Going to start a training journal on here, even though i’m on “thin ice” and probably on the verge of being banned. Some people just don’t understand me on here.
Anyway, this won’t be a journal of every workout, I have a separate journal elsewhere for that, which is 499 pages @ I think 20 posts per page - so duplicating those journal entries would be somewhat of a waste of time. This journal will be more for tracking my goals, progress updates, race competition updates, training ideology, and some video/photos.
I was told my physique cannot possibly be rated on t-nation & my several year long thread was locked. Some people may think i’m annoyed or bitter about it - i’m not. I do feel like it’s an “injustice”, especially with how it ended, but those kinds of decisions are up to T-Nation, and i’m completely fine with it.
Just a very quick intro:
Born 1982: 35 years old
Body structure: extreme ecto
Weight: Low 140’s
Obsessed with basketball from ~1990 to 2003. Got tired of basketball, basketball injuries, & team sports.
Obsessed with computer security & software engineering from 1996 to 2016. Not really obsessed anymore, but do it for a job.
Obsessed with boxing from ~2006-2008. Hand injuries eventually, quit.
Computer Science major, switched it to Exercise Science & Physiology because I became obsessed with elite athletic performance
Bachelor’s degree in ES&P in 2007.
Trained athletes of all levels from 2007-2009.
Dunk/vert obsessed from 2008 to 2011.
Quit to take care of my immobile grandpa for two years. During that time I focused on vert/dunking, until 2011.
Quit athletic training to focus on a software engineering career.
Quit sw/eng job in 2015 to help take care of a family member with cancer.
Freelance sw/eng from 2016 to current.
Obsessed with running from 2016 to current. Want to figure out how to run like a Kenyan. Hopefully dedicating the rest of my athletic life to this pursuit.
That’s a quick run down.
Some people have made the comment, “well, if you’re into running, why do you post here?!” First, I don’t like running forums. Most running forums are full of annoying people who question everyone’s stats, claim every athlete is doing drugs, and act like assholes the majority of the time. I love the “real life” running community, the online ones usually suck. Second, not sure why a runner can’t post on here? Third, I don’t like living in an echo chamber.
Finally, maybe this is a request on my part. Anyone who is just absolutely annoyed with me to death, just try to not read or reply in my journal. It’s a simple request. Truth is, i’ve always enjoyed this forum & respected most of the members on it. After reading hundreds of T-Nation articles & being motivated by some of the members, it was one of the first forums I ever joined. FWIW, I think it’s been slightly infiltrated by “beta males with high E” who for some reason just can’t accept certain kinds of goals or pursuits. If you don’t agree with someone’s goals or motivations, that’s fine, just maybe learn to not go into their threads and spazz out like a pre-pubescent child with juvenile comments & attacks everywhere. I’m sure this intro will actually bother some of those members, and maybe that’s my point? Just try and exercise some self restraint and not spazz out in this thread. If such comments/attacks do occur in this thread, don’t expect me to reply. If serious questions or comments are posted, you know - normal forum activity, then sure i’ll reply.
Long story short, I used to be into dunking, but eventually got tired of it, got tired of lifting weights, and life got derailed a bit. During my peak of dunking/vert: I lifted every day, often several times per day, incorporating low to high volume heavy squatting, incorporated low level reactive work (stiff leg pogos, double leg bounds, etc), incorporating dips/pullups & plate swings, and jumped pretty much every day - but taking days off before maximal effort sessions. I was obsessed with just landing simple power dunks with max vert. The vert community is cool, but it’s also full of weirdos who get mad if you don’t do tricks. There’s also tons of people who question everyone’s vert, complain about rim height, complain about lobs, complain about squat form/depth, complain about genetics, full of scam companies like JumpUSA & scam coaches, and complain about not playing basketball - ie, but can you play basketball?! There’s just ego everywhere, and it can eventually make the vert/dunk world less appealing. Sure, do you and tune it out, but the community is all over the place. FWIW, the dunk community is much better now with all of these younger kids/dudes, they are much more positive & really support each other. I still follow the dunk game & alot of these young dunkers, I just don’t have the urge to do it anymore myself, especially considering I don’t want to “compete” in dunking. I did one dunk contest, a sprite dunk contest, it was fun, landed a few dunks… But I have no urge to do trick dunks, so competing in dunk contests is pretty useless: fans & judges would get annoyed with me doing the same dunk … futile.
Here’s a few videos: 1) 1 month of decent dunks towards the end before i stopped dunking 2) an example dunk session - what I loved to do 3) a very high volume squatting (off pins) demo 4) a heavy 20 repper 5) a rested max (5RM) @ 147 6) some single leg dunks 7) a photo of me at the sprite dunk contest
My goal with dunking was to jump nearly as high as T-DUB, and crush a simple power dunk, looking as if I were him. He was basically my role model for aggression in dunking. He could pull off incredible tricks, one of the best ever, but the footage I loved from him were the simple power dunks with maximum vert.
I love running, sprinting, and jumping: in that order. Running dominates most of my training now.
In comparison to dunking, the running community is way different. There’s 5k races every weekend, big 10k’s/half marathons/marathons here & there, and crazy fast mile races during the holidays. The events themselves are extremely fun, 99.9% of the people are positive. It’s like going to a meetup and everyone is on happy pills. It’s a great experience. It’s also fun to race people. You really have no idea who is going to show up, could be a fast race, slow race, who knows. So it’s fun to just go into it with the mentality of keeping up with the fastest person for as long as possible, that’s my strategy. I don’t care if it’s the world record holder in 5k, i’ll keep up with him for at least 800m. So races to me are very fun, it gives me something I can test my training against.
My ultimate goal is the ability to run a relaxed sub 5 mile, then figure out how to run them consecutively etc. I’ve learned alot from researching Kenyan runners and asking them & their coaches questions directly. I’m basically transforming my training regime, diet, sleep patterns, and mindset to mirror theirs. I am in awe of the beauty in which they, and the non-Kenyans who move there to run with them for many years, run.
So, I don’t want to simply go sub 5 using maximal effort: I want to be able to do it whenever, nice & relaxed. That’s the first mission. That’s also the key component to the rest of my goals later on.
Just need to be safe & stay healthy: that is the #1 priority.
Also, since I mentioned my dunking role model, my running role models are: Eliud Kipchoge & Mo Farah. Kipchoge especially, he’s the most consistent runner i’ve ever seen. He looks like a 5 second clip on loop for 26.2 miles. Absolutely astonishing.
I’ll post about my training methodology in a few days or something. So this is the last post for today.
The clips I took today are literally the first time i’ve ever seen myself run. These races I do, have horrible “photography & videography”, I post more & better photos/video than they do. It’s actually astonishing. So i’ve never seen myself running in a race, or taken video of myself prior to this. I normally run/train solo, so no training partners to take footage of me. I do meet up with a crew sometimes for track work, but i’ve never asked them to take any video of me.
Anyway here’s a few clips from today. These were at the end of my speed work track session: 2 mile warmup, strides, 4 x 400m with 100m jog rest @ low 5/sub 5 pace, a few 200’s, 2 mile cooldown.
It didn’t embed the videos. These next 3 are videos:
Taking footage like that isn’t the best though, I should be taking it of the actual workout. So, i’m waiting for the Soloshot3 to be ready for purchase in January, and then i’m getting one. This will allow me to put it anywhere on the track, and it will follow me, zoom/pan etc. That’s going to be a sick training tool, and i’ll get to really see what’s going on during a real training session, just give me more insight & visual feedback.
Finally saw 139 lb this morning. I’ve seen it several times after workouts etc, even as low as 137 a few days ago, but haven’t seen this bodyweight in the morning since my high school days, <= 2001. In reality, I don’t actually want my bodyweight to be , contraire to previous thread titles. I just want my bodyweight to level out & be whatever it is, and be as efficient as possible, specific to the amount of work i’m putting in. I think that’s what most of the people on here actually want, just in the opposite direction of myself. For example, a bodybuilder or powerlifter on here, as a result of becoming obsessed with heavy weightlifting, will add more muscle. Lots of people “want” to look a certain way, and do all kinds of weird & potentially dangerous things to get there, including drugs/PED’s IMHO, but I look at it from the simple lens of, let the work architect you. If you want to get bigger, do you force feed yourself? Or do you lift high frequency & heavy? The work itself will make you want to devour everything around you. So, back to running. Do you want to run like a Kenyan? Well, you probably want to eventually figure out how to run 120-150 miles a week. Just eat when hungry, and run more. Just eat when hungry, and lift more. I just prefer leveraging external stimuli, via “the environment around us”, to trigger long lasting & profound internal changes. Organisms adapt to changes in environment, so figuring out how create a new environment that constantly stimulates the changes you want, is how I usually approach things, and is how I approached vert for dunking, and now running. Doing that safely is so important though, and that’s where it sometimes can get tricky.
It’s admittedly a little mind blowing that i’m 139 @ 6’1, with still a significant amount of fat that can still be shed. I previously thought that would happen at around 135 lb, but now i’m starting to think that it’ll happen closer to 130 lb or even less, such as 128 lb or something “insane” like that.
Specific to my goals of improving my running as much as possible, my body architecture is a “gift” - light bone structure. Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that, being obsessed with Kenyan runners, that i’m starting to look like one. In the end, don’t really care what I look like, as long as I can perform the way I envision. People often say about elite runners, “that guy is born to run!” etc. Those comments usually bother me. For example, if Mo Farah was 160 lb, running 50 miles a week, would people say he’s born to run? Probably not. Instead, he’s < 120-130 lb running 120+ miles a week, of course he’s going to “look” and “perform” like he’s born to run. He might have some slightly higher than normal genetic advantages, which pointed him in the direction of running to begin with - success is addicting, but it’s his dedication, obsession, & work he puts in that creates the “genetic illusion”.
This 139 lb comes after my longest recorded week, 91.8 miles:
I log my diet and such, so i’ll do a post at the end of this week which contains everything I eat. It’s carb/sugar heavy, food, no supps.
I have some new shoes coming tomorrow. Always wanted to try the Saucony Endorphin Racer - <= 4 oz & 0 drop, but built for road racing unlike the shoes I normally race/run in (XC flats). I’m also going to do a 5k race on Saturday, so this week should be lower volume than the previous week. Here’s a tentative training schedule:
Week: 10/30/2017 - 11/05/2017
5k race on 11/04/2017
Monday: complete rest
– morning: 2 miles hard (@ < 5:40 avg, maybe), 1 mile moderate
– evening: 4 x 400m with 100m jog rest, 8 x 200m with 100m jog rest
– morning: very light recovery run: 5+ miles
– evening: very light recovery run: 5+ miles
– morning: 3 x 1 mile light (sub 6 though)
– evening: 4 x 400m with 100m jog rest
– morning: very light recovery run: <= 3 miles
– evening: very light recovery run: <= 3 miles
– morning: 5k race, with emphasis on a hard 2 miles
– evening: light long run
Sunday: complete rest
Week: 11/06/2017 - 11/12/2017: high volume, no race
I figured I’d be the first to post in your log since I think I might legitimately be the sole T-Nation poster who genuinely enjoys your contrarian nature, and what you’ve posted over the years. I remember posting in your thread when it was new, and I was also fairly new to my own journey. When you were into dunking, I was basically just a gym rat who barely looked like he lifted, but really loved the iron. I love seeing variety in paths taken. I think of you as essentially anything but a troll. You’re quite a bit more thoughtful than I think you’re given credit for.
I don’t know if this is of value to you or not, but I have a large, and mostly positive following on this site, so I hope maybe this post can help lend some credibility to your future posting here, or at least keep you from getting banned, lol. I generally appreciate and agree with Chris Colluci, but in this instance, I think it’s unfortunate that powers that be don’t particularly like your contributions.
I’ll also add that I don’t agree with your ‘what is bodybuilding’ points. Societal definitions of words evolve over time, and oftentimes context is divergent from, say, websters. Our society isn’t working by the websters definition, and you know that. Obviously you’d like to see the paradigm shift, and want to challenge that, but that’s different from saying ‘you’re wrong about what bodybuilding is’. I don’t mind the difference in opinion, I see where it’s coming from, I just think it’s a little hard headed.
Yo @flipcollar! Hah! Thanks & that could very well be the case, lmao. Also, very glad to hear you’ve enjoyed some of my posts. I’ve enjoyed many of yours & throughout the years just seeing you get more & more beast. When I think about potential heavy high rep squatting brethren on the forums, you come to mind.
FWIW, i’m a huge proponent of heavy high rep squatting for not just strength sports, but also speed/power sports. IMHO, just a very underrated tool to achieve pretty much any strength and mass quality. I first learned about “heavy breathing squats” from Strossen’s Super Squats, which I learned from Milo (a great resource). I often think about renewing my subscription, even though I don’t lift anymore. I then got even more interested when I saw “Sarge” deep back squat 98 (IIIRC) reps with 225 lb @ 225 lb bodyweight, one of Marunde’s (RIP) guys. That was an incredible effort, blew my mind.
I re-read some of that thread a while back, and noticed your initial post in that thread. It was interesting because, it seemed very different than the posts several years later, in which you gave me some very useful feedback, including slapping some sense into me when I was on one of my typical “I should stop drinking milk” phases. I’ve gone on several of those, because sometimes I just think, why am I drinking this stuff - even though I love it. Anyway I remember your reply which basically stated, dude if you enjoy milk & handle it fine, go for it. I actually got back on it soon after. I just enjoy the hell out of milk and it really doesn’t seem to bother me. Beyond that, apparently Kipchoge is a big milk fan, he’s been quoted as saying:
“I continued with my usual diet during my career. I have stuck with traditional food –ugali, traditional vegetables and milk –for long. This is what I was weaned with and I still believe it has helped me remain consistent in athletics.
“I strongly believe that courage, mental and physical strength helps in athletics,” said Kipchoge
To me personally, that’s always been the one “food” i’ve always questioned - even though I enjoy it and feel fine on it.
However, done questioning it. Feel strong & absolutely love a glass of milk that’s been in the freezer for like 10 minutes. 8|
So back to that thread. My posts changed too. It’s a mix of serious posts, and me getting into “spats” with members. Then eventually it tapers off into pretty much only serious posts, some of which may (or may not) include a bit of humor and “self deprecation”.
FWIW, I created that thread as a result of some of the responses I was getting on this forum. TLDR, lifting hard, eating good, jumping hard, dunking hard, those are all fine, but being “skinny” is unacceptable. Some people just get angry at people who are comfortable being thin. I’ve dealt with it in person and on forums. One of the goals of that thread, was to just demonstrate my confidence in how I look, as a result of my goals & training, and track how it evolved. For the most part, that didn’t happen, not so much because the thread was constantly subjected to getting derailed, but more so because of derailing myself towards other pursuits and then eventually acquiring new goals.
Thanks very much man! Based on your paragraph below, the above sentence is basically a good “forum reference”.
adarqui, not a troll – flipcollar
I think some of my goals, training, and ideas, sometimes come off so crazy to some people that they don’t even take a second to actually think about it, which I understand. Some people just genuinely hate me though, personality clash. As long as I don’t lose composure or let anyone’s comments get to me, i’m cool with it.
Thanks again man. Someone recently asked Chris to “drop the ban hammer”, so like I said above, your words are much appreciated, and they probably do help!
Thanks again for the kind words, much appreciated. I trimmed off a portion of your post so I can reply to it in a post of its’ own.
absolutely agree with this. Obviously my focus is on strength sports, but my sprinting speed today, weighing around 200 lbs, is faster than it was when I was 15 years younger and weighing 130. I can also grab the rim just as easily as I could back then. I think that says a lot about how much it helps to build substantial muscle in the legs and hips for all athletic purposes, and that, to me, is best accomplished through high rep, heavy squats. There’s a reason so many of the best athletes in the NFL are also tremendous squatters. When you incorporate high reps into the mix, the conditioning benefits are unreal. I joke around sometimes when people ask me what I do for conditioning, by saying ‘squats’. But it’s pretty true. There’s really nothing that compares to high rep squats for conditioning one’s body to all-out effort for 30-90 second intervals.
I pretty much agree entirely. My whole point with that though, was to try and illustrate that this forum means different things to different people, it has a fairly broad scope. There are members who just want to get lean, those who just want to get big, those who just want to get strong, those who want to get more fit, those who want to eat impeccably, those who want to jump higher or sprint faster, and combinations of these & more etc. So, this being a “bodybuilding” site, more so from the perspective of bodybuilding culture, I was trying to extract & define the various components that make up the actual definition, to show that disciplines one wouldn’t normally expect to share anything with bodybuilding culture, actually do. Pretty much everyone on here is dedicated to improving at least one of those components. Fewer, but still a decent amount, are dedicated to improving several of those components. Finally, far fewer completely specialize in one discipline and dedicate all training to achieving one goal, whether it be powerlifting, olympic lifting, bodybuilding, strongman, “traditional” sports etc.
Here’s a more concrete example. When I said I would have no problem doing a physique contest competition once I obtained “competition level leanness” (~5% body fat), people probably died from laughter and there were remarks like “you’d be laughed off the stage”, “look at this troll!”. The mere thought of me being proud of such a “skinny” yet extremely lean physique, drives some people mad. Contrast that to someone who is big and strong on this forum, who says they want to do a 5k race? I’ve seen it several times on this forum. This individual would most likely get a ton of support, as they should. If I were to witness lighter folks who run more, attack this individual for wanting to do a running race saying things like “lol you have no chance, stay home”, i’d be ashamed on their behalf. The bridge i’m trying to create here, is that both of these scenarios are the same, when you look at them more abstractly. It’s two different individuals who “specialize” in one discipline, and who may enjoy, admire, or respect those who specialize in another discipline, willing or wanting to temporarily cross over & experience another discipline. This doesn’t mean for one second, that they are expected to perform well or be competitive in the discipline that is foreign to them - in fact it should be expected that they won’t perform too well. It’s just to say that, someone who is very “skinny” may admire/respect those in strength sports where mass is a virtue or a necessity (such as strongman, bodybuilding, or NFL for example), just like those who are “massive” might admire/respect some of the things that thin athletes are able to specialize in more easily (such as running or jumping for example). It’s also to say that, people should be able to be proud & confident of their physique, especially if it’s a byproduct of the work they are putting in, whether that be running every day, or lifting every day. In addition, both of these example individuals I mentioned, who are on basically opposite ends of the “physique spectrum”, would not truly sacrifice their specialization at the expense of experimenting or recreationally competing in another discipline. So, for the runner who is proud of their physique, he/she may do a few things (calisthenics/lifting - but nothing significant) to tweak & tune their physique without sacrificing their specialization - running. For the massive strength competitor, he/she may do a few things to prepare for a 5k race (running, but nothing significant), but not at the expense of their specialization - strength & mass. Both of these individuals are “locked in” to their specialization, unless they decide to sacrifice progress by focusing more of their effort into a new discipline. Finally, both of these individuals, to excel at what they already specialize in, must share some common traits needed in order to become as successful as possible. Regardless of the exact details, these components include nutrition/diet, sleep/recovery, training intelligently, consistently working hard & exerting hard effort, being consistently dedicated, dreaming big, avoiding injury, being fairly meticulous about everything - or having a good coach, and competing. So regardless of the athletic discipline on this forum, people who are really dedicated share many of the same traits, and this being a forum with such a broad scope, just means it should be easier for people with all kinds of goals to co-exist, that’s why I sometimes state my position on these things & defend them (in my own threads), when I see some people try and “protect the tribe” they’ve created in their own minds, by attacking & bashing others.
Long story short, a dedicated runner, jumper, or sprinter should be able to be apart of the bodybuilding culture without going “all in”, just like a strength athlete or bodybuilder in the competitive sense of the term should be able to be apart of the running, sprinting, or jumping culture without going all in as well. I’m not approaching this from a participation trophy perspective either. Being apart of the culture to some degree, doesn’t imply being good at it.
In my own experience, i’ve seen several very muscular people racing at these 5k events, actual “dedicated bodybuilder” status. They stand out, you don’t see people with that kind of mass normally running hard at these events. Regardless of why they are doing it; fun/enjoyment, challenge, charity, competitiveness etc, they are still apart of, to some degree, the running community. Their participation also makes it better in general, because who knows what will branch off from it. Also, Levrone can (or could) sprint pretty damn fast. I’m sure that footage motivated some BB’rs & strength athletes to give sprints more thought.
When I took that admittedly “hard headed” leap and said that runners are bodybuilders, I was trying to just point out, based on the various components that make up bodybuilding & bodybuilding culture, that runners share some of these as well. From what i’ve seen online & witnessed in person, some people, especially “protective defenders” from these disciplines, like to make fun of the other. In a completely hypothetical scenario, a heavy set strongman might disrespect a “refugee” runner, and a very thin runner may disrespect a “fat” strongman. Eddie Hall is enormous, and is definitely no Pudzianowski when it comes to “physique” (but pudz was an outlier anyway). Mo Farah is ultra light and incredibly lean, but “looks like a twig” to most “manly men”. Both guys make sacrifices regarding their physique & diet: Eddie Hall eats a massive amount, in addition to his very intense lifting & strongman training regime - getting lighter would probably mean he wouldn’t be as strong, and thus as successful. Mo Farah eats a decent amount but has to be very careful because he needs his frame to be very light in order to achieve peak performance. Someone can look at Hall & say, “well sure he embodies more of the bodybuilding culture than Mo, Hall fits in here - but how could Mo have anything to do with the bodybuilding culture, look at him!”. But Mo is trying to get “contest lean”, so if he came on this forum, weighing 125 lb @ 5% body fat @ 5’9", if there’s even just one component he shares with this community, then it seems like he’d fit in given the broad scope - and that one component would probably be impeccable nutrition during his build up to his competition phases, to become as lean as possible without sacrificing running ability. Mo also loves lifting & credits it to much of his success later on his career, though most people on strength forums would look at his lifts, ROM, and numbers & not be too impressed. Regardless, it’s still another component of bodybuilding culture that he dabbles in.
Ok i’ve typed alot!
Thanks for your thoughts which allowed me to kick off this reply!
Yeah man. That’s dope about the speed improving while being so much heavier & basically still being around dunk level.
Since i’m not lifting anymore (currently), the thing that gets me close to “breathing squats” are 400m through 1km intervals. Intensity is high, but long enough to be “breathing squat” brutal. I do lots of those intervals, helps my running considerably. I also do 200’s, because like you said, it’s necessary to target that musculature of the lower body at high intensity. People who neglect speed work, usually don’t run at the level they could, if they simply incorporated it 1-2x/week. Speed work in the form of 200m through 1 mile repeats, can be very brutal. Feels like a lifting session, lmao.
I think alot of people on here, as long as they sprint and jump on occasion, probably experience something somewhat similar to you -> gain muscle & some fat, get faster & jump higher or about the same. It’s also potentially one reason why lots of people don’t “understand” the reverse approach, allowing ones self to get lighter in order to jump higher, sprint faster, or run faster. I mean, anyone can understand that, but given how many people who focus on strength/lifting end up actually performing better at explosive dynamic movements there are on forums, it seems pointless to many to sacrifice mass & such. Also just to be clear, it’s not always about getting lighter obviously, sometimes people do need to gain mass in certain areas; optimal “architectures” vary per individual, and someone can be lacking muscle or actually have too much, can’t generalize it. For the most part, I somewhat agree. I think where it starts to diverge, is when we start to discuss “elite performance”. This is when things start to converge to a fairly common theme. I was nowhere near elite level with dunking or jumping, but that was the goal, and with such big goals I personally think I made some solid gains. I honestly believed I was going to hit my head on the rim, lmao - had I kept it up for several more years, who knows. I’m now nowhere near elite level with running, but that’s the goal, expecting more than solid gains this time -> expecting to get it done. As a side note, I might be naive with my goals. but I genuinely feel I can reach an elite level with running, if I put the work in. In the end, maybe that’s just elite for “age group” or something. Not sure. All I know is the only way to find out, is to mentally set no limits & consistently push myself for several years.
To me, that kind of insight into the mind of someone like Kipchoge means alot. It transcends athletic disciplines. It’s kind of cliche to talk about the mental game in such a vague sense, “you need to be strong mentally”, I mean it’s easy to say that stuff. But really, alot of this stuff is a mental battle. The only thing I do know is: I don’t think we should set limits. Short term goals, among a linear progression of goals, sure. I mean maybe if I hadn’t been so dead-set on hitting my head on the rim, and instead wanted to hit my chin on the rim, i’d have gotten a little higher sooner? It’s funny but, I think we’ve all seen it with people, who for example, their ultimate goal is to bench “2 plates”. If they simply wanted to bench 4 plates & firmly believed it, would they make more progress? The body has all of these protective mechanisms in place, Verkhoshansky wrote quite a bit about it. The process in which someone goes from “normal” to “elite” can simply be looked at as an ability to tap into these protected reserves. This can also be used to explain why some people, of similar build/body composition/musculature etc, can perform “freak athletically” seemingly naturally: it’s possible that they just have less inhibition. Like a “governor” on a high performance vehicle, preventing it from hitting maximum speed - the CNS is very similar. Obviously there are other factors, but that one is rarely talked about. I like to think of it similar to the “optimism vs pessimism” analogy, but for training: are we trying to obtain more ability to produce force/handle tension, or are we trying to utilize our innate ability by reducing inhibition. It can be both, but you don’t hear about the latter too often. Though, in the running world, you often hear coaches talk about the “callus”, ie, building the callus to the grueling, painful work. This analogy they use, is more along the lines of the “reducing inhibition” approach. For some reason, this is a fairly common theme in the collegiate/pro/elite running circles. This is a great quote:
As for strength sports, from what i’ve seen & experienced, there’s a ton of callus building with heavy high rep squatting & high frequency lifting in general.
Also I’ve mentioned several times, my legs felt “bionic” after making heavy high rep squatting the primary focus of my lifting routine. It not only improved strength, but work capacity & conditioning improved substantially. My legs also usually felt “light and bouncy”, which is something i’d normally get from a day of rest: heavy high rep squatting @ high frequency, eventually made my legs feel like they did following a rest day. That was one of the most remarkable things I experienced with it. It took me a short while to adapt to it, but once I did, I could breathing squat several days in a row, and each day feel great - I think the TUT in combination with the massive blood flow, recovering by breathing between reps, is an incredible stimulus. It also teaches you how to relax, without even thinking about it, which is very important for cyclic endurance sports.
As long as I continue to do bar dips & pullup variations daily, I should maintain at least some upper body “mass”, and it helps with my sprinting so. I imagine if I completely stopped doing dips & pullups, my upper would shrink back to h.s. levels of “caved chest” - again that’s not good for sprinting so, can’t let that happen. Also throwback to a beanie I used to dunk with.
Definitely lots of progress with the body composition compared to even just a few weeks ago. Still have a decent amount of work to do & clean eating before I get to my goal body composition though - Mo Farah Competition Lean:
The more I have gotten into running the more I have taken note of this and found how important it is. There is a young skinny guy who runs with me who has very little mass. At the start of the run he is quick and sets a good pace but cannot maintain it as his upper body starts to cave in and sap energy. The more he shrinks over and flails his arms, the slower he goes.
Keep it up Adarqui, you have only ever been helpful to me and I wish you the best in your goals.
A lot of stuff that could be talked about in this post, but I find this part to be the most interesting. We underestimate the value of quality goal-setting, both in long-term and short-term. Goal setting is so weird, and I still haven’t truly found what’s best for me. There’s a ton of truth in what you’re talking about regarding our ‘protective mechanisms’. The place I’ve recognized this most is in the clean and jerk. I can be consciously doing all the right things, but when I go to actually jerk the bar with a very heavy weight, I simply don’t jump under the bar. I WANT to do it. But my body is scared. It fights my mind. It’s really maddening. Like there’s a point where my body won’t do the thing I want it to do, even though I consciously know I’m capable of doing it. Like, I have the musculature, the speed, everything regarding to split jerk, say, 250. I can strict press nearly that much. And yet when I attempt it, everything falls apart. Whereas I know plenty of guys I train with who just have zero fear, and they adapt to the jerk very quickly.
This is why I tell people I’m very unathletic. And they laugh because of how I look and what I’ve accomplished. But at the end of the day, I have almost zero natural athleticism, which I characterize as essentially the ability to quickly adapt to athletic movements, and have strong, intuitive neural connections that allow a person to really harness their potential unconsciously. I don’t have, like, any of that. I brute force my way through events, and just overpower them. lol.
I’m Following along on this log. I don’t find your goals to be an issue; there are a lot of people on here that would benefit from having a clear goal, even if it isn’t getting “swole.” Keep trucking, those avocados aren’t going to eat themselves!!
I just re-posted the last photo (posture) so it embeds that incredible Mo Farah form.
Yeah man for sure, it’s extremely important. There are so many little pieces that add up and contribute to one’s running economy. These elites have such incredible posture. It’s more visible in something like a marathon, where even the top guys can start to fade at various portions of the race, usually around mile 20 or 22 etc. It doesn’t happen as much for shorter races (5k-10k) because these guys are just so strong that their posture doesn’t usually break down, it’s just that people can’t hang with the speed of the leaders at some point. For most new or novice runners, these shorter events are more similar to marathons for elites, but instead the break down happens at mile ~2 (~3.5k) for a 3.1 mile race (5k) for example, instead of mile 20. Which is incredible when you think about it. This is one reason why no matter the distances they race at, high level runners often utilize long runs (at least once a week), at a manageable pace, for all of the additional strength benefits that come with it, not just the cardiovascular benefits.
Also, I personally think there’s such a thing as “mental posture”. This is something I personally experience alot. I can lose my “mental posture” by looking at my watch (and realizing how slow I am), or seeing a clock during a race, etc. This is obviously just part of the mental game, but to me it seems to fit within the idea of posture.
the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting.
a particular way of dealing with or considering something; an approach or attitude.
I find running to be EXTREMELY mental. One can easily break down entirely due to what is going on in their minds. So, one of the big differences between high level runners & the rest of the planet, they can really just stay focused on the objective and not “psyche themselves out etc”. So they hold themselves mentally, very strong.
Also for that guy you mentioned, it potentially sounds like he’s efficient early on, perhaps even more so as a direct result of his body composition + bodyweight, but he just lacks the postural strength endurance that would allow him to remain more efficient, and as that posture collapses, his pace tanks. So early on his lightness may help considerably, but is no match for postural collapse later on. Direct strength work in the form of weightlifting or calisthenics can help, but so to would maybe more running, though no idea how much he already runs or trains, but it’s just something you see often. It can also be eye opening, when you have a footpod, which tells you your stride frequency and stride length. It’s nice to pinpoint when you started to “sow down”, and see what may be the biggest contributor. You’ll often see both decrease, but one more so than the other. For me, stride frequency can drop slightly, and stride length can drop dramatically. I just don’t get the “pop” per stride that I do early on. IMHO, that’s related to how i’m built -> I want to go hard and get it done with, I don’t have much patience in a race. For example, I can’t say, “ok for this race i’m going to run at X pace”. Instead, my mindset is just go as hard as the fastest, for as long as possible, and see what happens. If i’m considerably faster than the rest, I still push it but not as much as I would if I had someone to race against. So I think that kind of mentality just drives me towards going hard early. I imagine years down the road, if i’m still healthy and running, it’ll still be the case BUT i’ll be able to maintain crazy paces for a decent amount of time, simply because my “running 1RM” will be so high, and paces relative to it will be easier.
One thing you hear about is runners, “running tall”. In the Mo Farah photo I posted, that’s a good example of it. In addition to incredible lactic thresholds, vo2 max, and stroke volume etc, these guys get the most out of their stride as a result of hundreds of thousands of miles run, and it’s effect on their posture & mechanics. That’s why I don’t like actually focusing on mechanics or form when I run, I just want the “skill”, using natural mechanics, to be acquired as a result of the volume.
This is actually a really good video, one of the best i’ve seen on form drills. It illustrates a few key difference between elites and novice/intermediates. Regardless of the proficiency of the instructor at the drills, or just his superior coordination in general, his ability to fully extend his knee (when appropriate) & the strength he has to control his limbs is very important. He’s often seen fully extending his knee - whether it’s upon landing or as he swings his leg, while his students do not. He often extends it upon landing, which helps him preload his gastrocs more and it gives him more bounce through his tendons. He also extends it upon swinging it forward, which is going to help him extend his other hip more forcefully. So both of those things working together, might give some the idea that he’s just more genetically bouncy than the students, which could be somewhat true, but his mechanics/posture is solid & it gives him more bounce, a much more efficient movement than that of his students. These are the small things most elites do well & it takes them to the next level.
So, even though I mentioned not focusing on form when i’m actually running, I do think drills like that are important, because over time they do provide a skill & strength stimulus. They are also just a great warmup, and can get the muscles firing/CNS woken up.
That last photo especially … He’s just relaxing, demonstrating a drill at very low velocity, and his leg is very locked.
If you watch the video, you’ll see the “overprotective” mechanisms kick in for pretty much all of the novice/intermediate runners. Their body doesn’t want them to experience even such a simple position, there’s tons of protective activation going on to make sure they don’t use more tendon and potentially stress their joints more as well. That’s some overanalysis on my part, but I see it alot in not just running, but also jumping.
One simple way to experience the difference is to play around with it during something at very low intensity, such as jump rope or just light hops by themselves. “Nearly locked” knee & relaxed dorsiflexion of the foot will give you more reflexive “bounce”. The more you stray away from that position and land with knee bend, you’ll notice the movement become more muscular, with more energy used, and requiring more effort to rebound.
That’s one important thing i’m trying to figure out with running, because I think these elites (especially Kenyan elites who generally run using barefoot mechanics, with shoes) use “more tendon” and novices use “more muscle”, so that’s just a simple generalization of the spectrum of running economy.
I’m following - I think you’re batshit crazy, but in a good way. And, I appreciate your hops. My brother is now 56, but in high school he could dunk and he’s 5’10", so I appreciate the effort it takes.
You do write an awful lot, but hey, it shows you’re thinking. Maybe too much, but at least you’re thinking.