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Old 11-24-2012, 05:11 PM   #36
Mark Fenner
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 165

Wow, immensely long time since a post.

But, I've been very physically active and I'm pretty darn happy about it. Last winter was very mild in the northeast and the upshot was that I had essentially no break in my mountain biking over the winter season. While I was sad to do almost no skiing, snowshoeing, etc., my biking really grew by leaps and bounds. I carried a ton of riding into the summer and I went from "middle of the pack" in our group rides to riding (admittedly, behind) with the front riders. Some of them are *really* good and it will take a substantial amount of work to truly ride -with- them [smiley courtesy of my son!]. About the only big downside is that I expected about three years out of my (new last year) hardtail 29er ... with the winter and not losing any riding time, I'm completely ready for a new bike. Drat!

As you can tell from the first topic bias, biking has become my preeminent activity. And I'm really happy abou that because I grew up loving two wheels; it just took me a long time to re-discover that old flame. However, I also love the iron and here's what I've been up to (for the last year!):

Nov 2011 saw me working ETK ROP and into Dec 2011 I started following Dan John's MMS SQ progression. As I mentioned above, I was *not* doing the entire program. However, the SQ progression really intrigued me. I ended up doing ETK style swings and C+P plus some pullups/supine rows. At the end of it, I got 50 reps at 185 in about 8:13. I can't emphasize the benefit of high rep squats for short "punchy" hill climbs on the mtn bike. That took me through (about) March first. March, April, May were consistent with a 40-workout type flavor. However, the end petered out and from June through September I had very scattered training (four workouts a month in June, July, and September; none in August!). However, my riding was just this side of insane (for me) and included a one week trip to Arizona with a good friend:

As it does, the iron called my name and I've rolled back into some training that leans more towards the "punch the clock" style of workouts that DJ has been advocating (and which works well in the context of other demands -- life, sport, work, etc.). I've settled on a super simple "template" that is a mashup of Pavel's PTTP as interpreted by Kelly Baggett (with clear flavor from Wendler's 5/3/1). Here's the important stuff:

Four days a week plus one optional; two full days rest between SQ2 and SQ5: SQ0, SQ5, SQ3, SQ2, SQx.
SQ0: 2 of 5 (medium); SQ accessory
SQ5: 2 of 5 (light-medium)
SQ3: 3 of 3 (medium+)
SQ2: 5-3-2 (medium+); SQ accessory
SQx: 2 of 5 (very light)

Essentially the exact same for BP. The days can be same (BP5/SQ5) or lagged (start the SQ early in the week and kick in BP later: BP5 with SQ3). The accessory can be skipped (Wendler's "jack shit"), they can be combined (just do some clean and press and accessorize everything), they can be super specific (the best accessory is volume), they can be upper/lower: sq accessory is dl + sq, bp accessory is bp and mp. But don't be distracted. Just do a little bit everyday with moderately heavy weights. Obviously, this takes an ego check or you can go overboard. Starting with Wendler's 90% as 1RM is a good start. I mix in pull-ups with my squats.

I do a warm up with goblet squats, swings, jump rope, etc. and some very targeted stretching or strength-stretching (bulg. split squats).

Or, I just drop it and do some goblet squats to get ready for SQ and pushups to get ready for BP. When I do that (and no accessory), I'm in and out in about 30 minutes. Very useful for my current life schedule. Combing the lifting with somewhat extensive cardiovascuar demands means that I'm eating like a darn growing teenager.

In other news, my wife did MMS and loved it. I give her a ton of credit: she's working out before going to work in our enclosed porch gym -- that means it's not exactly the height of creature comforts (think cold). But, like most other MMS followers, she's complaining about her wardrobe needing replaced. Between my training and riding, her lifting, and our five year old (thick as a brick, in a good way) son -- our food bills are slightly ludicrous.

I hope to give some updates on how the "punch the clock" template works. I think that if I can spend most of my time (1) ignoring the accessory work and (2) checking ego on raising weights, I'll see nice progress.

Ah yes, last topic: the hip and shoulder. The shoulder has been 100% trouble free. My hip on the other hand is constantly back and forth. Before I restarted lifting I had a good time of almost 100% pain free. But, even hard enough riding could cause a flare up. With the lifting, I have to moderate (the lifting) to keep it from getting too grumpy. That's ok though. It's a good lesson in wisdom. I am convinced that there is nothing "broken" in the hip. It's simply an issue of hyper active muscles and activation patterns. Which means I can push on it -- I just need to keep practicing relaxing it.

Best and happy holidays,
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