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Friday. Cycle’s end and fucked up elbows.

Today is the last proper workout in our current 5/3/1 cycle. Rhod and I are both in agreement that it has been our best yet. The workouts were harder, heavier and faster then before but felt great. Every previous 5/3/1 cycle has had several things in common with each other.

  1.  The first week of 5 reps is the hardest to do by far.
  2. We normally end up having to skip parts of the occasional workout due to extreme fatigue or DOMS.
  3. By the end of the cycle we really need that deload week.

This time round, however, we felt pretty damn good for the whole cycle. Why?

Well, I think it’s down to two simple changes that we made. First, we actually deloaded properly. Our standard deload has been either an entire week of doing nothing or training equally hard but in a different way. This time we basically did the same workouts we have been doing but with very light weights. So – Workout frequency: same. Workout duration: same. Exercise selection: same. Sets and reps: same
Weights lifted: much lighter. The net result is your body keeps doing what it’s used to but at weights is can easily recover from and that probably help it to as well. Secondly, we have been doing a lot more cardio and being fitter has really helped with every aspect of recovery.

Should everyone deload? An argument could easily be made that Rhod and I deload too often and that we could possibly make better progress if we manned the hell up and kept lifting those damn bars up and down. Surely if you don’t feel beat up and broken then you should just keep slogging away at the coal face?  I think that the deloading weeks work best as a strategic decision rather then a tactical one. I think you should take a break before you need it because it will too late if you wait until you’re over-trained or injured. The main reason I like the deload week is for the rekindling of enthusiasm. By the time the new cycle comes round and we have made little tweaks and changes to the program I can’t wait to get back in the gym and get stuck in.

 This is it.

Cycle – 5 mins.

Run – 3 mins.

Skip – 1 min.

Lunge walks with kettlebell – 20 reps. supersetted with . . .

. . . Bulgarian bag snatches – 20 reps.

Back squat, front squat and overhead squat – 2 circuits 10 reps.

Squat – 5 reps @ 90kg, 3 reps @ 100kg, 1 rep @ 115kg

Press – 5 reps @ 50kg, 3 reps @ 60kg, 1 rep @ 70kg.

Rows – 3 sets 10 reps

Chins, dips and press ups – 3 sets millions of reps.

And that should of been that. A great 3 weeks of training with a nice easy week to look forward to and not a care in the world. That was until Muay Thai.

I’ve been teaching Thai for almost as long as I as I’ve been teaching gym type stuff – which is ages. The main difference between gym and Muay Thai, as far as I’m concerned, is that I still personally do gym training but my full contact smash ’em up  fighting days are long gone. Which is a shame as I used to love the total immersion approach to training  that was required in getting my body and soul ready to step into the ring and let a maniac punch you me the face. I needed to lose myself in the training and preparation for an upcoming fight. There was no space for socialising, relationships, work, regular human contact, simple day to day tasks like paying bills.
 This may sound like I used to be the most focused and hardcore warrior ever to walk the Earth but the truth is that actual fighting part used to scare the shit out of me. Or rather, thinking and fretting about the fight used to scare the shit out of me. The actual fight, once the bell had been rung and we were swinging leather, I enjoyed. But up until the day of the fight I would happily take any distraction available and use that as an excuse not to prepare properly – and if I couldn’t prepare properly then I couldn’t fight, so therefore I wouldn’t get murdered. The only way I could get into the ring without horse tranquilisers was if I could lock myself away, monk like, and just train without any distractions whatsoever.

There are approximately one million reasons why I can’t do that anymore but the main one is that my body just couldn’t handle the amount of punishment required just to get fit enough. Oddly I don’t think that I’d find it scary anymore. How nice it would be to have the body and recuperative abilities of a 20 year old but coupled with the mindset of a grumpy old man who believes that the whole world is going to hell anyway, so let’s fight punk!

Maybe it was because I don’t do the training anymore. Maybe I was not concentrating. Maybe it’s in my contract to pick up at least one annoying injury per year. What ever the reason was doesn’t matter. What does matter is that when demonstrating a hook to the body while wearing the big Thai pads I hit Tanya (Yeah . .  a girl. But one that also happens to be British Champion so she can take it.) with my arm too straight and completely hyper extended my elbow. I felt/heard something go pop and had the, unfortunately all too familiar, feeling of an incredible heat starting in my elbow and then begin to radiate up my bicep and down my forearms.

 “Bollocks,” I thought quietly to myself.

Still, it could be worse at least I’m heading into a deload week. Hopefully a week of taking it easier maybe all it needs. Maybe.

I’m going to try a different way of treating the injury then the usual; Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation  that is taught as the one stop, universal panacea to sporting injuries. More on that later depending on how successful it is.

That’s it for now,
Thanks for reading,
Dave Carter.

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