Friday, May 24, 2013

HIT and the Middle Aged Woman, A Brief Case Study - By Jay Trigg

Originally posted on on June 19, 2000

Linda. White Female, age 42, starting BW approx. 154 lb. Height: 5’8", BF%, approx 34%

Linda came to me, as a referral from another client, and was looking to lose weight and increase her general sense of physical well-being. She has no sports aspirations, and has no desire to lift or compete competitively. Due to my exposure to Ken Leistner, the writings of Bob Whelan, Steve Baldwin (possibly the most under-recognized authority on training issue facing middle aged and older men and women) Ken Mannie, Fred Hatfield II, and Matt Bryzicki, as well as personal preferences, I train all clients as athletes, no matter what their "starting point". My opinion is that everyone benefits form a level of athletic preparation, which produces a greater positive effect than building "beach muscles", or attempting to "spot reduce". However, realizing her desire for a changed physical appearance I attempted to (as best I could) focus to some degree on her "problem areas", so that she could see a quick change in her body that would inspire hope and confidence. Recognizing her low level of existing physical fitness, I set a foundational routine to develop a base level of strength and conditioning, and would (and continue to) add more challenging lifts as her skills and confidence increase.

Lifts utilized between 3/31/00 and 5/26/00

Nautilus Leg Press
Stiff Leg Deadlift
Nautilus Pullover
Nautilus Overhead Press (Duo-Poly,
Parallel Grip Military Press (free weight)
Nautilus Compound Row (Duo-Poly)
High Pulley Triceps Push Down
Nautilus Preacher Curl
Nautilus Leg Extension
Trap Bar Deadlift
Nautilus Leg Curl
Nautilus Pulldown
Nautilus 10 Degree Chest (Flying movement)
Calf Press on Leg Press machine
Manual Resistance: front (deltoid) raise, military press, lateral (deltoid) raise

Initial Routine (3/31 through 4/28)

Day one:

Cycle three times through these exercises:

Leg extension
Leg Curl
10-degree chest

then abs and calf

Day Two

Leg Press
Stiff leg deadlift
Nautilus Overhead press
Compound Row
Triceps push down
Preacher curl

Routine from 5/1/00 through 5/26/00

Day one:
Same as Day two above, only substituting parallel grip Military press for Nautilus overhead press beginning 5/19/00

Day two:

Trap Bar deadlift
Leg curl
10-degree chest
Manual Resistance: front (deltoid) raise, military press, lateral (deltoid) raise

The first two weeks of the routine were spent orienting Linda to the exercises and their performance. No sets were taken to failure, and multiple sets were used to determine strength levels and to provide some intensity over time, due to minimal intensity "per set". After 2 weeks, Linda began performing 1 set to failure in all machine exercises, and working a "non failure, planned progression" on stiff deadlifts. Meaning she does only 15 reps in that set, but adds 5 lb. per week to the lift. This protocol continues with the Trap Bar deadlifts and stiff deadlifts. Her initial "sets to failure" were stopped well short of true failure, but I couldn’t very well bully her into going further than she was mentally ready to at that time. Each week her tolerance to discomfort increased and her intensity increased as well. Currently she is working to within 2-3 reps of absolute total positive muscular failure, which (in my opinion) is well within the range of typical HIT protocol. While this may not sound "tough" to the uninitiated, it is quite an intense experience for her, with the last rep on most exercises taking 4-6 seconds to complete. I daresay she is working harder than most women in the local area, and possibly as hard as any "hard working woman (or man)" in the area as well.

On most exercises she progressed linearly, via a double progression, with no hitches. Due to my exuberance, I overloaded her on the 10-degree chest machine at week 4, and she stalled out week 5. I under-loaded her in week 6, and was more conservative in weight increases on that exercise afterwards. She has maintained a good progression since. I have found that none of the women make fast progression on this machine, likely due to a general lack of muscle mass across the pectorals.

Weight progression

4/11 - 4/14 Nautilus Leg Press: 135 x 27
Stiff Leg Deadlift: 50 x 15
Nautilus Pullover: 60 x 23
Nautilus Overhead Press (Duo-Poly): 35 x 14
Nautilus Compound Row (Duo-Poly): 60 x 19
High Pulley Triceps Push Down: 35 x 20
Nautilus Preacher Curl: 40 x 15
Nautilus Leg Extension: 75 x 22 (first set)
Nautilus Leg Curl: 65 x 40
Nautilus Pulldown: 80 x 27
Nautilus 10-Degree Chest: 45 x 11

5/24 - 5/26 Nautilus Leg Press: 235 x 25
Stiff Leg Deadlift: 85 x 15
Nautilus Pullover: 100 x 13
Parallel Grip Military Press: 32 ½ x 15
Nautilus Compound Row (Duo-Poly): 110 x 14
High Pulley Triceps Push Down: 80 x 13
Nautilus Preacher Curl: 65 x 16
Trap Bar Deadlift: 90 x 20
Nautilus Leg Curl: 100 x 20
Nautilus Pulldown: 110 x 18
Nautilus 10-Degree Chest: 55 x 10

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