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 J's exercise log

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Jay
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PostSubject: J's exercise log   Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:52 pm

OK. This won't be updated too often. Rarely enough that I won't have to swim through old info when my memory fails me about something.

Just doing a single set of wide grip pullups followed immediately by a set of dips and then dumbell raises. I do this most days. Occasionally take a day off. Every now and then will take 2 or 3 off.

I'm not entirely sure if I ought to try to do it everyday or if the occasional day off is essential to building muscle. I am sure that generally doing it many days in a row is quite helpful to me. The intensity is usually not too high, although it's impossible to exactly measure unforunately.

It is sort of like Pavel's Grease the Groove. I think the body gets used to being expected to do this everyday and sends energy to the muscle's everyday. Perhaps then when a few days are taken off, it mistakenly still sends the extra energy and waa lah! You gain a bit of strength.

I do respect more the strength training of people like Joseph Greenstein, who would do things everyday. And Isaac Nesser who would train 7 to 10 days and then take 2 or 3 off. This is a very light variation compared to either of them which has worked the best of any training regimen over the last 15+ years of experimenting for me.

Currently just knocking out 8 to 10 wide grips pullups followed by 10 to 13 dips, then 20 or so dumbell raises with not strict form. Weigh about 230. Have been doing this for a month or two and have lost about 10 pounds. Would like to slowly lose another 10.

A main goal is to just to continue to stick with this plan instead of constantly switching to new things.

Outside of that I need to start running. But it's really cold here. Will bring a treadmill to the new house maybe tomorrow and will see if I can manage to start consistently running. Really need to do so. Gettting old enough (37 in a week) that I really notice a positive difference in how I feel when I consistently run. But really lack the motivation for it I once had.

(...and right now a max effort would be maybe 20 chinups or 25 dips)
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:27 am

I think the 'greasing the groove' method depends on your strength levels. If say your max is 20 chins & so you do 20 chins everyday I think you'll overtrain, however if your max is 20 chins & you do lower reps or variations, then you may well not overtrain, say you do the equivalent of a heavy (20 rep), medium (say 12-15) & light day (8-12 or a variation on occasion), then you'd get adequate recovery 'probably' (again it depends on the individual). I think greasing the groove is good as long as you remember that it's the movement, NOT the intensity that counts, so with say a front squat you could do that daily with an empty bar (or even broom stick) & practice form, proper depth & back alignment etc, you wouldn't necessarily go heavy more often than you normally would. Of course some guys can go heavy for long periods, but for most of us doing a heavy lift 7 days a week would overtrain us very quickly. My view is (& we'll use pull-ups for this example as you're doing those), say you want to be able to do 20 pull-ups on demand, then you're goal is to get that so a 'light day' is 20. That would mean on a 'heavy day' you'd be capable of knocking out at least 40 reps. So you're actual goal is 40 reps if you want to have 20 reps at your finger tips 24/7. I'd also cycle my training a little by investing in a dipping belt & doing some weighted chins or pull-ups just for variety, consider a few other chin/pull up variations for goal setting like a one arm chin being an obvious goal for 2010 (both arms), timed hangs might also be an option (with or without extra weight & with one or two hand holding the bar). So the options should be enough to keep you going. The idea of resting is if you feel you need it or your strength is stagnant or declining or you lose motivation I'd back off a bit. If your strength is still improving with the rest days, then why change it? If you stagnate then maybe you'll need to change, but if the changes are positive I'd stick with it until the gains stop then reassess.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:37 am

Yes, on GTG you have to keep the intensity very low. Just occasionally pushing things further. You have to keep the intensity so low that it's actually really hard to gauge if you're keeping it low enough. And it's easy to slip into overtraining. Which I've done twice in the last month. Yesterday having very bad insomnia. I had been trying to do just a couple sets a day. Which I suppose over time I could learn to handle. In the past I've trained my body to do hundred of chinups a day without problem. Right now I'm not doing many. But with the job I have now I really just can't play russian insomnia roulette, so I'm going to try to change things up a bit to a workout that hopefully won't result in insomnia....

Yes... for doing multiple sets spread throughout the day about 50% intensity is a decent number (doing 20 reps for example when you're capable of 40). But it's very difficult to be abilty to tell when you've done 50% of your max reps.... I'll have to think about it for awhile. (After a break to get out of overtraining. Smile )
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:57 pm

I suppose it would have to come down to occasional max rep days to gauge how you're getting on. You'd have to have say a maximum session, then work everything out, so you'd get say a 1 or 2 rep increase over the month & work out a % system that would gradually work up your non-max increases. So you'd do a max set (after a few days off or doing well below max sessions), then work up in an undulating fashion (in my view so a heavy, medium light day), heavies starting at 70% & working up to 90% mediums working at around 50-70% mark & low days up to 50%. I'd keep your options to add in more light days if you hit overtraining, once you've hit the 90% plus mark & your feeling strong doing that it'd be time to retest that max rep, so back off with either rest or light days, then attack that max & look to hit the 110%-120% of you old max, then that's your new max & you can repeat. After doing a cycle or two I'd try some variety like heavier weighted sets for a change of pace or going for a one arm chin or some variation (especially a different goal that varied the grip width & type of grip you use), you could keep up the 'light' day stuff as a warm-up or whatever to keep the movement fresh in your mind, but I would make a few changes just to reduce the risk of any overuse issues cropping up.
This is a really hard option in training as it involves you being able to gauge yourself to an extent & often % on paper don't work out to % in an exercise, so say you move go from 15 reps to 20 (20 being your max), 15 may not be 75%, this is often due to how well muscles work together & how well they can compensate for when prime mover start to fatigue, 15 reps could be 60% or as high as 85% or more in terms of your actual recovery. Normally that wouldn't matter so much if you were training the exercise once or twice a week, as you'd still be pretty recovered by the next session, but when you hit daily workouts using the same exercise that's when these things become REALLY important. It will be up to you to learn your body so well you can feel if doing those 15 reps is a 60% , a 75% or an 85%+ & plan the next workout according to that. You'll have little leeway for error & remember one week it may be those 15 reps are 60%, but the next (due to stress, less sleep or food or 1001 other factors) those 15 reps might tax you more so you need to adjust to the new situation.
So, there you go, not really a great deal of help (sorry), but that's how I'd do it. I'd write a plan based on my present max reps & work from there, but giving myself a lot of leeway to reduce intensity with extra light sessions as I felt the need. I would include periodic testing & if the max wasn't going up I'd have to rethink & try a different approach.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:00 pm

Pete wrote:

This is a really hard option in training as it involves you being able to gauge yourself to an extent & often % on paper don't work out to % in an exercise, so say you move go from 15 reps to 20 (20 being your max), 15 may not be 75%, this is often due to how well muscles work together & how well they can compensate for when prime mover start to fatigue, 15 reps could be 60% or as high as 85% or more in terms of your actual recovery. Normally that wouldn't matter so much if you were training the exercise once or twice a week, as you'd still be pretty recovered by the next session, but when you hit daily workouts using the same exercise that's when these things become REALLY important. It will be up to you to learn your body so well you can feel if doing those 15 reps is a 60% , a 75% or an 85%+ & plan the next workout according to that. You'll have little leeway for error & remember one week it may be those 15 reps are 60%, but the next (due to stress, less sleep or food or 1001 other factors) those 15 reps might tax you more so you need to adjust to the new situation.

Yes, those are both very good points. I had been thinking about that first point... earlier today. Simply going from a chinup to a pullup or how much emphasis is put on going up as far as possible or what kind of speed is used can mean very different intensities despite doing the same ratio of whatever one's max reps was at a given movement.

And of course one just feels a bit weaker and stronger from day to day so just doing the same number of reps each day means not using the same intensity.

The easiest solution is just to lift to failure/100% intensity. But it seems probable to me that it makes more sense (and I seem to have had better success) with a lot of more frequent and somewhat less intense training.

Anyway, such experiments can often cause insomnia for me. And these days I'm a lot more cautious about getting insomnia. To the point of choosing a safer and possibly less effective workout. (Got out of shape for a while actually because just not working out at all is the surest way of all for me to avoid insomnia.)

Will think about things for a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:06 am

I actually found that taking the amino acid tryptophan helps with sleep, my partner gets fibromyalgia & one of the symptoms (or possibly aggrevators depending on who you ask) is sleep disruption. With her I experimented with tryptophan so well I started testing myself during the heavier parts of my training & it 'seemed' to work at aiding sleep, that's purely anecdotal, but it's also been reported in studies or I wouldn't bring it up on just my say so. Might be worth checking out as it non-addictive (being an amino acid), no side-effects (other than drowsiness..not so bad when you want to go to sleep!). I've found about 1 gram is enough to get results, so 100grams will last you months & is only a few $$$'s (you'd have to find a vegan supply as I not certain how much is vegan & whether they also produce it via animal products - I know most is produced by bacteria) oh yea you might also want to check that the bacteria used isn't genetically modified, the one incident of tryptophan causing problems was when a Japanese company started producing tryptophan using GM-bacteria that made a toxic soup hidden away in the trytophan, so check the bacteria used isn't GM & you've got no problems (they created a new strain of bacteria just to up production & made a 100% safe product toxin how stupid is that!).
Anyway, just a thought.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:05 am

I appreciate you mentioning it. In my case I'm thinking I shouldn't supplement with it because:
"Due to the conversion of 5-HTP into serotonin by the liver, there is a significant risk of heart valve disease from serotonin's effect on the heart.[34][35]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan#Metabolites

As my heart defect (bicuspic aortic valve) means a leaky valve to begin with it maybe isn't a good idea for me...?

I did read tryptophan is present in chickpeas and sesame seeds. (Pretty high in sesame seeds.) So I might try to eat more hummus to up my intake somewhat. Although based on what i've read that may not be enough to make a difference.

OTOH I occasionally take benedryl to help me sleep. And I've never bothered to really research it. I'm probably doing some other kind of damage to myself that's far worse than a bit of tryptophan supplementation.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:17 am

yea, I hadn't heard about any side-effects, then again the studies seem to be injecting seretonin directly into rats, not really the same as ingesting trytophan, but as you say, better to stick on the safe side & avoid it. One annoying thing about that article was they didn't mention neither before or after those GM-modified bacteria used were there any cases of EMS related to tryptophan usage, which kind of implies that yes it was the modified bugs that were the problem.
You are 100% right to point that article out I'll have to remember that & remember to look into what's been done to compare trytophan intake & seretonin in the blood (rather than the brain which is where you want it) & how oral ingestion affects the heart, if at all. I'll have to try & fit that in at some point over the next week or slow (I'm quite a slow researcher, so I often need to dig around much more than you probably need to - I also get sidetracked as I discover other 'useful stuff' so I have to factor that into any search I do for new info Embarassed ).
I'll see if I can dig up an alternative that is 100% heart friendly, no questions asked Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:44 am

..OK. Been having insomnia lately as a result of exercise. Perhaps the problem is that I use too much intensity. It seems that maybe happens over and over. That it's hard to hold back. And I get to feeling this way over and over as a result. Perhaps my ancestors just didn't almost daily lift heavy things to the point of concentric muscular failure. And so thus, perhaps my genetics don't handle it so well and I periodically get overtrained and get insomnia and fatigue. Or perhaps it's a side effect of bicuspid aortic valve, I've no idea really. So anyway, shall try a workout that will be lighter. And something that I did long ago that gave me a lot of energy/seemed to just leave me feeling really good. The negative of it was that my maximum strength went down. But feeling good is just far more important, especially as I'm getting older. Can't take my good health for granted quite as much as I once did.

So, starting very light and perhaps cautiously then increasing. Alternating bench presses with one arm dumbell rows. Sets of 15 without any rest. At least five sets each. Perhaps 3 times a week. Shall see. A few other exercises. In the past I recall doing exactly this thing and getting up to bench pressing 115 and doing pulldowns with 120. Unfortunately I don't have a pulldown machine right now. Wish I could find another cheap used one. Unfortunately no craigslist where I live.

Also I want the spring back in my legs. I used to have it thanks to playing basketball and all the jumping that was involved. Now I don't play basketball and don't plan on starting it again. Training my vertical leap would thus seem very silly indeed. But I really miss the spring I had had in my step for about 25 years. So as silly as it seems I'm going to train my vertical leap a bit. I really loved the way I used to feel when I did so.

Did all for the first time today and feel great. Now let's just hope I don't develop insomnia, etc. Which I've been having a bit of lately.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:34 am

About heavy training I know Coach Dan John feels that learning to work out at around 80% max works for his school age athletes, with periodic heavy blast as a one-off (on a day you feel the power & want to go for new PR's or whatever). Gauging 80% is the hardest for most people as 80% of your max on any given day can vary (like today I could do 100Kg if I maxxed, but tomorrow I might get 120 because of very slight bodily changes, so you have to be in touch.
Strangely enough I was looking at speed/agility training & a guy I know send me a whole pile of ebooks (if you can call ebooks a 'pile'). It included quite a few vertical jump/plyo type books...I haven't read any of them quite yet (I was after more sprint type stuff at the time), but at some point I'll give them a read I suspect as my need to actually work on these will get greater the older I get as I'm not really up on how to train for jumping being honest!
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:01 pm

I wish that I could sleep a bit longer. Almost always wake up after 3 or 4 hours anymore. I fear this is an age thing. And I'm only 37! Maybe it doesn't help that I work night shift. But I get 4 days off a week. Often in a row. Sometimes up to 6 days and when on those days I switch back to sleeping at night and still I wake up at 2AM usually and that's it.

One single time recently I spent an hour or two playing ping pong and all the constant bending over to pick up the ball made my hips really sore and for one night I slept like a 17 year old. 10AM and still really tired, not wanting to drag myself out of bed. That's maybe going too far back in the other direction. Ideally one would sleep about 8 hours and then wake up refreshed. I did like that for a short period in my middle 30's, but very quickly I went to sleeping much shorter periods.

I should be asleep right now by the way. But I woke up after 3 and half hours. I feel wide awake. Not tired really. Not quite as refreshed as I could be. But I definitely can't sleep further. Unfortunately I have to go work at least a 14 hour day here in a couple hours and I do wish I was still sleeping...

So, I wonder what can I do?

I have found lifting very heavy usually makes me want to sleep hard. But I've the bicuspid issue which has me shy of very heavy lifting...

Now trying to get back into serious running. Aiming for 5 or 6 hours per week. But, I've been running an hour each day here recently and here I am, wide awake after not even 4 hours of sleep.

Perhaps some nutritional deficiency... what it might be though I don't know. Perhaps a lack of antioxidants. Hard to say, the issue of sleep is very complex.

Perhaps some longer cycle where each time I get 'detrained' enough thus it hits my system hard enough to cause hard sleep??? A week is about as short I think as would work. Which, I really dislike doing an exercise only once a week.... Would it only be one exercise once a week for this purpose? Or perhaps I could find a couple.... Something off the wall like chopping wood perhaps. Come to think of it such perhaps more closely mimics the functional exericse of my ancestry. Both in form and how often it's done... I should maybe think up two exercises. One on monday, another on thursday, both being pretty taxing, perhaps relatively whole body exercises? Yet the two being different enough that they don't cross over... (sigh) Not sure really. Just musing.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:00 pm

It's a tricky problem. I could take a look at your diet if you like (if you don't mind a sports nutritionist who's only half way through his nutritional consultancy course offering you advice that I'd have to qualify with "Here's what I'd do" as I'm not yet allowed to actually offer advice until we've qualified).
It would mean you writing out a food diary for a week or 2 or everything you ate & drank, in your case I'd also need sleeping during that time, training you've done & how hard the training appeared to you, also shift patterns. I haven't a bunch of time, but I'd give it a look over if you like?
Shifts would be my best first guess mind you. Some people just react more than others to sleep pattern changes & this does get worse as you age for many of us (we all remember staying up no problem as a teen, then crashing all day & that's it fixed - you're simply more adaptable as a youngster).
There are some studies that show that bright full spectrum light can reset body clocks, but in your case with shifts changing all the time I'm not sure how useful that would be.
Hip work makes you tired, well you've got Romanian deadlifts, my hips are getting a massive hit doing this kettlebell stuff (it's ALL hips! The hip 'pop' is the main point of the lifts), you can also do higher reps unlike the O-lifts, so you could do some of those either with KB's of DB's.

It you've got somewhere high to attach a band in your home then you could do an exercise called a 'wood chop' - let's see if youtube will prove a video...ok it's BAD form on this but...


Just attach a band up high & off you go.

Maybe you could think about stuff that tires you out like metabolic training? Take a light barbell, DB, bodyweight or kettlebell. How about something like this:

Barbell:
For all these exercises you use 1 barbell with no break, so you set it up so you can the hardest exercise with that weight

High pull
Squat clean (first clean, then front squat)
Push press
Hang snatch
Overhead squat
Romanian deadlift
Plyo push-up

Dumbbell

Hang snatch
Squat & press
Push-up core row A push up holding dumbbells do a push-up then lift the left arm, push up then lift the right etc)
Weighted burpee (or burpee with pull-up)

Kettlebell

High pull
Clean & push press
snatch
Front squat

With each of the above you run completely through each circuit & then rest & repeat below are the times

week 1-2 3x6 reps (2 minutes rest between circuits)
wk 3-4 3x7 (2 minutes rest between circuits)
wk 5-6 3x8 (90 seconds rest between circuits)
wk 7-8 3x9 (90 seconds rest between circuits)
wk 9-10 3x10 (75 seconds rest between circuits)
wk11-12 3x10 (60 seconds rest between circuits)

I grabbed these out of the new Coach Dos book I'm reading right now so you've him to thank for them
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:13 am

I mentioned chopping wood (I think) because I once had to break up the concrete by a swimming pool with a sledgehammer. And that concrete was incredibly tough. (Normal sidewalks are easy). I wasn't even making the slightest chip. So each swing was with every bit of explosive strength I could generate. After two hours I gave up and went home and slept like the dead. Which was wonderful. Laughing

Using a pulley system you can't really be very explosive.

I remembered that when I lift really heavy I (usually) sleep pretty good. I had gotten away from that recently because of my biscuspid aortic valve. I have since rememered that with explosive movements I also generally sleep better. So, I'm trying to do some things like muscle ups... Not sure what else. Just trying to move as fast as possible in the concentric portion immediately made a positive difference with my sleep.

Also trying to do faster running, which, at least in the short term has helped.

...I'm still staying away from weight lifting exercise that involves the lower back.... because of the previously herniated disc. I don't know. I'll think about ways to incorporate something eventually.

Diet. Maybe later.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:49 am

There's a world of explosive bodyweight stuff jump squats, box jumps,, jumps for distance & height, 1001 plyo push-up variations (especially if you include a med ball or small box), burpees, even stuff like speed rope jumps (vary the knee height for different effects), sprint variations & shuttles....the list could go on & on, but you get the idea. In 15-20 minutes you could totally get a fantastic workout using just your own weight, do the above, plus some pulling (either pull-ups or simply hang a couple of ropes to you bar & do inverted row variations), or drag a weight towards you with rope if you want to keep things fast (something like this ) & you've have a VERY taxing workout if you worked hard enough. You know as well as I do that even doing a 4 minute bodyweight tabata will finish off any person willing to go really flat out for eight 20 second bouts (20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 8 'rounds'). It's just willingness to push yourself that hard that is tricky affraid
Again I'm not sure how your heart condition will be affected by this, but if you lifted without issue doing these, although fast these will be less taxing than the long grinding lifts we sometimes have to get out when lifting max weights (but make sure it's safe before you attempt anything very strenuous!)
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:50 pm

Mostly pushing the running harder lately. Thinking to run 5 days a week and lift weights two days. Certainly works well for Matt Woodman. Lately been sleeping a bit better... Need an insomnia checklist.

1. When did I last drink OJ? (Not sure if it's the vitamin C or the antioxidants, but OJ often helps a lot.)
2. When did I last eat something green. (In general nutrient deficiencies, just not eating great can cause insomnia.)
3. Is my weightlifting causing my insomnia?

I can either do one high intensity set or I can do multiple explosive sets nowhere near failure. Lately I've been taking an 8 pound dumbell and mimicking throwing a ball as hard as I can 20 times in a row as fast as possible, then left and right hooks, etc.

Just been running on a treadmill mainly because my right knee hasn't been liking the concrete. I think it's slowly getting stronger. (I hope.) I want to eventually introduce running on concrete at least twice a week. On the treadmill I'm using a 5% incline and trying to work up to a minimum of 6mph. I'm a pitifully slow long distance runner I guess. Right now 6mph feels very fast anyway. I'm making sure to mix things up. In the past I was bad about trying to do the same run at the same (high) intensity each time. I have been really enjoying the running. Reminds me of being young.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:33 pm

Most of the stuff below is pretty much straight from Mike Robertson's Bulletproof knees - I rate this product if you really want to know about knee health, This is just touching the surface of this great DVD/book program for knee health

Knee issues are often created because of issues with the ankle &/or hips. If you look at the kinetic chain you'll see that the joints have (roughly) alternate - that is some joints are suited more towards stability or mobility (see Gray Cooks work about the "Joint by joint" approach), so you'd have
Ankle - mobility
Knee - stability
hip - mobility
(that's as far as we need to go although we could include the lumber spine if you're having issues)

So let's say you have apparent mobility, what does that say? Let's say average mobility is 100% (for this example)

You could have:

ankle mobility 100%
knee mobility 100%
hip mobility 100%
that equals 300 so your average mobility is 100%

but you could also have something like:

Ankle mobility 90%
knee mobility 120%
Hip mobility 90%
that equals 300 so your average mobility is still 100%....BUT the knee should be focussing on stability, not mobility, you are trying to actually get it to function in a way it's not designed to function & so you will develop problems. If you can increase the mobility of your hips &/or ankles depending on the issue, then your knee problems could disappear - I'm not saying they will as the knee is a complex joint with a whole load of tendons crossing it, ligaments holding it, cartilage cushioning it & muscles stabilising it & there could be other issues, but doing corrective work can't possibly hurt & might just sort it out.

First check your posture especially if you run you are likely to have anterior pelvic tilt (APT), so you'll probably need to stretch out the hip flexors & the quads. Often with anterior pelvic tilt the hamstrings feel tight - they are, but that is because they are stretched already due to the posture! (you also tend towards APT if you sit a lot) - you need fully functioning hamstring to secure knee stability, but now imagine stretching hamstrings if you already have APT - yep you are trying to stretch muscles that are stretched, so you are actually making the situation worse because if the hamstrings stretch it simply allows for a more pronounced APT to occur! If you have APT, then work on the hip flexors & quads, they will relax & the hamstrings won't feel so tight as they are no longer being stretched. If you suspect you may actually have tight hamstrings first stretch the hip flexors & quads then the hamstrings in that order so you don't make any issues worse.

Ankle mobility should also be important to you. You should be able to keep your foot flat & push your knee forward beyond the end of the toes (don't do this with added weight), practising that move alone can help with ankle mobility, but other movements also help.

As well as mobility you should be working on soft tissue. Foam rolling & using a tennis ball for myofascial release can help quite a bit - especially around the hip flexors & the IT band areas. You should be doing this daily if you have knee issues (or potential knee issues).

Activation could also be an issue - it is true that you can't have a muscle that doesn't activate in a normal person (although many gurus claim that you can, you can't - if you did that muscle would be paralysed & soon atrophy to nothing!), but you can have a muscle that does not fire correctly or doesn't fire with enough force to do it's job correctly. This leads to compensations (other muscles doing the jobs or aiding the prime movers) this will eventually lead to injury (& in our example knee pain). You can look up the various muscle activations exercises you can include online or invest in a product like "magnificent mobility" that deals with a lot of way to activate the muscles of the hip & upper leg.

Finally there are exercises you should include. The posterior chain is pretty important for knee health, but so is the lower anterior chain & this shouldn't be forgotten. Include both knee dominant & hip dominant exercises in your training & also work on a few uni-lateral moves just to try & iron out any imbalances - strangely enough often if you have one healthy, balanced leg & one imbalanced one the healthy one gets the injury - why? Well think, which one is left to 'shoulder' the most work & help compensate for the imbalance in the other leg- yep, the good leg - so don't just assume the bad knee means that leg is the problem, work both equally.

Hopefully that brief introduction to the ideas I've got from bulletproof knees will give you some ideas how to work towards correcting the knee issues - as I said it might be that you have other issues, never work into pain, if it doesn't improve go & get it checked out if you can (I know in the US you have to pay for that & money might be an issue).

Hopefully this made some sort of sense as I'm writing it very late at night & if you need anything clarified then just let me know.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:07 pm

Thanks. I will keep this in mind as I try to fix this.

I had never had any knee issues till last year when I tried to start doing some fast running after basically not having done any in a few years. I quickly developed pain in both knees and made the absurd mistake of trying to run through the knee pain for a bit...

Now... my right knee will hurt after I run on concrete for a few days, not really during... although I can feel it there, feeling not quite right. On a treadmill it feels fine. But then afterwards walking around, I can tell it's not quite right. (Not in pain, but I can tell it's not as strong as it should be...)

So, not sure if I should not be running at all right now...??? In some ways it seems to be improving, getting stronger... But still the issue is lingering.

I did some light clean and jerks today. Something I've basically not done since I herniated a disc 5 years ago. I feel fine for now. Was thinking that might help strengthen everything up.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:55 pm

I'd probably consider doing some uni-lateral stuff. Normally I'd suggest bi-lateral then move onto uni-lateral, but you've got heaps of experience. It doesn't have to be purely uni-lateral, but some:
Step-ups
lunges,
split squats
etc
might be a good move, see how you are in each leg in terms of depth, ease of function etc. Assess as you train, feel what feels tight leg to leg, do they feel the same, is one side having more trouble than the other etc. Work towards matching up how each leg functions.
Also nutrition might be something to look at. From as simple as how much water you're consuming, through EFA's intake & glucosamine & MSM. Include getting enough greens, vitamin D intake may also be a factor.
You might even have to think about your running style, if you're a 'heel runner' that might affect your knees as in heel running he main impact of landing is transmitted directly up the calf & bones of the lower leg & of course the knee is obviously going to be a place where problems could occur, you might want to check out this site about running as it goes options about running styles.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:24 am

Pete, wanted to thank you in general for all the good advice. Here especially. I started doing lunges and it's made a big difference. Knees are pretty much better now. There was quite an imbalance. Right leg much weaker. Maybe from getting in and out of a car? (steering wheel on the left over here of course).
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:35 am

No worries, they're not even my ideas! I just pick the info from the brains of others who are much more clever than me (via seminars, DVD's, books etc).
Most people have imbalances left to right, hence most athletes should spend some time doing unilateral work (both for upper & lower body). A lot of PT's (like Gray Cook, Bill Hartman etc) believe that imbalance is more of a problem than even ROM, so a person with with balanced, but limited ROM might be better off than someone with good ROM generally but imbalances in ROM or strength.

Glad to hear you're recovering from your issues, nice one Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:55 am

Darm but I woke up yesterday with my right knee hurting. Not sure why. Hadn't exercised it in 5 days and suddenly it hurts. I did take a pain killer yesterday for a blinding headache caused by a peanut allergy I've developed in the last 18 months. I wonder if it was related to that. (sigh) I really took it for granted, not having such issues when I was younger. Very badly want that body back!

I had been alternating between riding a bike and jogging here recently with good success. Otherwise just a few high rep weight lifting exercises.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:46 am

Could be lots of things, the pain killer might have done it, as could missing exercise or even the way you slept one night? I'd certainly keep up with the uni-lateral stuff - remember even if you can do stretches like in the Bulgarian split squat or split squat position & a few lunges, or pistols or similar it'll help a bit (once the pain has backed down of course).
Knees are tricky so take your time, remember it'll take a while to fully heal. Remember when exercising form is more important than weight when you're coming back from an injury.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Mon May 24, 2010 10:44 pm

Had a health issue and hadn't worked out at all for a while. Finally three days ago started trying to lift weights again. Just something very light, just 2 sets of close grip bench press 70 pounds for a set of 20 and then 10 to 15 on the second set. I did this three days in a row. In years past I've close grip benched 225x5 so, although I'm not as strong now, this was really nothing. Also last two days, just two piddly sets of three wide grip chin ups. I once did 180 chinups in 30 minutes, so this also, is no big deal.

Yet, now my body is on fire. Burning up. And having insomnia. I've had this happen many times before. Strangely if I do multiple weight lifting sets of any given exercise I often get this. The overheated feeling isn't quite like a fever although my temperature does then run a degree or so high. It's not unbearable but definitely not enjoyable. The insomnia is much more problematic. In fact because of this issue I got away from exercise for my first year in the nursing profession as I didn't want to go to work exhausted from lack of sleep.

There really is something wrong with me, that such light exercise would produce this effect. And to complicate the matter, if I do a single set, it doesn't occur. If I do one high intensity set of a ton of different exercises, it doesn't occur. Even many exercises that are all isolating the same muscle. Like doing concentration curls, preacher curls, etc. Or bench presses, dumbell flyes, dips, etc. No problem. But simply do two light sets of the same exercise and I just feel all wrong, overheated and can't sleep for days.

To complicate it further, occasionally it hasn't happened. On just a very few occasions over the last 20 years I have successfully managed to get into a more typical weight lifting routine without this issue. But usually not.

I've also learned the hard way that it's not a matter of pushing through the beginning part. A few times I spent many months on end with insomnia, never adapting.

An additional complication is that it seems to only apply for my upper body. I can run or lift on my legs (back before I hurt my back and lifted on my legs) and not have this issue.

Yet, two absurdly light sets of the same exercise and I'm roasting.

There is something wrong with me. Wish I knew what.

Well anyway I manage mainly OK if I only do one set, so I'll try that. One set every 4 days I guess. Although something about that can be psychologically very hard to keep doing.

..the health issue was an irregular heart beat. Doctors say it's nothing serious. But my potassium level was low and they want me to see an endocrinologist to try to determine why. I eat a diet that is quite high in potassium already. I do feel better now. Not sure why. Potassium is back up some. And I'm avoiding caffeine and chocolate. Perhaps the two issues are related though. My body has always been just a tad bit strange. Would be nice to understand why these things go on.

Possibly a thyroid issue although I fear it may be kidney related.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Tue May 25, 2010 2:47 am

Hi Jay
that is something to look into, you obviously know it's odd enough that you should be getting it checked out. My advice would be to stick to HIT style single set reps is they alleviate the symptoms, or do different upper body exercises every set - have you tried circuits, like returning to an exercise after 4 or 5 others? If that can't be done there are certainly enough upper body movements to do a workout based on one set then a different exercise, just takes a touch more planning.
Sleep disruption is well known for affecting both thyroid function & glucose management (you can actually develop insulin resistance simply through lack of sleep), so getting sleep must be a high priority. Until you can get this sorted out I'd stick to things you know will not cause symptoms. As that seems to be one set, then 1 set is probably the way to go for now, if one set includes rest/pause etc & you feel you need more then add in those (if they don't affect you), if not just do what you can training as symptom-free as possible for now.
Hopefully they'll find something that'll help you out mate, this one is a real tough one I can't really answer as you need doctors to check out what's happening inside you.
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PostSubject: Re: J's exercise log   Fri May 28, 2010 10:27 am

Thanks Pete.

I suspect at best they would have no idea about the exercise issue and possibly even think I'm nuts or a hypochondriac. But perhaps getting this other issue diagnosed will help me figure it out.

Circuits... yes, I have. The same issue.

Could also mention this issue is way more pronounced with higher reps. And the times i have managed to successfully get into a multiple set program it's been with lower reps. 6 reps seems to be the maximum I've ever managed.

So, curious what is going on that's different as one goes into higher reps?? I know the muscles take energy from different sources as the length of time they're working increases... Curious what happens that's different with higher reps and multiple sets... Well, I should go look it up again.
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