I’ve been doing Starting Strength to get back to my old PRs. I’m approaching my old bench PR and am beating my squat, deadlift, pull-ups, and overhead press PRs.
However now I have 6 weeks to get into good cardio shape for my spring rugby season. This requires a lot of running, so I was wondering what a good way to set up my training week would be. This is what I have in mind:
Monday - weight lifting
Tuesday - interval running
Wednesday - weight lifting
Thursday - long duration running
Friday - weight lifting
Saturday - interval running
Sunday - off
My first question is what weight training program should I do? My first instinct is the Madcow 5x5 program, which is a weekly progression of about 5lbs. However, since I will be doing all the extra cardio, I thought I could bump the progression down to 2.5lbs so I can adapt with all the running involved.
Does this seem like a good program considering my goals are mainly to add some strength and retain my (rather pitiful) size while I get into cardio shape?
The interval running is based on a program I read about in a book called Periodization for Rugby. It’s supposed to increase your VO2max and critical power, which I believe really determines how quickly you get fatigued (but not necessarily speed, but I just need to not get fatigued).
I thought the long duration running is a less taxing way to increase my cardio shape that I can do before my PR day on Friday.
In terms of diet, I get three big meals a day (my college has great food), as well as two shakes I make (milk, kefir, fruit, protein powder - around 700cal) for brunch and before bed. I’ll have a workout shake with about 50g of whey and 30g of carbs as well (quickly followed by dinner).
I’m naturally lean, so I know I’ll have to eat like a pig to stay the same size. I might stock up on snacks like mixed nuts and peanut butter, but also candy and chips, which I find easier to eat massive amounts of.
Since meals change day to day, I don’t know what the exact calories are, but I can safely say each main meal is at least 800 calories (lots of meat + lots of pasta + sandwich + salad w/ olive oil + glass of 1% milk). Underestimating everything else a little bit leaves me at about 4000 calories.
I wish I could be more precise, but I would rather not look at the food schedule every day and do lots of math to get an exact number, which would change daily anyways. I just make sure I get enough protein at each meal, then stuff my face.
Does this seem like a good plan? Is there anything I can eat to take before my cardio sessions to not lose weight? I’m not interested in losing fat or anything, I just want to increase my cardio conditioning, so if eating several peanut butter cups prior to running would do the trick, I’m all for it.
I’m 5’10" 165lbs, low bodyfat (I don’t know exactly but I have visible abs and serratus). I’m squatting 215x5, deadlifting 250x5, benching 190x5, pressing 115x5, and doing 3x6 pull-ups with 12.5 lbs added.
My goals for now are primarily to increase my cardio fitness, then to increase my strength as much as possible, and retain my size.
Thanks for any advice or suggestions.