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  #1  
Old 04-28-2010, 05:03 PM
OliverFoster OliverFoster is offline
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Default Body by Science - review and training log

Hi All,

Not really bodybuilding but some of you will have heard about the book Body by Science. You can find videos on this if you look up the title on youtube.

The author (Doug McGuff M.D.) redefines health and cardiovascular health from a medical and scientific perspective and does it very well (separating health from athletic competition). The main thrust is that infrequent (once a week), short (one set 3-5 exercises: 12-15 minutes), full body, high intensity / anaerobic weight training to failure has the following effects:

1. breaks down muscle but provides adequate time to rebuild, maximizing potential muscle growth and helping to maintain a healthy body weight. He recites a lot of research data pointing to the fact that unless you have low myostatin levels or are steriodic, training much more than once a week has been shown repeatedly to be counter productive. They have been running a gym for a few years and have had impressive results in terms of muscle growth and strength increases.

2. causes a glycogen dump giving you more leeway in your diet. The background argument is that "cardio" is an inefficient way of dropping body fat and that your time is better spent watching what you eat - basically a controlled carbohydrate diet.

3. causes a chain reaction at the cellular level which revs up the metabolism and ultimately has the exact same beneficial effect (post-work-out) as what is now referred to as cardio. Its now fairly well established that interval training gets the same job done as low intensity aerobics - the argument for weights is that you get the extra metabolic boost of more muscle.

They follow the "super-slow" weight lifting system with 10-15 second counts on positive and negative parts of lifts. There are elements of Mike Mentzer / HIT theory here such as stimulating different types of muscle fibres, avoiding counter-productive and possibly dangerous momentum, overly heavy weights, and overuse injuries. They recommend nautilus machines on the basis that it is easier and safer to train to failure - a good argument is made that your muscle doesn't know whether it is pressing against a machine or a free weight.

In a nutshell improving your appearance and maximizing your genetic potential as proposed by the book basically comes down to:

1. once weekly weight training; and
2. diet combined with drinking lots of water, which it is argued, stops your body going into starvation / fat storing mode.

He talks about how they used to start very unhealthy people on the program and tell them to not do anything else, only to find them jogging or cycling after a few months. He talks about how one of the early proponents of the system, Drew Baye, when he would see one of his trainees jogging on the road, would stop his car, get out and tell them to stop running immediately and walk home (you have to love that kind of enthusiasm in a trainer).

My view is that it is a great read and very thought provoking. There are some limitations though:

A. Its basically just a rough outline for exercise and diet;
B. It is very brief on diet considering how much the system depends on this aspect. Avoiding fat-loss plateaus involves more than just drinking water and restricting calories. There is more detailed info out there now on cycling caories and maintaining leptin levels.

There is too much to cover in the book. It blows up a lot of myths and explains the rest very clearly. I can't recommend it enough.

At the start of the year I was about 193 lbs (5'11"). I had the start of a double chin and my pants and shirts were on the tight side. I did the usual split wieghts routine with cardio and have tried to clean up my diet, although I have a tendency to have more beers than a strict diet would allow. despite that I have had fair/good results. I am now about 174 lbs.

Two weeks ago I started my own variation of the Body by Science workout with my wife. The main variation is that after reading other material including some of Drew Baye's material (baye.com) I thought I would try slightly faster repititions (6-8 seconds). I will try to track our progress here. I will start by posting the first 2 workouts already completed.
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:09 PM
OliverFoster OliverFoster is offline
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Default BBS - workout # 1

Training log OliverF & wife "FashionVictim":

Ages 42 & 41

First Body by Science type training session - trying to find our weights so that we could reach failure in less than 6 reps with pos. and neg. counts of 5 secs. One circuit, no breaks between exercises, keep breathing evenly throughout. Bear in mind we are doing this for the health benefits - no impressive weights will be posted here

Date: 19/4/10

OliverF:
========

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 270 lbs
12 reps
(wimped out before true failure, weight too light for a quick failure - increase weight next week).

Exercise 2. Single arm rows on bench - 50lb dumbell
4.5 reps left arm
5.5 reps right arm
(poor form generally - would prefer a machine seated row but gym has none)

Exercise 3. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 125 lbs
5.5 reps

Exercise 4. Chest Press - 87.5 lbs
6.25 reps

Exercise 5. Shoulder Press - 100 lbs
2.75 reps



FashionVictim:
==============

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 130 lbs
11 reps
(wimped out before true failure, weight too light - increase weight next week).

Exercise 2. Lat pull-down, wide grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 75 lbs
6.5 reps
(she was supposed to use narrow grip but by the time I realized it she was into the set so I let her go. She skipped some of the ab clenches)

Exercise 3. Chest Press - 50 lbs
7.5 reps
(fairly good set here - got to failure)

Exercise 4. Shoulder Press - 50 lbs
2.5 reps with assist on 3rd
(started on 62.5 lbs and couldn't move it so we decreased the weight, but it spoiled the exercise. She then took a drink at the water cooler and got side-tracked chatting to s/o for 30 sec.s)

Exercise 5. Single arm rows on bench - 25lb dumbell
6 reps left arm
7 reps right arm


Overall comments for both
=========================
V. quick workout. Interesting post-work-out feeling - continuing shortness of breath for about 5 mins. Obviously both need to adjust weights up and down to bring within target range.
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2010, 05:10 PM
OliverFoster OliverFoster is offline
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Default BBS - workout # 2

Second Body by Science type training session - 8 day gap since first training session. I have been watching my diet more and have lost a pound or two. My biceps are smaller than when I stopped doing the split routine. Definitely off-putting but if this works the extra free time is a huge bonus. I felt a bit rushed on the reps last week with a 5 sec. counts so we tried slowing it down to 7 sec. pos. and neg. counts.

Date: 27/4/10

OliverF:
========

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 360 lbs
8 reps
(didn't strictly fail on a rep but barely made the 8th - increase weight next week).

Exercise 2. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 125 lbs
7.5 reps
(to failure - improvement over last week because done earlier in the circuit)


Exercise 3. Chest Press - 87.5 lbs + loose additional weight
5.5 reps
(to failure - good enough effort with added weight)


Exercise 4. Shoulder Press - 100 lbs
1.75 reps
(need to reduce this weight - worse than last week because the previous exercises were done with more intensity)

Exercise 5. Single arm rows on bench - 55lb dumbell
3.5 reps left arm
4 reps right arm
(hard exercise to maintain strict form - will try using smith machine bar next week instead)




FashionVictim ("FV"):
====================

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 200 lbs
6 reps
(FV tried to negotiate for 180 lbs. She probably had another rep at the end but it was the most intense leg exercise I have seen her do to date).

Exercise 2. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 75 lbs
4.75 reps
(to failure - good form and effort here throughout. The 7 sec. counts work much better)

Exercise 3. Chest Press - 50 lbs
4.25 reps
(to failure - good set here)

Exercise 4. Shoulder Press - 50 lbs
1.5 reps with assist on 2nd
(need to reduce this next week with the slower count)

Exercise 5. Single arm rows on bench - 30lb dumbell
6.5 reps left arm
6.5 reps right arm
(good effort on this exercise considering how hard it is to maintain form - better than my set)


Overall comments for both
=========================
Another V. quick workout. FV did great this week. Both wiped out after in a good way. Some tinkering to do with weights for next week. Slowing the reps down was better. Still felt rushed on some exercises. May aim for 10 sec.s each way next week.
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2010, 06:37 PM
arian11 arian11 is offline
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Default

Interesting stuff. Good to see someone trying something a bit different from the norm on these forums. Can't wait to see the results. Keep up the good work!
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  #5  
Old 05-12-2010, 10:13 PM
OliverFoster OliverFoster is offline
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Default BBS - workout # 3

Third Body by Science type training session - We had friends visiting and I missed a week - had no car to get to gym. Diet also went to hell in a bucket. FV missed the following week - feeling sick. When you only have one session a week missing one really cancels any potential benefit I expect. Anyway:


Date: 3/5/10


FV:
===

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 200 lbs
12 reps

Exercise 2. Chest Press - 50 lbs
8 reps

Exercise 3. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 75 lbs
7 reps

Exercise 4. Shoulder Press - 50 lbs
1.75 reps

Exercise 5. Single arm rows on bench - 25lb dumbell
3.5 reps left arm
4 reps right arm

Comment - said she had a good session. Said she corrected the row weight up to 30 lbs when she realized it was lower than the previous week. Said she was feeling stronger generally. Her diet has not been good - no weight loss. When asked she said she did 6 counts. On that basis she dropped back. We will see how it goes on her next session.


Date: 10/5/10


OliverF: 8 second counts positive & negative
========

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 380 lbs
8 reps
(Very good set for me given the increase in weight couldn't quite straighten legs at the end of last rep but was basically a full rep. Got good deep knee bend on all).

Exercise 2. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 125 lbs
7.75 reps
(disappointed that there was negligible improvement)

Exercise 3. Chest Press - 87.5 lbs + loose weight
5.5 reps
(no improvement - v. tired at this point of circuit. Found myself thinking about it being hard on the grip / forearms)

Exercise 4. Shoulder Press - 87.5 lbs (reduced weight)
2.5 reps
(disappointed with this obviously)

Exercise 5. Horizontal Pull-ups, overhand grip on Smith Machine
3.5 reps and some partials
(this and shoulders are a weak area for me - in 2 weeks time I plan to do those 2 exercises first)

Comment:

Although disappointed with the later exercises I really felt it that night - it affected my sleep and noticeable stiffness the following 2 days. I think I got close to 100% on leg press and was drained. Overall it was probably not a bad session. I checked my weight - despite a week on the beer I am holding steady at about 175. Will focus on tightening up the diet a bit over the next few days - about 10 lbs of fat to go. If I don't start dropping again I will work in a Tabata protocol interval session once a week although that is totally not what BBS is about but I think they have more self control on the diet side than me.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:09 PM
OliverFoster OliverFoster is offline
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Default BBS - workout # 4

Fourth Body by Science type training session.


Date: 17/5/10


FV:
===

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 200 lbs
8 reps

Exercise 2. Chest Press - 50 lbs
7.5 reps

Exercise 3. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 75 lbs
6 reps

Exercise 4. Shoulder Press - 37.5 lbs
6.5 reps

Exercise 5. Single arm rows on bench - 25lb dumbell
8 reps left arm
8 reps right arm

Comment - stricter 8 second counts - positive / negative meant less reps. She crapped out on a few sets but said it was better than the previous week.



OliverF: 8 second counts positive & negative
========

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 380 lbs
9 reps
(last rep barely completed).

Exercise 2. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 125 lbs
9.75 reps


Exercise 3. Chest Press - 87.5 lbs + loose weight
6 reps


Exercise 4. Shoulder Press - 75 lbs (reduced weight)
4.5 reps
(disappointed with this obviously)

Exercise 5. Horizontal Pull-ups, overhand grip on Smith Machine
3 reps and some partials
(poor form - but worked hard at it - roughly the same as last week)

Comment:

Still feeling it Thursday morning. Anyone who has been doing split sessions for a long time rather than total body session may not understand this. Holding steady about 174 lbs. Some misbehaviour on diet
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:05 PM
OliverFoster OliverFoster is offline
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Default BBS - workout # 5

Fifth Body by Science type training session.


Date: 27/5/10


OliverF: 8 second counts positive & negative
========

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 380 lbs
10 reps


Exercise 2. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 125lbs + loose weight that sits on top
8 reps


Exercise 3. Chest Press - 87.5 lbs + loose weight
6.5 reps


Exercise 4. Shoulder Press - 75 lbs (reduced weight)
3.5 reps
(going in the wrong direction here)

Exercise 5. Horizontal Pull-ups, overhand grip on Smith Machine
3 reps and some partials
(roughly the same as last week)

Comment:

FV had a fall and skipped the session. Life got in the way and 10 days(!) went by before I got to the gym. The 8 second counts may have varied so I'm not sure to what degree there has been improvement. Can't get timing right for the shoulder press which is a long movement - was running about 10 secs each way on that I would guess. Overall I seem to be making some strength gains despite spending basically no time in the gym. Continued misbehaviour on diet. Self flagellation in order.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:22 PM
OliverFoster OliverFoster is offline
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Default BBS - workout # 6

Date: 3/6/10


OliverF: 8 second counts positive & negative
(note - this is not strictly BBS where it is 15 secs pos + neg)
========

Exercise 1. Leg Press - 390 lbs
8 reps


Exercise 2. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 137.5lbs
7.5 reps


Exercise 3. Chest Press - 87.5 lbs + loose weight
6.75 reps


Exercise 4. Shoulder Press - 75 lbs
3.5 reps


Exercise 5. Horizontal Pull-ups, overhand grip on Smith Machine
3 reps and some partials


Comment:

FV has not been back to this routine. Overall workout was o.k. Next session I will switch the leg press to the end - hopefully that allow me to progress on shoulder press and row. Hate to do it when I am making progress on legs though.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:42 PM
OliverFoster OliverFoster is offline
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Default BBS - workout # 7

Date: 10/6/10


OliverF: 8 second counts positive & negative
(not strictly BBS which is 15 secs pos + neg)
========

Exercise 1. Shoulder Press - 75 lbs
8.5 reps


Exercise 2. Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench - 137.5lbs
6.5 reps


Exercise 3. Chest Press - 87.5 lbs + loose weight
4.5 reps

Exercise 4. Horizontal Pull-ups, overhand grip on Smith Machine
3 reps and some partials


Exercise 5. Leg Press - 390 lbs
8 reps


Comment:

FV was at the gym doing her own thing and helped me out with the counts. Shoulder press reps doubled because it went first - but it burned me out for the chest press which dropped. Lat pull down also dropped due to different grip attachment used - bigger and harder for me to keep hold of. Pleased that leg press stayed the same - I felt I went a little fast on a few reps though.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:31 PM
OliverFoster OliverFoster is offline
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Default BBS - workout # 8

Date: 18/6/10

OliverF:

- 8 second counts positive & negative
- 5 exercises in quick succession
- one set only
- all exercises to positive failure - or as close as I can safely get.

(Not strictly BBS which is 15 secs pos + neg, also now rotating exercises to work on weak areas - see comments on Drew Baye.)
=======================================

Shoulder Press - 75 lbs X 9.3 reps

Lat pull-down, narrow grip with 2 sec. ab clench:
137.5lbs X 7.75 reps

Chest Press - 87.5 lbs + loose weight X 4.7 reps

Horizontal Pull-ups, overhand grip on Smith Machine
3 "good" reps and two partials

Leg Press - 390 lbs X 9 reps


Comment:

I have dropped some body fat over the past two weeks. Weight around 169lbs for the past 5 days. Definitely stronger than when I started this. Overall I am liking this routine a lot.

Last edited by OliverFoster; 06-21-2010 at 02:34 PM.
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