Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My fifteen week journey back to Perfect Health "THE SUPER CHALLENGE"

Luxurious grey leather interior Top class teutonic styling
with obligatory bottle of water

Week 1 day 2

What's happening in my head

One of the limitations I've had since my accident is driving a motor vehicle. I found that my visibility was limited and reversing was a real problem for me and a little dangerous for the public. Any vehicle has blind spots and for me I admit reversing was a bit hit and miss. However there are two ways to overcome that and I chose both. Buy a new motor car with better visibility and/or have Park Distance Control fitted. Little sensors fitted inside the rear bumper that alert you if you get close to hitting something. Makes your life a whole lot easier.
So just for fun here is are some pictures of my new beauty.

Actually I have an apology to make. I am struggling to get my camera working properly so my own starting pics will appear tomorrow. You get the car instead.

Am feeling really good today which mean I am pain free and looking forward to my cardio day. Being pain free really improves my mental state.

Now...I have to admit that I need to get over something that is probably holding me back. Every day a few people ask me how I am. You know ' G'morning, how are you today. Well my answer to that is 'not great actually' and after the 'why' question I proceed to explain what happened to me.

That's more. In future I will just say I'm great thank you which is what I usually am. Analysing it I have to say. I'm just looking for sympathy...and that my friends is unacceptable behaviour. Firstly it's dishonest and second it's cowardly to hide behind something which actually isn't there any more.

I am fine, I feel great, life is good....and as I say...that's it no more will I say that.

Whew now that I've got that off my chest let's talk about:


Cardio day today and I have decided that I will vary my cardio depending on how I feel. A great session would be: walk to the gym, 10 min intervals on the stationery bike, 2 min step ups, 10 mins on the bike, 2 min step ups and walk home which is about 2 kms.

Today however, my first session I drove to the gym.
5 min interval on the bike
2 min step up (keep up heart rate)
5 min interval on the bike

I was breathing hard after that believe it or not.

And now Carlos has something very relevent to say about the methodology behind my return to resistance training:

Dougal’s Set & Rep Protocols & Why

The casual reader will take one look at Dougal’s initial program and perhaps think, “Well that’s not to bad for someone in therapy”.

A closer look will bring a lot of clarity and possibly even surprise.

There is no question that Dougal needs to start back with caution. But the exercise sessions need to be productive and they need to have direction. How do we get Dougal training with a meaningful workload that will actually provide the intensity to produce results in this early stage without stressing all the wrong places and for all of our good intentions cause a re-injury which would cause a set back?

Enter Measured Reps

Measured Reps you say. Yes repetitions that are measured with time. Dougal’s reps were 3 seconds positive and 3 seconds negative, 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down.

Exercise form is very important but since Dougal is an accomplished trainer we didn’t need to spend any time with this important aspect of his training.

So it’s a given (in this instance) that Dougal is performing his movements with slow, deliberate movements.
Jerking the weights up and dropping them down (to use heavier weights) would be dangerous in therapy and non-productive in body sculpting and has no place in proper weight training.

His rep performance is to the place of total failure. He does not terminate the set because he got distracted, or because there was muscular discmfort, he doesn’t have to do that. The set will terminate itself when he can no longer manage another rep with good form. This is a very expeditious way of strength training.

Uncommon Math

Dougal’s rep target is 10 slow reps. Once he reaches 10 slow reps with good form, he has mastered that weight so he increases his weight for his next session in that exercise.

The average time it takes a trainee to do 10 regular repetitions is about 20 seconds. So if Dougal is doing 10 reps each rep lasting 6 seconds at the end of that set he has put his muscles under tension for 60 seconds.
The equivalent of 3 regular sets!

So now when we go back and look at his start up program we can see that his 11 exercises are equivalent to 33 exercises, we walk away from that with a different totally different understanding.

Traveling At The Speed Of Dougal

To further insure that Dougal’s progress is not hindered, we are paying strict attention to his recovery rate.
Dougal is staying in his own lane, and he is traveling at the speed of Dougal.

So if we see his “numbers flatten” we can make immediate mid-course adjustments and avoid over-training.
Our numbers get flat when we are not making some type of improvement each workout.

It would be fairly safe to say if Dougal is not getting stronger then he may be over-training, and this can be spotted right away, we will back off by doing to 2 days per week instead of 3 days per week of training sessions.

Not just a good barometer for someone in therapy it’s a good rule of thumb for any one involved in weight training.


Meal 1 early am protein/banana smoothy

Meal 2 Protein shake (on the run)

Meal 3 Ostrich sausage salad

Meal 4 1 tub FF cottage cheese/Low fat flavoured yoghurt

Meal 5 Protein shake/handful almonds


I had a really hectic day yesterday and never stopped. My meals were a little out of sync time wise and I didn't get in a sixth meal. That'll change.

Was happy with my cardio training since it's my first day.

Overall things are going according to plan and I'm excited about weight training tomorrow.

Thank you Carlos for your input and support, you are everything a good coach should be.


Shari Kraft said...

What a fabulous post! Love the car!

Marbella said...

Dougal, I feel as if I am training right there with you. Carlos is doing so good a job in getting you going at just the right speed. Am so glad you have him on your side. As to your food, I was alarmed that you didn´t have anything fresh *alive* except for that one banana. Don´t you need a salad thrown in there someplace? Maybe a green smoothie?

The BEST part is your new car. A Mercedes! Just devine and looking so good. You are taking good care of yourself! It´s about time you got some TLC and extras. Take a drive around for us too!

Michael said...

Dougal! I'm glad to see you have a Quad Blaster. That thing is awesome beyond belief. I want you to know that I haven't forgotten about your email. Life got hectic and I plan to get back to you because I think together we can quite possibly change the world. You are a real inspiration to me. If I can help you in any way at all, please just say the word.

Larry said...

Sounds like you had a great day. You've got a great plan. No doubt you'll execute it with precision.
Shred On!

dougal said...

Thank Shari, come back for more.

Lynda, yep getting plenty of greens. The sausage salad was full of good stuff. I'm just a bit hectic at the mo so convenience food is a bit uppermost.

Michael, Hi buddy, magic machine the Blaster. I know you're busy. Talk to me about my mail when you get a chance

Hey Larry, thanks man, am loving life right now.