This was my second week getting up at 5am and working solidly through until 10-11pm. By the end of the week it was really starting to take its toll. While my training numbers and my HRV were surprisingly good I realised the genuine problem when I took a couple of nights away in York with Chris and a friend on Thursday and Friday nights.
By Friday morning I felt rancid and my HRV dropped dramatically – potentially not helped by the 3 glasses of wine I had during the evening. By Saturday I was in a better state with my HRV reading (far less alcohol was consumed on the second evening) but I slept for a long time and woke still feeling tired. Looking in the mirror I was faced with a grey and exhausted-looking person.
Gratefully the worst of the work-blip is over and I should be able to go back to more normal working hours.
In far more exciting news, we had a brand new Hip Thruster arrive in our garage gym last weekend – the prototype model for the UK and Europe. It’s identical to the final design in every way except for a lack of brand label and it is absolutely fabulous! I’ve only used it twice and already love it!
Having the Hip Thruster has enabled me to add another exercise to my metabolic work at the end of workouts – band resisted Hip Thrusts. It’s so nice not to have the old creaking plyometric boxes behind my back with old towels and cushions for padding which slowly slips off as I work through the sets and reps.
Still no pre-photos. Definitely too late for a real comparison now!
My heart rate variability (‘HRV’) managed to stay fairly stable in the low 60s this week. A further average improvement over the week of 3 points. I’ll see if I can get that to improve even further by getting a bit more sleep again this week!
Reaction time measurements also stayed stable in the 200s. 240-280ms all week.
Until my trip away at the end of the week, it was a very good week for my diet. Good wholesome food in sensible-sized portions.
On Saturday night I was playing in a concert so ate out, but kept it simple at a Mexican restaurant with a starter of grilled corn on the cob with a chilli butter and then half a roast chicken with a honey peri-peri sauce and salad.
The other end of the week was a different matter. Quality of the food was mostly ok but in distinctly excessive portions with too much sugar loitering along the edges.
Thursday evening I had a starter of baby octupus in a tomato sauce, a main of roast rack of lamb with roasted vegetables in a tomato sauce with cheese over the top but the wheels came off with a dessert of Amaretto torte – a layer of thick cream on top of a thin layer of sponge soaked in Amaretti liqueur. Plus of course, wine. If you’re going to do something bad, be really bad!
Friday breakfast was good, with mushrooms, poached egg and bacon. Lunch was equally good with a chicken salad. Dinner was mostly good: pheasant with butternut squash to start, lamb shank with vegetables for main but then a divine sticky toffee pudding which was more like a black treacle sponge. I did drink far less – only one glass of wine and a small rum cocktail without any fruit juice. The bigger problem with this day was visiting the Chocolate Story museum just before lunch. Although I didn’t eat very much sugar, since part of what they were introducing people to was 100% cocoa chocolate and the original Mayan cocoa drinking recipe (which is neat cocoa with chilli – the way I make it, although up until now I hadn’t put chilli in it). Still, it was definitely a day of excessive sugar consumption for a person who usually doesn’t eat very much of it and certainly far too much in terms of overall quantities for the day.
With all the work, I’ve managed 2 walks to the village on some days but often only 1 walk. I’m hoping that I can get my cardio back where it should be from next week.
Resistance training was much better with everything feeling easy and I was really excited to be able to put an extra exercise in towards the end of the week, thanks to the Hip Thruster.
Workout 1: (Monday)
- Romanian Deadlifts: 92kg – 8×3 – still nice and easy.
- Hip Thrusts: 110kg – 6×6 – This was my first time on the Hip Thruster and it took a while to work out the change in feel, since the pad was higher than I was used to. I found the mechanics much harder on this first time and dropped the weight slightly to compensate.
- Seated band abductions: Third of pink band and green physio band – 24 reps – I added a few more reps but I still wasn’t convinced that I was doing a really good quality full range of motion without the assistance of my hands on my knees.
- Clams with band resistance: Green physio band – Right: 25 reps, Left: 33 reps – More reps and still great extension.
Workout 3: (Wednesday) – I did this workout at 6.30am!
- Back squat: 76kg – 8×3 – For the time of day this felt surprisingly easy.
- Single leg hip thrusts: 10kg – 6×6 – Finally this felt like I was ready to increase the weight.
- Band resisted hip thrusts: Green band – 30 reps
- Seated band abductions: Third of skinny band – 32 reps – I finally really cut the resistance down and also made sure I didn’t touch my body at all. It was tough but I finally felt like all the right muscles were working.
- Clams with band resistance: Green physio band – Right: 27 reps, Left: 34 reps