Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is: A Journey In Human Performance
I work with dedicated athletes from almost every sport, firefighters that compete in rigorous fitness challenges, and everyday people from ages 8 to 79 who push themselves to maintain their physical fitness. No matter what they do outside of the gym my golden rule before I work with any athlete is that they have a goal. It is vitally important to training otherwise that extra mile to be stronger, faster, and just better isn’t there. Now you’d think because I place so much emphasis on goal setting and striving towards that goal I’d have one myself, but I didn’t; until one day one of my clients asked me what my goal is. I was stumped. Of course, I train every day and push myself hard, but I wasn’t doing it for any purpose. This is why I built the RVXtreme challenge. The ultimate fitness challenge that will push my body to its physical capacity. I want to show people that with the correct implementation of programming it is possible to put two fitness aspects that are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, together; heavy lifting and long-distance running.
Have you ever seen a weightlifter run a marathon, and fast? What about a long-distance runner lift heavy weights, and I mean 405lbs squat heavy. There’s a good chance you haven’t and for obvious reasons, they’re two competing ideas. Looking at the body type of a power athlete (heavy lifter) and an endurance athlete (long-distance runner), physically and biologically they’re completely different from the inside out. Simply put, as athletes lift heavier, their bodies retain more mass which makes running more challenging. Because of that extra mass, the more an athlete runs the more mass they will lose. It sounds damn near impossible to make these two completely opposite entities work together. Which is exactly why I am doing it. I am doing it to show that with correct programming and diet control it is possible to lift the universal standard weights for heavy lifting while qualifying for the universal marathon standards.
Where I’m at Now:
I am a high-performance trainer specialized in body mechanics, body movement and training elite level athletes in movement mechanics. AKA, I definitely consider myself more than qualified to come up with the right programming in order to complete this challenge. I’m 25 almost 26 and 6’2”. 5-8 years ago, I did a lot of recreational running, but nothing over 10km and I’ve only accomplished that maybe a handful of times. I haven’t done any long-distance running, at all, ever. I predominately work on
sprinting, sprint mechanics and speed acceleration. So yes, I am a rookie when it comes to long distance running.
How I am going to do it:
I have created an extensive weight lifting program that will take me from now until race day that I will do along with marathon training. It is scheduled so that I have 4 lifts a week starting with low sets and high reps and then moving to low reps and high sets. The last 6 weeks before the marathon I will use a 5 to 1 strength pyramid and alternate each week between resistance using a Keiser and just weights in order to maintain my strength.
I am going to start my official marathon training program on January 1st, until then I have created an energy system development program that I will do on top of my strength program that will include three energy system development (anerobic and aerobic pathway) based runs each week.
Once I begin my marathon program I will complete 4 runs a week varying in time, distance, and intervals. Some run days are slow, fast, marathon pace, or incline based. In my training program I will complete 6 long runs over 16 miles, peaking at 22 miles 4 weeks out.
Athletigen is a company that tests DNA and analyzes thousands of data points within an individuals' genes to find important markers of health and performance. Through my genetics I have found that I have high markers in endurance and power-based activities, which means it is in my genetics to succeed in both power based heavy lifts and endurance based long runs. When it comes to preventing injuries, I have markers that increase my likelihood for ligament injuries. As a result, I know I will need to spend more time recovering and paying close attention to how my body feels. When anyone runs there is a high impact on the joints, especially the knees, and I know especially for me that if I don’t take proper steps to recover I will be substantially more susceptible to ACL, LCL and MCL injuries. Knowing about genetics gives me a huge leg up because I can steer clear of injury while maximizing my performance.
I will also be using Whoop, a state-of-the-art fitness monitor that tracks my physical activity, sleep, and recovery based on second-by-second heart rate tracking that measures my resting heart rate and heart rate variability. It will calculate a day strain using factors such as sleep, training intensity and training duration to tell how much time I spend exerting my cardiovascular system. Whoop tells me when I need to go to bed, when I need to wake up and exactly how much sleep I need in order to perform to my best. Based on my sleep and heart rate variability, Whoop will calculate my recovery score. I will know when I need to push myself and when I need to dial it back. For example, instead of designating Sunday as my recovery day, if on Wednesday my recovery score is low that will be my day off.
I have a training partner in the weight room, Robert Frigon, that will be completing the challenge with me. When race day comes around I have a pace runner, Blair Troock, that will run the qualifying pace that I need to follow.
How you can follow my process:
Can I do it? Well, you’ll have to wait to find out. Although, all the people who I’ve talked about the challenge with say that I won’t make it. Except for one of my younger athletes, Aiden Capstick, thanks for believing in me kid. Make no mistake, I have a strong team around me that even if they think it's almost impossible, thanks boss (@thervx), they will help guide me in the right direction. Follow me on Instagram @coachearley_RVX to keep up to date on my progress. 184 days until race day. Sometimes you just need one person to believe in you to make the impossible seem possible. Find your goal!