Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Strain Campaign

A month ago I had a wild-hair idea to prepare this 47-year old body for the '09 season.

What was it?

Just a little thing I called the 30 Days of Strain Campaign. I would for 30 days in-a-row do some kind of strength training in addition to a reduced swim, bike, and run routine. Each day I would either hit the gym to lift weights or, if the gym was closed or I couldn't find the time to get there, I would do a series of Army calisthenics (push ups, sit ups, one-legged squats, repeat) at home. These calisthenics also were my so-called easy days.

Some said that I shouldn't embark on such a campaing calling it a sure-fire way to get hurt and I was reminded that triathlon ain't a weightlifting contest. But, being the stubborn type, I went ahead with my own idea. However, I knew that strength training without setting a goal really wasn't of much use if it didn't lead to functional strength. So, I had to set a base line of performance.

On November 29 I put myself through this physical evaluation:

Eight repititions of two-legged squats: 160 lbs. ............ 1 minute rest,
Push ups to exhaustion: 42. .......... 1 minute rest,
Pull ups to exhaustion: 5
Body fat: 8.9%

Following a plan of alternating days of low weight/high repetition  and high weight/low repetition seemed to be a logical sequence to increase endurance as well as strength.

The campaign ended yesterday and that means today is final evaluation day. Here are the results:

Eight repititions of two-legged squats: 235 lbs. .......... (75 lbs. increase)
Push ups to exhaustion: 78 .......... (increase of 36)
Pull ups to exhaustion: 16 ......... (increase of 11)
Body fat: 7.2% ......... (decrease of 1.2%)

Something, unexpectedly, I learned about myself was, I didn't like the gym. And I definately didn't see the gym as a place to be social. I was there to get a job done. Give me a set of dumbells, some high-energy music, and a place to stand and I was set. The life of a gym-rat is not for me. Leaving the building gave me a puppy-escaping-the-pound rush.

Another good thing after the 30 days is my left knee is stronger than it was before I began the campaign. It's not 100% but it no longer hurts to run or climb stairs.

What's next?

30 Days of Running!

Stay tuned...


8 comments:

Greyt Times said...

AWESOME!!!!

untpawgal02 said...

30 days of running... HAH! I'll believe it when I see it!

Javier said...

It looks like you definitely achieved some pretty good improvements. NICE!

TRI TO BE FUNNY said...

Damn Boy!! That is awesome! I'll brag the day I can do ONE pull up!

Eric said...

Sounds like a great plan!!!

sbrtv said...

Awesome improvement Triboomer! Way to go.

I'm sure all the leg strength from the squats will set you up for a great 30 days of running and help fight off that injury from coming back.

SixTwoThree said...

Good job man! I know. You're just getting ready to impress the girls in Wellesley!!!!

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