Matt Bogdanowicz’s is a sub-Masters middle distance runner who set WR for 1 minute pull-ups (46), 1 hour pull-ups (522), 30 minute pull-ups (433 set in 2006) but missed the 30 minute WR on Oct 2007 (completed 417 when the current record at the time was 442).
In comparison, Alicia Weber is a former University of Florida runner and Triathlete who set 9 World Records in 2008, including WR pull-ups for 1 minute (31) & 1 hour pull-ups (560) and 30 minute WR (345). Her other WR include Chin-ups and dips.
Click here for Part 1 of the interview with Alicia Weber.
Interview with Alicia Weber (Part 2)
SpeedEndurance.com: You mentioned by 2007, you had the urge to set world records. How did the pull up/chin ups/dips WR come about?
They are so different to running or triathlons. I have always been into muscular strength and endurance training and competing. I was into boxing by age 6 and as a trainer in martial arts conditioning and boxing, I love training my cop and military clients in boxing fitness and strength training. At a very early age I would do 20 pull-ups a day, then by age 11 it was a minimum of 100 pull-ups a day. By age 13, it was a normal routine for me to complete 1,000 different kinds of pushups in a continuous workout that would take 30-minutes or so.
I also was a gymnast and performed strength shows. I hosted parties and performed. I would put together routines where I would be doing continuous exercises on bars and rings for a minimum of 5 minutes (without letting my feet touch ground). The routines would include isometric holds in different positions, back levers, front levers, dips, muscle ups, pull-ups, chin-ups and at the end I would normally grab a basketball with my legs and use my legs to throw the basketball and score a basket! I had an apparatus set up to train and perform these types of muscular strength and endurance feats. I trained on this apparatus daily starting around age twelve. The apparatus included swinging ropes from trees, a set of monkey bars, a heavy boxing bag, hanging rings, a swinging bar, and a basketball hoop 10 feet away where I would grab basketballs and throw them in there, while in mid-air.
From 2003 – 2006, I worked with world-class gymnastic coaches Macey Watson and Saravut Frank Sopapunta training strictly with elite men champion gymnasts and martial artists. I became a North American Fitness Champion and by 2007, I had set a total of 27 records coming from running, triathlon, fitness competitions, and exercise events on meet, regional, or national level.
I was ready for a new challenge. A physical education instructor that watched me train, Nicole McCarthy, also was instrumental in making me focus on strength and endurance. She knew I was world record material and she told me to focus more on my muscular endurance and muscular strength feats. I love the thrill of doing muscular strength moves and muscular endurance exercises.
I always had world record setting in the back of mind that dated back to when I was in elementary school. I knew I would be a world record setter. Men that would watch my strength feats when I was age 13 would tell me that I looked like the strongest woman in the world. The time had come for my world record setting to begin.
SpeedEndurance.com: Can you shed some light on your training for the pull up world records? Matt gave his detailed training plan for his 30 min WR attempt. How do you train for muscular endurance? Work to failure every workout, or do pyramids? (i.e. 5-10-15-20-15-10-5 = 80 reps)
I work high volume and high intensity for my pull-up workouts in which my heart rate can get up to the same as when I am running 800 meters in track about 182 bpm for heart rate. I would then take some days off from pull-ups or chin-ups to let those muscles recover. When I set my 1 hour pull-up world record that was one of the hardest 1-hour events I have ever done! After I completed it, I definitely thought that was harder than any triathlon or distance running event.
I recently set my 10th World Record in the the 10-Minute Pushups on May 24, 2009. The former world record stood for 14 years set by Renata Hamplová (TCH). I went 24 reps over the former world record and did 450 reps for 10-minutes of pushups. See Official Results here: http://www.recordholders.org/en/list/pushups.html
Here is a workout I did 6 days before setting this World Record:
There are 4 sections to this continuous workout:
- I completed 425 reps of pushups in 10-minutes (1-minute of recovery)
- 10 sets of these 3 exercises (no rest between these exercises) 15 consecutive ring dips then 20 consecutive perfect pushups then 1 minute of Scissors for Ab training, repeated 10 times (2-minutes of recovery)
- 10-minutes of pullups completing 168 reps in 10-minutes (12 reps/minute minimum and 17 reps/minute maximum) (no rest)
- Finally, I did 5 sets of these 2 exercises: 10 maltese pushups followed by 5 iron cross pullups
One thing different in how I train now than when I was in middle school, high school, and college is that I am way more creative with workouts. I had more set routines in the early days, but not anymore. I rarely do the same workouts twice. I am much stronger now and I have matured in cardiovascular and muscular endurance and I have a lot harder exercises available for me to do now. If I do repeat workouts they are strictly for testing current aerobic capacity or measuring current strength levels. My clients reap the rewards of my creativity also. I may train some of them for years and they will rarely do the same workouts twice.
SpeedEndurance.com: Have you given thought about doing the STREND events? 5 bodyweight exercises to failure followed by a 3 mile run?
Absolutely, the World Record Organization recognizes the STREND event here in the USA to have strict rules and standards and sees this event as a great test in strength and endurance. The World Record Organization first told me about the event and I do plan to do one. I hope to do one in California the next time the event is scheduled. I also have some friends in California that would want to do it also.
Editor’s Note: Alicia’s PR for 5K on the road is 17:20 and 17:46 for an indoor 200m track. A 5K is 3.1 miles, and the STREND event is 3 miles.
SpeedEndurance.com: Can you shed some light on your diet? High carbs? High protein? "See-food" diet – see the food and eat everything in sight?
My diet consists a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, nuts, and eggs. I eat fish at least once a week – my favourites are salmon and tuna. I eat salads everyday varying my vegetables (sometimes several times a day). My favourite fruits are kiwi fruit and grape fruit. I add new fruits each month to my diet and take a break from others to get different nutrients. I eat organic pastas. I take my vitamins daily and I also take an omega 3 fatty acid supplement called Moxxor. Being a very intense endurance athlete, I need omega 3 fatty acid for continued heart health and strong recovery.
I mainly drink water. I particularly like alkaline water. I feel more refreshed after drinking it. I drink Soy Milk. I also take a soy protein supplement after hard muscular workouts that has vitamins called Reliv Classic. I know that my body needs 70 – 80 grams of protein a day to work at its best, so I make sure I get that with my diet each day. Most people would be bored with my diet! People come over and look for bread, but they won’t find any in my kitchen!
SpeedEndurance.com: You have inspired a lot of people with your records. If you had a message for today’s youth, what would it be?
Exercise is not defined by reps, sets, miles, or meters. Kids especially can get bored thinking about exercise. Adults may think of exercise in only that way. The key is just to move and do activities that you like such as dancing, gardening, jumping rope, walking the dog, going camping and hiking, snorkeling, running, playing hop scotch, tag, flag football, or frisbee, etc.
Just get to moving and before you know it, you will want to try new movements and you will have more energy! Before you will know it, movements become more effortless, challenges are sought, and the healthier one will become.
SpeedEndurance.com: Alicia, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, and good luck on your future records! For those readers who want to see the real deal in action, here is a video of one of workouts: