work on explosiveness and speed on the positive portion of the lift. That really helps with recovery, and the nicest thing is that it's added 15-25% to my lifts in just a couple of months. That may not seem like much, but after 30 years of lifting that kind of progress is nice to see.

Bottom line, try a few approaches, keep a log, test the outcomes, and adjust to what works for you based on what the data tell you!
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