Friday, December 23, 2011

Mondays Hamstrings

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Monday is hamstrings and it was time to change the training. There are several exercises that can be done, but there are a few that prove over and over to be the most effective, so we do those. Just changing the reps, sets, rest periods and/or weights can be enough to prevent adaptation.

I think we have learned that my body responds best to volume, so lots and lots of reps seem to be what I need to do. Now that doesn't mean that I am doing light weight, on the contrary, I am doing at much as I can, but realistically, when performing 10 to 20 reps the weight won't be as heavy as if I were doing only 4 to 8 reps.

We start with the Glute Ham Raise and Roy has it elevated in the back, high up on a bench. This puts the emphasis on a different area of the hamstring and its quite a bit more difficult to do. We tried it like this several weeks ago and I could only perform 3 reps, I failed miserably.

Monday I not only did 10 reps, but I did three sets with body weight and another two sets holding a weight plate. I think it was only 5 pounds, but it made a difference, believe me. My hamstrings have gotten stronger! We will celebrate by doing the Tootsee Roll! (Email readers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view this video, turn up the speakers!)

Yes, I do have this on my iPod...ha ha I love it!

So the GHR took quite some time, then we moved onto the second exercise, Single Leg Deadlift with a barbell.

I have never done this with a barbell, I have always used dumbbells, so I was excited, I love trying new things.

I warmed up and after the second set of 10 I think we were up to 75 pounds. All the way down until a good stretch is felt in the hamstring, maintain a slight curve in the back, keep looking up, then pull up with the hamstring and the glutes, not the back!

Its easy to round the back and start pulling up that way, and its wrong. It is less effective as you won't hit the hamstrings and its also a good way to cause back pain or tweaks.  I cannot emphasize how important it is to "lift with your head". You must put your mind into the task at hand and concentrate. It's serious business.

Many people think that weight lifters are a daft bunch, and I agree that there are plenty out there, but no more than in any other sport. A successful lifter is serious and quite knowledgeable. Find someone in your gym who looks really good, and watch them. See how they train. Do they chit chat while lifting? Do they read in between sets? I doubt it.

Are they concentrating and almost oblivious to those around them? Perhaps they time their sets and rest periods? I bet they do.

You can learn a lot just by observing. Heck, you can probably even do the "Tootsee Roll" after watching the video a couple times!

Back to the hams. Since they are so connected to the glutes, they will obviously get a good workout too. When we started this one Roy looked at me and said "Sorry, but I think this is going to make your glutes bigger" (or something like that). I laughed and said "Great! I love a good set of glutes!"

Wednesday when we met for Quads, my glutes were still sore. Today, Thursday when I write this? Still feeling it! Maybe I need to stretch them out a bit by cranking up the music in the gymnasium tomorrow and dancing. 

to left. to the left. to the right. to the right.