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Strength Build

Strength Build

With my hypertrophy block successful, the next step is to build on that foundation. Next up is an 9-week strength-building block.

I've avoided the temptation to throw in everything. "Enough" upper body work really is enough. And I'll be geting plenty of bike-specific work on my bike. So the core of my strength workout is dead simple: deadlift, box jump, farmer walk.

The Workout

  • warmup:
    • kb swing: 20 @ 35#
    • 1-arm kb swing: 20 @ 35#
    • kb swing: 20 @ 50#
    • 1-arm kb swing: 2 x 20 @ 50#
  • workout:
    • barbell complex (2 sets, 5 reps each movement):
      • bent-over row
      • deadlift
      • clean
      • front squat
      • military press
      • back squat
      • Romanian deadlift
    • deadlift: 3 x 5
    • chin-up: 5 x 2 (working toward 3 x 5)
    • box jump 3 x 10
    • farmer walk
  • assistance/corrective: 3 rounds of:
    • plank x 60sec
    • jefferson curl x 5
    • resistance band rotator cuff work

So far, so good. First workout was tough, second felt solid, so I increased the weight for the third, and I feel it just right in my hips & hams.

I'm doing the barbell work Monday & Thursday, and doing easy loops on the bike on Tuesday & Friday. So far, that's working well. The bike rides are feeling better and better, and so are the barbell sessions, so... success? Or am I just not going hard enough in the gym? Dunno. I'll just track my progress and tweak as I go.

The Mental Aspect

I took a lot of comfort in doing the Mass Made Simple program, because basically none of the decision-making was up to me. I could see & feel myself getting stronger, and all I had to do was stick with the program.

Putting together my own strength program is far less comfortable.

Honestly, I'm a little stressed at being nearly 20# heavier than I was at this time last year, with ~3 monts less time than last year before racing starts. That really seems... not good.

But looking at the calendar, I'm fine. I've got plenty of time.

Looking at my records from last year has helped. It really only took me about 8 weeks to drop 10#, and if I do that again this year, I'll be happy. That would take me back to my racing weight last year, with significantly more muscle.

I've backed way off on the protein intake. I've bulked up plenty, and I know from experience that I don't need that kind of calorie/protein intake to build strength.

The Big Picture

  • Priorities, in order:
    • gain strength
    • don't gain any more weight
    • stretch goal: shed fat
  • Barbell Mon/Thr, bike Tue/Fri.
  • Weigh-in every Friday, with the goal being not to gain much.
  • If I'm not recovered for my barbell work, I'll cut intensity/volume on the bike. For now, strenght work takes priority.

And with a plan in place, I do feel better. We'll see where I am in 8 weeks.

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