Day 1. Time to train.
Ahhh… My first workout of 2012. I managed to do about 4 workouts over the Xmas period. Nothing heroic, I just did some strength stuff. Squats, bench, overhead press, dead lift and similar all for sets of 3-5 reps. I personally think that if your going to train infrequently then strength training is the best way to keep your fitness, condition, athletic ability, motivation and all round gnarliness from slipping the most. But then, I own a gym, so I would say that.
However, the sands of time have slid through the hourglass of fate and the first workout of a brand new year is upon us. As I outlined in a previous post my goal for the first half of this year is to get fit and light enough to survive a 57 mile yomp around the Brecon Beacons in sunny Wales. I’m not overly concerned about it really. It’s a long walk with some friends not a race to the death against the SAS. That said I do want to do it well and not be fucked for a week afterwards.
So how fit do you need to be to walk around the green, green grass of Cymru (that’ll be Wales for all you non-Welshies)? Well, not very fit at all really. Most people of reasonable fitness could manage to keep putting one foot in front of the other for long enough to complete the course. But I don’t want to merely cope with it, I want to cruise it. I want to cruise it with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I need a cunning plan.
A Cunning Plan.
My own personal weight is the most critical factor in making this challenge a . . . well, walk in the park. Which of course it is, it’s just that it’s a National Park. The lighter I am the fewer kilos I’ve got to move with each step, and there is a lot of them. Steps and kilos that is.
After the Epicurean feast of Christmas I currently tip the scales at a lithe and slender 105kg. I reckon that by the time that May rolls around I want to be about 95kg. That gives me 10kg to lose and will mean I have to move 10kg less with each stride of up-hill and down-dale. I’m not sure how many strides to the mile I take but lets call it 2000. If I’m 10kg lighter then in 1 mile I’m having to lug 20,000 less kgs – which over a 57 mile course means I’m not having to move over 1 million kilos. Which, if my maths is right, is a lot.
Goal # 1 – be less fat.
What will also make life easier is if I can be as strong, or stronger, then I currently am but at a lighter body weight – then everything I do will require less effort. Physical strength is the most important element to all round fitness. If you’re stronger then you’re fitter. This is the truth.
Goal # 2 – get strong(er).
What is fitness? It’s quite subjective: who is fitter a marathon runner or a sprinter? There is no real way of answering the question. A better question would be – Fit for what? What there is, however, are different aspects of fitness – Strength, Power, Muscular Endurance, Stamina, Flexibility, Balance, Co-ordination etc.
What I need to do is concentrate on the parts that will improve my performance on the walk, namely; strength, muscular endurance and stamina.
Goal # 3 – improve muscular endurance and stamina.
Unfortunately the best way to train for a long walk up several Welsh mountains would be to do exactly that, which is not possible for me to do with enough regularity to get any benefit from. With running the Gym, the kids, the rental property, rugby coaching and a ton of other stuff I’ll be lucky to find the time to hit the hills at all. Whenever possible you should try to make the training as specific to the event as you can. As I won’t be able to replicate race conditions what I plan to do is just get way fitter and stronger then you would need to be to walk all day and hope I don’t get a blister 2 hours into it.
Putting it together
Monday – Squats, Bench, Dead lift, some volume work and a little circuit of nastiness.
Tuesday – Cardio and Conditioning work. Something deeply unpleasant.
Wednesday – Squats, Overhead press, Cleans, some volume work and a small circuit of horror.
Thursday – Cardio and Conditioning work. Gasp, pant, puke.
Friday – Squats, Bench, Dead lift, some volume work and a tiny circuit of vileness.
Saturday and Sunday – Probably rest but I might throw in the odd little run.
In the following week I would change the order of the weights sessions so I’ll end up Overhead pressing and doing Cleans twice but only Dead lifting once. Attempting to squat 3 times per week may be quite grim but it will give me lots of leg volume to get accustomed to. Each time I squat I plan to alternate between Front squats, High bar back squats and Low bar back squats and maybe some Zercher squats just for the sake of variety.
Here’s today’s session:
5 min cycle
5 mins of body weight squats, lunges, hip thrusts and similar to get my legs ready.
Front squats – 4 or 5 warm up sets working up to 3 sets of 5 reps with 80kg
Bench press – Several warm up sets working up to 3 sets of 5 reps with 100kg.
Dead lift -Loads of sets working up to 1 set of 5 reps with 140kg.
10 mins of Ladder training with Close grip bench press and Dead stop bent over rows. What you do here is perform 1 rep on one exercise then do 1 rep on the other. Go back to the first exercise and do 2 reps on that and then 2 reps on the other. Keep going back and forth adding 1 rep to the total each time. If you get to 10 reps then start coming back down. Keep going, no rest, 10 mins. Easy.
As this was the first workout of 2012 I thought it wise to stop there. So I did.
Till next time.
Love and Rockets,