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40 min run in the woods at lactate threshold. Focused on form and a mid-foot strike but it just seemed to come naturally. I don’t know if it’s running on dirt trails, running in the woods themselves, or what. I felt like I could run forever at that pace.

My hamstrings are s-o-r-e from yesterday. I didn’t even complete Big 24 V, but I’m more sore after Monday’s session than any previous gym day during this cycle.

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Today went wrong – quick. I went in pumped to throw up some heavier weight, but from the very start it didn’t feel right. I don’t know if it was the lack of sleep, something I ate, the bike ride on Saturday, or all of the above, but today’s numbers were terrible. I tweaked my shoulder during one of the last sets of snatches.

Just an absolutely gorgeous day today. I went for an easy 38k bike ride down to Arlington Cemetery and back. Kept the heart rate below 150 almost the entire time. It felt good to be back on the bike.

Over the course of the rest of the day I’m going to do 30 pullups. At some point I’ll also crank out:

5 Rounds
2 min Sandbag Getups (65#)
20 Pushups

Direction for the 4th Big 24 routine was to get to 10# shy of Monday’s finishing load by the 3rd or 4th round and then finish all the remaining sets at that weight. I could feel the added volume. I hope to finish Monday’s routine 20# above where I finished today’s.

“The Exercise”

1 65
2 75
3 85
4-8 95

Power Clean + Push Press

1 65
2 85
3 105
4-8 115

Squat Clean

1 65
2 85
3 105
4-8 115

Finished off the session with 40 KB snatches @ 16kg

Rob’s “Ohio State” with some modifications as marked in red. I did it at home and had to work with the equipment I have there. I gotta do more running. This gassed me much more than I thought it would.

Warm up: 5 Rounds
20x Swings (M-20kg, W-16kg) 16kg, for 40 of the 100 I did snatches instead of swings.
HAM

Training:

(1) 6 Rounds
Run 400m 600m
5x Scotty Bob (M-25#, W-15#)
10x Slasher (M-20kg, W-12kg) 16kg

(2) 3 Rounds
5x Mobility Getup (use 10 or 15# dumbbell)
Rope Climb 5 Towel Pullups

One day off on the strength cycle. Couldn’t get to the gym on Friday so I went Saturday morning. It means I’ll have slightly less rest going into Monday’s Big 24 III, but that should be OK.

Big 24 II numbers (each set = 3 reps):

The Exercise:

1   45
2   55
3   65
4   75
5   80
6   85
7   85
8   90

Power Clean + Push Press:

1   65
2   75
3   85
4   95
5   105
6   105
7   110
8   115

Squat Clean:

1   65
2   85
3   90
4   95
5   100
6   105
7   110
8   115

Bench:

15   115
8    135
4    145
2    155
2    165
2    175
1    185

I’m adding a Bench Press to the end of my Big 24 workouts since that’s obviously a weakness of mine. I think in future workouts I will use the same 8 sets x 3 rep format as with the compound movements.

All the compound movements went up 5-10 pounds versus the previous Friday.

As I was in the gym I was thinking that the same format would work for the “Operator Ugly” tested lifts: Front Squat, Dead Lift, Bench Press.

I Hate This Part” is deceptive and just hurts. It hit my lungs much more than I thought it would have. I had to fight for the front squats after doing the jump lunges.

My loads:

Deadlift: 135

Front Squat: 135 for first two, then 115

Bench: 35 DBs

Lunges: 20 DBs

I gotta start getting into the gym in the mornings. After work it’s just crazy.

Today was supposed to be the first day of the 4-week Big 24 strength cycle. However, I was visiting my parents. I thought we still had a bar and some weights at their place, but I was wrong. Instead, I came up with the following work capacity routine with what I had: a 20 kg kettlebell and 65 lbs sandbag.

For time:

25-20-15-10-5 reps

– Strict Pushups
– 50 yard Sandbag Run
– Kettlebell Swing
– 50 yard Sandbag Run
– Sandbag Front Squats
– 50 yard Sandbag Run

So the first round would look like this:
– 25 Strict Pushups
– 50 yard Sandbag Run
– 25 Kettlebell Swings
– 50 yard Sandbag Run
– 25 Sandbag Front Squats
– 50 yard Sandbag Run

Second Round
– 20 Strict Pushups etc…

Hold the sandbag however you want on the run. There is simply no comfortable way to hold it since the same muscles you use to stabilize the sandbag are also the ones you need to breathe. Same thing goes for the front squat. This makes it a lot harder to recover and by the end of the 20 rep round I was hurting.

The sandbag pretty much forces you to hang on to it in a zercher hold. Bear hug is harder. Throwing it over either shoulder is easier, but then you aren’t really doing a front squat.

I did the workout in 23:55. I was happy to crank it out on a day most people are downing beers and eating chips, though it wasn’t the strength routine I had planned to do.

I started a strength cycle today. It’s a 4 week cycle that I’m going to do in 5 weeks. I’m going to do the first week twice in order to get used to the movements. Big 24 is heavily focused on snatches and overhead squats, two lifts that I haven’t been doing much. This week is helping me lock in the moves and get my body ready for the heavier weight that starts next week.

Just a 3.75 mile run at a decent pace (29:30 something = 7:50 something miles). That’s what I needed for a “rest” day between gym efforts.

A lot of folks will tell me that I’m wasting my time running. That cardio is incredibly mode specific. Here’s what I know: The purpose of my training is to be able to skin up a mountain for about 30-40 minutes at a time. So, an aerobic effort of the same length with some incline is probably a good idea. Not perfect, but not useless either.

I do plenty of interval stuff in the gym (tomorrow is going to be killer). I know that there is a lot of research out there that strongly supports the use of interval training. However, I also know that very little of what passes as interval training in the gym or in a fitness setting is done at the necessary intensity or frequency to elicit the endurance gains found in a study setting. Likewise, the science has been done for short training periods (4-6 weeks). We don’t have hard evidence that these short-term results replicate over the long-term. (See Lyle McDonald’s discussion here for more on this). So that’s why I still run. Soon I hope to be doing all this running in my Five Fingers, but my lower leg and ankle strength isn’t there yet.