Optimal strength training for runners

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by Abide, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, it's funny how we tend to fall back on our habits, with what's comfortable and has worked in the past, despite all the exposure to different training protocols. I tend to like the warm-up, 1-2RM, then 2-3 drop-off sets x 3-5 reps approach to the big lifts, and something around 2-3 straight sets across x 3-8 reps for the intermediate and lighter lifts. It's what I know.

    This week I'm going to try to do deadlifts twice to see how that feels, but only heavy on Monday. On Friday I'll do higher rep sets at 185 or 225 as a warm-up to my power clean, then trap bar jumps and front squats to help develop different phases of the power clean movement. I may also only do 1RM DLs every other week. Yesterday I stayed at 275 and did more sets and reps, instead of going up to 315 and coming back down. Since I'm making a push on the DLs as well as the chin-ups, seems like a little more greasing of the groove is in order. I've uploaded the latest tweak.

    Attached Files:

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  2. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Got the new dip station design set-up, I think it's going to work, but all those plumbing pieces really add up. I didn't tighten it up because I'm still thinking about returning everything and just getting this: http://www.medicalartspress.com/dip-stations/cbs/50000558.html. The price would be cheaper, but it would take up floor space while not in use, whereas my homemade jobbie can be hung on the wall. Will take pics later today in any case.

    Did inverted rows, and wow, those are great! Much harder than I thought. I also did assisted pullups and chin-ups on my new rack using a band. I felt my lower back being used much more than on pulldowns. So for both the rows and pullups, I think it may be best to start with the bodyweight exercises and then go to the plate-based exercises as assistance. My back should be twice as strong by the end of the year. After my six-mile run in the morning and then my afternoon st, I slept like a corpse, so hopefully my recent problem of waking up at 1-2am has been solved. Running is much more effective than ST in that regard I think.

    Anyway, can hardly wait to do squats later with my new Olympic bar and rack.

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  3. Sid Barefooters

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    Still in a fair amount of discomfort, but am improving. I think from now on, I'm going to do my jog first and weight after. That way, I'll be warmed up and loose.
  4. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Glad to hear it's getting better. I think 5-10 minutes of warm-up is always good. Even for running, lately I've been walking the first block or two and then running slower for the first half mile. I think rowing is the ideal warm-up exercise for lifting.

    Over lunch, looking into High Pulls versus Power Cleans, wondering if it's really worth mastering the latter. A few articles/threads:
    http://www.poliquingroup.com/Articl...16/Seven_Good_Reasons_to_Like_High_Pulls.aspx
    http://chadwaterbury.com/the-high-pull-for-muscle-development-and-power/
    http://startingstrength.com/resources/forum/showthread.php?t=22246

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  5. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    I hear defranco's eight get thrown around for warm ups you could always give it a try. I like that its less than 10 minutes an every day.

    "So without any further ado, here is an extremely simple & practical routine that athletes (or “average Joe’s”) can perform everyday. I like this routine because it only takes 7-10 minutes and it can be done at home or at the gym. (All you need is a foam roller and a tennis ball…if you don’t have these two inexpensive tools; I highly recommend you go get them!)

    Joe D’s “Agile Eight”
    #1 – Foam Roll IT Band – Start just below your hip and roll up & down to your mid-(outer) thigh 10-15X, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform 10-15 “rolls” starting at your mid-(outer) thigh and rolling all the way down to the outside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight areas.
    #2 – Foam Roll Adductors – Start just below the crease of your hip and roll up & down to your mid (inner) thigh 10-15X, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform 10-15 “rolls” starting at your mid-(inner) thigh and rolling down to the inside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight spots.
    #3 – Glute/Piriformis Myofacial release w/ static stretch
    #4 – *Rollovers into “V” sits – Perform 10 reps
    #5 - *Fire hydrant circles – 10 forward circles/10 backward circles each leg
    #6 - *Mountain climbers – 20 reps
    #7 - *Groiners – Perform 10 reps. Hold last rep for 10 seconds…push knees out with your upper arms while dropping your butt down.
    *The video below demonstrates exercises 4-7. Make sure you really focus on achieving a big range of motion with all these exercises. Don’t just go through the motions!
    #8 – Static hip flexor stretch – Perform 3 sets of 10 seconds each leg. Perform all 3 sets on one leg before moving onto the other leg.

    If performed 5-7 days a week, I guarantee this simple routine will make a huge difference in how you feel and how you move! This routine can be performed at home before you leave for work, school, practice, etc. Or you can perform it at the gym before training. The bottom line is that there’s NO EXCUSE for not fitting this quick routine into your daily schedule."

    http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask_joe/archives/ask_joe_08-10-03.html

    Oh wait Lee's gonna yell at us about stretching.
    I'm gonna go get a foam roller today actually, I haven't done that in a while but I think it would definitely by worthwile to do after or before my yoga routine. Which is very similar to what he is recommending...
  6. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Hmmm I'm gonna have to think about that for a while. I have been using the high pulls as more of a body building lift and I do them from the hang. On the other hand I cheat a little more and I am sure my form isn't always the best doing it this way. Power cleans are less forgiving in this aspect.

    How'd the squats go? Do you notice a difference in bars and weights? And what do you mean inverted rows? Like this?

  7. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Or the limber 11

    The Limber 11
    1. Foam Roll IT Band: 10-15 passes
    2. Foam Roll Adductors: 10-15 passes
    3. SMR Glutes (lax ball): 30sec. - 2min.
    4. Bent-knee Iron Cross x 5-10 each side
    5. Roll-overs into V-sits x 10
    6. Rocking Frog Stretch x 10
    7. Fire Hydrant Circles x 10 fwd/10 bwd
    8. Mountain Climbers x 10 each leg
    9. Cossack Squats x 5-10 each side
    10. Seated Piriformis Stretch x 20-30sec. each side
    11. Rear-foot-elevated Hip Flexor Stretch x 5-10 reps (3sec. hold) each side

    http://www.defrancostraining.com/as...2-joe-ds-qlimber-11q-flexibility-routine.html
    dutchie53 likes this.
  8. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, since I have this left shoulder issue, it seems like it might make sense not to rotate it with heavy weight like at the end of the power clean movement. Plus, presumably I could do a little more weight if I didn't have to do that last flip and rack, thus developing more power. I would be doing it from the floor though, not a hang, in order to develop the plyometric aspect a bit more. As for cheating, I would probably only do them chest high, for the same reason of not antagonizing my shoulder.


    The biggest difference is probably just having a more open space, which frees me up mentally. My old set-up with a bench separate from the cable station was kind of cramped. But I also like the bigger bar and it's motivating to see those bigger plates on either end. I didn't get in a full workout however, as I was called in to do wife-repeats before going to pick up the kids. I think it's called training periodization or something.

    Yah, that's it, I think they're also called reverse push-ups and, more weirdly, reverse pullups (so is the bench press a reverse overhead press?). Eventually I'd like to do them with my feet on my bench. I'm not into bodybuilding, but it's cool, I can already see my back getting a little wider. I looked up your guy DeFranco over lunch and he makes the point that the back tends to be underdeveloped in a lot of athletes, but it should probably get twice the attention as the front, since it's really the platform for most athletic actions involving the hands--throwing, swinging, punching, tackling, and so on.


    Once again, it's gratifying to see my intuitions validated by someone who knows a lot more than me. He also makes the point that the upper back responds well to higher frequency/volume training, which jibes well with my plan to 'grease the groove' with daily pullups.

    Plus, I read somewhere that having a stronger back should improve my presses, so I don't mind backgrounding the latter a bit for a while. In the end I might be able to go heavier with them.

    In general, this new routine is really going well, I get a good pump almost from the very start of each workout. I've become convinced every workout should begin with either deadlifts or squats. I used to think they were lower body exercises, but they really prime the whole body. I like combining the deadlifts with upper body pulls, and squats with upper body pushes. I know there are other logics/combinations--upper/lower splits, antagonistic muscles, etc.--but it seems most natural for me to put all the pulls together in one workout, and all the pushes in another.

    On the second page of the Excel doc I uploaded two days ago, you can see in my CAMP workout some of the mobility exercises included in DeFranco's warm-up routine. I like to do things like mountain climbers with ankle weights.

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  9. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    I've always thought the back has more to do with running than what people give it credit for as well. So I think extra back work is a win win for both lifting and running.

    Now the question is which does it respond to better higher reps and lower weights or lower reps and higher weights? Or maybe a combination of 5-8 heavy reps?

    Yeah I saw that CAMP stuff most of its really similar to what I do in my daily yoga. I do like that extended stretch mountain climber he does.
  10. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, my approach to running form is really simple: run barefoot with a good, relaxed yet erect posture. Doing back stuff really helps posture.

    My sense is that 5-8 heavy reps, 3-5 sets, will work best for me, both for pullups and rows, except maybe the dumbbell rows, which I'm thinking of doing lower rep/heavier, and really jerking it with "bad form." I might also start doing the t-bar or barbell rows with more of a 3-5 rep approach, letting the bar come to rest on the floor after each pull, then do some higher rep back off sets. We'll see . . . but mostly I'm counting on the deadlifts to serve as my back's heavy lift.

    Giving my toe a clean bill of health, so I'll try the box jumps in my CAMP routine for the first time in many weeks.

    Yesterday did my presses for the first time in a few weeks. Today my left shoulder feels pretty good, so I think the narrower grip bench presses will be key. I also kept the weight at 185 and did 3x5 straight sets. I'll probably hold off on 225 for a few more weeks.

    Decided to go with my plumbing pipe dip bar instead of a commercial dip station, so I started tightening everything up for real, then discovered a 1/2 inch discrepancy between a length of nipple pipe and two smaller pipes connected by a union running parallel to it. So I'll have to go back to Menards. I'll try to get off some pics this weekend when the whole thing is finalized.

    P.S., you ever done sled pulls? I'm thinking of loading some dumbbells or plates in an old tire and sprint-pulling it on the local track. A decent vest would cost about $36: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005AU6J1Y/ref=pe_385040_30332200_TE_item

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  11. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    It's funny that this is your approach as these are the two things I conciously consider during a run as well. I used to think about it alot more but then realized it really doesn't matter. I have to admit I get a good chuckle out of the threads that talk about good form, especially that chick in the video that was posted a few days ago with running with your hands in front of you. So I guess it's not all useless?

    Now form for lifting is a completely different issue.

    I don't know if you have noticed this, but one of the problems I have had with heavy rows from the floor is managing the lower back fatigue throughout the workout. DL's and Squats take so much out of my lower back trying to get in some heavy reps of non-chest supported rows is difficult after the main work. It is probably why the 5-8 rep range works better vs. the 3-5 range I would use for heavier stuff.

    On another back topic I wonder if there is some correlation (like how bench should equal row) between the amount of pull-ups and weight you can do and what you could do horizontally. For example I can do roughly 8 chin-ups before the point of failure, I am probably sitting at 200lbs. so should that match what I could pull horizantally or 8 reps for roughly 185lbs? It probably doesn't matter since your press and bench is significantly different but I wonder if I should start adding weight to my pull-up?

    Good news about the toe and shoulder. With the narrow press you still have to be diligent about keeping the arms in and not letting your elbows flare out too significantly. I tend to do this especially when the weight gets heavy. Its good patterning for me to do 10 slow controlled reps with 135 before I jump weight. Just a thought.

    I haven't heard about Menards from my days back in Chicagoland. You have them up in Minnesota? I am a home depot fan personally haha.
  12. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    No I have never done them but have read and heard great things about them. In fact I remember an article I read that Louie Simmons used them for recovery for his lifters and for an ultra runner who would train with him? So maybe it would be a benefit for runners. They have to be pretty similar to pushes, I would assume, and I do like those but once again I have never done them for longer distances like you are suggesting. Maybe I'll give them a try and go do some pulls at the beach.

    And the reviews...

    "The piece of crap plastic clips that hold this harness onto your body are too weak and will snap if you try and drag more than 20 pounds. What was this thing made for, pulling a few kittens across a field?
    Yea, you can tie the straps around your body but for this price, why?"
  13. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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  14. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, I think all the running form talk is either by people who haven't been very athletic in their lives, or by people who are very athletic and perfectionist. I'm somewhere in the middle so just decent posture comes naturally to me, and barefoot running seems to force a good landing and stride length. I'm sure there are lots of fine points I could work on, but with no real performance goals, why bother? As long as I'm not developing any repetitive stress issues and can run decent distances despite the fact that I carry any extra 50-80 pounds of fat and muscle, I figure I'm doing OK.

    That said, I'm thinking of making a push to lose 20-30 pounds by the end of the summer. Just running more consistently will be key, but also ditching the extra daytime meal will help. I like to lift with a full tank of fuel, but if my maxes fall off a bit once in a while, it will be worth it if I can lose some belly fat.

    But yeah, for lifting good form is key, and it doesn't always come naturally. I'm still finding my way with bar position on the squats, trying little tweaks and sticking to 225x2-3 until it starts to feel really smooth and natural.

    Yah, that's why I like the idea of inverted rows--no stress on the lower back. I also find if I do the bentover t-bar or barbell rows one rep at a time, allowing the plates to touch the floor in between each rep, it helps the lower back. I also like the dumbbell rows for this reason; with the opposite knee and arm offering support, the lower back doesn't get stressed as much. That's why I think I might start doing those heavier. I'm at 80lbs now, but I would like to try 100 tomorrow. But you're probably right that bentover t-bar or barbell rows would best be done with a higher rep approach. I also like seated cable rows with this kind of grip:
    • [IMG]
    Seated rows are very lower back friendly
    Yah, I don't know about those ratios. The bentover row and bench presses (especially wide-grip) are kind of an unnatural movements, whereas pullups and overhead presses seem pretty natural. The bench press, however, is supported (by the bench), whereas the bentover row isn't, so I don't know if they really should be equal. I know a lot of people think so, but like you say, it can really fatigue the lower back. I don't take a purist 'naturalistic' view of these things, but it seems worth considering whether or not the body was really designed to do certain movements and whether or not they're placing undue stress. The older I get, the more cautious I become on these sorts of issues. Even in my prime, I would avoid the bentover row a lot. Never really liked it but it's easier with the t-bar. I just started doing barbell rows again a few weeks ago, so we'll see how that goes.

    In any case, I would say once you can do 8-10 reps for chin-ups, you could start to think about adding weight. That's been my idea anyway, if I can ever get up to 10 reps!

    Thanks for the tip! My grip is still a little wider than shoulder-width, not a true narrow-grip bench press, but I'll make sure to keep my elbows in. I usually do 3-5 reps at 135 as I warm-up, always controlled. I don't like doing too much more than 3-5 reps on the warm sets though. I like to have a full tank for the work sets.
    Home Depot is probably better, but there's a huge Menards close by.
    Yah, I saw that review, but it was the only negative one I think. The other lower star ones said it was too big, but I'm XL shirt size, so it shouldn't be a problem for me. I usually discount one or two negative reviews if all the others are positive. And anyway, if it does break on me, with Amazon, returns are always easy.

    Of course, I could go ultra low-tech and just haul a rope over my shoulder. I was looking at sleds and I thought: "how is this better than an old tire with some weight in it?" The problem with using a rope though is that I wouldn't be able to pump my arms, but maybe that's OK?

    Anyway, I thinking of getting more serious about my sprints, hills, and maybe this sled pull idea. I think I should do more conditioning work on my non-lifting days. I get a sense that my weekend long runs would really take off if I did more conditioning work during the week. It's just a matter of summoning the will. It's so much easier to just go out and jog at aerobic pace all the time.

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  15. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    I don't really understand this: "For one arm rows, heavy and high reps works best for size."
    For me, if I'm going heavy, I'm doing lower reps, if I going lighter, I'm doing higher reps. How can you go heavy and do high reps?

    But I agree that the back seems more complicated the chest and shoulders. For the latter, all you really need is bench press, dips, then barbell and db overhead presses. For the back, I attack it in maybe 6-10 different ways, with different grips and positions, and with bodyweight, weights, and cables. Maybe even more if you include things like overhead squat, pikes, and hypers.

    I also agree that a big back is more aesthetically pleasing than cartoonish chest or arms, but I still have a hard time with really muscular women, especially ones with low body fat. That guy says he "loves thick backs on chicks." To each his own. Let and let live. Different strokes for different folks. Follow your bliss. And all that.

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  16. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    I took that to basically do Kroc rows or heavy and high reps for one set to failure. Yeah I like the pump I get in my back when I do today's lifts, with DL, chin's, one arm rows, farmers walks and swings. I will start doing the inverted rows again too, good corework I would imagine.

    Whats wrong with this?

    [IMG]
  17. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    I'm gonna read a little more about the sled pull, I'll post up some articles if I find anything good. I really don't know that much about them and I wouldn't even know how far to run and how weight to load? I would imagine you could vary both, but I would tend to think the faster you can go the better.

    If you do want to lose weight I suspect adding some conditiioning would help. Cut a few calories of course.

    btw I am now taking an extra 50g of whey protein each day. Gonna see if that helps blunt my appetite a little.
  18. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    I still don't get it, unless he's saying he sometimes does high reps at weights so light that he could do more if he wanted to. For me, "heavy weight" means you can't do many reps, say up to five max. Medium weight would be up to 10 or so, and light weight would be above 10. If you can do heavy weight at 8 reps, it's not really that heavy, it seems to me.
    Can't see the face or butt.

    I was thinking "thick" was more along these lines:

    [IMG]
    Yah, for sled or tire pulling, I'm thinking 50-100 meters sprinted. I know I should do more tempo runs, but I think I prefer higher intensity stuff like sprints and hills where the mental effort is brief. Plus for physiological reasons I can't recall right now, I think tempo runs are more catabolic than either anaerobic or aerobic running. From an evolutionary perspective, it seems possible that people rarely would've run at a taxing pace for very long. I dunno. Maybe when I get back into better shape tempo runs will be more appealing. I certainly do like that exhilarating feeling you get after a good, hard 3-5 miles.

    The only problem with sled or tire pulls is that it will be a hassle to load up the car and drive down to the track and then set everything up. Might be better just to run hills. Lemme know if you find some good articles.

    This looks like a really good harness: http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=139&pid=2842

    Too bad I don't know how to sew well or I could just make a harness out of a car tow strap. Maybe I could just use my suspension straps holding the handles with the straps passing over my shoulders, like this (around 45 seconds into it):

    Limited arm swing, but with the extra weight, maybe that doesn't matter?

    For weight loss, I know what needs to be done. Get back to more consistent running, add some conditioning, and cut back on calories a little. I'm already eating protein at every meal, and don't eat too many starchy carbs like potatoes or rice, but I tend to attack weight loss more through exercise than diet.

    I stopped running consistently this winter and put on 20-25 pounds. But some of it was muscle mass. I wanna get down to 210 again, and if I'm lucky, maybe 200.

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  19. Sid Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
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    Been a week now, feeling a lot better. Been hitting the spa and the pool to do some stretches and gentle laps the last few days.
    Got a 1.5 hour massage last night, and I'm feeling a lot better. I think that my body was compensating for the injury, which caused trigger points in other areas. Going to try to do some laps in the pool, and maybe try a jog tonight.
    Bare Lee likes this.
  20. Sid Barefooters

    Member Since:
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    Funny, you should mention this. I saw a neighbor over the weekend pulling his pickup with a tow strap, with both hands, strap over one shoulder. I thought about stopping to help him, but he was just two houses from his house, my back is still recovering, and I was on my way to an appointment. Plus, it was odd, because usually people push disabled cars from the driver's side door, so they can steer. I thought about what might happen, if the pickup gathered some momentum, but my neighborhood is pretty flat, and so is Florida in general.

    Anyway, while I was walking the dog today, past his house, I saw some chalk on the sidewalk. I figured it was his kids drawings, then saw sets of exercises written down. So, I guess he was doing a car pull exercise! :D
    dutchie53 and Bare Lee like this.

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