Like Dan John said: Anything works for two weeks. Nothing works after six weeks. I'm wrapping up the sixth week of my strength training cycle, and right on schedule, I'm hitting the wall.
Gains have been tapering down over the last few workouts, and today it was all I could do to grind out a repeat of my last workout. I added 10# to my deadlift, but everything else is flat.
So I'm calling this cycle done. Time to check the results, and see what's next.
The routine was dead simple. Twice I week, for six weeks, I walked into my garage and did:
- Deadlift: 3 x 3 @ 90% 1RM
- Romanian Deadlift: 3 x 3 @ 90% 1RM
- Press: 3 x 3 @ 90% 1RM
- Bent-Over Row: 3 x 3 @ 90% 1RM
I intentionally started out with lighter loads than I could have. I've talked about how cycling doesn't develop eccentric strength. And I was determined to follow my own rule: When starting something new, go easy.
That said, the results are still pretty good. I've added 100# to my deadlift and 90# to my Romanian deadlift, and 30# to my military press, which I'm happy with. And while I've added 4# of body weight, my body measurements (thighs, hips, chest, waist) are all exactly the same. So I got what I wanted: strength increases with minimal bulk.
It's time to back off on the weights and let my body recover from six weeks of hard work.
I hope a stronger posterior chain translates to more speed on the bike, but I'm not expecting anything major. Six weeks of basic strength work isn't going to move mountains.
Just the same, all my big PRs are from early this Summer, so I'm itching to post some new times. And I want to attack some of the major local road climbs that I haven't done yet. I've been eyeing Yerba Buena, Latigo, and Balcom.
The plan is to back way off on volume, but keep my max lifts where they are. So I'm going to try 2 x 2 @ 3RM twice a week. That should lower the total volume by about 60%, and let my body recover from the last few weeks of accumulated fatigue and be fresh for cycling. We shall see.