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Building the Monolith Conditioning Question


I'm lucky enough to have use of the athlete's weight room where I teach. It's nothing but squat racks, rubber plates, barbells, dumbbells, and me when I'm there, so I'm luckier than most. Two things we don't have here: a prowler and a stationary bike.

I lift Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday. I'm 35, have been lifting for twenty years, and have been following 5/3/1's various plans for four years.

Instead of the AirDyne bike, I ride my actual bike on our roads here, avoiding hills and generally keeping a steady, easy pace. Is that an acceptable substitution for the AirDyne bike? Since I don't have a prowler, I have been doing moderate sprints: enough to get the heart rate up, but not all out sprinting.

And finally, I know Dips are Assistance Work, but I'm just following the template. Our room had its Dips station broken and it will be a while before they replace it. I've been using Close-grip BP and Nosebreakers for the tricep. I know it isn't the same, so I'd welcome any suggestions.


I’m in a similar situation to yourself. I don’t have access to an Airdyne so I have to make do with a 10 mile cycle on a wattbike, which to be fair, has me blowing out of every hole in my body by the end.

Cycling, as you’re doing, should be fine. Maybe throw a couple of hill repeats in there to increase the intensity a little? Personally I try not to over think the conditioning side of the monolith. As Jim said, it’s there to help enhance your ability to recover and support the calories you’re consuming.

With regards to the dip situation, I would not sweat it too much. I sometimes replace them with push ups (varying my hand position every set) just to mix it up a little. It’s no big deal.


“…have been lifting for twenty years…”

You would know better than I would if what you are doing is appropriate for the program you are doing. However, replace dips with push-ups.