I’ve been engaged in much less written production this past week in lieu of much more knowledge absorption. I think this is the natural way of things, especially for an epistemocrat like myself. New ideas are encountered and vetted according to merits, with established ideas being retained (and possibly bolstered), refined or, as the case may be, jettisoned completely. In the words of Plato, “complacent ignorance is the most lethal sickness of the soul”. I do whatever I can to avoid that sickness above all others and, as any wise man (or woman) will tell you, one cannot effectively learn when their gums is a flappin’…or, in this case, when their fingers is a keyboard tappin’.
So one of the items I’ve been “absorbing” over the last week is a borrowed copy (thanks, Skyler!) of Art DeVany’s Evolutionary Fitness Seminar. Hey, wait! This material has been out for two-and-a-half years and I’m just getting around to it? Well, quite frankly I hadn’t intended on ever watching it since I figure I’ve got this stuff already well integrated within my own n=1/m=1 life path; Skyler happened to have it on hand, though and, well, who doesn’t need a refresher (or reaffirmation) now and again? Hubris not being my thing, I decided to give it a go — and I’m glad I did. Art does a masterful job disseminating knowledge here — if you can look beyond his…er…decidedly modest personality 🙂 Hey, you earned the right to be as “modest” as you care to be, Art; you are no doubt a roll model for all of us young EvFit whipper-snappers out there 🙂
And speaking of “reaffirmation”, it’s always a good idea to re-read Art’s Essay on Evolutionary Fitness every now and again, if for no other reason than for the “oh yeah, that’s why I do (fill in the blank)” factor. Just as Ron Paul is said to tote a tiny, bound copy of the Constitution around with him at all times, maybe those of us in the Paleo/EvFit camp out to keep a copy of both Art’s essay and Robb Wolf’s the Paleo Solution Quick Start Guide on our person. Heh, you just never know when you might be called out to defend “the lifestyle”, right?
And speaking of Art DeVany and all things Evolutionary Fitness, check out this interesting post from Intrepid Insight in reference to Twitter and Power Law. Dan John has often alluded to the observation (and I wholeheartedly agree with him) that out of a hundred or so workouts, roughly 70% or so may be classified as a run-of-the-mill, “punch-the-clock” type of a workout — just getting the job done, nothing more, nothing special; some are especially good & you really feel like some progress was made and, conversely, a handful will totally suck — you wonder why you even showed up at all, or maybe you even cashed-out early, licked your wounds and limped home with a tucked tail. A smattering of workouts fall in between one of those categories, mostly grouped around — but just shy of, or a little better than — the clock punchers. Ah, but there’s always that 1-in-100 workout that we live for, that workout in which you feel like you could lift the moon. Maybe you set a new PR or maybe you were just “in the zone” and everything flowed effortlessly. These are the standout, “I’ve arrived” type of workouts that we relish; the type of workout we strive for but rarely hit. What’s interesting is that this continuum winds up taking on a Power Law-like distribution. Isn’t it ironic, don’tchya think?
Accessing the Type II fibers vs stimulating/training the central nervous system –
So there must be a vibe in the air lately, as the topic of accessing and stimulating the Type II fibers has once again re-emerged into the forefront. For the most part, I stay out of this fray, as I believe this to be a very complicated and highly n=1 dictated issue, and one that cannot be adequately addressed in sound-bite barbs. In general, though, my take on the issue remains unchanged. Can those Type II fibers be accessed, stimulated, and yes fatigued to the point of failure using slow-tempo movements? Absolutely they can, no doubt in my mind — and that, for the vast majority of folks, is the end of the story; no need for this demographic to push the risk-reward envelope any further. The health benefits of stimulating these fibers (including hypertrophy) are well-served by (among other possibilities) slow-tempo training. But for the athlete, though, I think we need to seriously consider adequate central nervous system stimulation, and the all-important ability to produce instantaneous, maximal power. And for that we have to have a ballistic element factored into the overall training plan. Backing science? I have none. Zilch, nada. I know what I’ve seen during my many years in the trenches though, and toward that end I’ll keep training those who require an explosive element accordingly. Again, in my opinion this (along with most every other training question) is n=1 driven.
…and on the workout front –
So the prior week’s three-day-in-a-row blitz — which, by the way, was capped with a classic brief, brutal and basic CZT session — left me in recovery mode until Wednesday the 20th. That’s a full 5 days off with very little in the way strenuous activity save for a bit of fixie riding/sprinting. Curious thing here: while I most definitely did not feel up to hitting the weights during this period, I most certainly had the urge — and had strong legs for — some serious up-tempo biking. Why? Well, I’m not quite sure; just another element to ponder along this wonderful n=1/m=1 journey. At any rate, my workouts again this week were catch-as-catch-can affairs, squeezed into a fairly demanding work, social and home-life schedule (Meesus TTP and I are still trying to get fully settled within our new home); and too, I’ve had to program back-to-back lifting sessions here (which, of course, I’m not a big fan of). But hey, life happens, right? Roll on with the fractal nature of things!
Wednesday the 20th; upper body dominant HIT
Nautilus Pec Dec: 110 x 10 (50×1 tempo) to momentary failure. Short recovery (30 secs?), then rest-pause singles to failure
Feet-elevated (45-degree) push-ups: 12, 8, 8
Nautilus Pull-Over: 235 x 9 (50×1 tempo) to momentary failure, then 255 x 2, 2 rest-pause (same tempo)
Rev-grip pull-ups: 50# deload x 5, 4 (50×0 tempo)
Nautilus lateral raise: 180 x 8 (50×1 tempo) to failure, then 190 rest-pause singles — 5 reps, again to failure
Xccentric jammer: +50lbs, 7 rest-pause singles
Thursday; Alactic work on the Efficient Exercise Pendulum Hip Press
400 x 7
500 x 4, 5 (three-minute break between sets)
600 x 2, 2, 2, 2 (three-minute break between sets)
Both of these workouts were short, sweet and to-the-point, with neither lasting any more than a half-hour. And scorchers, too, the both of them.