Optimal strength training for runners

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

  1. Sid Barefooters

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    Brisk walk with dogs and 60lb vest. A lot better than this morning. Acclimating?

    Also noticed that my balance has improved in recent weeks. I can now stand on one leg with my eyes closed with my weaker left leg, without any problems. I had meant to actually practice this at some point, but the weighted walking seems to have addressed it. Nice! :D
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/h...hich-53-year-olds-at-risk-of-early-death.html
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  2. mokaman Chapter Presidents
    1. Georgia

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    Sid you have sparked an idea with your weighted vest stuff...I think i'll experiment with wearing a backpack loaded with weights for walking to see how much weight it takes to raise heart rate by 10 beats ...20 beats etc. I usually walk a mile or so everyday anyways so it will be easy to do plus I'll get to try out your idea on the weighted walking at the same time.

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  3. Josh16 Barefooters
    1. Canada

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    I also intend to try the same thing as you mokaman. My girlfriend has a good backpack that I could use for this. I'll give this a shot this week.

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  4. Sid Barefooters

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    I hope you guys find it to be helpful exercise. I feel like it's helped me a lot.

    Today, I tried a lighter load of 28lbs, by taking out 8 out of 15 weights from the vest. After taking a few steps, it felt too light. So, I went back home and loaded up all 15. Felt ok. During my walk with my two dogs, I saw the neighbor that I've seen walking with a vest before. He had his big dog, too. I kept my distance, since I didn't know how our dogs would get along.

    Today, it felt okay, going for a short run after the 1mi walk. A quick and easy 1.5 mile, since I wanted to get home and do some yard work.

    Seems that acclimation is moving along quickly. :D
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  5. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    My understanding is that slow reps, like high reps, are a hypertrophy protocol, for bodybuilders. It's for size, not strength.

    I've always followed a strength protocol, mostly by intuition, but lately I've done some reading that explains why I like it. I don't think it's possible to use a lesser weight to gain the same intensity. What you're doing is decreasing the intensity so that you can gain duration. TUT (Time under tension) is increased at the sacrifice of the amount of tension at any given time. Kinda like a 5K versus a marathon.

    My thinking is simple: if you want to be strong, lift heavy. So, if 4-7 reps is your targeted rep range, then simply ask yourself, what's the most amount of weight I can lift for 4, 5, 6, or 7 reps (with good, controlled form of course)? The weight will determine rep speed, just as pace determines cadence (once again assuming good form). Let strength training focus on training strength, not stamina, or endurance(, or balance, or stability), in other words. Break down fitness into its component parts and train them separately. Then combine them again in the performance of one's sport. If you're just training for fitness, like we are, then it may make sense to combine some or all of the fitness components in a single workout/exercise, as in functional fitness, but just be aware that a trade-off is involved, and that no one component will be trained as well. With a slow-rep protocol, you're trading in a bit of strength for more stamina and/or endurance, it seems to me. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but if you find it boring, you might want to consider a more traditional strength protocol, something like a 3x5 set-rep scheme, where you choose a weight that makes you come close to failing the fifth rep of the third set.

    Here's a few articles I dug up in a quick Google search. There's a piece by Rippetoe giving more detailed reasons against slow reps somewhere, but for some reason I couldn't come up with it.

    http://www.rdlfitness.com/slow-reps-vs-fast-reps/
    http://gainweightjournal.com/should-you-lift-fast-or-slow/
    http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-n...h-by-manipulating-the-speed-of-your-reps.html

    Thanks for thinking of me Sid. Unfortunately, I've only used my ladders twice. It's all just a little too much. I'm slowly trying to incorporate more plyo/HIIT-type exercises at the end of my ST workouts, but for the most part, my foci right now are strength and endurance. Trying to get as strong as possible while I still can, and get a reasonably fast 5K and 10K. Then work more on plyo and mobility, and maybe some Olympic weightlifting, I dunno. As my kids get older, hopefully I'll get more agility training while practicing sports with them. My daughter loves it when I chase her up, down, and around the playgrounds, and my son is already into playing catch. I still aim to get better at my ladders, but it's tough to fit everything in. And now we're talking about weighted walking . . .

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  6. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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  7. mokaman Chapter Presidents
    1. Georgia

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    What do you figure is your total TUT of one your workouts for the 4 main upper body lifts? I think i might have to lower the weight to do the 3x5 type of barbell training.

    I'm sticking with what I'm doing now for awhile longer but want to switch over to body weight and dumbbells. Later on I'm planning to try couple other styles of weight training and the regular barbell training will be one of those but that method takes a lot more time than what I'm doing now. The most important thing for me is to do something I can stick to doesn't matter to me a whole lot which method or style it is...I think there will have to be some pretty good variety going on.

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  8. mokaman Chapter Presidents
    1. Georgia

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    All 3 of those links make some good points thanks for posting those.

    From that above link you posted:

    Time Under Tension

    Depending on how slow your reps go and how many reps you do, some sets can last up to three minutes, extending the time the muscle is under tension. This will fatigue the muscle far beyond anything you are used to. Muscle fatigue is important for stimulating size adaptations, increasing growth hormone and IGF-I (growth factor) levels.
    In addition, research has found that training with slow reps can increase strength gains better than normal rep training.

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  9. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Good summaries. And it's always nice when someone with knowledge concurs with the protocol I've adopted via experience and intuition:
    "pyramiding up to a few heavy sets, followed by a few higher-rep "back off" sets with lighter weights. The latter is my choice."
    Yah, if you're used to doing one set at slow reps, you might have to reduce weight to do three normal rep-speed sets, but I kinda doubt it. In any case, no matter how many sets or reps, the weight should always be close to the maximum you can do over those sets and reps at normal bar speed, it seems to me, if gaining strength is the goal.

    I agree doing something you can stick to is the number one consideration. There are a lot of things I probably should do as part of my fitness routine, which I don't, cuz they're boring/hard/a hassle/unpleasant/etc.
    Note that time under tension is different from raw tension or intensity, and the latter is most important for strength. You can draw out the time, but only by decreasing the tension, all else being equal. Just as you can run farther by running slower. But now you're training endurance, or strength endurance, not pure strength.
    Although I've only read a little bit about this, everyone else appears to disagree with that statement. Slow rep training seems to be a hypertrophy protocol, not a strength protocol. I've never done slow rep training, so have no idea if this is true or not.

    Of course, with hypertrophy protocols, you're still getting stronger, and with "strength" protocols, you're still getting bigger. It's not an either-or choice, but one of emphasis.

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  10. Sid Barefooters

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  11. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    I have been building up to a 1rm on the shoulder press and then doing back off sets and I really like that sequence. I have used it before for lower lifts but never upper stuff. I might try doing the bench this way. Its a nice way to add in some volume training which I think my upper pushes benefit more from them.
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  12. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    New Deadlift PR: 355!

    I felt pretty good, well-rested and -fed (and I had had to skip last Friday's workout, so I was fresh as well), and warmed up quickly, going a coupla reps each at 95, 135, 225, 315. I had intended to do 3x3x315, but my birthday's tomorrow, and I decided to give myself a little treat. I thought it would be nice to make a second attempt at 355 and see if I could get it in before beginning another year of going around the sun. I had my 'Green Day' Pandora station on, and Offspring's "Come out and Play" came on. Perfect. I needed something basic and stupid, so I cranked it.

    The bar went up, very slow but steady and with good form. Then I came down in 10-pound increments, each increment feeling about as hard as 355, until I got to 315 again. Somewhere around 335 I felt a muscle in my left shoulder blade strain a bit, but I was able to keep it under control. From there, I took off two of the 45-pound grip plates and put on two 25-pounders, to bring it down to 275 and sets of 5/4/3 reps. I felt my left knee's MCL strain a bit, so I redoubled my attention to good form, and the strain went away.

    Man, I was wiped out. I felt hollow and hungry.

    But after a few minutes, my ATP-PC levels must've been restored or something, as I was able to launch into my Barbell Bentover Rows with pretty good pep. I switched from my Green Day Pandora station to my Black Uhuru station. The white noise had served its purpose.

    I'm a little undecided about the value of BB Rows, so for this week, I've decided to combine them with the Deadlifts, as my 'lite' row day, and put the Dumbbell Rows, Russian Twists, and Cable Rows on Friday, as my heavy row day, where they'll combine with heavy squats if I skip the squats on Wednesday, or light squats and light deadlifts if I'll have ended up doing heavy squats on Wednesday. At 135, the BB BORs felt a little light, but 185 was a little too heavy to do with proper form. 165 hit the sweet spot of maximal 3x5 resistance while maintaining strict 90-degree form. They felt pretty good so I guess I'll keep BB Rows for the time being. I kind of liked the cheating "Yates" form at 185 too though, so next time maybe I'll start with strict Pendlay rows



    and then add weight--maybe 225?--to finish with Yates rows:



    From there I did assisted Chinups. I was able to add a rep to my sets, from 3 to 4. Still pathetic, I know, but it's progress. Once I get up to 10 assisted Chinups, I'll start doing a few low-rep sets raw. It's funny, but right now it feels like my biceps are the limiting factor. Maybe I should start doing curls again?

    Finally, hyperextensions. It dawned on me that it would be a lot easier to get a dumbbell behind my neck than a barbell, like I tried last week, so I picked up one of my 25-pound rubber hex dumbbells and had at it. Wow, what a great finishing exercise. After a few sets of 7-8 reps, I was totally spent. I wanted to do a third set, but my lower back was bubbling.

    No way I was going to do my box jumps. So I whipped up a protein shake with some creatine and berries, showered, and headed out to pick up the kids, feeling a little giddy about my new PR. The next 10-pound increase will mean slapping on my two 25-pound grip plates. That will look pretty nice, with three 45-pounders and one 25er on either side of the bar. I'll try it at the end of this month or beginning of September. If I can hoist it, then I'll still be on schedule for 405 by the end of the year, Jan/Feb at the latest.

    My new "dead wedges" performed well, but they were kinda unnecessary. Most of the workout involved monkeying around with 10- and 5-pound plates as I pyramided down from 355 to 315. Once I get up to 405 though, they'll be nice. The idea is to eventually do worksets at 405 and drop sets at 365 with the two 25-pounders, so I'll mostly be moving the big plates.

    Today I'm really feeling it in my back, like someone kicked me repeatedly, but in a kind, loving kinda way. Not feeling it too much in my glutes and hammies, so hopefully I'll be able to get in a good run down by the river later today. I'm still experimenting, but it seems like squats interfere with running much more than deadlifts. So maybe the day after squats should be interval/hills day?
    I really like the 1-2RM to back-off sets protocol for all the heavy lifts: Deadlifts, Squats, Bench. For rows and the 'top' lifts--OH press & Chinups--I find it nearly impossible to do 1RM with good form. Maybe I'll be able to do the OH presses that way when I'm stronger. Cool that it's working for you. What are you pressing these days?
    Thanks Sid.

    Pretty weak methodology though (untrained subjects), but I guess it proves that for novices, just about anything will lead to improvement! In fact, I read in one of the articles I looked up yesterday that the use of slow reps tends to decrease as experience grows, such that the author reported that he knew of no advanced lifters who did it, and only a few intermediate ones. But I think he was referring to powerlifters, not bodybuilders.

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  13. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Hey congrats progress in the making. I should admit I don't go up to an actual max but its probably 90-95%. For the deadlift I prefer lower volumes so if I did lift up to a max I probably wouldn't do the back off sets. I'm still on the fence with squats though. Maybe I'll give it a try? I am still following a ~ 10 rep/lift volume guideline, it seems to work well for recovery purposes with all the additional stuff I have been doing so back off sets don't really fit in, but with upper body lifts the 10 reps could be 20 reps I think?

    I did 155 today but I was rushing last week I was up to 165. It's funny becase I have not maxed the press or bench recently and I can tell because it feels much less stable than before under the same loads. Probably the same as you are feeling. There is some fugly in a +95% lift I've always experienced, some are better than others.

    Yeah thats why I took a break from squats before they seem to impact runing in odd ways. I'll keep them up for 8 weeks if I don't see results I might just dump barbell squats completely.
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  14. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Yah, it's tricky, now that I'm somewhere around intermediate level in some of the lifts, to figure out the proper ratio of volume to recovery time. So far, I'm tolerating pushing the deadlifts pretty hard once a week, but I'm not sure if adding a few sets of light deadlifts, say 3x5x225, on Fridays will help or hinder progress.

    When I say 1RM, I'm usually talking 90-95% too, but lately, I've been taking the deadlifts up to pretty close to 100%. 355 yesterday was right at the edge of my ability, with good form. I really doubt I could've done 365, but I think moving quickly through the warm-up sets is helping with the max set. Even just doing singles, the energy dissipates really quickly with deadlifts. I think I probably have good potential for both the squats and deadlifts, as my upper back seems to be the limiting factor for the deadlifts, not my glutes and hammies, and with the squats, I think the limiting factor right now is technique and my quads. From being my two weakest lifts, I think they'll become my two strongest. We'll see.

    I hope you keep doing barbell squats, it'd be fun to compare notes now that I'm just about ready to start pushing those as well. I'll try to get up to 315 and then see where I go from there. I think if I can get up to a 405 DL, then a squat somewhere in the middle 300s should be possible. And even if squats interfere with my running, I think if I program my intervals/hills the following day, it won't matter much. I'm also hoping that I'll adapt more to running after my squat day as time goes on. I think we can adapt between fitness modalities as well as within them, right?

    165 is pretty good for the OH press. That puts you close to "advanced," according to ExRx's Strength Standards: http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/PressStandards.html. Impressive. My near-term goal is to get up to 135. I'm thinking of having a dedicated barbell for the OH press, loaded just with 5-pound plates so that I can do them standing up in my low-ceiling garage. You said you like having several loaded bars around, and I'm coming round to the idea. I've had that with the EZ bar in the past, when my biceps curls and pullover weight was the same, and now I have three dedicated dumbbells (in addition to my set of fixed rubber hex dbs). Gonna pick up a 5' bar at Walmart later today so that I can try Sid's landmine presses tomorrow with a little more space.

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  15. mokaman Chapter Presidents
    1. Georgia

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    I tried this yesterday about 35 lbs in a backpack...1.5 miles power walking trails. Awkward for the 1st half mile or so then I sorta got used to it...tried to run but that was slower than walking. Was able to get heart rate up to Maf level by just walking on the uphills and about 10-15 below Maf on the flats. I bet your weight vest is easier to deal with than just using a backpack. This really makes the trail feel rougher and i think it gets your ankle muscles working for balance.

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  16. Josh16 Barefooters
    1. Canada

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    I think the weight vest must be better to. I did 7 km trail walk with a 30 lbs backpack yesterday. stubbed my big toe and got lost but otherwise I'd say it was a succes.

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  17. Sid Barefooters

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    The balance is better with the weight vest. I tried strapping 10lbs of ankle weights to the waist strap of my backpack, to balance out the 25lbs in the pack. That helped with balance, but was pressing on my bladder! I briefly entertained the idea of strapping the ankle weights to the chest strap, but then it would look like big blue boobies!

    It looks like the price has dropped a bit on the weight vest, $90 shipped. http://www.ebay.com/itm/320922213210
    Well-constructed, definitely built to last. It's made by MIR, just has a different label. There are youtube videos that show you how to adjust it. I have a sizeable cranium, so I have the headhole adjusted for wide sizing.

    I found the shoulders to be uncomfortable, as described a few posts back. I also found that rolling up a bath towel and wrapping it over my shoulders and around the back of the neck helps immensely. They sell shoulder pads for extra, but they don't look very thickly padded.
  18. Josh16 Barefooters
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    Problem is the shipping price to canada is 115$. Otherwise i would have bought it.

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  19. Sid Barefooters

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  20. Josh16 Barefooters
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