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.
30 Days of Running!