Sixty Strong

The Sixty Strong Challenge

Sixty Strong starts on Monday, September 13 and runs through November 11, 2021.

The cost is $199.

If you want to take part, either DM me Sixty Strong or email me at 513FIT with the subject line Sixty Strong.

Sixty Strong is not one more challenge that’s hard for the sake of being hard and thus building character, and implying that you’ll drop ten pounds along the way. There are enough of those out there already.

Sixty Strong is where you show up five days per week, do enough work to tell your body to respond, but not so much that you feel like you’re trying to run through brick walls.

This is a program designed to help you become better across the board. Stronger, fitter, more athletic, and healthier. We’re going to go after several key things that tend to fall apart over time if not tended to. These are fall into the category of general athleticism – running, throwing, and moving yourself in a variety of ways.

You’ll also get a better handle on your habits around sleep, nutrition, and a couple other key areas that affect your body composition (muscle vs fat) as well as overall quality of life.

These aren’t parting gifts like Rice-A-Roni, Turtle Wax, or the home version of the game. As someone who has had to overcome fatigue, blood sugar issues, and the awesome energy and mood swings that go along with those problems, those are not small things.

This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you that you’ll drop two dress sizes or ten pounds, or some other arbitrary measure. I don’t know what your starting point is, so I’m not going to point to that kind of specific outcome.

You might drop fat while also putting on muscle at the same time. Thus, the scale might not move, but you’ll lose inches and look and feel a lot better. There are a lot of variables in the mix.

What I will tell you is that if you follow the training, nutrition, and habit guidelines that you’ll be stronger, fitter, and healthier and that you’ll have gotten there in a way that’s sustainable.

Strength is the container

Strength is the glass that contains all the qualities that we want. Body composition, athleticism, and the ability to not have to measure every ounce of food without worrying about gaining fat. Build a bigger glass to make more room for all the stuff.

How do you get strong?

Strength train frequently. As heavy as possible, but without straining. Keep the reps low. Stop well before you feel tired.

As you can imagine, strength training this way frees up time and bandwidth to work on conditioning.

That’s where you can work on filling in the gaps and fix problems that have crept in over time. If you don’t work on it, then you lose the ability to run and move athletically. You lose the ability to throw and generate power.

The root of the word fit comes from the ancient Norse word which means to knit together.

Over time, things get frayed. Time spent on running and track drills, throwing, working with the bands, and general athleticism – these take the slack out of the weave and keeps things knit together well.

As an example, when Jack Simon was coaching the Cincinnati Marlins, his swimmers tested better on several strength and power output measures than athletes working at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. His athletes did med ball work almost every day.

Can you do Sixty Strong while training for a 5K, 10K, or half marathon?

Yes. I have some recommendations and caveats, but the answer is yes.

This style of training is very similar to the approach used by some one of the most successful track and field coaches of the 1950’s and 60’s.

The time commitment is fairly minimal.

Just under twenty minutes a day, five days per week to work on strength.

About twenty to thirty minutes per day (ideally right after the strength work) to address conditioning and athleticism.

And then getting right back to regular life.

We lose our ability to run and generally move athletically just as much as we lose the ability to squat, press, and pull if we don’t take the time to work on it. The Sixty Strong Challenge allows you time to work on these important qualities and provides structure.

What equipment do you need to take part in Sixty Strong?

You can get your home gym set up for under $200.

You’ll need some way to do bodyweight upper body training. You can’t go wrong with a dip station ($50), and pull-up bars are fairly inexpensive ($25) so I’d say to get both if possible. If you had to pick one, go with the dip station.

You’ll also need a way to add weight over time. That’s why I recommend an adjustable dumbbell rather than fixed weights or kettlebells. You can get them for about $60 to $70 on Walmart’s website.

T-handle. As you get stronger, you’ll need to increase the challenge to the hamstrings and glutes. Swings are a great way to do so, and a T-handle will help you make use of the weights that you’ll get with the adjustable dumbbell. This should run you about $30 to put together and can be made from plumbing parts commonly found at most hardware stores.

I’d highly suggest getting at least one way to address power and explosiveness.

That’s either going to be a set of bands (about $24) that you can anchor or a medicine ball. ($25) Both are great, both have pluses and minuses. I’d say to get one or the other depending on what works best for your circumstances.

For bands, as a general rule most women should start with yellow, men with blue. If you’re just getting into training, then I’d suggest starting with orange and yellow respectively.

If you get a med ball, then go a little lighter than you’d suspect that you want. Six to ten pounds would be a good starting point. If you haven’t thrown anything in years, then you might need to start with a four pound ball.

If you have access to a full gym and/or a barbell set, I can program those in as well. Given current conditions, I think it would be smart to have a home gym just in case we find ourselves in another lockdown.

In addition to the program, you’ll be able to check in with me once a week by way of email. I’ll provide accountability, feedback, and do my best to answer any questions that might come up along the way.

We’re not trying to force your body to make an adaptation and hang on for a white knuckle ride for sixty days.

The goal of all of this is to get stronger, fitter, and healthier. If you take care of these things consistently and sustainably, then your goals around losing fat and gaining muscle will happen a lot more easily.

Again, the program runs from September 13 to November 11.

To reserve your spot, you can either DM me Sixty Strong, or email me at 513fit@gmail.com with the subject line Sixty Strong.