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Friday, 14 November 2008

The arm experiment...the beginning

I've been reading Coach John Christy's book "Real Strength Real Muscle”. He advocates micro-loading for a long time, using the same exercise. As a challenge he offers you a chance to prove for yourself whether his system works, by using the humble barbell curl. His challenge was simple pick a weight you can get 3 sets of 7 reps (3x7) with, but only do 3x6 (for week 1). Rest 5 full minutes between sets. Next week add 1 pound. That’s it! The trick is you do that every week for 1 whole year (52 weeks), & if you’re still gaining after that move down to ½ a pound a week, then continue on until you stall. He believes you’ll gain anything up to 2 inches (or more!) on your arms by following this simple formula.
OK what about illness, we all get sick, right. Well that’s covered. Any minor illness that makes you miss a session simply drop the weight to 80-90% what you were doing, then add 5% each session until you’re back up to 100%, then back to the pound a week.
I not completely convinced (or completely disbelieving) about this system, but I thought, I’ve never done very long term micro-loading & keeping to one bodypart means I can see how that fares against the rest of me & how I have been growing (I didn’t fancy the idea of being stuck with EVERY exercise being long-term micro-loading as I get bored with any exercise & like some variation, but I can do a curl with a barbell once a week no problems for a year, so we’ll see how it goes (you could use an EZ bar or similar if you prefer, but stick to the one you choose as bar weights differ).
If anyone else wants to jump onboard with this let me know (as accountability is a real aid to motivation) & I will need the odd reminder to stay with one exercise, without variation, for a whole year!
So barring any illness or injury you’ll be looking at me adding 1 pound per week until I stall or the 52 weeks end.
Bring it on!!!!

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