mental health · Workouts

Recovering from recovery days

Weightlifting is a crutch I cling to, for better and for worse. However recovery days are a necessary evil, and my serotonin level drops without daily exercise.

I had a hard work out regime last week which ended with me needing a recovery day. Normally I work on a three split program which means a recovery day is not necessary because each muscle group gets two days recovery while I work other parts of my body. However, in a length of time, even if I change-up the exercises, this regime gets repugnant and I hit a plateau. This is why I chose to do the 4000 reps in 4 days program even though I knew I would need at least one recovery day afterwards.

Thursday was my last day on this hellfire program and Friday was my recovery day. I planned to have one recovery day it turned into three, because I simply lost the motivation to go back to the gym.

My serotonin levels were not stimulated on Friday which meant an immediate drop i my mood and Saturday was even worse but I just could not bring myself to go back to the gym.

When you have bipolar disorder, routine is everything. I have learned this over the last couple of years, but I still mess up because I feel like I am better. Routine puts an order to everything, I go to work at the same time, I go to the gym after work and I go to sleep at the same time. I skip one of them and all three gets messed up.

This means that on Saturday since I had not been to the gym in two days, I struggled to get to sleep at a reasonable time, which meant that on the time I am usually at the gym on Sunday I was still sleeping. When I woke up on Sunday I just did not see any reason to go to the gym, because it was in mu obsessive mind “Too late.” Weekends are troublesome to me anyhow, because I only work some weekends, and I have a weekend schedule: I go to the gym by 12 pm at the very latest. This makes sure I get up in the morning, the earlier the better.

Luckily today was Monday and everything resets: I go to work in the morning, I bring my bag with me and I hit the gym. I am back on track. I wish it was as easy as it sounds, but I almost did not go to the gym today because I was still feeling a constantly low mood which comes with my persisting depressive episode.

Now after working out, I already feel better, and I will go to the gym again tomorrow taking it one lift at a time.

Workouts

4000 Lifts in 4 days – day 3 & 4

I am officially done, and tomorrow will be a well deserved rest day. 4000 lifts in 4 days is completely doable, and my body is 100% fatigued from this. Not a single joint is pain-free (soreness) and today was the hardest day of all with single joint movements at 50% of 10 rep max.

I have enjoyed these days at the gym, they have been hard and I have the weak point in all my lifts so I know how to work from here. My lower back and shoulders were the losers in this challenge. The important part is that I got through it and it felt like it gave my heart quite a pump as well (the beginning of each set felt more like cardio than anything).

Will I be doing this routine again?

At this point my answer is no, this was hell, but ask me again in four months or next time I hit a plateau and I am sure this routine would be helpful to kick my muscles into action again.

Tomorrow I will have a good rest and then I will keep going, one lift at a time.

Workouts

4000 Lifts in 4 days – day 2

It is my second day in following a hundreds program for four days and I must say I was surprisingly sore from yesterday. Today I focused mostly on single joint movements doing one giant set of 100 reps of each exercise.

Today’s workout consisted of:

  • Machine Flys
  • Seated leg curl
  • Diverging pulldown (I know I said single joint movements, but I wanted to)
  • Leg extension
  • Straight arm pulldown
  • Dumbbell shrug
  • Machine row
  • Rear Delt fly
  • Triceps press
  • Cable bicepcurl

Usually I am not a big fan of machines, but they were necessary to make today’s workout. Even though today was a “light day” with lighter weights than yesterday, I am already sore, every joint is sore and no matter how much foam-rolling I have done post-workout today the soreness stays put.

Hopefully the soreness will fade some by a good nights sleep. I am halfway in this program and I really want to complete it. But I will continue to take this one lift at a time.

Workouts

4000 lifts in 4 days

It is a new week and new blog and I have looked to mix up my traditional straight sets weightlifting program for a while.

The yesterday I was over at bodybuilding.com and came across two very interesting articles by Jim Stoppani in the workout section. He had made two posts about giant sets and “the Hundreds” routine.

I have previously done some crossfit and “the hundreds routine” is similar to crossfit. So I decided that for the next four days I will go along with this crazy 1000 reps(repetitions) a day concept.

The benefit of hundreds training is that by doing a (ridiculously) long set you recruit  the two major types of muscle fibers.  At the beginning of the set you will be working the slow-twitching fibers thoroughly before the fast-twitching fibers are taking over somewhere halfway through the set. In many ways this work out should help my muscles develop and grow.

I will be following Stoppani’s set up in terms of four days work out, going heavy, light, light, heavy, but I will prioritize working my back, which makes it sort of like a giant set.

So today’s set up looked like this:

100 reps of:

  1. Bench Press
  2. Deadlift
  3. Latpulldown
  4. Squats
  5. Dumbbell shoulder press
  6. Barbell shrugs
  7. Cable overhead triceps press
  8. Biceps Curl
  9. Seated Row (I know I know, it should have been placed earlier en the program)
  10. Lateral sidelifts.

The work out started out fine with the bench press, as a woman I normally hit the bench press a bit more than I should so lifting at 50% of my 10rep max did tire me out but judging the other exercises I should have felt the burn much earlier on.

What the hundres are good for, is to point out your weak points, and I experienced this during the deadlifts. My lower back was burning (not hurting) after 45 reps. To put it this way: I really needed the lateral pulldown after finishing a hundred deadlifts.

Putting a 100 squats and a 100 deadlifts in the same program at the same day was probably a bad idea,. I managed to do a 100 squats, but towards the end I was afraid my form was slipping as I got pain in my knee. The pain did go away once I put the bar away and got a brief rest though.

The rest of the exercises went by alright, the deadlifts and the squats were definitely the hardest. And I am also glad I put seated cable row that late in my program because it gave my lower back time to rest.

As of now I am fairly positive that I can make it through three more days of a 1000 reps a day. and I look forward to tomorrows work out, I will complete it one lift at a time.

If you want to check out Stoppani’s “the hundreds routine” you can -click here- and if you want to review his giant sets program -click- here-.