Thursday, May 3, 2012

Adelfo Cerame Road to Wheelchair Championships: Total Exhaustion Never Felt so Good! Plus: Huge Video Special!

Image 1: This physique was built on medium volume, high intensity workouts. So, how will it react to ultra high volume, medium intensity training? Go ahead and read how Myotropics Physique Athlete Adelfo Cerame Jr felt after the first three workouts of his "Overkill Training Program"
I have been wondering: Are workout regimen, or styles, fads, or however you may call them infectious? I had just posted Adelfo's MOTP (My Overkill Training Program) workout plan last week, when I saw that my Super Human (Radio ;-) friend, Carl Lanore, was just about to perform an even more megalomaniacal arm workout designed to deliver no less than +1"  in arm size after "only" one 6h+ mammoth session of curls, curls, and did I mention curls? I don't know all the details, but from the pictures and measures he posted the severe trauma and subsequent inflammation must have delivered roughly 50% of the promised results - not too bad, if you just want to pose around the next day, I would say. In the end, Adelfo is yet spot on when he, in the following analysis of his own overkill split workout hints at the fact that these programs are more "primer" than actual growth promoters. It's like making "tabula rasa", i.e. making a clean sweep, and forcing the muscle to restructure - restructure, to prime future growth... but before I repeat all the stuff, I have already written down in the Intermittent Thoughts (cf. "Growing Beyond Temporary Borders"), I myself am going to make a clean sweep and let Adelfo take over - after all, it's Thursday!

Project "overkill" = overtly successful

As some of you know from reading last Thursday’s blog, I have come up with a novel grueling high volume program to torture myself *lol* This absolutely ingenious idea of mine was inspired by one of Dr. Andro’s articles about “Doing 100 reps”, i.e. picking one exercise and performing 100 reps. I guess that just didn’t seem challenging enough to me, so I took it a step further, and decided to create a program for myself that would keep the basic idea of doing many sets and many reps of one exercise, but took that to another level by extending it to 8 exercises of which I then did "only" 50 reps each.
Video Special: Adelfo Cerame Jr interview and posing routine at the 2012 NPC Wheelchair Nationals
(click on image to watch)
With eight exercises and 5 sets of 10 reps, each I did thus easily surpass the original idea of doing (just ;-) 100; and it was... awesome, believe it, or not! So awesome in fact that I just have to share this experience with you in what you may call my "overkill training" log comprising the goals for the day and a brief summary of how it went:

Table 1: Monday training log - Chest + Shoulders (front & side delts)

Primary goal: complete every set and every rep (finish the workout to a “T”), no more no less!

Secondary goal: lift as heavy as I can handle throughout the whole workout

Other: pace myself throughout the workout, so I do not shoot my load too early.*
*pick adequate intensity, weight, rest
Workout summary: Overall it was a great workout! I really got to test myself, and feel my muscles work pushing past the threshold of volume that it is used to. At the end of the workout, my muscles were really tight and pumped. It wasn’t as bad as I imagined though; as I had expected to have to crawl out the gym - I was a bit more fatigued and sore than usual but otherwise I was fine... something I cannot say about my training partners, though. The next morning one of them texted me this “I feel like I got hit by a car…” (see image attached to table 1) - Mission accomplished! *lol*

Table 2: Tuesday training log - Back + Traps + Shoulders (rear delts)
Primary goal: complete every set and every rep (finish the workout to a “T”), no more no less!

Secondary goal: lift as heavy as I can handle throughout the whole workout

Other: see above
Image 2: At the 2012 Sunshine Classics, Adelfo could still smile, after Tuesday's back workout even that became difficult
Workout summary: When I woke up, I felt good. I mean, I woke up a bit sore and tight at first, but after taking my dog for a morning stroll, I loosened up and felt good. So I figured I don’t need a rest day, packed my bag and went to the gym, where I started off doing chins. I knew, if I did that last or even mid-way through my workout; I would not have been able to complete the prescribed number of sets and reps. I felt really strong during my high row exercise; awesome mind-and-muscle-connection and with the moderate load, I squeezed until I felt that even the last fiber of my traps had fully contracted.

I was feeling good and kept pace until, all of a sudden, mid-way through my workout (seated rows), the weights began to get heavier - so heavy, in fact that I had to dial down the load. The reps felt as if I was lifting dead weight, but I pushed through and completed the workout; every set, every rep... I guess, it ain't necessary to say that I was more than ready to go home after the DB rows and suddenly able to understand how  my training partner must have felt the day before *lol*

Table 3: Wednesday training log - Arms (Biceps + Triceps + forearms)
Primary goal: complete every set and every rep (finish the workout to a “T”), no more no less!

Secondary goal: lift as heavy as I can handle throughout the whole workout

Other: pace myself throughout the workout, so I do not shoot my load too early.
Workout summary: Even though I woke feeling like I was just hit by a Mack truck, I figured it was arm day, already.; meaning I had the big and exhausting body parts behind and the "small and enjoyable" ones ahead. Moreover, last weeks arm workout (you may remember) had been a breeze, so I had no doubt that I wouldn’t be able to get through the workout.

And though I was right, the workout was in fact not so tough as my "back day", it became a pretty rough ride; especially the bis/tris supersets took their toll and when it was all done… my arms felt like I just swam for a couple of miles.
Video 1: DB pulloversVideo 2: Barbell jammer presses
Since I know that it is not actually exciting to read gym-stories like these, I shot some footage of me doing DB pullovers and BB jammer presses during Monday's workout (click on the images to watch). Originally, I had planned to video the majority of Monday’s workout, but it really wasn’t practical to take video of every set and every rep, so this is the best I can do ;-)

Overkill? Yeah,... but it felt so damn good ;-)

I’ve mentioned before, that I’m not a huge fan of high volume training, and I prefer low reps, heavy weight, and high intensity; but to be honest, I really enjoyed this  temporary switch to the dark side... ah, pardon, high volume camp. I enjoyed the feeling of my heart rate going up, I enjoyed breathing hard and even injoyed sweating like a pig during my workouts. The tightness and the pump during and after the workouts were insane - and let's be honest, what is a better sign that you have done something right than waking up nice and sore ;-)

Image 3: When you train like a maniac, nutrition is the meat and potatoes, but just the two won't cut it. The whole food fanatic that he he is, Adelfo has yet found a way to combine the total milk proteins and designer starch (WM HDP) in his sponsor's Physique 2.0 with fruit and, of course, his beloved coconut oil into the perfect post-workout meal.
I guess, I have found yet another technique to incorporate into my routines from time to time; to keep myself from getting bored and my body too comfortable to still make forward progress - whether this will turn into dramatic growth remain to be seen... personally, I believe it is more of a "primer", something you incorporate from time to time, but want to make sure not to do or weeks, as it will - and after my first three workouts I am sure, Adel was right in this regard - wreak havoc on your central nervous system. Personally, I'd suggeest to stick to two, to max. three week intervals, switching every now and then, even if you - just like me - are surprise d how ell your body appears to handle those grueling workouts. Once you have passed beyond the point of no return, things will deteriorate and before you even realize, it may already be too late.

But enough of those severe warnings and patronizing advice, I for one will now enjoy my Thursday off from the gym, and try to get a head start on some schoolwork, before on Friday and Saturday, it’s back to some fundamental 5x5 strength work ;-)