Calculating starting volume

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  • #6041

    I’m trying to calculate my starting volume for beginning an 8 week transition period, as part of a 24 week training plan. This is the only aspect of preparing my plan that I am having an issue with.

    Movescount tells me that in the last 8.5 months (since I started logging everything) I did 301 hours of exercise (includes all training, hillwalking, running etc.) By extrapolating this 12*(301/8.5) I get an annual exercise volume of 425 hours. During this time I’ve been working at sea, in an environment that severely limits my training options (to walking up and down stairs/bodyweight strength etc.) for four weeks out of every eight which is why this figure is so low. While at work, bad weather means it’s often impossible to train for safety reasons (it’s a fairly small boat). My training volume during a four week trip can dip to as low as eight hours (January 2017 trip, consistently awful weather).

    Given that this gives me a weekly average of just over 8 hours, including my time at sea, that would have me starting my transition period on 4 hours per week; this is nowhere near the minimum of 6 hours that Scott said the 24 week training plan requires for success on my objective. I’ve never felt ill from overtraining/pushing it too far and I’ve done a week (6 days of xc skiing, heavy pulk) that consisted of 39 hours, as well as a two week period that consisted of 61 hours. I felt fine after both periods.

    Based on this history what starting volume would you prescribe? I was going to start with 7 and increase as per page 189, adjusting to how I was feeling.

    Attached image shows my movescount summary.

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    Anonymous on #6044


    Your inconsistency does make it a bit of a challenge to select an average weekly training volume. However the 8 month volume is decent considering the forced time off. I suspect that if you have the time to train consistently and spread the load out more evenly over the next 24 months you can handle more than a starting volume of 7 hours. If you are going to still be ship bound for 1/2 of the 24 weeks you might consider heavily loading the 4 weeks ashore with high aerobic volume and then switch to low volume with more strength and ME work while confined on the ship when time and space are limited. This is called block periodization and has been used effectively. If you are going to be ashore the whole 6 months then a more gradual progression in over all volume would work better. I think you could start with 8 hours/week from the sounds of what you’ve been doing.

    Good luck,

    Roberttaylor on #6046

    Thanks Scott,

    I’ll be ashore (college followed by some time off to focus on training, then Denali trip, then back to work). I’ll start with 8 and see how that goes.

    One final question; on page 191, weeks 6-8 move to ‘functional strength’ sessions as opposed to ‘general strength’ sessions as in weeks 1-5. What is the difference?

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