T Nation

Keeping Strength During the Summer

How do you guys keep your strength up on the main lifts during the summer? The canyons got absolutely hammered with snow this year and they’ll be beautiful come spring time. I do a ton of hiking and mountain biking when the weather gets nice. last year I lost approximately 50 lbs ( 1 rep est) on my squat and around that much on my deadlift.

Current program is 531 upper- lower 4 days a week. I work out a lot based on how I feel but here’s a sample week.

531 bench
light OHP 3X8 (70%)

531 squat
deadlift variation (I’m trying a hook grip sumo)
reverse hyper
sometimes split squats

531 OHP
bench with chains (I do the previous weight but with chains so it’s less taxing at the bottom)
arm stuff

531 dead lift conventional
squat light for speed or use SSB

Yoga once a week as well.

Current stats. I rarely do 1rm so I’ll post estimates: 350x2 squat (was around 400 at the start of last summer), dead lift- anywhere from 440 - 520 (I get in my head sometimes), bench 255x7 has been higher but I keep dealing with a pulled pec, OHP 165X7. I’m 6’1’’ around 200 about to turn 41.

More food?

Doing a ton of intense cardio is incompatible with moving very heavy weights. It’s like wanting to get a 6-pack without losing bodyweight or scoring with identical triplets when you look like Jonah Hill.

Best bet is to treat it like being an in-season athlete. Reduce volume and shoot to maintain strength instead of pushing for strength improvement while being pulled in the opposite direction. So, for example, no PR sets. Check the in-season template Wendler has here.

And, yep, like Foo said, food needs to increase to support the increased activity. Do you lose weight during the summer?

I lose a little weight but stay pretty consistently over 193-195. My current weight seems to be my set point and I have to eat a ton to gain. I was 175-185 cardio heavy dude for the majority of my life.