I have three major breakthroughs to report:

1) I learned how to powercrank! I rode 43 miles on Sunday. About 15 miles into the ride, something clicked, and I learned how to ride the bike. It was like when you see a little kid learning how to bike... they try, and fall, try, and fall. Then, all of a sudden, something happens and they cruise down the street. That's exactly how it felt with me today. I am really pumped! I feel better on the PC's now than I do on the regular crank.

2) All of my weights are going up in the Maximum Strength program. The big, key lifts in the first phase of the program are the bench press, box squat, deadlift, front squat, chinup, push press, and rack pull. I've improved atleast 10 lbs. on everyone. It's nice to see the rapid improvement. I particularly like that Cressey's program has such quantifiable results. There's no BSing whether or not your lifts are improving. Instead of saying, "yeah, I feel like I am getting fitter..." I can say, "Yep, my front squat is up 10lbs. since last week!"

Front squat. Notice that the bar goes across the front on the shoulder... it doesn't sit on the traps like in a normal, back squat.

3) I was listening to Leigh Peele talk with Kevin Larabee on TheFitCast. She mentioned that artificial sweetners can sometimes be associated with joint and muscle pain. I've had a little nagging pain recently that I haven't been able to get rid of. Also, I use the artificial sweetners - diet sodas, sugar free gum, and sweetend coffee. So, I decided to experiment, cut out the sweetner, and see what happened.
Within a day, the pain was gone completely. It stayed gone for three days. Then, I thought, I am going to experiment with this some more. On Friday, I bought myself some gum, diet soda, and sweetend coffee, and I sat down and chewed and drank like I was trying to quit smoking. Saturday I woke up with the familiar nagging pain!
It's Sunday night now, and I haven't had any sweetner in a few days. Again, the pain is gone. Maybe it's all in my head. Even if it is, who cares, because results are results.
It makes me wonder if the sweetner has been messing me up in other ways, too. Needless to say, it's gone forever from my gullet.


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