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5×5: Life After Running

by Mia Behm

Many people wonder, what’s out there for us once our running careers are over. After surveying several candidates, one interviewee in particular stood out the most – Mark P. Feigen.

For those of you who don’t know Mark Feigen, he’s best known for being one of the tallest runners to partake in Columbia cross country and track and field, for his role in The Real Maine and for his World Record viewing of all 4 seasons of Game of Thrones in a mere 36 hours, 34 minutes, and 35 seconds (disbelief can be addressed with proof seen below).

Mia 1

An achievement so great it brought time to a halt.

More important, though, is his recent muscle growth.

Since the completion of his running eligibility at Columbia, Mark has decided to hang up the spikes and pick up the iron, specifically via 5×5.

If you’re not familiar with 5×5 (or “StrongLifts”), there’s a good chance you’re not interested in getting “swoll.” Mark knows 5×5 and is obviously very interested in getting “swoll.”

Here’s a quick rundown of how 5×5 works:

You alternate between workout A and workout B completing 3 of 5 muscle exercises every day: Squat, bench, row, overhead press, and deadlift

A:  Squat, Bench, Row

B:  Squat, overhead press, deadlift

Each day you do 5 sets of 5 reps for each of the 3 exercises, 3 days a week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

The goal is to start at a reasonably heavy weight for each exercise. Once you successfully complete all 5 sets for that exercise at your goal weight, the next time you do that exercise you will add 5 pounds (or 10 pounds for deadlift). This will ultimately lead to larger muscles and a more masculine frame.

A typical day in the life of an Austin-based, Columbia track and field alum.

A typical day in the life of an Austin-based, Columbia track and field alum.

When asking Mark why he chose 5×5, he had much to say regarding his new lifestyle and pursuit of happyness [sic]:

“As someone who has spent many years, going through countless workouts, injuries and comebacks in an effort to run faster on the track and seeing only marginal improvements at best, it’s a refreshing change of pace to be working at something (5×5) and feel like I am getting out as much or even more than I am putting in. Runners spend years trying to improve by seconds or even tenths or hundredths of seconds, but in less than 10 weeks of doing 5×5 I added hundreds of pounds to my squat, deadlift, etc. I won’t get into specific numbers because I don’t want to embarrass anyone (myself) but I am confident in saying that I am well on my way to being one of the stronger humans over 6 foot 2 inches to ever have come somewhat close to breaking 4 minutes in a mile relatively recently. Deep down, every man, and 50% of women, just want to be as ‘swoll’ as possible, and pushing the envelope in the weightroom until failure and also consuming 300+ grams of protein per day is the easiest way I can see to achieve that goal. There is currently a group of once-somewhat-elite-level track athletes from The University of Columbia in New York City who have rededicated themselves to pursuing ‘swollness’ at all costs. No one can be sure of how all of this will end, but it is surely an interesting development and worth following for some small subset of the general populous.”

So for those who worry about what will happen once they’re done logging miles, this study provides that that there is something to look forward to (at least for males), and that’s achieving a body representative of a very masculine build.

Joining Mark in the post-collegiate running, 5×5 scene are a few former teammates: Michael Weisbuch, Jeff Moriarty, Paul Corcoran, and Michael Murphy.

[In the event of full disclosure, Mark Feigen is the boyfriend of Mia Behm, the author of this blog].

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