EMS Max Strength Journal

I’m fat/weak/slow right now - I was planning on doing 2-3 days of tempo and easy 10’s this week would this be a problem or would you recommend total rest? I am a little stressed from work and outside factors etc.

16 days until surgery, Tuesday, 6.25.13
HRV - 91.6, RHR - 62.6

Bulgarian SS 30X0 - 5x6 w/ 70lb DBs
Prone SL Leg Curl 3020 - 4x6, 40lbs
SL Leg Ext 20X0 - 4x10, 40lbs
Seated SL Leg Curl 10X0 - 3x8, 50lbs
Hip Abduction 2020 2 x 20

Speedcoach lv1
Quads - 65/55
Hamstrings - 48/34
Glutes - 55/45

Had to shift my training week back a day since I had to do some grueling workout outside yesterday. I’m going to do 7 EMS sessions before my surgery starting back with lv1 and progress to lv4. My pain tolerance has also gone up considerably lately.

15 days, Wednesday, 6.26.13
HRV - 87.4, 64.4

A1). Single Arm Braced DB Press 40X0 - 3x6. 40lbs, 50lbs, 60lbs x failed at 4
A2). Fat Grip Pullups 40X0 - 3x6
B1). Incline DB Press 4020 - 3x10, 40’s
B2). Lean Away Lateral Raise 2020 - 3x10, 15lb DB
C1). Scott Curl 1010 - 4x12
C2). Triceps ext machine 1010 - 3x12
D1). DB Shoulder ext rotation 5020 - 3x10
D2). Prone Wrist ext 1010 - 3x10

EMS active recovery on all muscle groups

Had an amber/orange reading today which means to have a lighter training day but decided to train through it.

I forgot to mention this, but remember that Kyle takes the reading seated, which should result in a lower heart rate and therefore a presumably a higher HRV score (lower heart rate generally means more recovered, higher HRV score means more recovered).

Once you stand up your heart rate generally increases by 10 to 15 beats per minute, thus Kyle’s score may seem impressively high. I don’t think this matters much, as it is how your score fluctuates over time that really seems to help.

What you say about speed power athletes scoring poorly is interesting, as my most talented guy, who is a total speed creature, tends to score very poorly.

I’m interested in who Joel Jamieson credits in his book, as he is certainly not one of the leading lights in the HRV movement himself. He may have a decent working knowledge, but I presume he borrows heavily from others.

Even though RB34 and I are using different brands of HRV, I believe we still have quite similar protocols. From what I understand, here are the differences between the two units:

Bioforce: recommends lying, 2min 30sec duration measurement, no controlled breathing
Ithlete: recommends standing, 60sec duration, requires controlled breathing.

For the first 4-5 months of HRV, I took every single one of the measurements from a standing measurement and most of the time they were in the 67-78 range. I switched to the lying because I found it to be more consistent. My RHR isn’t that low, and I felt like I noticed too much variance with the standing measurments because it took longer to get a signal.

Regarding what RB34 stated from Joel’s book about HRV scores and athlete type, I bet Tyrone could give us a good sample of HRV data from the sprinters he works with. I do know that he has a 10.85 sprinter who scores in the 80’s range from a standing position, and would probably jump up to the mid 90’s from a lying position. This example wouldn’t correlate to what Joel says in his book, but its important to realize that there are many other variables that affect running speed.

14 days, Thursday, 6.27.13
HRV - 88.1, RHR - 63.7

Bulgarian SS 30X0 - 4x6, 75’s
Prone SL Leg Curl 3020 - 3x6, 45
Hi Box Stepup 2011 - 4x10, 40’s

Speedcoach lv1
Quads - 65/55
Hamstrings - 45/37
Glutes - 60/45

I started refridgerating my EMS pads and they seem to stick better, especially the longer 100mmx50mm pads.

Hey RB, that sounds totally reasonable. I think if the exercise is low CNS stress you should be fine. It would only be an issue if you were doing some heavy duty speed and were moving pretty fast I think.

13 days, Friday, 6.28.13
HRV - 90.9, RHR - 61.8

A1). Military Press - 5x115lbs, 3x125lbs, 2x135lbs, 5x120lbs, 3x130lbs, 2x140lbs
A2). NG Chins 40X2 - 5x6
B1). Semi-Supinated Decline DB Press 4020 - 3x10, 40’s
B2). DB Shoulder Shrug 2011 - 3x12, 55’s
C1). Machine Scott Curl 1010 - 4x12
C2). Machine JM Press 1010 - 3x12
D1). DB shoulder ext rotation 5020 - 3x10
D2). Wrist ext 1020 - 3x10

12 days, Saturday, 6.29.13
HRV - 86.6, RHR - 64.2

Bulgarian SS - 60’s x 6, 70’s x 6, 80’s x 6, 90’s x 6
Prone SL Leg Curl 20X0 - 4x6, 50lbs
Leg Extensions 2020 - 4x10

Heaviest I’ve ever gone on bulgarian split squats with my thigh breaking parallel. Did not get a chance to do an EMS max strength session afterwards…

11 days, Sunday, 6.30.13
HRV - 93.5, RHR - 61.1

EMS active recovery.

10 days until surgery, Monday, 7.1.13
HRV - 93.1, RHR - 60.9

DB Rev. Lunge from deficity - 3x10, 40-60’s
SL Leg Press - 3x6, 150lbs
Prone SL Leg Curl 3010 - 3x6, 65lbs
SL Leg Extension 2020 - 4x10

EMS Max Strength: 4min of 3sec ON/17sec OFF and 4min of 5sec ON/25sec OFF
Quads - 65/55
Hamstrings - 45/35
Glutes - 58/44

9 Days, Tuesday, 7.2.13
HRV - 93.1, RHR - 60.9

A1). Military Press - 5x125, 3x130, 2x140, 5x125, 3x135, 2x145
A2). NG Chins 4012 - 6x5, 10lbs
B1). Semi-supinated Decline DB Press 4010 - 3x10
B2). DB SS 2020 - 3x10
C1). Scott Machine Curl 1010 - 3x12
C2). JM Machine Press 1010 - 3x12
D1). DB Shoulder ext - 2x10
D2). Wrist ext - 2x10

EMS active recovery - 20min all muscle groups

I had a conversation between Giovanni Ciriani, Derek Hansen, and Jimson Lee this week about a problem that I’ve been having with the 8sec contractions in the speedcoach program. During the 8sec maximal contraction w/ EMS, after 5 seconds into the contraction my muscles start to relax and the contraction gets weaker. I do not have this problem when doing the 3sec and 5sec contractions as I feel a very hard contraction throughout the entire duration. I typically have to raise the intensity up, but sometimes even this doesn’t change much. After speaking with these coaches, their explanation was that the muscle is probably getting fatigued too much. Their recommendations were to do more work in the 3-5 second range with EMS. This is what I will indeed start doing and it certainly won’t hurt me because it’s a lot more specific to my sport.

8 Days, Wednesday, 7.3.13
HRV - 95.5, RHR - 56.4

Bulgarian SS - 5x6, 75’s
Prone Bilateral LC 3020 - 5x6, worked up to 130lbs
SL Leg ext 2020 - 4x10
DB Hi Box Step-up - 3x10, 35’s

EMS MaxS - 4min 3sec ON/17sec OFF, 4min 5sec ON/25sec OFF
Quads - 65/55
Hamstrings - 47/34
Glutes - 67/47

The bulgarian SS was super easy today, must be getting stronger. I’m also going to note that it is time to replace the pads on my new EMS unit, I believe they lasted a little over a month.

7 Days, Thursday, 7.4.13
HRV - 92.0, RHR - 58.6

A1). Seated Military Press - 5x125, 3x135, 2x145, 5x130, 3x140, 2x150
A2). NG Chin 4012 - 5x6, BW+10lbs
B1). Decline Hammer press - 3x8
B2). DB SS - 3x10

One week out from surgery. I probably won’t have time to do EMS active recovery today because of the national holiday. Military Press wasn’t bad, I believe I’m getting close to my old personal best. I’ll have to look back in my old logs, but I think my old 1RM was 165lbs.

6 Days, Friday, 7.5.13
HRV - 92.6, RHR - 62.7

Bulgarian SS - 65’s x 6, 75’s x 6, 85’s x 6, 95’s x 6
Prone DBL Leg LC - worked up to 130lbs x 5 over 5 sets
-Prone SL LC - 1x failure each side
SL Leg ext 2010 - 4x10

5 Days, 7.6.13
HRV - 76.2, RHR - 71.1, ORANGE reading

EMS MaxS - 4min 3sec on/17sec off, 4min 5sec on/25sec off
Quads - 67/57, used cross-linked wiring pattern
Hamstrings - 44/37
Glutes - 60/45, used cross-linked wiring pattern but then switched to parallel.

I wasn’t able to do EMS MaxS on Friday because I got home too late after fooling around at Barton Springs in Austin. The heavy Bulgarian SS felt easier than I thought surprisingly, I will aim for 100lb DB’s in each hand this final week before surgery. I wound up doing the EMS MaxS session on Saturday instead and started experimenting with the cross-linked wiring pattern that Charlie Francis recommended back in his day. I did “feel/notice” more force being produced by the quadricep muscles but not as much muscle tension as the usual parallel wiring pattern. When I tried the crosslinked wiring pattern on the glutes it didn’t quite work right probably because of the way I place the pads. There was a lot more fluttering and unequal contraction as opposed to the parallel contraction. I’ll also have to note that I still can’t seem to figure out a way to get the glutes to contract without the painful “pins and needles” sensation during the contractions which doesn’t happen when I stimulate the quads and hamstrings. I’m going to continue experimenting with ways to eliminate this sensation and obtain a normal feeling contraction.
I did notice a difference in doing EMS on a separate day from voluntary strength work. I noticed that my muscles weren’t really all that fatigued like usual by doing it on the same day as voluntary work. I even did a couple of longer 8 second contractions and noticed that the muscles were firing during the entire duration, which has been a problem when I do EMS on the same day as voluntary strength training.
My HRV reading dropped 16 points on Saturday, could have been to a variety of factors. I woke up today and it was back up to 92…

I would try replacing your pads or make sure you use alcohol before sicking the pads and then make sure it’s dry … When the pads are not in full contact with the skin it feel like pins and needles. It sounds like you are not getting a full pick up from where you placed your pads.

I tried this out and did get some relief but the stinging sensation is still there just a little bit. Are you recommending putting alcohol on the pads, dry them, and then stick them on the skin? I’ve already been using contact gel and it helps as well, what are your thoughts on it compared to alcohol?

3 Days, 7.8.13
HRV - 91, RHR - 64

Bulgarian SS - 4x6, 80’s
Prone Leg Curl - 3x6, worked up to 135lbs
-Prone SL Leg Curl - 1x to failure
SL Leg Extension - 4x10, 60lbs

EMS MaxS: 4min of 3sec ON/20sec OFF, 4min of 6sec ON/35sec OFF
Quads (returned to normal parallel pattern) - 67/57
Hamstrings - 50/37
Glutes (used two 90x50mm large pads instead of four 50x50 small pads - 75/65

I’m still experimenting with the troublesome glute pad placement. I was able to complete the session with less painful contractions and even raise the mA up but am not sure if it’s more beneficial than using the smaller pads. I might stick with it…

2 Days, 7.9.13
HRV - 89.7, RHR - 63.7

A1). Seated Military Press - 5x130, 3x140, 2x150, 5x135, 3x145, 2x155
A2). Neutral Grip Chin-up - 6x5, BW+20lbs
-limited on time, had to leave

EMS MaxS: Speedcoach lv3 settings
Glutes only, used all 8 small pads - 53/43 with “Upper Leg” setting, 68/58 for “Lower Leg” setting
-did active recovery after this on quads

Problem is solved… No pins and needles sensation anymore for the glute muscles. I spoke with a Globus user who also experiences the same discomfort I do and he recommended that I use a different muscle group setting and using the “Lower Leg” setting rather than the “Glutes” setting led to a much better contraction. If anyone is confused for what I’m talking about, the pins and needles sensation that I’ve been talking about in this log has been bothering me for a while. The problem is now solved because I used a different “pulse width” parameter. The recommended “glute” setting for maximum strength work doesn’t have enough pulse width waveform duration, probably because I have more muscle/fat mass than the average person does back there. The solution to this problem is to use a different muscle group setting in the unit that requires a greater pulse width duration. In the Globus unit, you could use “upper leg” or “lower leg” settings instead of “gluteus” in order to attain more pulse width.

Charlie Francis mentioned over and over how important the muscles at the hip joint are in sports, it’s about time I finally found a way to successfully stimulate this muscle group via EMS!

Last day before Surgery, 7.10.13
HRV - 94.2, RHR - 58.2

Speedcoach Lv3
Quads - 73/63
Hamstrings - 61/41
Glutes - 62/52

EMS session only today, travelled to North Dallas for the pre-operation appointment as well. The surgeon told me that I have to be on crutches for two weeks minimum. If I have deep articular cartilage torn, he will have to do a procedure called “microfracture” to repair this and will be on crutches for 6 weeks total. Tomorrow after the surgery I will be meeting with a physical therapist and I’m pretty sure I’ll be very limited, however I’m going to see if I can still do EMS active recovery mode and possibly EMS MaxS on hamstrings and glutes still. After my surgery I’m going to be taking 20g of fish oil, 3g of arginine, 1-2g of Vitamin C, Gotu Kola, L-Lysine, 10g Glycine, and ZMA daily to speed up the wound healing process and possibly continue repairing cartilage. I’m feeling very positive about this surgery as many professionals have had this as well including Tyson Gay, Pat Mendes, Priest Holmes, Alex Rodriquez, Ed Reed, Steve Langton (bobsled), Kurt Warner, and Brandon Marshall to name a few.


I appreciate the words RB34.

Surgery Day, 7.11.13
HRV - 96, RHR - 58

Everything is going well so far and I got the news that I will only be on crutches for two weeks instead of 6 which is a major luxury. I haven’t had the chance to speak with my surgeon yet but he said that I REALLY needed this surgery from what he told my mother. He also said my bone spur was huge and I would be in hip replacement territory soon if I didnt get the surgery. The physical therapist is having me do really easy exercises to maintain some ROM without aggravating the hip muscles. She said that I could do light pulsing EMS on the quads but no MaxS and that I could do MaxS on hamstrings and calves. Overall I’m feeling good and have taken a major step forwards today.

How’s the hip?

Thanks for asking, it’s been 13 days post surgery and I just had my follow-up appointment today. Overall, the spot where I had my bone spur removal is still sore but the wounds have healed finally. The past two weeks I’ve been doing real easy rehab exercises and light pulse EMS and nothing else because I was so limited in movement. Over this next week I’m supposed to gradually get off crutches and return to full weight-bearing. I hope to see the physiotherapist before this week ends so I can get an idea of how I can speed this process up and see how I can incorporate EMS if possible.

2 Weeks Post surgery, 7.25.13

10min easy pedal on recumbent bike
Seated Hammer Pull - 6x10
Seated Hammer Incline - 6x10
SL Leg ext - 2x15, 15lbs
SL Leg Curl - 2x10, 15lbs
10min easy pedal on recumbent bike

Easy back into it, it’s the first workout that I’ve had since two days before surgery. I’m still being real careful because I’m not supposed to sit with my knees above 90 degrees. Right now I’m currently only using one crutch because it’s still hard to walk. I tried to get a PT appointment this week, but every place in Waco is booked until Monday. I think that I’m ready to start using EMS Max Strength mode again now that my wounds are healed and I had no pain from doing leg extensions. I’m going to start doing the sessions again tomorrow and will aim to get 4-6 sessions per week in.