Hello again, friends! We finally made it to part 3, the final installment of the series on my training goals for the upcoming year! In the first 2 installments of the series we covered my primary power based training goals for the year (Part 1) and my primary strength based training goals for the year (Part 2). In this final installment I want to go over my conditioning goals for the upcoming year, and I have to admit I am a little bit hesitant to even write up this post! Of the 3 categories of goals I've listed so far this one is hands down the most ambitious of them all. And when I inevitably fail at what I've set out to do I would prefer to just be able to pretend like it never happened, but I need something to write about so here we are instead! (Kind of kidding...kind of).
Now in this category I have 2 goals I'd like to accomplish. One is a secondary goal that I am honestly not going to put that much effort into. The other is a primary goal and that is where pretty much all of my efforts will be directed. Let's start with the secondary goal since it's a lot more straightforward and probably a lot more likely to come to fruition.
I want to run a sub 5 minute mile.
I used to run occasionally as a means of getting/staying in shape for sports, however, it was never something I did consistently or with any kind of direction or logical or progression or anything like that. I stopped doing that sometime while I was in college (we'll just call it age 20 - I'm 31 now) and after that I didn't run anything of any appreciable distance for about 10 years (pretty much just did short sprints of <100m every now and then). Late last year, however, after receiving this comment on my YouTube channel:
"You probably can't run for shit lmao. But who cares about cardio right. Being a retarded meathead >> cardio vascular fitness."
I decided, aaaaaight, fuck it, I'll run a mile and see what I can do. So I ran one on a whim with no training for it and no practice or experience performing it within the last 10 years and I managed a time of 5:32 which I was pretty happy with! I had originally planned to give myself 90 seconds per "lap," thus coming in around the 6 minute mark, but once I got started it felt a little too easy so I picked up the pace slightly on the first 3 laps (around 85 seconds) and I had a little bit of juice left on the final lap so I pushed a little bit harder there and finished that one in around 75 seconds, giving me a final time of about 5 and a half minutes.
Obviously after that the logical next thing to do is to try to go sub 5. As it stands, I don't think I could maintain the pace necessary to do this. It would require some practice at running and sustaining my pace for longer than I am currently comfortable doing so. How much practice? I'm not really sure. If it requires more than plucking the low hanging fruit then I'm probably not going to do it because I find distance running (read: anything over 400m) to be intolerably boring and I just don't care that much so I'm simply not going to bust my ass over it. It'd be a cool feat, but the number of people who can duplicate it are a motherfucking dime a dozen and then some, so while cool, it's not really all that impressive, is it? So I'll pluck the low hanging fruit here sometime late next year and we'll see where I land. Goal is 4:59 or better. I'll hit it or I won't and either way it won't be the end of the world for me.
A meathead with no cardio. What a cliche I have become.
And this brings me to my primary conditioning goal for the year. This is the one that scares me. This is the one that will hurt like hell. This is the one that is so absurd that I don't even think I should be mentioning it.
The Inman Mile.
For those of you who are unaware, the Inman Mile is named after an ex powerlifter, Jerry Inman. Jerry used to make the bold claim that he could load a barbell up with 1.5x his body weight and walk a motherfucking mile with it without ever putting the damn thing down. Jerry never completed this feat. In fact, no one has ever completed this feat. So what would be more impressive, doing something a billion people have done or doing something that no one has ever done? I say the latter, crazy as it may be to even try.
This is something I'd be willing to fight for though. This sounds like a challenge that would actually be fun as hell to take on (painful too, bit still fun). I actually did a modified version of this challenge earlier this year (shortly after I found out about the real challenge) where I walked a mile using 1.5x my body weight (body weight is 160lbs, so the working weight is 240lbs), but I broke it up into 35 sets of 50 yards a piece. I completed the mile walk in like half an hour or something like that. This was tough, but not that crazy overall. I haven't done it again like this, but I could certainly do it a lot faster than I did the first time which was overall pretty comfy with the brief rest periods I gave myself in between sets. The hardest part here was actually just the fact that I did the whole thing in my driveway which meant that I had turn around with the weight on my shoulders after every 25 yard stretch. However, this challenge also bypasses the hardest parts of the true Inman Mile which are:
- the unrelenting pressure of the weight bearing down on your back, legs, core, and lungs until you finish the damn mile or give up.
- similar idea, but not quite the same - having to support the damn straight barbell on your back the whole time which becomes incredibly painful on the shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
My modified Inman Mile Challenge. Check out the pinned comment on the video.
In my challenge I gave myself a reprieve which doesn't exist in the real challenge and that lack of reprieve is precisely why no one has been able to do this yet. EVER. I figure somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-30 minutes would be required to walk this mile on a quarter mile track. I think that with the proper training my torso and my legs and my lungs can adapt to the demands that will be required of them to support this weight for this amount of time and move through the mile. The variable that I am entirely unsure of is the actual act of supporting the barbell. There is no comfortable way to hold a straight bar on the back of your shoulders for this fucking long without it becoming absolutely unbearable. I've held relatively light weights in the 200-300lbs range on my back for several minutes at a time and even that becomes incredibly difficult.
I simply cannot imagine how on Earth I would possibly be able to hold 240lbs on my back for even the low end of my estimation to complete the challenge (20 minutes) without ever putting it down. Your hands would go completely numb. Your elbows and shoulders would begin to ache to an excruciating level. And all you have to do is drop the bar and it will all stop just like that. It would be all too easy to take this out very early on when staring down the barrel of something as daunting as 4 laps around a quarter mile track with all that weight on your back. Completing this challenge as stated by the rules may very well be next to impossible for any normal person. It will certainly require a hell of a lot of heart and pushing through very large, very prolonged amounts of pain with no real reward or return on your investment. I'd like to give it a shot, but like I said, it's going to be a looooooooooooooong shot. And that's why I was hesitant to even make this post.
The other thing to consider is just the logistics of the whole damn thing. You'll never succeed here without very focused, difficult, specific training at it. If you follow my content you probably know I have a great love of and penchant for performing tough loaded carries as part of my conditioning work, but they all involve relatively short bouts of intense effort followed by short bouts of rest. This challenge, on the contrary, involves one incredibly prolonged and somewhat lower intensity bout of effort. But how the hell do you train for that and make it practical? My knee jerk reaction would be to train with weights that are equal to and slightly above the weight you will be using during the actual challenge and just hit a few tough, prolonged sets 2-3 times a week while gradually increasing the length of time that you hold each of the varying weights on your shoulders until after a long enough period of training that you have become quite confident that you can support the challenge weight on your shoulders for the duration that will be required without setting the damn thing down.
The problem is that this would be massively inconvenient because there's no where to do it. I can't do it in my driveway because that would involve turning around with the weight after every 25 yards traveled, which is no good. Turning with a heavy weight on your shoulders is difficult and cumbersome and would drain you of your energy without ever letting you train specifically enough to meet the demands of the real challenge.
Another option would be to walk down the street with the weights but there's no sidewalk where I am so I would literally be walking down the street with 240-315lbs on my back while becoming more and more fatigued with every step as cars blaze past me at 40 miles an hour. That seems pretty dumb.
Not really relevant, but zercher carries are just badass.
The last option is to go to a track, but this is also massively inconvenient because not only would you have to haul the weights to and from the track every time you wanted to train, but you would also have to have a way of getting them on to your shoulders once you got there, which means you would need to bring a pair of squat stands with you. I'm not going to call myself lazy, but I will say that I do tend to prefer convenience and, knowing how my own psychology works, giving myself the best shot at getting things done. And I can promise you that if I committed to this idea it would last for about a week before I said "fuuuuck that" and never did it again.
So there is some level of having to be surrounded by the proper geography here in order to truly be able to train for this challenge and I don't feel like I am surrounded by it. The logistical issues involved in training for this challenge to a degree sufficient enough to actually give yourself a real shot at completing it are very large and I have honestly not solved them or even given them much of any thought beyond the cursory bit I've presented here. I don't know how I will overcome them or if I will overcome them. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I know that this would be a challenge worth fighting for and I'd like to give it an earnest shot, but in order to do that I'm going to have to figure something else out because as it stands I wouldn't have a chance. It's an ambitious goal to say the least, but not everything I propose here is going to be a success so we might as well get the ball rolling now. And on that note, I think I'll close this one out, but if you have any suggestions on how I could possibly train for this event to make the actual training more convenient and more readily accessible, I am all ears!
Make sure you check back in next Friday! I'll have a new article up by then. I have a good topic I want to talk about, but I haven't fully fleshed out the direction I want to go with it just yet. I'll get there though! And as always, if you enjoy the content I make please support the production of more of it! Check out the training templates that are for sale. They're great programs that are designed to take you from novice to advanced lifter and because of the template design they can basically be re-used forever. The permutations of different programs you can create are pretty much infinite. If you're into athletics or vertical jumping check out my 20 week vertical jump specialization program & manual. And if you want something catered uniquely to you and your specific goals then shoot me an email about getting a customized training program. Thanks for the support guys! I'll see ya next time.
Inching my way closer and closer to 2 plates.
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