Biorhythms, cycles, and training. Just voodoo?

Biorhythms, cycles, and training. Just voodoo?

Oct 30, 2013

Life has peaks and valleys, ebbs and flows, good and bad, you get the idea. To believe you will not have bad if there is good or you won’t have downs if there are ups then you are sadly mistaken. Years ago when I had bad workouts on a competition movement I would go to Dairy Queen get a blizzard (for some reason it made me feel better) and promise myself next workout it won’t happen again. Sometimes, even as recent as this World meet, I would do the same workout two days in a row because I couldn’t accept a piss poor performance coming from myself. That is extreme and I wouldn’t suggest so close to a meet but 6-7 weeks out yes I would. DON’T underestimate what the mind and body can do when motivated. That worked for years then all of sudden reality kicked in, then 2 bad workouts would happen in a row. One bad workout, it’s a bad day, but two? If they happened more often then chances are something is wrong with my training or an aspect of it. When I could no longer just assume I could guarantee a good workout, next time I bought bigger blizzards, kidding.

No, instead of ignoring the failures and using them as motivation (doesn’t guarantee a good workout) for the next workout, I decided I needed to look at why. Was it overtraining? Rest? Supplements? Stagnancy? Or maybe just age and I can no longer make gains? The latter question would be a more prevalent thought now than 5 years ago.

Biorhythms. What are they?

                Life is a cycle. From menstrual, ovulation, and age. It is about highs ,lows, best times, and worst times. When we are born the cycle starts at the bottom and progressively works up and somewhere when we are in our thirties or forties we approach our pinnacle. At this point things start to work down. Physically we start noticing aches and the body taking longer to recover. It starts its breakdown. Maybe hearing, vision, flexibility or something internal starts requiring attention. Men in their forties start getting their yearly probings while women transition through menopause as early as their forties.

My point is with all these cycles how could people disregard biorhythms? A biorhythm is a cycle which comprises of three main components.

  • Physical.      Lasts 23 days. Entails coordination, strength and well-being.
  • Emotional. Lasts 28 days .It covers creativity, sensitivity, mood,      perception and awareness. Also nicknamed the “female cycle” since last same      amount of days as the menstrual cycle.
  • Intellectual. Lasts 33 days. Alertness, analytics,logical thinking,      and memory fall into this category.

Many consider this is a pseudoscience, a science where any credibility or lack of basis of scientific facts. Later in this article you will see how I noticed my own “cycle” and how it can dictate how my training went without knowing the actual workout.

No one is at 100%, in relation to strength. Accept it.

I believe if you learn your body’s biorhythm cycle (of course you need to believe in this) AND your strength cycle you can better your chances of peaking.

My study on my Bio cycle and meets

                There is a calculator for determining your bio cycle. There are a few you can customize online. They all use the same formula, so your results won’t vary. I used this one.

Here is a link. http://sitefoundry.com/biorhythms/index.html  I have taken my last 3 1/2 years of meets and compared the results with my bio cycle to see how accurate they were. I plugged in the day of the meet and then charted my emotional and physical percentages that day. I believe they work hand in hand. If you are emotionally spent the day of the meet due to outside circumstances then physically it doesn’t matter what your percent is. Emotional overrides physical in my opinion. Physical charting, well that’s common sense. I don’t need to explain that.

What I found was my Biorhythms were not a 100% testament to my performances. However, you cannot disregard 73% and 83%. That is pretty damn good. In future meets if I was to use the chart, I would pay closer attention to the emotional, but not dismiss the physical. The negative reading for the meets were not quite as good, so I would hold the positive readings closer to the vest.

Biorythm

Meets according to the chart were to be…

Meets I considered my results coincided with chart

Percent accurate

Positive Physical 0+

11

8

73%

Positive emotional   0+

12

10

83%

Neg. physical or   emotional >-1

4

2

50%

Negative emotional   >-1

3

2

67%

2013worlds

This was for my World meet where I had the best meet in my life.

Then and now

Well my first week back is never very encouraging so I keep expectations low, very low. Yes it is my FIRST time back at it, but after having a meet (that let alone was awesome, pr meet, for myself) you would expect to pick up where you left off, well that is not necessarily true. Years ago I would be upset but now I am happy it is a miserable week back. Why? Read on.

A few years ago I started paying attention to the first week back. I now can answer (post meet) if I peaked the day of the meet without looking at the numbers of the meet. By telling you how I did the first week back you can tell me too if I had a good or great meet without even knowing. This (first week) can help verify or validate my logic and training for that previous meet.

It has taken me years to learn my body and mechanics. I am still learning with the most subtle tweaks giving me jumps on the bench recently. I am currently trying to tweak my squat and dead for jumps in those also and it seems I may need a defibrillator for anything to happen. Few years back I can recall the first workouts back were powerful and leaving me thinking “Wow I feel stronger then at the meet.” I would look for, as soon as I was out of the gym, an upcoming meet to take that “power” to. At these meets that preceded these workouts I would labor through my 1st two attempts and pretty much miss my 3rd attempts. I couldn’t put a finger on it. I knew I was stronger but damn it was not showing. I was becoming a gym lifter where the best lifts were left there. Honestly who gives a damn about gym lifts or 2-3 board presses, rack deads , walkout squats when these don’t count in a meet!!! Yes they help get you stronger but if you don’t show it accommodating the competition movements then don’t get excited. I see people post videos of the aforementioned examples and seem more excited about them then actual full movements. WTF? Unless there is a 2-3 board contest who cares. Keep it in perspective.

Back then my last workout before the meet was a heavy double. Everything I had. That’s the approach I always used for years. Then there started a 4 year window where meets with prs were few and I was basically ending with the weight I was doubling in the gym. What was the cause of the turmoil? I believe two things, my personal life, was in bad shape and that was a piece, BUT age. Seeing I couldn’t recover as fast and be a 100% focused all the time I needed to give more time and rearrange workouts so I could be ready to go physically and mentally. I also started taking care of my CNS (central nervous system) by adding days off and supplements.

It was 3 years or so when I noticed I felt stronger the week after coming back from a meet. I rethought my game plan. At this same period I was bombing in bench nationals (4yrs straight, yes embarrassing) I needed to retool my mind and body. If I could bring the week after up a week then maybe I would have better meets. Feeling overtrained and having my opener feeling heavy (which was less to the double I was doing in last workout) was my guide line. So I dropped my heavy double workout (for all 3 movements) replaced with a deload week (which is just my opener for the meet) then that was it. I kept my 3 extra days of rest for the meet and wala I started feeling great at the meets. Openers were the way they used to feel.

I have written down every workout since 1988 so I had material to reference and not count on memory from years ago but actual facts. I noticed patterns from years ago. When I was doing well pretty much all the movements seemed to be on par or making gains. As life goes on I took notice that when some movements went up others actually regressed. Case in point, I would be able to preacher curl but a few months later it went down 15 lbs and my back movements went down. Within a month later I would notice the weights would go back up, at first I would fret and make changes, but after a while I noticed they would go back up without changes needing to be made. I also noticed if my behind the neck presses were strong then my bench was GUARANTEED to be on top of its game. The point is everything is cyclical. I learned not to fight it and worry BUT let life or training take its course.

I now do 4 week cycles in the offseason and for a contest. I remain fresh mentally and physically by the rotations on a monthly basis.

Conclusion

Don’t get me wrong I DO NOT base my life or meets around my biorhythm chart. The point of this article is to show that everything is cyclical and consider that even in training. Pay attention to even the most minute details. If you are not the talented naturally strong athlete you need to look down every avenue to make gains.

I am not asking for you to start believing in tarot cards or read your daily astrology but look deeper into your training. At some point brute strength, mechanics, supplements and nutrition are going to be tapped out. You will become stagnant so why not open your mind to different perspectives? Just because the weight is not in your hands doesn’t mean it won’t help you with the weight in your hands.

Have you noticed that some training cycles, including mine, are in four week increments? Also some maybe longer YET the 4th week of the cycle is a “deload”. Notice the physical and emotional cycles are in 3 ½ to 4 week range? Hmm. I am not saying these programs created by others were being built around a Biorythm chart but coincidence is more than apparent.

Yes you can leave this article with the thought this is garbage, but do me a favor, here is the link again http://sitefoundry.com/biorhythms/index.html compare your meets. Hell if it is irony for me and there is nothing more to it then so be it, but I am looking forward to Bench Worlds in England next year. According to my Biorythm I should have a great day.  🙂

1/28/2015 update. That world meet I placed silver!!!!

2014

information from Care2,degraeve.com and Wikipedia.

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