@ The Gym w/ Roberto Mandje - LEG DAY

Hola & G'day! 

-Bringing You Up To Speed-

It has been over 2 months since my last proper update and I apologize for that! Mea culpa... with that said, I figured I'll quickly bring you up to speed before getting to the main point of this posting. 

Since my last update, I suffered a bit of bad luck.

1) April 27th - My über supportive wife: Molly Mandje and I headed to Great Falls, Montana for a road race, where I got sick beforehand but decided to race anyways. Let's just say it didn't go well! 

2) May 1st - I took a savage fall while trail running. I "only" missed 4 days of running but ran with pain and a limp for a couple of weeks after that.  I did "fun run" a 15K in upstate New York on the 24th while attending my college teammate's (Andy Allstadt) wedding, as it was part of the weekend's festivities. 

3) May 26th - Back in Boulder and trail running, I landed on a rock and jammed my left ankle pretty severely. Fortunately with the help of Toby Marchand, I've been able to more or less train every day in June. I'm still not at 100%. but getting closer. 

- Some Good News-

I've finally been able to string a couple of uninterrupted weeks of running. My ankle is improving and I've been able to get in some decent mileage with the (last week = 130+ miles). Also in May, I partnered with another great Colorado based company: Optic Nerve Eyewear. They're an independently owned company that make great and affordable athletic and lifestyle sunglasses and I'm very happy to be representing them. 

Now that we're all up to speed, I figured I'd finally published a long overdue video. We (Molly and I) filmed it on Sunday (June 22nd). For a while I had been asked about what (if any) strength/weight training I did. I figured this would be a great way to answer some of those questions. 

We filmed a sampling of my LEG ROUTINE as I figured that'd be more relevant to runners. Typically (depending on time of year and where I'm in my racing season) I'm at the gym 4 times per week. Monday and Thursday are upper body + core with Tuesday and Friday being leg days + core as well. I take weekends off to only run and let the body recover. We filmed Sunday evening at my local gym (the award winning: Rallysport Health & Fitness) as not to intrude on my fellow gym goers.

-The Exercises-

Typically I'll do two sets of each of the following exercises, but for time's sake we only filmed one set. Below the video is a more detailed account of each exercise filmed.

1) Split Leg Squats: The weight used in the video was 205lbs. Sometimes I'll do more, sometimes less. Again, it depends on where I'm in my season and how my body's feeling. I find this to be a great exercise for overall stability/strength and load bearing, all of which come in to play when running roads/tracks and trails/mountains. 

2) Step Ups:The weight used in the video was 185lbs. Much like the previous exercise above, this routine also helps isolate a single leg. As much as I hate doing these workouts, I find they help eliminate any imbalance that may hide themselves when doing traditional two legged weight routine. This allows me to lift exactly the same amount on both legs and therefor strengthening both equally. 

3) Overhead Squat: The weight used in the video was 135lbs. This is the newest routine that I've added to my "LEG DAY" and it has proven to be the most challenging. I hate & enjoy it because it challenges me as well as works both my core (stabilizing the weight overhead) and quads, hamstrings and glutes (which the other two exercises above also do) amongst others. I always get a bonus (and UN-welcomed) workout from having to bring the weight back down w/out crushing my skull and spine. 

4) Forward + Backwards Lunges: The weight used in the video was 35lbs. This is a great exercise that allows me to get even better range of motion while working both my core (again, weight held/stabilized overheard) and quads, hamstrings and glutes. Unlike the previous three exercises, these lunges and the one below exaggerate the range of motion beyond what anyone would use in running. Still, it's good to get the full range of motion when working out rather than having a limited movement all the time. 

5) Lunge Matrix: The weight used in the video was 35lbs overhead. Everything I can say about this great (it'll leave you deathly sore the first couple of times you do it!) exercise has already been said above. The main difference with this one, is that you're isolating your adductor muscles (inner thigh) which is an often ignore muscle area. 

6) Single Leg Squat + Fly: The weight used in the video was 40lbs (20lbs in each hand). This is another exercise that I both love (for the benefits) and hate (for obvious reasons) doing. It's perhaps (more than any of the others mentioned above) the most challenging as it encompasses balance, core strength and really isolates your entire leg. As I mentioned above, this is another routine that I have found has really help eliminate any muscle imbalances while providing me with great leg strength. It has allowed me to get the most out of each foot strike, be it on the road or trail/mountain. 

Thanks for reading and watching. I apologize if my form isn't 100% clean (range of motion, etc). We shot it in one take (gym closes early on Sundays) and shortly after I had finished my Sunday long to cap off the aforementioned 130+ mile week. Again, GRACIAS for watching and hopefully you enjoyed it and got a bit of a glimpse into a small part of my gym routine. Ciao!