As the holiday approaches, I look forward to taking a break. The last seven weeks of max strength training were an adjustment. I cut back this fall on interval training and on three days of weight lifting. Instead, I added new exercises like dips and pull-ups while refraining from using the weight machines. With a new focus on core strength and lowering my heart rate, I placed my trust in the New Alpinism approach.
At this point in my training, I have not set a new powerlifting record, nor am I sweating buckets on the elliptical trainers; but, I am confident that I am improving. Whenever I least expect it, I get a unanticipated second wind on the trail or a boost during hill sprints. I don’t know if there is a direct correlation, but, I already drank the kool-aid, so I’m sticking to the program.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the gym,
Not a creature was stretching, not even some sexy women;
The weights were put back in the racks with care,
In hope that members soon would be there;
The trainers were nestled all snug in the tanning beds;
While visions of exhausting exercises danced in their heads;
Nevertheless, I’m thankful that Week 8 finally arrived. I couldn’t have timed this period of low volume any better. The gym will be overcrowded due to the generous number of days off for Christmas and New Year’s in Germany. My body also needs a rest. I’ve been pushing myself the last couple of weeks. I had an on-and-off-again cold, and I strained my left shoulder when I added too much weight as per the book’s recommended pull-up program. I further compounded my shoulder problem by refusing to stop doing squats and deadlifts. I wanted to get closer to my previous maximum weight limits before transitioning to the next phase. Now I’m trying to convince myself that lifting another 10 kg won’t make any difference if I can’t sustain a lighter weight for a longer period of time.
The Rack at the Gym
With 13 weeks to go before I travel to Seattle, I’m going to use the holidays as an excuse to rest and relax. I’m not going to make any radical adjustments to my training program. I just want to ensure that the upcoming muscular endurance period will get me ready for Rainier.
I hope Santa will reward me for my dedication. I was the only one lifting weights this morning at 7 am. The gym was empty.
Empty Benches at the Gym
Just in case, I’m going to hedge my bets by getting a special max strength treat from my favorite bakery.