T Nation

10/20/Life and The 666 Challenge - Brandon Crabill

So I suck royally at keeping up to date with posting so I’m trying yet again. I started a log in the lead up to the XPC Finals at the Arnold. I did pretty well at that meet and have now moved into off season training. My goals are basically to be completely fucking awesome during that time. For starters here’s some basics…

I just hit an elite total of 1880 @ 184 at the end of February. I now am looking to push my total athletic performance a little farther by attempting a challenge put out by Harry Selkow from EliteFTS.

All raw obviously…
600 Squat, 600 Dead, 6 minute mile

Fun test for sure and I’ll be utilizing Brian Carroll’s 10/20/Life system and training as the basis of all of this. Anyway I’ll include my recent meet and some vids from training that just started for the off season. Hope you enjoy it!

Here’s my meet Vid

I guess I should share a little bit about how I’m laying out my training. Running on a 3 day split as coached by Brian Carroll. From there I have been including 2-3 days of various running lengths, usually spread out in a way that does not inhibit the performance of lower body based days. So basically it looks like this as of now…

M- Day 1
Tues- Run
Wed- Upper Access aka Day 2
Friday- Lower Access aka Day 3
Saturday- Run or…like this past week
Sunday- Try to run earlier in the day to allow for recovery for main work day

I’m holding up just fine so far and this is a good sign. As I go along I’ll share more specifics but that’s what a training week looks like for me right now.

So…Holy Shit!! It was perfect timing to deload on the strength end of things. I just really underestimated the mental and physical fatigue from the endurance training. I’m not a horribly deconditioned athlete by any stretch of the imagination but, it’s completely different to get out and put the miles in. It’s the battle of serving two masters and proving that it can be done. I’m more convinced than ever but I’ve been entirely more realistic about the consequences.

I’m going to be tired and recovery is more important than ever. What got me into trouble very quickly this past week was a lack of sleep and pushing my accessory days way too hard. I’m a tool bag by nature so I need to check my ego a little bit more and keep my eyes on the overall goal. I’m going to upload some vids shortly but strength is not an issue for me right now and I need to work the plan and get the whole package going.

At this point I’ve realized, my calories have to come up, but they need to be higher quality. As I begin to push speed based run training I’m most likely going to be moving one day of it to my main work day. It’s not exciting to think about but in terms of recovery and efficiency it has to happen. The tentative outline will be the following…

M: Main 10/20/Life day… and running day 1
Tues: Off
Wed: Upper Access Day
Thurs: Running day 2
Fri: Lower Access
Sat: Recovery day (running day 3)
Sunday: Off

The only possible alteration may be just taking the plunge and putting the other running day immediately following the lower accessory work. I’m inclined to believe that this is going to happen as the track work comes into play. Right now I’m still mostly incorporating interval based running with a longer recovery based run at the end of the week. I’ll keep going further in depth with my training as it progresses but it’s really a whole new level of body awareness for me. Interesting stuff for sure!

How are the times looking as of now with the running?

I promise I’m gonna stay up on this now! Jay, running is going very well. I know we’ve talked since this post but I figured I’d put it out there in general as well. So…The truth is very very sucky. I started with an initial mile time of well over 9 minutes…if I remember correctly it was either 9:15 or 9:30. Regardless it was not good. I knew no matter what I was looking at cutting a minimum of 3 minutes off my mile time to start. I’ve been pretty honest with myself from the outset and thought, hey if I get around 6:30 - 6:15 I’ll be good with that.

Keep in mind that this is all in conjunction with knocking out that 600 Raw Squat and Dead in the same week. When Harry Selkow put this out there a couple years ago I knew I didn’t have the strength to stand a chance of completing this then. This has been a long time coming and just waiting till the time was right. Its really funny to me that literally within a week and a half of settling on this I discover the training of Alex Viada. Shit changed…LMAO! Now I really do want to push under that 6:00 mark.

My initial concepts were a split based on the coaching from Brian Carroll and what he does with me in regard to the strength end. You can talk with Brian himself via the 10/20/Life group on FB and definitely pick up the 10/20/Life Book as well. Brian has made me brutally strong, no way around it. My back development is just surreal to me at points. I know I have a long healthy future because of the balance and guidance I’ve received from him.

I can never thank him enough for showing the faith in me he has. I’m not an easy guy to keep focused and I tend to isolate myself and disappear into training. This is a constant struggle for me, but we are making strides.

Anyway, the split and how Alex changed my opinions…

Initially I was doing this->

M- Main Day T- Run training day 1 W- Upper Acc Th- Run training day 2 F- Lower Acc S- Long Run Sun- Off

In the first two weeks I think I almost died…hahahaha. I couldn’t do shit, I was blown out mentally, physically, emotionally. I did the training but had I not been getting some awesome motivation from another runner I most surely would have quit. It was in that period though that Alex’s training and his views on splits came into play. 10/20/Life provides some solid break up points where you know you’ve got a chance to have the body come back and adapt in the recovery periods. I’d seen this in just the general strength end.

So I knew that if I could incorporate a more realistic layout to the running and its programming in conjunction with the strength end of things, I had a shot at this thing. That made me do the unthinkable…at least it seemed so at the time, combine running and training on the same days. AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

True story, it fucking worked. It allowed me to recover more. I know it seems crazy but it really is true. My times suffered on the runs at first as the intensity of hitting the main day and the lower acc day in conjunction with the running is very very challenging. I will not bullshit you at all there, this is hard. I’ve had to have a steady influx of Jamie Jasta screaming in my ears through many runs. But here’s the kicker, you just feel better.

So right now the split looks more like this

M- Main Day/Run Training Day1 Tues- Off or Light Recovery Wed- Upper Acc/ Light Recovery Thur- Off or Light Recovery Friday- Lower Acc/Run Training Day 2 Sat- Off or Light Recovery Sun-Long Run…Usually, had to change that this week

What’s Light Recovery? For me a lot of times its me getting a chance to work on some olympic moves or rowing. Just stuff that keeps me moving but doesn’t affect my other training. I’m a coach, so I constantly have things I need to work on, this split actually gives me a chance to do that stuff in a productive manner. I love it. Here’s the other part that I’m sure maybe if you pinned Alex down he’d tell you…when you powerlift and can run and stay conditioned… you really feel like a bamf. Lol!

Vids to come and some specifics on what I’m eating as well…hint: its everything I can get in my hands and into my mouth.

I’m a student of Alex’s as well. Your numbers are beast! Keep it up!

With Alex and Brian helping you out, I have no doubt you will get to this goal. I like this goal a lot. Its strength and fitness at the same time and its very doable.

Thanks guys! This is one of the cooler things I’ve ever had the opportunity to do. I am thoroughly challenged by it as I’m really coming in as a total beginner with the mile end of things. The truth is that I have always respected the mile as an accurate measure of decent conditioning and I’ve always been terrible at it. Running a 5k or something like that has never been that stressful to me because I have never really tried to push a harder pace. I was the guy happy with a 30min 5k. I figured that was good enough…well…now it’s a little more intense. Hahaha.

Actually going to update this bad boy today as I have some interesting insights that popped up for me over the past week and a half of training. Essentially at the halfway point of my training cycle so it was a point of evaluation and fine tuning. Probably be this evening before it’s actually up but it will be a fair amount of content I think. Btw…here is my top end doubles from a few weeks ago. I’ll obviously be beating these and then taking singles some time after…but more on that later!

So the reality I’ve discovered is that I am human. I need simple things like sleep, recovery, adequate hydration, and consistent food intake. These all seem like no brainers I know, but…it’s very easy to let little life events knock whole training cycles out of whack. This can lead to regression in progress or even worse…injury. I’m lucky to have a good coach and a solid group of minds to talk with through out this process so I can avoid needless tail spins. That’s not to say I do everything correctly, I’m just lucky enough to get called out when things get out of control. That happened over the past couple of weeks. I came into my training week with two days removed, if you sneak a peek up above you could see where this would lead to problems. I am very dumb, so I of course said, f$&% it! time to get stupid. That of course means I crammed my whole training week in. Doing double workouts on some days and essentially running on zero off days…I got lucky.

The big lesson is just don’t do dumb s$&% like that. There’s no need and your pride will break your body. It didn’t catch up to me until the next week but it did get me. Weights slowed down, my back and hamstrings couldn’t recover and I literally threw a fit on the track because I finally broke mentally. I hated it, I’d gotten so tired I had what I call training aids. I know this sounds crass but it’s an accurate definition to me. Your body slips deep into inflammatory responses, tons of flu-like symptoms and you can’t fight anymore. Usually it will pass after a good day of rest but for me it’s when I know…it just got bad, really bad. Sooo…I’m really lucky as I said. I didn’t hurt myself but I’m not even going to completely share the split I did because I think it’s irresponsible to do so. It’s not cool, it’s idiotic and I’m fortunate to have had it happen essentially at the midpoint of training. I get to reevaluate, refocus, and recommit to the broader aspects of my goal.

Eating is a huge part of this, when you get truly fatigued…you can’t get yourself to eat. It sucks and only makes things fall apart more so. So my simple synopsis of nutrition is this, eat quality first then put the fluff calories on top. I consume enough gluten and dairy to kill 75 dietary zealots, but I don’t do so with out taking care of base nutrition. Tons of quality fats, protein, and more carbs than I care to share. But it works for me! Brian set me up with a straightforward plan that works very well. From there, with the addition of increased energy output I had to include more simple calories. Namely…chocolate milk and Oreos…but, this stuff is on top of eating real food. It’s pretty common sense stuff and non of it is reinventing the wheel. You can’t eat bull crap all the time, but you cannot and will not consume enough clean foods training like this…it will not happen. You can try to prove me wrong, but I’ve got 3 packs of Reese’s big cups and 2 snickers that say you are wrong. But hey…what do I know…I’m just actually out trying to do, instead of talking. Here’s my 5s week and I’ll update some more vids soon. Again, huge thanks to Brian Carroll, Alex Viada, and Harry Selkow for being so damn awesome. These guys are all respected immensely for a reason and you should spend the time figuring out why. Typos galore, but no way in hell I’m rewriting this…