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The healing process has come to a slowed pace, in part due to the cumulative effect of 6 weeks of the RDL Russian Cycle. The body is definitely overreaching at this point and needs a brief unload period. I will take a three day unload period that will consist of soft tissue, flexibility and mobility work, along with some light rehab (i.e. light single-leg reverse hypers, band traction, hip girdle work). I put a video on my You Tube site of a more advanced band traction movement that I have been doing, which has proven very effective.
The RDL Russian Cycle accomplished its objective – to allow me to load the lower back to some pretty high levels and build strength, while still ensuring that the torn fascia was progressing in terms of healing. The ideal situation for the injury that I sustained would have been to not load it heavily at all for 3 months and then gradually start loading it after that. However, if I am going to have the strength levels needed to compete this year and qualify for the 2011 Arnold Classic, taking 3 months off is simply not an option.
The next phase will continue progressing the front squat loads, while also introducing pulling from the floor, pulling from a deficit off of the floor, and pulling out of the rack. Of course, these will be submaximal loads to begin with and will hopefully progress to near max loads a number of months in the future. I have attached my next cycle with this blog. From here on out up until a pre-contest cycle I will be using 3-week pendulum wave cycles. The three week cycle allows the body enough time to gain strength and power adaptations from a given movement, while at the same time ensuring that the body does not get accommodated to the same movements over a longer period of time due to the rotation of movements every three weeks. The pendulum wave aspect of the cycle ensures that overtraining does not take place. The intensity is consistently waved up and down over periods of three weeks, rather than constantly getting heavier and heavier over very prolonged periods of time.
If anyone is interested in tailoring their HMB intake, I have started a more specific protocol for taking HMB. Note: the size of each serving will be dictated by bodyweight and the level of training stress your body is undergoing. The day of a heavy training session I take 3 grams of HMB about a half hour before training, 2 grams immediately after training, and 2 grams every 6 hours thereafter for the rest of the day. The day after a heavy training session I take 2 grams of HMB upon waking and 2 grams every 6 hours thereafter for the rest of the day. This tailored regimen seems to be even more effective. Give it a try and see what you experience!