Last week I vented a bit about my frustration with my fitness. I seemed to have taken a step or two backwards. But things have markedly improved since then.
First of all, I have made a concerted effort to get more sleep. I am averaging at least an hour more per night than I had been. A few days of cool evenings has obviously contributed to this. Restful sleep has been showing up as having measurable benefit as my HRV (heart rate variability) numbers have been at an all time high this morning.
I have also been playing with a new software app that allows me to experiment with food sensitivity. The app is based upon the Coca Pulse Test. The premise of the test is that you test your pulse at least fourteen times a day; once upon waking, once before eating each meal and 30, 60 and 90 minutes after each meal and one more time at the end of the day before you retire. You document what you ate and you look for elevated heart beats per minute. This is fascinating stuff. I’ll write more about this in an upcoming post.
How has all this manifested itself in my performance in the gym? Pretty well actually. I was able to hit three PRs over the past week.
Today, Open Gym was an opportunity to focus on correcting errors in form. I went into the Box planning on working up to 1RM on my Back Squat, but instead got to about 80% of my max and it was clear that my form was off. My knees were collapsing inward upon coming out of the squat. With Greg’s guidance I rolled the weight back to 95# and changed my footing, forcing my knees out more. I continued going into this new position and lingering there to savor the discomfort of this new posture. I’ll work on this over the upcoming weeks to begin ratcheting the weight up.
Recently I wrote about my weakness with upper body movements like pull-ups. So every time I went to the gym this week, I have forced myself to do a minimum of 10 banded pull-ups.
Lastly, I have been watching my Heart Rate Recovery after workouts. Today I rowed aggressively for 1K meters to raise my pulse. After completing the row I watched my pulse drop for two minutes and my HRR is also improving.
I admit I have just plain felt better this week, so that is a satisfying part of every workout, but,…it is also a testament to why it is valuable to journal your performance. It isn’t just to log PRs, but it is a place to document variables relating to sleep, nutrition, stress, injury, etc.. All these factors can affect your performance and may even determine if your fitness and well-being are better served by a rest day. I took two this week and I came back stronger.