Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 8-14

Time to get another week under way on a cold and wet Monday morning in Dublin. When I woke this morning I did the Polar Fitness Test (before you ask what that is)...

Polar Fitness Test

The Polar Fitness Test is an easy, safe, and quick way to measure your aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness at rest. The result, Polar OwnIndex, is comparable to maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), which is commonly used to evaluate aerobic fitness. Your long-term level of physical activity, heart rate, heart rate variability at rest, gender, age, height, and body weight all influence OwnIndex. The Polar Fitness Test is developed for use by healthy adults.

Aerobic fitness relates to how well your cardiovascular system works to transport oxygen to your body. The better your aerobic fitness, the stronger and more efficient your heart is. Good aerobic fitness has many health benefits. For example, it helps in decreasing high blood pressure and your risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. If you want to improve your aerobic fitness it takes, on average, six weeks of regular training to see a noticeable change in your OwnIndex. Less fit individuals see progress even more rapidly. The better your aerobic fitness, the smaller the improvements in your OwnIndex.

Aerobic fitness is best improved by exercise types that use large muscle groups. Such activities include running, cycling, walking, rowing, swimming, skating, and cross-country skiing.

To monitor your progress, start by measuring your OwnIndex a couple of times during the first two weeks in order to get a baseline value, and then repeat the test approximately once a month.

With the Polar Fitness Test, you can also calculate the predicted maximum heart rate value (HRmax-p). The HRmax-p score predicts your individual maximum heart rate more accurately than the age-based formula (220 - age).

To make sure the test results are reliable, the following basic requirements apply:

You can perform the test anywhere - at home, at the office, at a health club - provided the testing environment is peaceful. There should be no disturbing noises (e.g. television, radio, or telephone) and no other people talking to you.

Always take the test in the same environment and at the same hour.

Avoid eating a heavy meal or smoking 2-3 hours prior to testing.

Avoid heavy physical exertion, alcohol, and pharmacological stimulants on the test day and the previous day.

You should be relaxed and calm. Lie down and relax for 1-3 minutes before starting the test.


So I am going to perform the test again next Monday when I wake up and then put a reminder in the diary to do it again in a months time to see what if anything has changed.

I scored '35'. I'd insert the table here with the results interpretation but I've no idea how to do that. For a man my age I scored 'Fair' which covers scores from '33-38'. So hopefully in 5 weeks time I will have made it from 'Fair' to 'Moderate' and next year I can start making my big push towards 'Good' which requires a score between '44-48'.

I also did my video fat log as you can see posted below. Not that I expect to see week to week changes but I just want to keep a record so I can look back in a month of 3 months time and see where I started from.


Day 8...113.7kg tonight at training...down 3.6kg on the same time last week. That's actually a little bit more weight dropped than I wanted.

Dietary Changes
I'm not overly concerned with the speed with which I am losing fat/weight...as long as it continues to steadily decrease. Since my training isn't really suited to Lyle's complete UD2.0 protocol I am going to try the following changes.

From Monday to Friday I am going to keep the carbs and the calories relatively low. I am going to make sure that I get 250g of protein a day. I am going to consume a small amount of carbohydrate before my training sessions to ensure that I have the energy to make certain that the quality of each session is high.

Friday night to Sunday night I am going to still make sure that I get my 250g of protein but I will also consume more carbohydrate as well. I'm not going to go crazy over the weekends just basically eat normally.

Training Changes
Monday to Friday I'm going to 'try' to do some conditioning work each morning if it is possible to fit it in and around my work...you'll be able to see from my training diary how well this works out.

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night I'll do my MMA training. Wednesday and Friday nights I am going to do my weight training in the gym and on Saturday and Sunday I am going to do my heaviest 'off mat' conditioning sessions....we'll see how this plan works out this week.

Training Log
Monday
AM - Speedball Conditioning
40 minutes, 2 minute rounds with 30 second recovery. 3 rounds of 'over and under hand' striking and 1 round of standard striking in each 10 minute block. I'm going to try and build up to an hour each morning during the week.

It is going to take me a little while to get my rhythm back.

The speedball work that boxers traditionally do...see every Rocky movie ever made...involves striking the speedball with the side of the fist and involves rotation and movement at the wrist, elbow and shoulder alone...this is done more for hand speed.
The style that I use is to hit the ball dead centre with the fist which requires a lot more trunk rotation.
I really like speed ball work for a lot of reasons. We used it a lot for rehabilitation work when I was at the AIS. It enables athletes to get a good low impact weight bearing fitness and or strengthening work out. That sentence covers a lot of ground so I will break it down.

If you look at the first part of the video and the 'over and under hand' punching style that I primarily use you'll see it is almost like a swimming stroke. It is a full body activity like swimming or rowing but for athletes who aren't either in the water or on their arse in their sports it has a whole lot more going for it from a conditioning point of view. You can see for yourselves the amount of trunk rotation and their is a not insignificant amount of knee bend but because the feet stay firmly planted on the ground their is no impact...unlike swimming or rowing though...it is weight bearing. I used to have athletes who had undergone knee and or ankle surgery on the speedball as soon as they could stand unaided. They were able to put an appropriate amount of force through the joint and surrounding tissue without risking further injury and keep and improve their strength and conditioning. I only manage to get a 30 minute and 20 minute session in last week...let me tell you....my hamstring, glutes and abs (the ones under the fat) all knew I had done a workout.

I'll be using the speedball in a few different ways...
1. General Conditioning - I'll do longer bouts as I get my rhythm and timing back...this will be typical steady state type stuff...most likely 4min or 4min 30sec bouts with 1min or 30 second recovery between bouts.

2. Anaerobic Conditioning - These will be 30 second to 60 second bouts with longer recovery between bouts of 60 seconds or more. This will be my high quality work.

3. Power/Speed - I'll also be doing some more standard hand speed work.

This one just one of the reasons that I got a new heart rate monitor so I could push myself with more structure to my training.

This mornings session I was averaging only 125-135bpm in the work periods...the speedball equivalent of an easy spin on the bike. I'll post more vids in the coming weeks when my hand speed and timing starts coming back to me.

PM - 2hrs of MMA training...good session...felt so much better this week than last week...missed out on sparring at the end which annoyed the piss out of me...in the drill before sparring they made me bleed my own blood... no one makes me bleed my own blood!!!
I'll be fine for training tomorrow though.

Tuesday
AM - No training...work got in the way.

PM - Rowed 6 easy 1km intervals with 1 minute recovery between each.

Rowing Intervals - All intervals done with 2 or 3 seconds of 4 minutes.

Then went and did 2.5 hours of MMA training...feeling tired...but great...really enjoyed tonight...got some great experience rolling with Jonny then punched the arms off myself for the last 30 mins or so with drills then a few rounds of easy Muay Thai sparring.

Wednesday
AM - No session this morning. Felt a bit flat so took it easy.

PM - Did the following session:
Bike 5 minute (Level 5)
10x100m with 30 second recovery between efforts.
5 minutes - Lower Body & Upper Body Mobility Work.
Block 1
1A 4 Trap Deadlift (100kg)
1B 2 Pull Ups (BW)
1C 8 Push Ups (BW)
Completed 8 sets in 10 minutes.
10x100m with 45 second recovery between efforts.
Block 2
2A 8 20kg KB Squats
2B 8 Inverted Rows
2C 4 KB Overhead Press (each arm)
Completed 8 sets in 10 minutes.
10x100m with 60 second recovery between efforts.


My session from today.

Thursday
Pretty easy day today. I was busy with work all day and literally had less than 2 hours sleep...was running on empty all day. Did 90 minuites of MMA training this evening.

Friday
Only got 20 mins to workout today...too busy with work.

Saturday
No training today at all.

Sunday

Had the watch in my pocket when I was wrestling with Nasher and obviously stopped it accidentally.

Did 20 minutes on the bike then did a lot of blocks of circuit work first with the Under 20's lads and then with the Senior lads for 1 hour and 45 minutes in total...did a tiny bit of coaching..then did 3 sets of 3 30 second bouts with 2 minutes recovery between sets of ball wrestling with Nasher...the heart rate monitor switched off in my pocket accidentally. I then finished with another 20 minutes on the bike at the end...so a good 3 hour session.

Food Log
Monday
Frittata with veg and cheese.
2 scoops of EvoPro.
Bowl of mince and cheese.

Tuesday
Frittata with veg and cheese.
2 scoops of EvoPro.
Bowl of mince and cheese with some cracker bed on the side.
1 mince pie and a little ice cream.
2 scoops of EvoPro.

Wednesday
4 pieces of wholemeal toast with ham & cheese.
Bowl of mince and cheese with some cracker bed on the side.
Plate of chicken breast with cream/chilli sauce and green beans and asparagus.

Thursday
2 scoops of EvoPro
2 scoops of EvoPro
Omelette with Veg
Some cracker bread...smoked roe and cream cheese with some pickles on top.
Some chicken breast and chilli.
I had some Swedish cinnamon rolls.

Friday
Some more Swedish cinnamon rolls.
2 slices of toast and jam.
Had pasta, rice & chicken for dinner.

Saturday
I ate EVERYTHING.
Had a hotel buffet breakfast...loads of cereal and muesli...and all the rest.
I ate all day basically.

Sunday
Had 2 bread rolls with sausage, mustard, mayo and tomatoes sauce.
Ate a heap of oven roasted chicken legs for dinner.

18 comments:

lylemcd said...

Keep in mind that the Polar test will tend to be biased towards aerobic type athletes, it may not be indicative of what you're training for.

Will Heffernan said...

lylemcd said...
Keep in mind that the Polar test will tend to be biased towards aerobic type athletes, it may not be indicative of what you're training for.
I agree. My 'conditioning' is still very poor. I need to improve my aerobic base if for no other reason than to assist my recovery.

Damian Griffin said...

Fairly Fat , this polar device is amazing !!!

Tim said...

Is 35 a predicted relative VO2 Max value (ml/kg/min)? Sounds about right if 33-38 is fair vs 44-48 is good for a 30-40 year old male guessing age here).

I'd agree with Lyle too in that aerobic athletes will score higher, especially due to lighter weight which tends to be an advantage on most bodyweight relative tests.

That said, most tables with poor/fair/average/good/very good or whatever are really at a fairly low standard compared to what people are capable of with training because they are based on the general population who are mostly untrained.

It's a bit like if we had general population standards for playing the violin, some values will be massively inflated by training and others/most aren't really indicative of ability because they've never actually tried/trained to perform the task.

I'd be interested if you could expand on the mechanism by which aerobic conditioning assists recovery (I can understand if you mean between work periods within a session, but not really sure in terms of recovery between training sessions so much). Or did you mean low intensity work between sessions to promote recovery rather than the aerobic adaptations themselves?

Sami said...

Adding to Tim's question. You pretty much went from zero training to all out every day. How are you monitoring how much training you can handle/tolerate? 'cause you know, you MUST have atleast one complete restday per week otherwise you'll overtain..

Will Heffernan said...

Tim said...
Is 35 a predicted relative VO2 Max value (ml/kg/min)? Sounds about right if 33-38 is fair vs 44-48 is good for a 30-40 year old male guessing age here).
It is a prediction of some kind.

I'd agree with Lyle too in that aerobic athletes will score higher, especially due to lighter weight which tends to be an advantage on most bodyweight relative tests.

That said, most tables with poor/fair/average/good/very good or whatever are really at a fairly low standard compared to what people are capable of with training because they are based on the general population who are mostly untrained.

It's a bit like if we had general population standards for playing the violin, some values will be massively inflated by training and others/most aren't really indicative of ability because they've never actually tried/trained to perform the task.
Agreed...my predicted VO2 max is low but my violin playing is excellent...well noted.

I'd be interested if you could expand on the mechanism by which aerobic conditioning assists recovery (I can understand if you mean between work periods within a session, but not really sure in terms of recovery between training sessions so much). Or did you mean low intensity work between sessions to promote recovery rather than the aerobic adaptations themselves?
I'll give you the short version. I think a reasonable 'aerobic' capacity is beneficial for power, strength and anaerobic dominant athletes...many of the factors associated with 'recovery' have a aerobic component...Creatine Phosphate replenishment and the mopping up of lactate for example.
The coaching element of it is getting the balance correct...to little aerobic capacity = bad....too much aerobic capacity can also = bad because to achieve it you'd need to devote too much time to it...I'm going devote 'enough' time to improve it without hampering my power, strength and anaerobic development...and how will I know that...because I assess and test regularly so I know relatively quickly if the 'mix' of training isn't what it should be.


Sami said...
Adding to Tim's question. You pretty much went from zero training to all out every day. How are you monitoring how much training you can handle/tolerate?
By feel...I feel great. I think I'm slowly getting myself dialled in better and better. I felt great in training last night...as opposed to the first night of training where I thought my lungs and heart were going to explode...I'm dropping fat/weight pretty much to plan...if not a little faster than planned. Doing plenty of mobility and flexibility work in my down time. I rest when I need it believe me.
'cause you know, you MUST have atleast one complete restday per week otherwise you'll overtrain...
I disagree...I had a period when I was racing when I never missed a day of training in over 2 years...it is a matter of what you are doing that can lead to over training.

Sami said...

Will said...
By feel...I feel great. I think I'm slowly getting myself dialled in better and better.

Do you feel that because you once had the conditioning it now sort of "allows" you to throw yourself to the deep end of the pool without a gradually adding the volume?

I disagree...I had a period when I was racing when I never missed a day of training in over 2 years...it is a matter of what you are doing that can lead to over training.

Agreed. When I was not a trainwreck some years back, I did MA's every day on top of powerlifting training. I allways chuckle to that "must have a total rest day". You can, if you carefully manage the training.

btw. the single leg box squats have done wonders. Thanks.

Matt said...

Sami said...

"Do you feel that because you once had the conditioning it now sort of "allows" you to throw yourself to the deep end of the pool without a gradually adding the volume?"

I'd say he has a good grasp of what he can tolerate due to his background. Regular assessing will further aid in keeping intensity/volume in check

Barry Oglesby said...

No he has no idea what he can handle. He's the noisiest fucker in the gym most of the time and all of the women who trained with me have left now. He's costing me a fortune too, those defribilators use loads of electricity.

If you mix a woman in labour with a gorilla, that's kind of what he looks/sounds like when he's wrestling. I'm only saying that cos he told me what my session is going to be on Thursday morning. I'm getting my retaliation in first.

Will Heffernan said...

Sami said...
Do you feel that because you once had the conditioning it now sort of "allows" you to throw yourself to the deep end of the pool without a gradually adding the volume?
Yes. I think I have a pretty good handle on it.

Agreed. When I was not a trainwreck some years back, I did MA's every day on top of powerlifting training. I allways chuckle to that "must have a total rest day". You can, if you carefully manage the training.
Fight training takes it's toll...but I think the balance is fine...I have a hard session Monday, Tuesday and Thursday is all at the moment. I can't wait for time to pass and for my fitness to catch up with my desire training wise...it'll come though in time. I will take my time off when I need it...not from fight training...but from my other strength and conditioning work.

btw. the single leg box squats have done wonders. Thanks.
I'm glad...simple doesn't mean easy.

Matt said...
I'd say he has a good grasp of what he can tolerate due to his background. Regular assessing will further aid in keeping intensity/volume in check
True.

Barry Oglesby said...
No he has no idea what he can handle. He's the noisiest fucker in the gym most of the time and all of the women who trained with me have left now. He's costing me a fortune too, those defribilators use loads of electricity.
The noisy...I'll give you...but I am honestly feeling better every session.

If you mix a woman in labour with a gorilla, that's kind of what he looks/sounds like when he's wrestling. I'm only saying that cos he told me what my session is going to be on Thursday morning. I'm getting my retaliation in first.
I am going to test run that session for you tomorrow evening myself. So I can sit around and laugh while you do it on Thursday.

Matt said...

lets get some vids of the rolling. Wouldnt mind seeing the progression over the months

Michael Sullivan said...

OK Mr. Obsessive Compulsive I get that you are SUPER(Paris) motivated but you really need to be eating a bit more. About how many kcals are you consuming a day? 1300? With your current activity level and the fact that you sleep about 45 minutes a day you may need a bit more food.

I am sending you some chocolate.

Will Heffernan said...

Matt said...
lets get some vids of the rolling. Wouldnt mind seeing the progression over the months.
There is already footage out there. I'll start putting stuff up when the lads name the date and confirm that they are going to pay for my flights when and if they pull out.

Michael Sullivan said...
OK Mr. Obsessive Compulsive I get that you are SUPER(Paris) motivated but you really need to be eating a bit more.
I do need to actually consume a little more protein.

About how many kcals are you consuming a day? 1300? With your current activity level and the fact that you sleep about 45 minutes a day you may need a bit more food.
I had some toast this morning because I was feeling a little flat. Like I said it will take me a little while to get the balance right.

I am sending you some chocolate.
Always appreciated.

Hugh said...

Will,

Cheese is appearing to be quite a staple of this whole diet you're on. I know you're not really going to be concerned with the fat content, especially as you're running a deficit, but just how much cheese is too much??

I guess I'm asking for the general athlete, in season, with the aims of conditioning maintenance, muscle mass retention and no real fat gain.

In other words, how much cheese, usually cheddar, can I eat in a week, with a fairly balanced diet?

If Lyle has a view on this he'd care to share, I'd appreciate that too.

Will Heffernan said...

Hugh said...
Will,

Cheese is appearing to be quite a staple of this whole diet you're on. I know you're not really going to be concerned with the fat content, especially as you're running a deficit, but just how much cheese is too much??

I guess I'm asking for the general athlete, in season, with the aims of conditioning maintenance, muscle mass retention and no real fat gain.

In other words, how much cheese, usually cheddar, can I eat in a week, with a fairly balanced diet?

If Lyle has a view on this he'd care to share, I'd appreciate that too.
I think you might be imagining me having some sort of ongoing fondue party...it isn't really like that...the cheese is more for just added flavour rather than a staple. I just checked the block of cheese then and I can tell you I have actually consumed less than 400g in total in the last week...spread over the week...I don't think it is really that much?

I'm sure Lyle will be able to give you a better idea of the sort of total fat intake that would be best with your considerations in mind.

Hugh said...

Will said:

I think you might be imagining me having some sort of ongoing fondue party...
Yep, sure was

it isn't really like that...the cheese is more for just added flavour rather than a staple. I just checked the block of cheese then and I can tell you I have actually consumed less than 400g in total in the last week...spread over the week...I don't think it is really that much?
Agreed, it's not too excessive. I'd be happy enough to eat around that much in a week, spread out over 8-10 meals. Fondue party sounds good though...

Matt said...

Just to help you out Hugh, I eat maybe 300g cheddar cheese and 1.75kg of cottage cheese a week. Still pretty lean.

I love cheese.

Ohh yeah, i use a bit of parmesan as well

Michael Sullivan said...

Define "some" cinnamon rolls.

My guess is 6 rolls.