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Caffeine, sweets, veggies, and the best week of my life

Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:22 pm
by KenDowns
I'm on a roll, PR after PR. Despite the risk of post hoc fallacy, I'm going to say it has something to do with my recent changes re: caffeine and veggies.

For caffeine, I simply decided that at most one cup after lunch and no more for the day. This has been easy to stick to and I now drink a "mere" 4 cups/day on average, all in the morning (I eat lunch very early).

For veggies, I decided to grow up and figure something out since I still don't eat them (much). The trick turned out to be dicing them up, and cooking in huge quantities that get thrown in the fridge so I never have an excuse. I know raw works too, but I tend to cook veggies out of habit.

Secondary effects have been uninterrupted sleep, a reduction in my ridiculous craving for sweets -- and a PR every session.

Another contributor is daily clam exercises, which had something to do with the squat.

Check this out:
Sat   3/30  Deadlift  445    "Gym PR" and best lift since November Comp
Sun   3/31  Press     147.5  Breaking a 15 month plateau I though was hopeless
Tue   4/ 2  Squat     300x2  finally making reps at 300 or better
Thu   4/ 4  Bench     210x3  finally making a triple at better than 205
                      215x2  a second rep PR in the same session
Sat   4/ 6  Deadlift  455    Just one week after a max effort comes another max effort,
                             matching the comp PR from 11/11/12 but smoother and cleaner
Sun   4/ 7  Press     150    Beating last week's, even after missing 146 twice during warmup
                      151.5  ...and the PR falls 7 minutes later to an even smoother rep
                             even then I only stopped because my son has a piano 
                             master class and it was time to shower off.
If there is an explanation here I think that the caffeine was not just messing with my sleep, but with my appetite. Without the afternoon and evening caffeine I have a larger appetite for healthy foods.

An alternative explanation is that it's now a few months from the comp, all of the decompression is over with, my travelling and jet lag are over with, and I'm just having a good week. however, in the past the best week I ever had was nothing like this.

Third explanation is simple "strength is a skill", cumulative improvements to technique have hit critical mass.

Fourth explanation is a little controversial, but my trainer is not a big fan of programmed deloads, and he strongly believes in slowing down when the gains stop and going full throttle when the stars are aligned. Some weeks you go in and you just don't have it, so that's a deload, take it easy. Or you are travelling for a week and stuck with restaurant food, don't expect much in the gym or take the week off completely. Other weeks it seems you can't be stopped, so why limit yourself to what the program says? Go for it, ride the wave.

Re: Caffeine, sweets, veggies, and the best week of my life

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:04 pm
by stuward
Ken, I just saw this on Facebook: http://www.sarahramsden.com/why-coffee- ... g-you-out/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Caffeine, sweets, veggies, and the best week of my life

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:07 pm
by KenDowns
Stu, I can't speak to the scientific details, but the results described, both from drinking and refraining, match my experience.

...and another PR falls today. squat 325.