Chris and I have been following our four day program almost religiously over the last 5 weeks.
Today, for the first time, we had to skip our gym session due to general exhaustion. You see, yesterday, beginning at 8am, we were teaching at a local secondary school. For me, it was five hours there, Chris did 7. But the day wasn’t done for me, either, as I held another 3 lessons at my dojo.
Now, working for 8 hours a day doesn’t sound that hard, after all, that’s what everyone’s doing. Anyhow, teaching martial arts is not your ordinary 9 to 5 job. First off, it’s physical work. Doesn’t have to be hard physical work, but it definately is physical work. Besides that teaching means understanding one’s students. Every problem of theirs is a problem of yours for the duration of the class. A teacher needs to be pretty empathic in regards to every student’s personal goals, possibilities and limitations. People tend to carry a lot of ballast onto the mat – everything they accumulate over the day. This isn’t so much of a concern with mature, sensible adults, but it’s definately an issue with large groups of kids that in fact don’t want to be at school and are quite indiscriminate in their refusal of everything they deem connected to school.
Anyhow, after that teaching-marathon, we’ve decided to skip one pull/push cycle (2 sessions) and concentrate on specific training instead. Today, this was a lot of boxing technique (which I’ve come to greatly enjoy now that my understanding of the mechanics involved in it has greatly improved) and some groundwork/grappling.
Next week we’ll go to the final spurt and work through our last four sessions before going to a new program. Although there’s surely some points that need further refinement, I’m very happy with our 5×5 program. Both Chris and I experienced tremendous strength gains, especially in the deadlift. At the beginning of the program my 1rm for the deadlift was 150kg. Here, I need to add that over the course of the entire program, there was just one day when I was able to lift those 150kg. I was never able to repeat it. Last monday, I did 140kg x 4. According tomuscletech’s 1rm calculator (see here) I should be able to lift approximately 160kg. That’s a 10 kg improvement, put in a different way, that’s 14%. Considering the relatively short amount of time we’ve been doing the program, that’s truly a significant progress.
Also, we managed to nearly balance out our bench press and our standing rows. Chris is at 87.5kg with the bench press, I’m at 85kg. Next monday we’ll be rowing 87.5kg, so our horizontal push and pull poundages are pretty much even.
When it comes to vertical pulling, I’m currently doing my pull-ups with 17.5kg of additional weight. Since we’ve started out with 10kg (and had to struggle heavily to do those pull-ups), that’s more than a 75% increase. Awesome.
I’ll post our progress on every exercise next weekend, when we’ve completed the program. Also, I’ll try to take a video of our next two sessions and post it here.