Marathoner: “I’ve been small and weak my entire life.”

As a bit of a followup to the cardio post from yesterday I link to one of my favorite blogs:

“To be an elite marathoner with a body that’s light and lean: while you’re running, you feel amazing. You’re fluid and economical, floating along without having to carry a lot of muscle mass,” says Hall. “But the rest of the day, to be honest, is not a lot of fun. My energy was super low [throughout most of my career]. I took naps every day and felt pretty much useless when I wasn’t running.”

Hall told me that even during his best years as a competitive athlete, he was “healthy” only in a narrowly defined way. As he put it, he was good at one thing: running. Everything else was rather laborious. Hall said he could be stirring pots of chili while making dinner and feel soreness in his shoulder the next day.

Resistance training is essential to getting fit and then staying fit as we age and there are several simple plans to help you get started.

Stronglifts is an good example of such a plan. The movements are not complex and they are only 5 of them you need to learn and work at perfecting the technique.

StrongLifts 5×5 workout: Get Stronger Lifting 3×/Week

Start StrongLifts 5×5 by doing workout A. Go home, eat and sleep. Two days later do workout B. Another two days later do workout A. Your first week will look like this if you train Mo/We/Fr…

StrongLifts 5×5 Week 1
Monday – workout A Wednesday – workout B Friday – workout A
Squat 5×5 Squat 5×5 Squat 5×5
Bench Press 5×5 Overhead Press 5×5 Bench Press 5×5
Barbell Row 5×5 Deadlift 1×5 Barbell Row 5×5

Start week two with workout B because you finished week one with workout A. Then keep alternating the workouts each time you go to the gym. Your second week will look like this if you train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday like most people…

StrongLifts 5×5 Week 2
Monday Wednesday Friday
Squat 5×5 Squat 5×5 Squat 5×5
Overhead Press 5×5 Bench Press 5×5 Overhead Press 5×5
Deadlift 1×5 Barbell Row 5×5 Deadlift 1×5

Keep alternating workouts A and B. Week three and five will look like week one. Week four and six will look like week two. If this doesn’t make sense, signup to my daily email tips to get spreadsheets – you’ll get an overview of your first 12 weeks. The app also auto-alternates workouts A and B.

Start light so your body can get used to Squatting, pressing and pulling three times a week. If you’ve done these exercises before, with proper form, start with 50% of your five rep max. You can enter your best lifts in the spreadsheets or the apps, and they’ll calculate your starting weights for you.

I personally don’t do traditional deadlifts because I still lack good technique, but I do a version using a trap bar instead. I also do cable pull rows instead of using a barbell as the machine is just a lot easier and quicker to use than finding space to setup the barbell at my gym. Nor do I use the apps or spreadsheets.  A simple notebook to jot down the weight I did that day and any other useful info from that session is sufficient.

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