In the middle of a new book I am writing about concurrent training, “Do What You Want”, all of a sudden it dawned on me to try a new plan of my own. I’m 44 years old, and I still thrive on goals. I simply can’t workout just to workout, and that’s ok. It’s who I am, and I am ok with that. The problem is that I needed to find something new to intrigue me.
Determining My Goals
It took me a while, but I finally came up with my new goals. I decided to perform a SuperTotal, which is something that I enjoy and have done in the past. The kicker is that I also decided to train for a 5K road race. There is a part of me that wishes that I had chosen a rowing for distance goal, but it’s too late – I am in it now, so maybe next time. Some might say that the SuperTotal isn’t very challenging for me, but you would be wrong. Last year, I tore my triceps tendon completely from the bone twice: once lifting and once from falling down the steps like a fool. I thought for the longest while that I would never snatch again, but I hate the word ‘never’. That word literally freaks me out, so I’ve decided to not let some silly injury dictate what I can and cannot do.
My overhead stability needs a lot of work. My left side is compromised from fracturing a cervical vertebra in 2007, and my right arm, the triceps tear. That leaves zero good arms and a lot of work to do. Week one has been fun and challenging, but it’s obvious that this isn’t going to be easy.
Notes on The First Week
The powerlifting portion isn’t quite as challenging, but wow it crushed me. I’m training the same as I did when I was in my prime; the volume is just as hard, but I am being a lot smarter on max effort days. I am not going to go to absolute failure. The goal is to listen to my training partner of over twenty-five years, Coach Chris Ox Mason. If he tells me to stop, I am going to stop. We have told each other that we are going to stop one to two sets before failure, and simply progress like that. This will take a lot of discipline for me, but my priority is my family, not working out until failure during training. That realization will keep me in check.
I am getting a pump every training session with a focus on my weaknesses like glutes, triceps (obviously), and shoulders. Plus, I’ll be 100% up front and tell you all that I want to get some pumps for the coming summer months. Yep, I too like to look good in my swimsuit.
The one piece of equipment helping to make all of this possible is the Westside Barbell Belt Squat Machine. I perform some type of movement on this machine 100% of the time that I am in the gym. The glute activity the machine promotes aids significantly in keeping my hips healthy. This glute activity, required for hip extension while using the belt squat, helps to keep my femur in a position that alleviates the hip pain that I feel most of the time. This machine alone has kept me out of surgery. I was scheduled to get a hip replacement at the end of last year until I started using this miracle machine.
Believe it or not, my favorite part of this new workout routine has been the added cardiovascular work. I’m using the assault bike for interval work, which ends up being the hardest part. On Fridays I am performing a recovery row with the Concept 2 Rower. Saturday afternoons I am taking a run/walk for 20+ minutes while keeping my heart rate at around 75% of my max. This is the key to increasing cardiovascular capacity without requiring lots of downtime for recovery.
I am also using information that I have gathered from Alex Viada. If you haven’t read his book “The Hybrid Athlete”, you really should. I refer to that book on a regular basis. It forever changed the way I look at concurrent training.
The mileage, time, and distance of my run/walks continues to increase for the next twelve weeks. The program is designed to peak me for a 5K, which is frankly something I thought I would never do, especially with this wrecked hip. However here I am looking forwards to cardio days. Who the heck am I? Alex what have you done to me?
Do What You Want
The whole point to all of this is to show you that you can do pretty much whatever you want. I hope this teaches you that no one should define the way that any of us looks at fitness and strength other than ourselves. The key is to enjoy what you are doing. I suggest challenging yourself in new and exciting ways on a regular basis. My new book is filled with a limitless amount of workouts designed to challenge you in several different ways. I am going to show you how to combine:
- Olympic Weightlifting
- Endurance Work
It was so exciting fitting these disciplines together in a way that coincides with the body’s energy systems and muscle fiber recruitment. It was like several big puzzles, and I used science to fit the pieces together. I am enjoying this new workout more than I have enjoyed a workout in over a decade. I look forward to pushing my body over the next twelve weeks. I intend to report back major success. I hope that all of you report back the same from challenging your own body in ways you never thought possible.
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Here’s a little sample of Week 1:
|Day 1||Week 1|
|Hang Snatch below knee||3RM 7 RPE, then -10% for 3|
|Box Squats||75% 7×3 with 60-90 sec rest|
|Seated Box Jumps||7×3|
|2″ Deficit Snatch Grip Deadlift w 5 sec eccentric||5RM 7 RPE, then -10% for 2×5|
|1a. Belt Squat RDLs||3 x 60 sec|
|1b. One Arm OH Fat Grip Dumbbell Carry||3x25yd ea arm|
|Airdyne or Row Sprints||2 min warm up|
|45 sec on and 60 sec off x 8|
|5 min cool down|
|Wide Grip Bench Press (wider than normal comp grip)||10 x 3 at 80%|
|Push Jerks||5RM 7 RPE, then -10% for 5|
|Pull-Ups||5 x submaximal reps switch grips ea set weakest to strongest|
|DB or KB Upright Rows||5×10|
|Dips with Eccentric Slower Than Concentric||5 x submaximal (if ten reps plus add weight)|
|Banded Rows||4×60 sec|
|Hang Clean||3RM 7 RPE, then -10% for 3|
|Front Squats||10 x 3 at 80%|
|Sumo Deadlifts||75% 7×3 with 60-90 sec rest|
|Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats stay at a 7RPE||4 x 15ea leg|
|Unilateral Farmers Walk||3 x 40yd ea arm|
|Recovery Row||10-15 minute recovery row|
|Stay in zone 2 or 75% of Max HR|
|Snatch Complex||P. Snatch double work heavy|
|Clean & Jerk Complex||P. Clean and push jerk double work heavy|
|Closegrip Bench Press||5 x 10 at 60%|
|Incline DB Press||5 x 10 at 60%|
|KB Bottom Up Z Press||3×10 ea arm|
|Long Slow Run||20 Minute run/walk|
|Stay in zone 2 or 75% of max HR|
|with a 5 minute warm up & cool down|