Load up the plates!!!

Opera singers face the incredible feat of singing high notes which can be an all out risk/reward scenario depending on how high, how loud, where the notes are in the phrase, where they are in the aria or ensemble and where they are in the context of the entire opera.  High notes are the "squats" of opera singing.

I've reached the "high note" phase of my off season weight lifting.  I'm in the strength/growth phase where the plates are loaded on to the olympic bar.


Ouch - that's a lot of weight for that guy!

Joe Friel claims in his wonderul book "The Mountain Biker's Training Bible", that during this phase the ideal weight to reach by the end of the muscular strength phase with a squat is 1.3 - 1.7 times one's body weight.  Women should shoot for the 1.3 number and men should shoot for the 1.7 number.  For me, at my current weight, that means a target of 247 (1.3) - 323 (1.7).  Whoa?  What?  323 pounds?  Now that's a risk/reward high note for sure with my skinny little legs.  I can pretty much guarantee I'm not going to go that high based on my previous years of lifting and reality check of what I can do.  Not to mention, with the olympic bar and all the plates I own - I only have 300 pounds to work with unless I go buy more plates.  Highly unlikely...!

There is nothing more confidence inspiring than a well executed squat.  Like an extreme high note at the end of an aria or opera, there is that question of whether or not it is going to come out successfully.  And there is nothing more confidence inspiring than a well executed high note.  In past weight lifting phases, I have not gone over 280/290 using a squat rack at the gym.  I am doing my squats at home with the olympic bar, so I don't have the additional safety/security feature of the type of rack I used at Anytime Fitness (Smith Machine) which has cables and pulleys withe bar attached to the rack so the chance of injury by falling or dropping the bar is eliminated.   Not so when using the olympic bar and doing the lift in the "free" open space.  We use spotters who are there to help out if you can't get back up out of the squat or if you happen to lose your balance.  I will be hitting those weights soon in this phase and will use my son as a spotter.  I am usually fine up to around 235-245, but like to have a spotter after that just in case.

The first day of this phase only had me go up to 190 pounds on the squat lift which is 20 pounds more than the hypertrophy phase I was using of 170 pounds.  Yet, like the high note in opera, completing 6 squats at that weight was confidence inspiring and set the foundation for upping the number of plates next week to go over 200 pounds.  I hit the full body strength phase workout on Thursday with squats, deadlifts, leg curls, leg extensions, calf raises, lunges, upper body with everything feeling good.  It was less fatiguing than a hypertrophy workout and for that I am happy.  I love the squats and the deadlifts the best for the overall body work it does.  Good article here on the benefits of both.

In spite of it being an R&R week for me - the prescribed low end endurance riding of 5.5 hours this week is still causing me plenty of training stress.  Yesterday was a comfortable 45 minute recovery ride and then we headed over to Lisa's for a wonderful dinner with her family.  It was yummylishess!

Today is the BRR ride.  Bike ride to Rippey (from Perry that is).  About 1000 nuts are expected on this Ground Hog Day to hit the road for the fun ride event.  Temperatures are 18 here in Indianola, but the windchill where the ride is to take place is currently around -4 which means one has to really bundle up.  The 3 ladies I was going to do the ride with (including Tara) have all bailed once the forecast dropped from sunny and 37 down to what it is today.  So I am trying to decide whether or not I should do it on my own.  The sun is shining.  The bike is ready.  I have the clothing.  I'll eat some breakfast and make a decision to go or do 90 minutes on the C7i in the basement.

Maybe I could open the window in the basement and call it a BRR ride...

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