Thinking about some changes to next year’s maintenance program.
I thought this year’s cut was one of the best of my “career”. This year’s cut only lasted 10 weeks, I didn’t stall even once, almost all of my workouts were amazing, my strength improved from one week to the next and my energy levels remained high right up until the final day. And I did all of this while dieting down to a personal record low of 5.7% body fat.
I am looking for a repeat performance when I cut again in early 2013, and will be very happy
if I can when I pull it off again.
What I’ve been thinking about is after the cut is over. I’ve been doing a good job of maintaining post-cut the past couple of years, but I’m considering remaining in strict mode after the completion of my 2013 cut. Not ultra-strict like when I’m cutting, but considerably more strict than my usual maintenance program. There are three primary areas I’m considering focusing on during next year’s post-cut maintenance program:
A minimum of five bike rides per week.
These rides can be a combination of mountain biking and indoor training, but some form of riding at least five days. I recognize the value of road biking as a training tool, but I’m still not interested in taking my riding in that direction. Road biking doesn’t excite me at all; conversely, the mere thought of going mountain biking still gives me the same feeling I had when I found a copy of Penthouse magazine in the woods when I was 10 years old.
Only one cheat meal per week, and one snack (like popcorn) per week.
I normally have just one or two splurge meals per week when I’m maintaining, but this “rule” would tighten that up a little more. I also generally eat popcorn once or twice on the weekends, so this new restriction would cut that down to just one time per week.
Alcohol no more than twice per week.
While I no longer drink hard liquor, I do consume red wine pretty regularly when I’m maintaining. Cutting my alcohol consumption to no more than once or twice per week would be a smart move.
I feel these changes would make a pretty big difference in my performance on the trails and will also allow me to maintain lower body fat levels/lighter weight year-round.
In addition to these changes, I want to attend several MTB skills camps/private lessons and put a lot of effort into improving my mountain biking skills. My cardio is good and I have a lot of power, and those two things have allowed me to be competitive with some much better riders when it comes to Strava times. While I can certainly continue to work on improving my power and cardio, I believe the real secret to becoming a great rider instead of “fairly competitive” is drastically improving my riding skills. While I’ve worked hard to become a better rider, I believe some good coaching will make that process much, much faster.