Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Next Phase - Strength-Endurance

After pouring over various resources, I've cobbled together the next session of workouts (but I'm still evaluating as I go).

As I stated here about this, I decided to follow the 50/20 plan (which is based on Density Training) but with some twists.

1.) Two workout movements picked. In this case, I chose the Sandbag Clean & Press and the Sandbag Back Squat.
2.) The first movement (Clean & Press) is done on Mondays and Thursdays, the other (Squat) on Tuesdays and Fridays.
3.) Based on Prilepin's numbers and Wiggy's thing about Heavy Weights+Volume+Limited Rest, there would be 3 reps per set and the weight used would start around 55-65% (but I'm going to increase this sooner, I'll explain later).
4.) Rest intervals are timed with a digital cooking timer I got at DollarTree (works great!). 60 seconds after each set, reducing the rest period by 10 seconds with each new workout until I hit 20 seconds. Once the workout with 20 seconds is up, the next workout of the same movement will increase in weight by 5 lbs and the rest time clock resets at 60 seconds again.
5.) All workouts are within a 20 minute window and it is to be done with as many sets as possible. Obviously, as the rest times decrease, the number of sets will. (Yes, this does train Power-Endurance/Work-Capacity also - so I might as well get the best of both worlds).
6.) Eventual goal should be 17 or more sets with 20 second rests.

So far, I've done one Clean & Press workout and one Squat this week. The clean & press was at 60 lbs (about 50% of my calculated 1-RM for the Military Press), but the weight felt too light and I did 19 sets. This is too many for the first time at the longest rest, meaning that I'm more durable and need more weight. I'm going to increase the weight to 75 lbs today and decrease the time to 50 seconds for rest. That should get my sets closer to 14-15 at most. The squat was done at 137.5 lbs (about 53% of my calculated 1-RM for the squat). I could tell I was a bit rusty doing the squat at first since I had not really done any weighted ones for nearly a week. But I eventually got into my groove and I hit 12 sets in the alloted time. This is much better and on target for the number I should have landed on for sets compared to the clean and press. But I think I'll also raise the weight as well on this one (just needs a slight amp-up in the intensity).

While this is going on, I'm still running on Tuesdays (typically intervals) and Thursdays (typically tempo/Steady-State) and Saturdays (Long). I'm also doing the 100 Push-up program and 20 Pull-up Program as well for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as well at home (pull-up bar is there). Yeah, I've got a great deal more volume than before with my schedule being:

Monday - Lunchtime Clean & Press, PM Push-up and Pull-up
Tuesday - Lunchtime Squat, PM Run
Wednesday - Lunchtime Rest, PM Push-up and Pull-up
Thursday - Lunchtime Clean & Press, PM Run
Friday - Lunchtime Squat, PM Push-up and Pull-up
Saturday - AM Long Run
Sunday - Rest

Also, I'm Greasing The Groove and practicing my one-legged squats (pistols) and one-arm push-ups throughout the day. My range of motion is gently increased for both movements, but it's going to be a long time before I nail both of them down.

Since I suck at pull-ups, I'm starting on Week -2 and doing a great deal of negatives. But things are moving in a positive direction. However, I'll repeat that week anyway to improve. The push-ups are not going so well. Seems that my 15 max push-ups aren't translating well to week 1 of the push-up program (failed in set 4 of the first day and failed set 3 on the second), so I'll be repeating that week for sure.

One thing I'm trying to figure out is where to insert the Max/Raw Strength workouts. I know that if I keep up with the strength-endurance ones, I'll lose some raw strength in the process. I also need to watch out for staleness too and switch things up. But I'm sure I'll come up with something. Edit: And I figured it out. After getting to the 20 seconds of rest, I'll do max/raw strength work (upper-body on Thursday, lower-body on Friday). This will get me 4 sessions of max/raw strength work during this cycle.

During this cycle, I've got a few events that will supplement my training mileage.

11/28 - Seattle Ghost Marathon (5th week of the cycle)
12/19 - Pigtails Flat Ass (8th week of the cycle)
1/2 - Western WA Fat Ass (10th week of the cycle), but this is weather permitting since last year's snowstorm killed the event and a few brave/insane folks decided to give the run a go anyway in the heavy snow.
1/9 - Bridle Trails 50k Twilight Run (11th week of the cycle)

There's also the Last Chance Marathon on 12/31 and the 1st Call to Run Marathon & Ultra the day after on my birthday. However, I'm not in the position to start running back to backs just yet...not until the next cycle anyway. ;-)

I'm also experimenting with my nutrition as well. Following the Carbohydrate Curve on Mark's Daily Apple, I've set Mondays and Wednesdays as low IF/Ketosis days - keeping my carb intake at 50 grams or less. The rest of the week, I'm ranging from 100 to 150 grams a day with maybe one cheat day depending on my mood. I remember when I went almost completely carbless and the volume of weight I lost. However, I was a weak bastard and didn't do enough strength training and didn't eat enough protein and fat to supplement properly compared to now.

So far, the first low day was tough. The second one (yesterday) was much easier to deal with. I purposely set it up on Mondays and Wednesdays due to my running on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I felt that I didn't want to screw myself up too badly since running taps more glucose stores than lifting. Like I said, so far, so good.

What I'm expecting will happen in the next 12 weeks:

1.) A significant increase in stamina. (This is already happening, based on my last interval run - I reduced my time by 5-10 seconds.)
2.) Recovery time will improve. Less time to suck wind = More time to keep moving in a race.
3.) Strength gains I made during the first cycle will maintain.
4.) Body composition will change further for the better (lighter, but still durable).

Half-way through the first week. Let's see where the rest of the cycle goes.

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