Power Rack

I have a new toy! It's a power rack and now I can finally do proper back squats in my garage. Here's a time lapse video of the assembly.

To make the video, I had my camera take one picture per second. Then I kept every fourth picture and played at 30 frames per second. That makes each second of the video worth 2 minutes of real time. I edited out some boring sections and the particularly obscene butt shots (you're welcome).

A Power Rack, WTF?!

You might be wondering what I need with a big metal cage. And one without functioning doors for that matter. Sometime around the end of last year, I read Never Let Go by Dan John and it got me all fired up about lifting weights in addition to all this running I've been doing. I also decided I wanted to become a fearsome competitor at my local 10K road races.

After Sacramento, I figured I'd dial back the running a bit and work toward what some people refer to as general physical preparedness. Basically, I wanted to develop a respectable base of sport neutral strength before to did my 10K-specific training. I bought a barbell and some plates and I spent the tail end of December and the first half of January doing metabolic complexes - sequences of exercises performed without setting down the (in my case) barbell. After a three weeks, I wasn't really seeing the results I wanted so I shifted over to Pavel Tsatsouline/Dan John's 40-day workout.

After a couple weeks of the "40-day" style workouts I got the distinct impression that my lifts weren't heavy enough to really be improving my strength. I felt great after the workouts, but I think it's more helpful for people that are more intermediate than novice (me) weights-wise.

All along, there was an obvious answer. For beginners, everybody loves Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. The only trouble is, it has you doing squats three times a week. Heavy squats require apparatus I didn't have. I thought maybe I could quietly replace the squat with deadlift, but that idea had been suggested and responded to on the 'nets before and I was convinced that it was not a winner. So, I needed a gym or a power rack (for squats and safer bench).

I really like exercising in my garage and since I can't move my garage to a gym, I needed to buy me some stuff. Simple. And now it is done.

Should I Change the Plan?

I've posted before about changing the plan and how that ruins everything. Also, all these strength coaches tend to have some pretty direct and unflattering things to say about people who try to change their plans. Nonetheless, I spent about a week thinking I was going to mix the Starting Strength program with Hal Higdon's intermediate 10K program.

If one training program is good, then two simultaneous full-time training programs must be 34 times as good, right?

Always heed the advice of naked water bears.

So, yeah. The hippo is right. I'm going to pretty much cut off the running until the weights thing stops working. It's tough though because I really wanted to do this 10K in March. And now I'm afraid all my groovy marathon training is going to evaporate while I build up my other stuff. Sad. I guess that's just how the game works. On the bright side, the workouts from that 40-day program would be ideal for the strength days on Hal's 10K plan.


Anonymous said…
Very cool video, Charlie!!
Mickey said…
Loved the video! Wished you woulda slowed it down when Daisy was there so I could see the parts she put together. Who's the seriously-dressed athlete who stopped by? Prolly a pro advisor, huh? ;-)

(Can I steal that hippo shot? Priceless!)
Thanks to both of you! I do like that hippo. It comes in handy at work.

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