Sun 10 Mar 2013
I did the following WOW’s since my last posting. The first workout was done at UE under the supervision of Ed and Joe (our newest instructor). This was slightly higher volume than normal, but it did not result in ROBAT (run over by a truck) in the days that followed. The second workout was done at Fike gym. It represented quite a bit more volume than usual as I was well rested and having a good time experimenting. The result has been 3 days of massive ROBAT. I attribute this not only to the increased volume of the Fike workout, but the very stressful ER shifts that followed.
3/1/13 done at UE
MedX Chest Press
Nautilus Pullover with SS retrofits
MedX Chest Press (Jrep halves)
MedX Row with SS retrofits
Chest Press (top 1/3rd partials)
Calf Press on MedX Leg Press
3/7/13 Fike Gym
Dumbbell Lateral Raise- Jrep thirds
Dumbbell Bent Fly-Jrep thirds
Cybex Overhead Press-Jrep thirds
EZ barbell curl
EZ reverse curl
Tricep pressdown-Jrep halves
EZ barbell curl-Jrep thirds
Dumbbell wrist flex/extension
This sort of workout requires me to have an ideal recovery situation, and this is what I anticipated. However, unanticipated events and some unusually tough shifts didn’t allow for ideal recovery. The truth is that the last workout may have produced ROBAT no matter what, but I wanted to push it a little to see if I could go up to the edge without going over. Well it didn’t work out and it has given me some time to reflect on ROBAT. I won’t drown you with PubMed references, but would like to discuss some things that I believe, but cannot prove.
1. I don’t think it is a CNS thing. I don’t think it is one thing at all. The body is just to complex and inter-related for this to be the case. I do think there are some CNS components to ROBAT. One of which is serotonin and noradrenaline depletion. This is due to depletion of neurotransmitter in the motor pathways and and the motor end-plate. Also, amino acid precursors for excitatory neurotransmitters are likely consumed by the workout and then shunted toward muscle tissue repair in the days that follow.
2. I think peripheral nervous system exhaustion is a big component, particularly at the motor end-plate. There is a reason Ken Hutchins described a subject after deep inroad “looking like a frog injected with strichnine”, both deep inroad and strichnine exhaust neurotransmitter at the motor end-plate. It probably takes some time for the necessary chemicals to re-accumulate at the presynaptic end plate. Neurotransmitter exhaustion likely correlates with mood depression for reasons discussed in #1 above. I find a strong correlation in myself with mood depression and use of deep inroad (continuing maximal effort once movement has stopped).
3. I have still not been able to experience the “flying under the radar” thing. Maybe its because I don’t really know what it is or if it exists. I can say that I came closest to understanding it on the RenEx pieces, as this was a really hard workout that produced minimal ROBAT (compared to what I expected). However, I am surprised Ken tolerates this term since he is such a fan of Robert Mitchell (the Strict Grammarian) who made fun of speech that used terminology from a glamourous and technical profession interchangeably with a less exciting one (i.e. school teachers borrowing terminology from air traffic controllers when they say “we are in a holding pattern”). I understand that trying to explain something esoteric to someone who has never experienced the thing you are describing must be very difficult. I do desire a better and more in depth explanation, as I still find I am more likely (not less likely) to experience ROBAT with SuperSlow/RenEx protocol than with a 4/4 or 5/5 cadence.
4. I think that a significant component of the exercise stimulus involves triggering inflammatory cytokines. Interleukins (particularly 6 and 15) and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) are an integral component of the acute inflammatory response to high intensity exercise. I think that hammering too hard, just to make sure you’ve crossed the stimulus threshold, or too much outroading (form discrepancies used to achieve an external performance standards, instead of internal stimulus triggering) produces an overabundance of these inflammatory cytokines which contribute hugely to ROBAT. Most of these peak at about 48 hours, which is when I experience the worst elements of ROBAT.
5. I find that friction laden equipment contributes to the risk of ROBAT. Perhaps it is the struggle to overcome the friction that leads to outroading which leads to ROBAT. Perhaps it is something about the mismatch between muscular effort and the response of the equipment. No matter what, it seems real. I think this is a big component to RenEx equipment limiting my experience of ROBAT.
6. Finally, I think that ROBAT avoidance is multi-factorial. Volume and frequency must be limited, but can be expanded to the extent that you can avoid outroading, form discrepancies and friction-laden equipment. Also, attention to the recovery side with whole foods, good hydration, stress management and good sleep are vitally important.
Post your WOW’s and your thoughts on ROBAT