Back to training

It took two weeks for the SI to calm down, and now I am back to squatting. I decided to reduce my training volume to save my joints. In the last session I was able to improve: I did three 1/2/3 ladders with 75.5 kg.

Very interesting observation: after two week break squatting was easy. In fact, very easy. I was very cautious about my back, but the actual lift was easy. This brings me back to the question of the frequency of training.

Drastically reducing the volume and the load and even stopping training for up to two weeks befor an event, is a common tapering practice among coaches. You get fresh to the competition and have better chances of making new PR. Would this approach work for training? Will making long breaks between loading a muscle group or going at the same lift ensure full recovery? Will it reduce the chance of trauma? There is a lot of data suggesting that reducing the frequency of loading a particular muscle group may be beneficial.

This topic has been beaten to death at Irongarm, and I have been ridiculed there for these ideas numerous times. Not that I care. The fact is that every industry is ruled by dogma. I can throw numerous examples of this in medicine: saturated fat is bad, hypothyroidism is diagnosed by TSH levels, cricoid pressure prevents aspiration and so on. I suspect the situation in sport is similar. So when Prof Sergeev conducted his experiments (for uninitiated check this blog) and got very good results, his trainees were literally hijacked from him and put into the traditional program of training, even though it was immediately detrimental to the results.

There is more data coming out from sports research suggesting that more is not necessarily better, by a long shot. For example, swimmers do not benefit from increasing the number of training sessions (check if you're interested). Glenn Pendlay once recommended reducing training volume and increasing intensity for older trainees: 

Fuck the opinions and dogmas. I am not training for the next world championship and don't mind experimenting a little. I am going to reduce the session volume significantly and see if it is beneficial. Not more than three ladders with the working weight. Frequency wise - I will try to reduce it too, though this is more difficult: I like the feeling of heavy weights on my back. One solution - to do other lifts on other days, like weighted dips, chins, rows etc. Some bodyweight exercises and yoga wouldn't hurt either. More variety, less wear and tear. Recently I read about Doggcrapp principles and I like it too: short workouts, high intensity, rotating thriough many exercises.

Anyway, follow my training log if you're interested.

Squat takes a knock

Shit, another injury. I had this pain on the right to my lumbar spine for a while now. Wasn't too bad, and I kept training. In the last two-three weks it intensified, to the point that I could hardly walk. The pain also descended and is now pretty much localized around the right sacro-iliac joint. It is worse on standing and walking, better when sitting down.

For the last several days I've been doing exercises from They are very useful, and combined with the abstinence from squatting they seem to help. I am feeling better, though still far from one hundred percent.

For now I am going to concentrate on exercises that don't involve loading of the spine. It sucks, because I really like the feeling of moving heavy weights (well, heavy for me). I am not going to rush my recovery and hope to be able to get back in the cage. I guess for now I can try progress with chinups, dips, ring exercises etc. Shit, I can't even do any cardio: running/walking and kettlebell snatches all hurt! Hell with it, in the meantime I'll try get rid of the fat I picked up in the last couple of months.