Been lurking/reading on here for a couple of years... after going on and off a bunch of programs I've decided it's time to get serious. I'm on my summer break from a graduate degree, so over the summer I'd like to plan a program or series of programs for the next 12 months.
Once I get back in school in the fall I won't have time to be working out new programs, and I know from past experience I find it much harder to keep exercising if I don't have a program.
About me: I'm 34, 6'4", 215 lbs. Definitely on the skinny side; my main goal with this program will be to build strength. Obviously that will also mean adding some mass but I'm not interesting in bulking for its own sake. I have tried Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength and Alwyn Cosgrove's New Rules of Lifting programs and I think I'll start my program off with one of those, probably back to Starting Strength. I also have Cressey's Maximum Strength, which I haven't tried.
I also do a lot of outdoor sports, though (skiing, surfing, kayaking, climbing), I play squash (badly) from time to time, and I've been playing some amateur rugby over the last year. So, in addition to having a serious strength program I'd like to incorporate conditioning work into the program on the off days to improve my overall fitness and agility, particularly for skiing but for the other sports as well.
So I have two questions.
1) Is it possible to make progress towards both of these goals simultaneously? If so, can you give any advice or reading recommendations as to how to do it without undermining my main goal of building strength?
2) How should I go about planning a long-term program like this? Most programs I've seen recommend staying on for ~8 weeks then doing something else, but they never say what.
Thanks for any suggestions. This is a great site and I'm looking forward finally to getting into strength training seriously with your help.