Tomorrow (Friday) is the end of my eight week strength block, so I wanted to recap how it went.
The 8-week block was divided into two 4-week blocks. All my powerlifting was in sets of 5, but the number of sets decreased each week as the amount of weight on the bar increased. In weeks 1 and 4, I was doing 5 sets of 5 + 1 heavier set of 3 or 5. That decreased to 4 sets of 5 and so on, always followed by 1 heavier set of 3 or 5.
Here’s what I loved about my strength block:
- I got stronger! I hit a PR on squats for 1 set of 3 at 170 lbs. I did not hit a PR for deadlift, but I did get up to 1 set of 5 at 175 lbs., which I thought was pretty good for not using chalk (it’s not allowed at my gym). I did not hit a PR for bench press, but I felt very solid at 105 lbs. for 1 set of 3.
- The workouts were shorter. Not super short because as the weights got heavier I needed to do more warmup sets, but they still weren’t nearly as long as workouts during an endurance block.
- I got to eat a ton of food. Which I guess would be considered bulking or building muscle. Obviously it worked because I felt a lot stronger in all of my lifts.
Here’s what was hard about my strength block:
- Feeling sore. That’s not a problem all by itself – I don’t mind being sore. But I’m also training for a half marathon, which is hard when your hips are tight and your legs feel like lead pipes. My runs the day after leg day have been stiff, slow and torturous.
So what comes after a strength block? Next week is de-load week. I get to do a couple light full body days and mostly focus on running. Along with that comes the other “d” word. Dieting. The horror. I know. Nothing extreme. My metabolism is a burning furnace right now, so I know I can cut calories at a still-healthy level to lose some of the extra body fat that came along with my strength games. Then comes an endurance block, which my trainer described to me using the following phrases: “You’ll still be doing deadlifts, squats and bench but everything else will be practically cardio,” “I know you don’t mind doing workouts that suck,” and “You might be even hungrier if you’re dieting and doing high volume.” Can’t wait. Lol. In all seriousness, I’m prepared to do what it takes to reach my goals, even if it’s hard.
What is your fitness routine looking like these days?