First up, the guacamole, ham and cheese omelet. Nothing special here, except for the use of duck eggs — if you can get your hands on these things, by all means do so! Big, beautiful yokes — and so tasty! The photos below are pre and post fold; free-range ham steak strips, your favorite guacamole recipe, and Trader Joe’s raw milk cheese.
I’ve been spending A LOT of time in the fixie saddle lately, and one thing’s for sure as a result — my front squat strength has taken a hit. This is both a cumulative result (due to the total “saddle time” miles put in), and an acute issue — riding long, hard and fast prior to a front squat workout doesn’t bode well for pushing big numbers — relative to my winter, low mileage, front squat numbers, that is. The thing is, you can’t constantly dose the body with endurance demands AND expect it to maintain huge strength numbers. And, hey, I’m cool with that; it’s an accepted compensation, and I don’t obsess over it. The flip-side of this is that back when we rolled into the early spring, my front squat numbers were great, yet I couldn’t sprint (bike) around the block without my quads falling into lactate paralysis. The take-home point here is that my “strength with which to endure” is still way high relative to the demands of cycling — which makes me a much more proficient cyclist — it’s just not “high” with respect to wintertime lifting highs. The other point to consider here is that I’m an athletic generalist — if I were a competitive Oly lifter of course, this wouldn’t at all do, and all that fixie riding would have to come to an abrupt end. In the end, we all have to choose our loves, and our poisons.
The other issue here is time. I’ve only got so much time to devote to working out, and since my quads absorb the bulk of my riding punishment, it just doesn’t make much sense for me to batter them again (at the expense of under-working the rest of my body) in the gym. This is where having access to an Efficient Exercise-like facility would be oh so nice. In such a facility, the time cost involved with maintaining (and more likely, even bettering) my quad strength during the riding season would be minuscule. But you gotta roll with the tools you have on hand, and not look back, right? Right. Hey, I’m just sayin’…or bitchin’, however you want to look at it 🙂
You’ll notice that I worked some power cleans into the Friday evening session I haven’t done these in quite a long time — so long that my thumbs got hammered from the hook grip — and so I thought I’d begin feathering them back in by starting off very, very light and working out all the technical issues. I don’t have access to bumper plates, or even a good place to do the Oly derivatives, but I make do as best I can. So if you’re keeping score at home, I need access to (1) an Efficient Exercise-like facility, (2) a nice lifting platform with bumper plates, and (3) a city with a rich fixie culture. Sounds like I need to figure out a way to get down to Austin, huh?
Friday Evening’s Iron Session –
front squats: 135 x 5; 165 x 3; 185 x 3; 205 x 2; 215 x 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
power cleans: 135 x 5 sets of 5
then a superset of,
explosive rack pulls: 225 x 3; 315 x 3, 3, 3, 3
weighted parallel-grip pull-ups: 45 x 5; 70 x 3, 3, 3, 3
Explosive rack pulls: I set the rack pins so that the bar sat right about knee level, took a clean grip (with straps), and ripped off 3 full and explosive triple extensions. The difference between this and low pulls is that the elbows remain straight — in other words, the bar doesn’t travel any higher than “full shrug” level.
Saturday’s Gym Session –
This following a long hard stint in the saddle:
As a superset –
incline single-arm dumbbell press (on a Swiss ball): 75 x 10; 85 x 7, 7; 90 x 7
single-arm dumbbell row: 125 x 5; 130 x 5, 5, 5
Single-arm db presses on a Swiss ball allow for proper scapular movement. Remember from this post that this is a big reason that I prefer push-up variations to pressing from a bench for the horizontal push motion. I like to do these in a power rack, or near some piece of equipment that I can grab with my off hand. At the top of the press I twist slightly to the off-side so as to bring the weighted-side scapula off the Swiss ball — imagine attempting to eek-out an extra inch or so in height out of the movement. This also taxes the core quite nicely.
I’ll be huckin’ it around downtown Raleigh today (after brunch with my darling daughter at the Irregardless Cafe), so if you see a big guy on a black Biachi fixie, give me a shout. Better yet, join in on the ride!
Happy Father’s Day, Keith!
Cheers to athletic generalism. Interestingly, I’ve become a much better, more proficient sport-specific golfer thanks to training with the spirit you describe in this post.
Hey, thanks Brent!
Improvement in each sport requires its own unique mix of generalization and specification. The trick is to match those attributes with the current needs of the athlete. Sounds like you’ve lit upon the right combination. Constant n=1 evaluation, constant re-adjustment, continued performance improvements; this is *life* 🙂
Sounds like what I need, being stuck in Panama with no way to train. I’m sure I’m lighter and suspect my Deadlift will have suffered. At least being lean will put me in a great place to gain lean tissue.
Being lean gives one a tremendous head start in the physical culture arena. Your DL numbers will rebound in no time, as will my front squat numbers once riding season is finished. Yeah, I’m a wuss — my saddle time is cut drastically in the winter 🙂 BTW, it is tough to muster much empathy for your *possible* decline in DL numbers even as you’re vagabonding around central America 🙂
Enjoy it while it lasts, brother!
I like athletic generalism, that is until I fell in love with the Oly lifts. I’ve never said that about any sport. Eek. Your post is timely as I pull back (looking back) from other endurance-smacking SealFit/CrossFit opportunities. Tough tho. I have an Oly meet early July. I think I’m making the right choice. But if I were a “fixie hucker” perhaps I’d be telling a different story.
Roll with what you love, Beck — and with what makes you better at what you love — that’s the name of the game. My “problem” is that I love a wide variety of athletic pursuits that aren’t necessarily close cousins on the ol’ sports attributes continuum. You can’t get much more divergent than biking and weightlifting 🙂