training diary

Daily updated training info + stuff #AKtraining

17 February 2017

Another day of traveling and no training, and no training - or so I thought. Came over to pick up a hire car from Manchester, Vanessa coming in at 8pm. Dumping my kit in the car with a few hours to kill I heard that voice in my head telling me to get kitted up and go for a run, while that weak side said “what around the airport”.

When I started swimming in the sea last year I found the most effective method to doing the deed (it’s fucking cold in the Irish sea), of getting in, was to sort of pull all the plugs out of my brain. No, maybe that’s no what I do. Do you know those films were a car is filled with petrol and explosives, stuck in drive, then drives on without a driver to explode in the middle of the enemy camp, well it’s more like no. Actually it’s like you're an automaton or robot, and all you do is set the command ‘get into the sea’ or ‘put on your stuff and go for a run’ and you do! Maybe I’m over complicating this, I only went for a run fro Gods sake!


The Day's Training

  • Run 40min

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

Not ideal training but it's something, the type of training which is more about doing the training than what you do training. Not sure why but back’s got stiff while running last too days, no doubt due to stopping training for a week. Sure it’ll soon work itself back to normal.

Day's Training

  • Run 40min

Note: This is pre-training phase

16 February 2017

Back on the training today, although nothing too tough, just a morning run. Been away from home so haven’t done any real training beyond some walking since last Monday, and I know I’ve let myself down. It’s easy to come up with excuses, but that’s just what they are, and what’s really needed are ‘reasons’. These reasons are:

1. Eating crap, which is so easy when you’re on the road (4 different beds in a week). This is a real killer, big meals with friends, then maybe no breakfast. Lots of bread is never good!

2. Work. Yes working gets in the way, with filming somedays we’d be up at 8am, filming by 9:30am and not stopping till 7pm. Of course this is just an excuse, as you could get up a 6am, or even do something at lunch time… but well I didn’t.

3. Watching TV. I don’t watch a lot of TV in Ireland (apart from 30 mins of Home and Away!), but found at the end of filming we’d all crash and end up watching True Detective till midnight.

4. Being knackered! This is really the culmination of all of the above, bad diet, late nights, no exercise, which you see as being down to working hard, which is actually the opposite, in that keeping up with the training would keep me training!

Anyway luckily I’ve got Vanessa and each time she’d ask on the phone if I’d done any training, and I answer ‘No’ she’d kick me in the ass with a "Oh Andrew".

On the plus side, having a break is always good, but a week off is too much, both as the body starts to stiffen up a bit, and you quickly lose that momentum - which is the killer, as momentum, along with discipline, are what it’s all about.

The Day's Training

  • Street Run 1 hour

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

Nice to get up early, stick on my shoes and run around the streets of Hull. In the Lakes next week and sure it’ll be a tough week of walking and climbing (because Vanessa’s going to be there!).

Day's Training

  • Street Run 1 hour

Note: This is pre-training phase

06 February 2017

Had my stag/hen do on Saturday, which being in Ireland was a little bit messy but no too bad, but I felt going to bed at 4am seems to have carried over today. This week I’m going to be away, so unless I can find a gym I’ll be running, but today I managed to get my last hit in.

Next weights faze will be 3x5 (sets sets of 3 reps), which will be building strength. When I do these I always try and aim for 3+ reps, so if I can push out one or two extra reps then that’s great. I often wonder if the actual increase in strength comes in these + reps, as they tend to be the hardest!

Today I also run 10km as warm up, which is a bit lazy, as I need to start doing more sprints and fartleks​, but that’ll probably need to wait until I’m back from the UK.

A funny thing I’ve started to realise is the effect of eating meat when I’m training. I eat quite a lot of fish and chicken, but if I have chili or spaghetti bolognese I feel really heavy and generally slow the day after. I’ve been thinking of going pescetarianism for a while (I noticed when being in Norway how much fish they eat, and how little red meat), as red meat doesn’t make me feel good, and I’ve started questioning eating chicken for obvious reasons (these things may well be due to drinking soya milk, i.e. it’s making me a softy liberal!),

The Day's Training

  • Run 10km 54min
  • Bench Press 3x5x70kg 1050kg
  • Military Press 3x5x50kg 750kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

Not an ideal session, but seemed to run out of time today, but legs felt quite tired after run, so not too bad. Hoping I can keep up my training this week, even if it’s just loads of pull ups, but we'll see.

Day's Training

  • Run 10km 54min
  • Bench Press 3x5x70kg 1050kg
  • Military Press 3x5x50kg 750kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

03 February 2017

Felt creaky this morning, another “you get up and make breakfast”. We seem to both ‘be on it’ these days, so by Friday we’re knackered, a breakfast (always in bed, were it’s nice an warm) eaten in silence, sort of just coming round.

It struck me yesterday how she (Vanessa) is an Alpha female, and how I feel I need to live up to her own high standards, while she sees me as an Alpha male and so expects nothing less. I think I’ve written about this in the past, how I often felt unable to supply the ‘me’ people thought I was, but only the person I am - but that what they thought was who I really needed to strive to be, not just slowly let them know I wasn’t what they thought. Life is a series of course adjustments, for example last night when Vanessa came home she said “I read your UKC article, I thought it was good… but not what you said in the comments”. In that instant I felt that I’d let her down, and myself, and anyone who’d read them. “It is what it is” I said, but we both know that only the first stop. Walking up to bed I felt that I’d let my monkey brain reply, defensive, incoherent, when the self I wished to be would not allow these things to make me react in such a way. “Next time just say ‘Thank you for reading the article. Good day sir’” said Vanessa, more Alpha than I’ll ever be.

Anyway it’s the end of week for, so lets call it a month. I feel a lot stronger now than I did when I started, and lighter and more dynamic. I’ve seen this month a pre-training for a few things, both physical and mental. I’ve lifted 100,000kgs, rowed and run 175 kilometres, and written around 30,000 words, writing this diary everyday, plus a blog most days too (plus listened to 3 audio books and a ton of podcasts). Like I said, this was my pre-training period, the idea to get my mind and body ready for some tough work, writing new books and breaking you barriers, and maybe in some small way, getting married at Easter, be that man you think I am, and who an Alpha female deserves.

The Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:43
  • Bench 10x10x40kg = 4000kg
  • Low Squat 10x10x50kg = 5000kg
  • Military press (dynamic) 10x10x35kg = 3500kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

A good session, and I kept my discipline up on the rower, that little “take it easy, it’s Friday” voice silenced. Someone came up to me at the wall last week and told me how they read this and how hard rowing is. Well one thing to remember is your expected finish becomes more fixed as you get nearer the end, so don’t focus so much on micro adjustments at the start, but rather get into a rhythm. Focus on that speed climbing maxim: “Start out fast you won’t last, start out slow, GO-GO-GO!”. I’m off on tour next week filming the UK stuff for the Psychovertical film, plus doing a talk in Bristol for a good cause, so next week will be a change of pace… not easier or harder, just different.

Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:43
  • Bench 10x10x40kg = 4000kg
  • Low Squat 10x10x50kg = 5000kg
  • Military press (dynamic) 10x10x35kg = 3500kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

02 February 2017

Missed the early morning training today, as I got so wet walking to the gym I had to go and sit in a cafe (that’ll teach me to wear a down jacket!). Ended up sitting there dividing up my site between climbing stuff and everything, a little Berlin wall, until lunch time. Once upon a time I’d have sacked it off, but that was once upon on time. In the end I set off and heavens opened up and I was just as wet as I’d have been anyway.

It was funny being in the gym in the afternoon, and I realise how much of a routine I’m in. It’s funny but I think I’ve spent much of my life running away from such things, but really it’s quite liberating, knowing where you’ll be, A followed by B.

The Day's Training

  • Run 5 km 30min (warm up)
  • Run 1.76km 8mins
  • Deadlifts 10x10x80kg = 8000kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

Not a bad session, but can see I’m going to need to do a lot of work to run 2.4km in under 10 mins (I’ll need to run at 15kph but can only do 13kph at the moment). After warm up and run and deadlifts my legs were pretty tired. Tomorrow will be the end of week four - which is quite exciting!

Day's Training

  • Run 5 km 30min (warm up)
  • Run 1.76km 8mins
  • Deadlifts 10x10x80kg = 8000kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

01 February 2017

I woke up in the middle of the night and ended up laying there for ages, just thinking about dogs, Russian dogs and German tanks, telling myself ‘go to sleep’ but staying awake . I usually get up and make the breakfast at 6:30, a bit of a treat for Vanessa, who works her arse of as a teacher (I don’t really have a proper job), but this morning my weakness showed and she did it. As soon as she came back to bed I said sorry. I tend to forget that I could just stay in bed when she leaves, not go to the gym, or not go at all - give myself the sick note that I ‘didn’t sleep very well’. Christ, I think I’d been happy to do that in the past, my weak past, but not now. Instead I looked around what I knew deeper in my character and came up with the counter-intuitive experience that very often your best performance comes when you should be least able to supply it. I know from experience that you can go for days and days sleeping on bum ledges, lashed to a frozen wall, sleeping in fits and starts, only to wake and crank out the hardest leads of your life, day in day out. I wonder if this kind of performance is drawing on something else, not sport performance but animal.

Anyway it turned out to be the case, the weakness of me crushed.

The Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:38
  • Bench 10x10x40kg = 4000kg
  • Pull down 10x10x60kg = 6000kg
  • Low Squat 10x10x50kg = 5000kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

So a good result, with a good speed on the row (I think a sub 20min time for 5km is a benchmark of good fitness, like a little test), plus 10,000kgs lifted. Off climbing tonight to be interesting to see the effect in the change of weights on my arms (see if I’m more tired).

Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:38
  • Bench 10x10x40kg = 4000kg
  • Pull down 10x10x60kg = 6000kg
  • Low Squat 10x10x50kg = 5000kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

31 January 2017

Had a good climb last night which probably reduced the pain of yesterday’s weights, which I’d expect after switching from one type of weight lifting to another (5x5 to 10x10), but seeing as it’s day 2 maybe I’ll feel it tomorrow!

Seem to have shifted this bit of a chesty thing, so felt a bit better this morning but didn’t go mad and instead did a steady 5km in 30 mins, knowing the weights would be a good more focused stress on the body. My base fitness aim is always to be able to run 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in under 10 mins (great little to work out how to do that here), which is the standard Gurkha fitness test (although they do it in 9:40, but then I’m not a Gurkha!). If you can get to that level, and maintain it, then as a climber or mountaineer that’s probably all you need to do, no more longer runs or body damaging stamina challenges (well beyond just climbing and walking for fun).



The Day's Training

  • Run 5km 30min
  • Deadlift 10x10x70kg = 7000kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

As you can see by doubling reps and sets you actually increase the total weight lifted even from one exercise versus many, and I think this phase is a very good way to nail your technique/form before moving back to 5x5. I suppose you could see this as an active rest period, but you’re putting down some solid foundation work for later.

Day's Training

  • Run 5km 30min
  • Deadlift 10x10x70kg = 7000kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

27 January 2017

This is the end of week three of training (well pre-training), and weighing myself this morning I see I’ve lost about 2.5kg in 3 weeks, which may sound good, but it’s too much too fast. I’ve kept eating the same (huge bowl of porridge, big tea with lots of rice, and a sandwich for lunch, plus ‘writing cakes and buns’), but I’m burning about 1500kal extra a day, plus the fitter you get the more your body burns calories. Losing too much weight too soon is never good, and setting out to ‘lose weight’ is always a waste of time. The aim is to get very fit and let the fat deal with itself, the idea to just focus what’s going on underneath. So in that spirit of not wanting to be thin I’m writing this waiting for my ‘Full Irish’, which is the same as a ‘Full English’, only eaten in Ireland.

I’ve had a few people get in touch, or stopped me at the wall, to say thanks for these posts and it’s cool that people get something out of it, and I know I would I was you (that’s maybe why I started, actually the reason I do lots of things). It got me thinking though, as I was doing my deadlifts that I don’t want people wrecking themselves, which is easy to do.

If you’ve not done weights before, or had any instruction, but only watched videos on Youtube (lots of good ones), then take it slow - baby steps. Also don’t be afraid to ask others in the gym for advice (meat heads love to tell other’s how to do shit). Sometimes it’s worth making a bullet point list and have it before you, so you can execute the exercise well (all exercises, unless you’re a freak, then to be A,B,C etc). If you do it wrong and the weights are low you’ll slowly learn how to do it properly, as you’ll not be able to do it, know the difference between loaded muscles and a compressed vertebra! It’s never good being a novice, but it’s cool to become a real master, uncool to make yourself a cripple! If I was going to pass on one tip it would be that you should always keep any weights as close to your centre of gravity (over your feet), never loading your body beyond your toes unless it’s required (like shoulder raises).

The Day's Training

  • Row 10km 42 mins
  • Deadlift 5x5x110kg = 2750kg
  • Military press 5x5x40kg = 1000kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

It was nice being at the end of 3 weeks and feeling I was getting somewhere, and can feel that change in my body in that it feels more solid, the deadlifts and rowing really creating a very strong core (which you need for proper training). Next week I’ll move into a different phase, which will be more about speed, so lower distance but faster, and lighter weighs but more of them. See you on Monday!

Day's Training

  • Row 10km 42 mins
  • Deadlift 5x5x110kg = 2750kg
  • Military press 5x5x40kg = 1000kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

26 January 2017

Sometimes fate steps in when you’re training, and today on the way to the gym I remembered I’d not brought any shorts. The reason for this is maybe due to being ‘on it Andy’ as I’ve become to be known here abouts, training, working, climbing, kind of ‘getting after it’. Of course I’m not on it at all, I’m just doing too much, and most days I forget something, a towel, my computer, my wallet. I was also probably a bit distracted as the piece I wrote for UKC seems have created quite a lot of friction, both on the forum (mainly the same people) and through emails. As is often the case on forum’s you get a lot of pushback, will those who agree with you prefer to use email (you can judge for yourself why that is). I’m a person full of doubts and notions, and so having what I wrote (maybe I should have taken a month to write it, not an hour!) scrutinised and questioned makes me question fundamental thoughts about myself. This of course is a very healthy thing, I guess the same way I’m going to the gym to stress my body to make a better physical me, I’m trying to do that with my own views on everything. I have no interest in making other people train by writing this, it’s just a tool to increase my discipline, and the same goes with what write - it’s personal. Anyway I guess this has made me even more distracted. Or maybe I’m just forgetful at 7am!
So I trained in my jeans, which meant I had to nix the 10km today.

The Day's Training

  • Bench:
  • 5x5x70kg =1750kg
  • 5x5x60kg =1500kg
  • 5x5x50kg =1250kg
  • 5x5x40kg = 1000kg
  • 10x5x30kg =750kg
  • total= 6250kg
  • Bench wide 5x5x50kg = 1250kg
  • Pull down 10x5x50kg = 2500kg
  • Clean and Press 5x5x40kg = 1000kg
  • Military press 5x5x30kg = 750kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

I guess even though I ended up shifting a ton of weight (11750kg) I felt that today was a bit of a rest day, and maybe a real man would have done it in his pants!

Day's Training

  • Bench:
  • 5x5x70kg =1750kg
  • 5x5x60kg =1500kg
  • 5x5x50kg =1250kg
  • 5x5x40kg = 1000kg
  • 10x5x30kg =750kg
  • total= 6250kg
  • Bench wide 5x5x50kg = 1250kg
  • Pull down 10x5x50kg = 2500kg
  • Clean and Press 5x5x40kg = 1000kg
  • Military press 5x5x30kg = 750kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

25 January 2017

God I felt tired today this morning, probably due to going heavy on the weights yesterday then going climbing after work. What made matters worse was probably having a huge steak around 9pm, and half Vanessa’s (turns out she’s not keen on meaty meat). This meant I felt like I had a Hobbit in my belly all night.

It was a beautiful dawn walking to the gym, the sky full of colour instead of just black. I’ve become a commuter, in that I see the same people everyday, although I’ve yet to say hello or nod, but I’m not sure what the etiquette is in Ireland?

I added a new exercise to the mix today, one that always sounds easy, but always ends up being really bloody knackering. To do this set the running machine the max incline (15 at my gym), and then just walk as fast as you can for 5km uphill. You can really make this a killer by adding a rucksack, or some wood/weights under the from to increase incline. I did a 27km mountain run this winter and found being able to fast walk uphill and run downhill gave me a pretty good time for a non runner (not sure what it was but I was 30min behind the 2nd fasted woman, which I know as that was Vanessa…something she keeps reminding me!).

The Day's Training

  • Hill Walk (steepest setting / 5kph) 5km
  • Row 5km 21min
  • Low squat 5x10x30kg = 1500kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

Notes

I guess I knew today would be a killer day, and god was I tested. After about 1km of fast walking I was really struggling, so being weak as fuck though “Ok make it 2km and you can make up 8km on the rower”. But half way into 2km I set the speed down to 5kph and found a bit more so pressed on, really sweating like a bastard. By the end I was utterly fucked! Worst thing was that it was a slow exercise, so after doing the row - which again had me doubting I could do 20 minutes - it was nearly 10am (cut off time). I’ve noticed that I’m not bending down that well at the moment, sort of like an old man, due to deadlifting and not doing enough stretching. It’s important to know you’re doing these weights to improve mobility and speed, not become a meat head, so I did some fast and springy low squats with very light bar. I like these as they create the grove for heavy weights, plus they’re a great dynamic stretch (I probably said before but the low squat is maybe the number one exercise for people with dodgy knees).

Day's Training

  • Hill Walk (steepest setting / 5kph) 5km
  • Row 5km 21min
  • Low squat 5x10x30kg = 1500kg

Note: This is pre-training phase

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