Monthly Archives: December 2016
Mass Made Simple
For what it’s worth, I will toss out my little experiment that I’m currently engaged in. While endurance sports are my passion, I do enjoy strength training, and it does value for endurance. I was leery of doing much gym work, worried that it would interfere with aerobic development a la Maffetone. But I figured that I can take a few weeks off here and there to focus on strength. After all, I’ve pretty strict with MAF training for some time.
Last fall I eased back into the gym, experimented, and built a little base strength. I’ve been heavily influenced by this guy Dan John. I became intrigued by his Mass Made Simple program. It is similar to really old school (read: pre-steroid) training programs that built tons of muscle and strength. I’m not as interested in mass, but these programs are based on high rep, heavy squats. Sounds like fighting up a steep technical climb on the MTB. So I gave it a go and lasted four weeks until I picked up a bug. Fell off the wagon, then switched to maintenance later in the spring. Definitely helped my riding as I had by developing greater torque. It didn’t seem to interfere with aerobic fitness, though I didn’t formally test it.
So I’ve spent the last couple months rebuilding my strength base following some of Dan John’s ideas and riding whenever. Now, I’ve hung up the wheels for a few weeks to just blast away in the gym to see how much strength I can build before I start aerobic base training in January.
But as I read through that program, I knew that I didn’t have the strength base to safely complete it. It was definitely geared toward more advanced strength athletes. I wondered how to scale it down to my level. Fortunately, the gang at Dan John’s forum had already asked, and he delivered.
I’m wrapping up week 2. A little sore, but so far, so good.
I’ve read most of his books and many articles. A gold mine, and he’s funny too.
So for those looking to get bigger, something to think about.