ABC Training
December 8, 2008 posted by

A-B-Cs of Training, Part III

Let’s take a look at my current phase of training. It’s 5-week block, will be followed by a transitional week, and then another 4-5 week block. Each block of training is subject to change based on the how the previous one went. In fact, each day’s workout may change based on how I feel. It’s important to keep this in perspective. Sticking to a conceptual plan when your body isn’t responding is counterproductive. Of course, you must have the ability to know when your body is not responding and when you just feel lazy, and this takes some experience. But, basically, when something feels wrong it probably is. You need to train hard but, at this level, most of us are more in danger of over-training than under-training. Therefore, my motto is that if I don’t feel like training then I don’t.

Here are my weekly workout goals. It’s going to look like a lot of time but I’ll show you how I combine things so that it’s not.

Legs – A, B
Shoulders – C
Core – A, B, C
Upper body synergistic B
Climbing – A, B
Forearms – B, C
Run – B, C
Bike – C
Yoga – A, C, C

This doesn’t represent all of my exercise. Each day I do some aerobic hiking with the dogs. Weekends are, essentially, off for me to do whatever. This time of year it should be skiing, but last weekend it was warm so I went climbing (was probably my last opportunity for a while). For this phase the only thing that will change is that my running and biking will change over time. Biking form has more base and will trail behind running over the next two phases. More on this later but, for now, the point is merely to show how to combine A, B, C workouts for efficiency. All of this work will be accomplished in around an hour per day, on average, not counting the dog stuff and how I play on the weekends.

T – Leg A, w/forearm, shoulder, yoga, core, and run C – given the long rest needed between heavy sets, the down time is done doing easy movements and stretching. Easy run followed.

W – Climb A, Yoga C – stretching in between campus moves. This workout was short because it was my first campus session in a few years. Length will increase but being careful is paramount. Because it was short I followed it with a hard crossfit workout of 500 reps, so:
Core A, Legs B, upper body syn, B

T – Climb B, forearm B, Core B – Systems wall workout, w/ core, forearm, and stretching in the down time.

F – Yoga A

S – Run B, then went climbing for fun.

S – Long dog hike, easy bike trainer session (end of two weeks off of the bike)

This week looks pretty much the same, though any running distance may be replaced by skate skiing.

Of note, these two cycles will be my only time during the year where my gym work will be the brunt of my focus. Once I’m fully into outside mode, gym work becomes maintenance only.

I’ll blog further on my individual workouts. These are just my workouts targeted towards my objectives. Yours should vary, but this should help you construct them.

Part II of this article

Part I


  • What do you mean by “forearm”?How does that differ from “climb”?Is forearm general grip work whereas climb is specific work?Thank you. These post are very informative. It is interesting to see an example of multisport periodization.

  • That’s a good question. I haven’t discussed workout specifics yet. Essentially I mean extensor muscles, since the climbing training doesn’t plenty for the flexor muscles. I’ll get more into muscular imbalances later. Sometimes, however, I do normal hypertrophy work for the forearms, things like heavy finger rolls. But the C workouts I’m referring to here are things like reverse wrist curls and forearm twists.

  • Steve, I’m having some problems creating my workouts. My goals are kind of contradictive, but I don’t really have a choice. I was wondering if you were willing to help me out.My goals are:30+ deadhang pullups3 mile run under 18:00 or 19:00.5 mile run 7-8 minute mile pace4 miles in 48 minutes with 50lb pack and boots.These are my primary goals, to be strong and fast. I’m also planning on including the p90x training programs to stack with these other goals. and Maybe a few crossfit workouts, training on average of 2 times a day. I was thinking maybe 3 days on, 1 day off, or the p90x schedule, 6 days on, 1 day off. but that doesn’t leave much room to recover from all of that. So right now, Im’ leaning toward 3 on, 1 off schedule.I’d appreciate any tips or advice you could help me with, if you don’t have time, don’t worry about it.Jonathan C

  • Jonathan,I replied to this last time. Did you get that message? Go to your Message Board post and ask the questions. Denis will make sure I see it.

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