TRAINING OBSERVATIONS – FAMINE PHASE
The common denominator in successfully alarming the body with weight training seems to be increasing training density. That is, progressively shortening rest periods between sets while attempting to lift the same or a greater volume of weight. You won’t necessarily be able to do so, but the DEMAND of trying to keep up is the key. Trust me, you’ll know it when you feel it.
1.) If you have been overtraining prior to beginning The Blueprint, please take a full week off prior to beginning the famine phase. For those not well versed, here are the subjective signs you’ve been over-training:
¥ Lack of energy/disinclination to train
¥ Nagging injuries
¥ Frequent colds
¥ Disturbed sleep patterns
Jumping into the famine phase under these conditions is a recipe for disaster. Please give your body time to heal, your mind time to re-charge and then start The Blueprint fresh. When in doubt, take at least 1 week off prior to beginning.
2.) Consider juggling different rep ranges, exercises and rest intervals during the weight training portion. Some find 2 short sessions a day more productive than one long one. Start with longer rest intervals as outlined above and progressively lower them each day. The key seems to be lowering the rest intervals each successive day. Do not be alarmed if your training weights drop as this is completely natural and actually a GOOD thing insofar as your alarm phase is doing what it’s supposed to do. It is not necessary to use stretch position movements at this time, they are best saved for the overfeeding or feast phase.
3.) Add 1 hour of cardio to your daily weight training sessions. Remember, we’re looking to increase muscle tissue breakdown. Nothing burns muscle like long distance cardio. Witness the physique of a marathoner vs. a sprinter.
4.) Avoid negatives and static holds: We are looking to deplete the muscle fuel substrates (glycogen, amino acids, etc.) not fry your central nervous system. The sole objective is to construct a training protocol that sends the message to your brain that something is “wrong“. Training wise, we do so by imposing demands that draw upon the ATP-PC, Glycotic and Aerobic energy systems workout to workout. With all 3 systems stressed, the body heightens all of its adaptive energies, setting the table for maximal muscle growth.
To objectively measure this, I recommend MultiStix(tm) urinary testing strips for protein excretion. These can be found online or ordered through your local pharmacy. They’re proof positive you’re creating the environment we’re after and will leave no doubt in your mind that what we’re doing is working. Order here: http://biousa.com/multistix–chemstrip-generic-10-sg-100box-teststrip. html?gclid=CJamjuGMxZgCFQpuGgodSBwR0g
If you’re not willing to take this route, there is another measurement available and it’s free: your sense of smell.
If you smell a strong ammonia odor during your workouts during the famine phase, you’ll know you’ve struck gold. This is the smell of acute muscle breakdown and exactly what we’re after. If you’ve experienced this in the past during certain workouts, now you know why. In that example, it was likely detrimental to your efforts.
Here we’re using it to our advantage, which brings us to…