If I was ever to put together one of those training montage videos, it would almost exclusively come from what I do over the summer.
My best training of the year always takes place over the summer. School is out, the weather is amazing and my schedule opens up a bit, which allows me to train with the frequency I want to. I also have all of the important factors outside of training (sleep, stress, nutrition, recovery) in check, which allows me to bring the intensity I want to every session.
The summer sessions have become the “Summer Sprint” because of the high amount of sessions I get in and the progress I’m able to make in a short period of time. The idea of really ramping up the amount of times I train over the summer happened back in 2017, when Justin Kavanaugh wrote up the SBOAT program for me.
SBOAT broke some of the rules I learned about training. I was taught you couldn’t train too much to avoid overtraining and you couldn’t train the same body part on back-to-back days. Kav basically showed me that most of what you read is wrong, it takes a lot more to overtrain than you think, and you’re capable of a lot more than you think. Click here to read more about that program.
I follow a program during the Summer Sprint, but I also go a lot off of feel. Really, the only game plan I have is to get at least four lifts in per week. After that, the cardio, sprint sessions or extra lifts I go off of what I feel like doing in that particular day.
This isn’t something that could be followed for a long time. For me, four weeks seems to be the sweet spot. Because I have the time, I get into this kick where I always have to train and view any downtime as an opportunity to get some form of training in. The novelty starts to wear off after four weeks, and then the last few weeks before school I go into a more normal routine.
This is just something that works for me and I finally decided to document what I do over the summer. I go through a ramping up period that started in April this year. April and early May was about getting into a routine and picking up where I left off earlier in the year. Then, as the weather really starts getting nice around late May, I start kicking things up by increasing the amount I train each week and incorporating two lifts on Saturdays.
The Summer Sprint started on July 10 and ended on August 4, when I went to the Super Coach Conference in Virginia.
I gave myself a week off after returning from vacation, so this would be my first week training in roughly two weeks. The plan was to train daily, so I’d be ready to increase the workload next week. For the lifts, I kept the weight conservative.
8 Sessions – 4 Lifting, 2 Sprinting, 2 Cardio
Monday, July 10: (194) Heavy Upper Body lift
Tuesday, July 11: (193.8) Speed – Tempo Runs, Lower Body lift
Wednesday, July 12: (193.6) Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes
Thursday, July 13: (191) Lower Body Lift
Friday, July 14: (194) Day Off
Saturday, July 15: (197.6) Running 8×100 yards, Lower Body Lift
Sunday, July 16: (194.6) Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes
By Sunday, the itch I get every summer to ramp up the training was coming back. I knew I was ready to attack the summer program hard. I’ve heard people talk about doing cardio twice per day in the past and figured I’d give it a shot myself. I chose the elliptical for cardio because it doesn’t really beat me up like jogging does and would make it easier to try for this.
The twice per day cardio experiment ended on Friday. My quads were getting pretty toasted after doing the elliptical for two hours per day. I don’t really cruise on the elliptical. Since it counts strides taken, I always try to see how far above 10,000 strides I can get in the hour and usually aim for around 18,000 strides every 10 minutes. I was also increasing the resistance and incline each session. For one session, the elliptical isn’t too bad, but twice daily was rough.
15 Sessions – 9 Cardio, 6 Lifting
Monday, July 17: (194.4) 2 Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes each, Upper Body Lift, Lower Body Lift
Tuesday, July 18: (192.6) 2 Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes each, Upper Body Lift
Wednesday, July 19: (192.2) 2 Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes each
Thursday, July 20: (190.6) 2 Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes each, Upper Body Lift
Friday, July 21: (190.2) Cardio 60 minutes, Lower Body Lift
Saturday, July 22: (194) Upper Body Lift
Sunday, July 23: (198.2) Day Off
For Monday and Tuesday, I split up my day by getting a lift at home and then going to the gym for cardio at night. On Saturday, I did a lower body sled session where I did five forward pushes, five duck walks, four lateral drags each side and four backwards hamstring walks. Each set is 20 yards long. Carbs are high for the whole week, but mostly coming from fruit.
8 Sessions – 5 Lifting, 3 Cardio
Monday, July 24: (197.4) Lower Body Lift, Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes
Tuesday, July 25: (190.4) Upper Body Lift, Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes
Wednesday, July 26: (188.8) Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes
Thursday, July 27: (190.4) Upper Body Lift
Friday, July 28: (192) Day Off
Saturday, July 29: (193.8) Lower Body Sled, Upper Body Lift
Sunday, July 30: (192.1) Day Off
I’m trying to push through, but I can see that itch I had a few weeks ago is starting to fade. I was going to do one more week of the Summer Sprint, but realized it was best to cap it on Friday. Once I returned from the conference, I went with a more traditional lifting schedule.
10 Sessions – 6 Lifting, 4 Cardio
Monday, July 31: (191.3) Lower Body Lift, 2 Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes each
Tuesday, August 1: (189.6) 2 Upper Body Lifts, Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes
Wednesday, August 2: (188.6) Day Off
Thursday, August 3: (187) Lower Body Lift, Cardio – Elliptical 60 minutes, Lower Body Sled
Friday, August 4: (185.6) Upper Body Lift
TOTAL: 21 Lifting, 18 Cardio, 2 Sprinting