From THE GEEKS SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH
Several non-training circumstances seem to offer the millieu in which proper training can be most productive. While non-scientific and anecdotal at best, these factors were universally present during my own periods of rapid progress as well those of my clients. Personally, I was able to make these observations because my growth seems to occur all at once on a very intermittent basis. It usually occurs in the early morning and will actually awaken me from sleep because I can feel it occurring. It can best be described as “feeling like rice crispies sound when you pour milk on them”. I’ve had as much as 3/4 inch arm growth overnight. Such results never seemed to correlate to the previous workout, but several factors over time can be noted in my journals.
1. Happiness-in general I was not elated or extremely happy. Rather, I was simply contented with life in general and had a sense of peace. There was no current issue that was troubling me or occupying my mind.
2. Lack of preoccupation with training-universally I was involved in activities that precluded me from thinking about my training or progress. I hadn’t looked at a muscle magazine in months or read any books, articles or visited any internet sites related to training.
3. Busy Professional Life-usually I was fairly busy with my professional life and absorbed in it. However, I was not overly stressed by this absorption…it was truly immersion rather than anxious rumination.
4. Laziness-it seemed I retained the skill of being able to lay around and do nothing for at least an hour each day.
5. Sleep-in general I was getting about an hour and a half of extra sleep per night during a period when I was on the same shift rotation. In addition my sleep seemed to be filled with pleasant dreams.
6. Lack of body awareness-in general I had recently spent very little time assessing my appearance in the mirror or taking measurements. My only impetus to do so was after the sensation of sudden growth had occurred.
7. Season-gains seem to occur in early Spring and late Fall. I seem to be dressed in such a way that my body awareness is less, and I also think the lack of heat stress is more conducive to growth.
8. Hydration-this is without exception the strongest correlate I have found. I originally noted this when I tried Ellington Darden’s recommendation for superhydration (drinking at least a gallon of water a day). My largest growth spurt ever took place while superhydrating and every subsequent improvement has occurred during periods when I used this technique. Recently one of my clients began superhydrating and added an entire minute to her TUL’s for every set of her workout.
In general I think the best most concise advice (other than superhydration) that can be offered to most HIT enthusiasts is the following: First, stop obsessing about training. Stop spending hours on the internet discussing and debating training. Stop having arguments with people. Stop visiting all the web sites and calling the facilities around the country on a daily basis. Second, decrease your level of body awareness. Take some time off from tape measures, skin fold calipers and scales and wear clothing that conceals your body from your concern. There is truth in the old saying “a watched pot never boils”. Finally, be content and happy with the hand that nature has given you and achieve within your capabilities.
It is an important point. Sometimes I spend so much time reading crap on the internet that I do not get enough sleep. It is totally self defeating. Training is simple - push it hard, rest and recover. There is only so much to learn....
In Body by Science Doug talks about Training angst: