This is the first week I have been training with a goal of entering a strongman contest in May and a ½ marathon in April. As soon as registration opens for the Wilkes-Barre Triathlon I will be registering for that.
I had decided at the end of last year that I was going to do a distance run, a strongman contest and a triathlon in 2010. With those goals in mind I bulked up to a little over 225 pounds at the end of 2009. My only exposure to strongman contests was The World’s Strongest Man on ESPN, so I thought I would be going up against some heavyweights, maybe tipping the scales over 300 pounds. At the end of December, I found a contest to enter, printed out the entry form and noticed “weight classes,” another example of me jumping and looking for the net later. So now I can let my weight drop back down making the April 25th, 13 mile run a tad bit easier.
Anyway, back to the training. I took whatever weights I was using last week and added 20 – 40 pounds to my heaviest set. It has been one brutal week, but I love it. I am rediscovering muscles that haven’t been sore since I started back at Danko’s in 2008. I invested in some Meeko Power Straps to take the stress away from my forearms and grip during heavy back sets and let me tell you I was able to use about 40 more pounds on my heaviest back sets. The feel through the large back muscles is more intense than anything I have experienced in years. I am not neglecting grip work though, I do that on my arm day, but later on with what I think are the best grippers around; Iron Mind’s Captain of Crush grippers.
I am attacking all of my workouts with even more passion, and more vigor than I had back in my youth. I am also discovering that being fit at 45 years old is much more enjoyable and younger than being obese at 40.
I haven’t neglected my running. I am doing about 2 miles before my weight training workouts and 1 – 2 miles after, with 3-5 miles on Sundays. Right now because of my disdain for the cold weather I am running on the treadmill. I can’t wait for it to warm up just a bit more and the snow and ice to dissipate so I can get back outdoors. I skip rope several days per week.
In the past month I have ordered some past Strongman contest DVD’s. Watching the pioneers of the sport is not only enjoyable; it is motivational. I think we forget before he became a commentator the Kaz was intensity personified and watching the energetic Jon Pall Sigmarsson before leaving this earth way too young is awe inspiring.
If you are a strongman fan I highly recommend the videos available on the www.theworldsstrongestman.com. So far I have purchased and watched Thirty Years of Pain DVD and WSM 80’s 3 Disc DVD. I also managed to find on Amazon.com the DVDs Larger Than Life: The Story of Jon Pall Sigmarsson the Icelandic Viking and Strongman (2006) all great viewing.
I haven’t neglected my other goals. I also purchased and watched: Triathlon; through the eyes of the elite and Running on the Sun (a documentary about he Badwater 135 mile Ultramarathon beginning in Death Valley). All very motivational, inspirational and telling of the capacity of human strength and endurance.
Keep training and remember: being fit isn’t simply about living longer, it is about living better!