Wednesday, March 31, 2010

GSP Video, Testing at SSI, Direction of My Training

While this is nothing more than an ad for Under Armour, I think it's cool on a number of fronts:
  • One, it's an ad with GSP; I'm hoping most of you watched GSP absolutely dominate Hardy on Saturday night. 
  • Secondly, it shows GSP training with/in a number of different modalities; plyometrics, LSD, "battling ropes", suspension training.  If you think that just stuff he's doing for an ad, think again: the dude watching GSP jump hurdles is Jonathan Chaimberg, of the Adrenaline Performance Center
  • Third, it shows that an elite athlete, even with GSP's talent and natural athletic ability, has to both formulate a gameplan to reach his goal, and put in the hard work after the plan is formed.  The best thing that EVER happened to GSP was his loss to Serra---since then he's had mental focus like no other athlete I have ever seen.  Ok, maybe I read into that last one, but keep it in mind, because after you watch the video, it's the segue into my second topic.

Remember those ads from the 90's "Be Like Mike"? Now everyone wants to be like GSP. And rightly so.

Today I had the pleasure of going through a bunch of testing for the fire department at the Sports Science Institute here in Lethbridge with Lori and Carrie; this is a cooperative pilot project, and strictly voluntary for the guys on our department.  The testing included:
  • Bodyfat % using the air-displacement "BodPod" (accurate to +/-0.5%)
  • Explosive power measurement with Keiser leg and chest press
  • Vo2 max (tested in full fire gear) to measure oxygen utilization
Well, today was a mix of good and bad.  First, the good:  

I came in at 7.7% bodyfat, which totally rocks; I expected a decent number but nothing like that.  I feel I have a pretty good handle on my diet,  so all's well there.

 I also did quite well at the explosive power measurement; Lori and Carrie used a protocol of specific resistance based on my total body weight, and measured output against a percentage of that---I know that means nothing to anyone not there.  I scored above optimal wattage output for upper body, and blew the charts off the scale for lower...they had to actually bump up my resistance by 100#, and then retest me, because my speed was the same for the low and high, and I errored the machine, lol  I came in at 816 watts for upper body, and 2905 for lower; the highest on our department was 3050, by a guy over 50 pounds heavier. That's also the SSI record.  Optimal values for me would be over 650 and 2000 for upper and lower body, respectively.

Ok, the bad.  This is actually the reason for this whole post.  My VO2 max only came in at 40.4ml/kg/min.  Now granted, there's a couple of things to consider:

1) I had 40 pounds of gear on, and it's weight based,
2) Wearing a shitload of heat-resistant bunker gear is good in a fire, but not for body-heat dissipation, and
3) I still have a head (and now lungs) full of crap from the tail end of a cold; I was breaking a sweat and huffing doing demos of rowing and warmups to clients yesterday.   I honestly don't know the bearing it would have on my oxygen utilization, but one of the values that came out of the BodPod was a Thoracic Gas Volume of 4.154L; this is basically the "size" of my lungs, for lack of a better description.  Usage during my V02? 3.56L/minI'm missing 500ml somewhere.  One of the guys previously tested ended up having a HIGHER litre-per-minute value during his testing than measured by BodPod.  Now THAT is impressive.  He's a crusher in his own right, and chucks 250# motorbikes around during long-distance Enduro racing for fun.  He got 46ml/kg/min

Also, kinda bad: I officially weight in at 160#.  Fuck, eat a sandwich, already!  This actually *isn't* a bad thing, because it kinda elevates the numbers I throw around, but c'mon already.  I need another 25lbs in there.  Sure, I'd love to say I have a 225# clean and jerk and a 405# (might already, hehe..10lbs off)deadlift at 160lbs BW, but I rather have 25# of muscle and have those numbers a helluva lot higher.  Time to head to Mexico and talked to Jose about Dianabol and maybe a lil' Winstrol and a sprinkle of Sustanon.  No, not really.

So why is this an issue?  I have good numbers across the board.  The issue is I have a 24 hour mountain bike race coming up in 4 months.  That, and I should have scored way the hell higher.  I had a back in my 20s.  Holes.  In my programing.  Need to be FIXED.

Finding the piece to my Training Puzzle

After the testing, I got into a lengthy discussion on training periodization and specificity with Lori; I told her what I do with Crossfit, and I could tell she wasn't keen on the programming (as a whole, not CFLAs).  I gave her free rights to blast it, no holds barred, and while (I'm sure) she held back, she did make some fairly accurate assessments of MY programming, without actually knowing what I've been doing (or not).  She knew I trained Oly lifts, knew I trained metcon at max effort (heart rate), and new I didn't do sweet fuck all for long, slow distance (70% max heart rate).  Wow, talk about bang-on.  She went on to basically blasted me for not working on this area, and told me to "get my butt in gear, because that race is in 4 months".  LOL!  Fair enough.

One of the quotes Gant Grimes made that has been gnawing in the back of my mind is  that "Everything has a purpose"---and he talked specifically about the LSD that fighters do to create a solid aerobic base.  Yes, even in this day and age, fighters, be it BJJ, MMA or boxers, still put in roadwork.  Crossfit, as a "whole" almost dissuades any form of lower intensity aerobic work, with the mindset that running 400m laps in a 12 minute metcon is enough for a massive aerobic base.

Specificity in training is SO important---if you have a specific end-goal, in which case I do, and I need to tailor my training to meet that end goal.  So what will my training look like?

--->  Well, between now and July, LOTS of time on my bikes---both my road and mountain.  Weather permitting, I'll be biking to Crossfit, and it's roughly 15km each way.  My strength training will consist of the typical CFLA programming for Mon/Wed/Fri, of a compound resistance movement in a 5/3/1 rep range, followed by a short met con, probably twice a week.  This doesn't include long-ish forays into the coulees on my beautiful Santa Cruz Nomad, which I've been tweaking out of hibernation as of today.

Anyhoo, that's where I'm at.  Last year (The Year of The Bum Shoulder) obviously helped me gain leg strength and explosive power.  4 months of dedicated aerobic base training should elevate my V02, and have carry over into metcon once I'm back at it.

CFLA, March 29th, 1PM (Taken from here.)
  • Mid-hang muscle snatch - 50%(65#) x 3, 55%(70) x 3, 60%(80#) x 3, 65%(85#) x 3
  • Mid-hang power snatch + snatch - 55% (70#) x 3, 60%(80#) x 3, 65%(85#) x 3
  • Jerk - 75%(145#) x 3 x 3
Used a reference of 1RM snatch@135# and 195# for jerk.   First time using percentages of 1RM; snatch and power snatch felt light, but my 1RM is low due to technical brutality. 
3 sets:
15 hanging leg raises; no rest
10 bent DB row(40#s, heaviest we have at the gym); 1 min rest