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Paul Kayley
05-19-2007, 03:46 AM
What are your thoughts on the relevance of resistance training to aerobic sports performance?

Have you experienced complimentary benefits? If yes, why do you think improved strength increases aerobic performance?

Robb Wolf
05-19-2007, 07:41 AM
Hey Paul!!

Our endurance oriented clients certainly have benefited from both strength training (SQT, DL, Press) and from some smart CF style mixed modal training.

It seem like the stronger the person is the faster they run or bike...swimming has not shown as linear a correlation.

The literature indicates better inter and intra muscular coordination (strength training) benefits all of these endurance activities. If one can fuel a given movement with say stronger, better coordinated type 1 fibers this will be more efficient than relying on more fatigable type 2A's. Makes sense.

If someone were say....racing road bikes in Europe for a portion of the year the months leading up to race preparation might include some dedicated strength work 2-3x per week for the big movements...perhaps some metabolic conditioning. Once the season is rolling one need only hit those big lifts (sqt, dl, press, pull) 1x/7-10 days in something like an 8x3 or 10x2 format to maintain ~90% of peak strength. That should involve a minimal time investment with good return and no degradation of recovery ability.

Mike ODonnell
05-19-2007, 08:52 AM
More strength output per pedal, foot, etc....equals more overall power...more overall speed...etc....

aka your sustainable race pace is now higher....than before with less strenght....that and more power to accelerate when you need it in a race...breakaway speed....

Even intervals can increase your aerobic strength due to the higher output....

Paul Kayley
05-19-2007, 10:56 AM
Morning Robb. Great to have somewhere new and different to discuss stuff. The website looks great.

IME, apart from the obvious injury prevention benefits, strength training is definately of benefit to some aerobic and endurance activities, especially in cycling for example, where peripheral performance limitation is more likely due to the restricted muscle mass involved in an enclosed range of motion. However, trying to explain the physiological reasons for this has for some time eluded me.

A rather simplistic but nontheless potentially valid reasoning - "The answer could be efficiency, could simply be the fact that if you increase near max strength, any submaximal force output requires less muscle fiber. That is, if you need 100 lbs of force to generate a certain wattage and your max is 100, you're working at 100% of your maximum. If your max is 200 lbs, that same 100 lbs of force is only 50% of maximum." This however does not take into account the significance of the anaerobic systems upon strength, nor the almost insignificant impact of the anaerobic systems upon maximal aerobic capacity or lactate threshold.

I believe that weights is likely to be far more beneficial to athletes whose limiter is not central VO2max but peripheral fatigue, due to a low LT resulting from a restricted range of endurance trained fibres. An individual with a high % of ST fibres, either from being genetically gifted or via long-term training and altered gene-expression, is more able to easily recruit more fibres due to their lower innervation threshold. The workload is therefore better distributed resulting in a lower respiration rate per cell, resulting in better fuel economy and a higher OBLA threshold.

It may be that weight training improves/increases muscle fibre recruitability and coordination of innervation, leading to a wider and more organised fibre 'team-effort'. Also, could it not be possible that neural adaptations lead to improved intermediate muscle fibre innervation thresholds... that is, for less percieved effort these fibres can be recruited resulting in their more frequent use during sport specific training. In effect, intermediate fibres' innervation thresholds are reduced to near ST innervation charateristics. Which in turn, during aerobic actvities, results in them becoming more aerobic and endurance trained, raising the LT, and in turn increasing time to exhaustion and functional power output.

Have you ever come across any research pertaining to the effects of resistance/strength training upon innervation thresholds of different muscle fibre types? I believe that the following is suggesting that they reduce... I have read the study a few times, but I'm still not 100% sure that this is their point? Perhaps they're suggesting that less innervation occurs for the same force output as a result of improved motor unit coordination follwing resistance training?

The sites of neural adaptation induced by resistance training in humans
Timothy J. Carroll, Stephan Riek and Richard G. Carson


Although it has long been supposed that resistance training causes adaptive changes in the CNS, the sites and nature of these adaptations have not previously been identified. In order to determine whether the neural adaptations to resistance training occur to a greater extent at cortical or subcortical sites in the CNS, we compared the effects of resistance training on the electromyographic (EMG) responses to transcranial magnetic (TMS) and electrical (TES) stimulation. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from the first dorsal interosseous muscle of 16 individuals before and after 4 weeks of resistance training for the index finger abductors (n = 8), or training involving finger abduction-adduction without external resistance (n = 8). TMS was delivered at rest at intensities from 5 % below the passive threshold to the maximal output of the stimulator. TMS and TES were also delivered at the active threshold intensity while the participants exerted torques ranging from 5 to 60 % of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) torque. The average latency of MEPs elicited by TES was significantly shorter than that of TMS MEPs (TES latency = 21.5 1.4 ms; TMS latency = 23.4 1.4 ms; P < 0.05), which indicates that the site of activation differed between the two forms of stimulation. Training resulted in a significant increase in MVC torque for the resistance-training group, but not the control group. There were no statistically significant changes in the corticospinal properties measured at rest for either group. For the active trials involving both TMS and TES, however, the slope of the relationship between MEP size and the torque exerted was significantly lower after training for the resistance-training group (P < 0.05). Thus, for a specific level of muscle activity, the magnitude of the EMG responses to both forms of transcranial stimulation were smaller following resistance training. These results suggest that resistance training changes the functional properties of spinal cord circuitry in humans, but does not substantially affect the organisation of the motor cortex.

(BTW dont buy that book I recommended as I've sent you my copy.)

Derek Simonds
05-19-2007, 11:20 AM
Nice post Paul!

I will have to reread it a couple of times to pick up all the details. I think that your 100% analogy and what MOD said I can definitely attest to. My 5K run time is steadily going down ever since I have started a consistent strength program.

My bike training has been much easier also.

Robb, interesting thought on the swimming. This year my swim training has been easier to get into. I think that it is a result of several things. Pull Ups and Jumping Pull Ups have increased my lat strength and my lat strength endurance. Doing the mass gain plan I have done a lot of pressing which has really strengthened my shoulders. Used to be early in the year my shoulders would be the most sore from swimming. And the final key is that interval work has really increased my ability to perform at or near LT for short periods of time across all activities.

Mike ODonnell
05-19-2007, 11:41 AM
Having my mountain bike *cough* turn into a single speed (if you call the derailer snapping off a good thing...and then rigging it to one speed till I buy a new bike) was one the best things to do for increasing my power stroke while biking....some hills still suck but I am able to crank out some serious speed now...suck factor is high....result factor is great... great for training but obviously not something I would use during a race.

Neal Winkler
05-19-2007, 12:14 PM
nor the almost insignificant impact of the anaerobic systems' impact upon maximal aerobic capacity or lactate threshold.

The anaeribic sysytem has little impact on maximal aerobic capacity and lactate threshold? I couldn't disagree more. Working in the anaerobic system, specifically the glycolic pathway, imporoves both VO2max and lactate threshold. That's what every study on HIIT shows.

I believe that weights is likely to be far more beneficial to athletes whose limiter is not central VO2max

Assuming that VO2max is a performance limiter. I havn't done much research in this area but the power running site has a lot to say about this subject. If you havn't gone through this site, you'd be silly not to.

http://www.powerrunning.com

It may be that weight training improves/increases muscle fibre recruitability and coordination of innervation, leading to a wider and more organised fibre 'team-effort'... In effect, intermediate fibres' innervation thresholds are reduced to near ST innervation charateristics. Which in turn, during aerobic actvities, results in them becoming more aerobic and endurance trained...

If I get what you're saying here, your assertion is that strength training decreases the amount of intensity that is required to activate higher threshold motor units, and thus cause the higher threshold motor units to perform aerobic work thus changing their fiber characteristics. But, that is the opposite of what happens. For example, if I get stronger, say, improve my squat from 100lbs. to 400lbs., doing a squat at 100lbs. when my max is 100lbs. will require immediate recruitment of my type IIB, whereas doing 100lbs when my max is 400lbs may only require my ST fibers unless I try and move the weight at maximal velocity.

So, on the contrary, increasing strength increases the level of intensity that is required for higher threshold motor units to get activated.

Furthermore, let's remember that what energy system we are using (and thus what motor units will be recruited) is first determined by the intensity, then the duration, of the activity. So, why would the body call upon the less fatigue resistant higher threshold motor units to do aerobic work if it didn't have to? The reason higher threshold motor units get called upon to do aerobic work is because the type 1's become fatigued. That's when repeated exposures to the aerobic stimulus begin to change their fiber characteristics.

You would have to be saying that strength training first causes you to become worse at aerobic activity (from calling upon less fatigue resistance type II fibers to do aerobic work) and only after subsequent training makes you better. But I think you'll find that strength training never makes someone worse at aerobic activity before it makes it better.

Motion MacIvor
05-19-2007, 06:32 PM
One thing to consider is that the more efficent you become at a given movement, the more difficult it becomes to induce an adaptive response to training. If all you do is run for 2 hours at 150 BPM after a couple of months your fitness will stagnate and likely decline a bit. I dont want to imply any LSD prejudice so I'll point out that if all you do is tabata intervals the same thing will happen. Throwing in a bit of gym time in the off season will help you to break that plateau. This is one of the main reasons crossfit is such an effective progam it never allows you to become efficient at anything. It forces an adaptive response to each work out.

Another thing to consider is that maybe weights are'nt that helpfull when it comes to steady state aerobic events such as marathon and XC mtb. Road racing is an entirely different kettle of fish because it combines random bursts of extreme power with steady state aerobics. Some of the most successful XC mountain bikers I've known and trained with use almost no weights at all.

Paul Kayley
05-20-2007, 08:26 AM
Firstly, great response Neal. You've got me scratching my head, which is what these forums are all about to me.

"The anaeribic sysytem has little impact on maximal aerobic capacity and lactate threshold? I couldn't disagree more. Working in the anaerobic system, specifically the glycolic pathway, imporoves both VO2max and lactate threshold."

Thats not exactly what I was meaning. Yes, I agree that training the type IIa fibres to become more aerobic, and potentially even training type IIb fibres to become more like the IIa fibres, will of course raise the LT and muscle specific oxygen uptake capacity (QO2). I am trying to understand what exactly are the mechanisms responsible in increasing strength which can be carried over into endurance performance?

"Assuming that VO2max is a performance limiter."

From my research it would appear that in sports like swimming, biking, and running - provided an athlete is blessed with, or has trained a high muscle specific oxygen uptake capacity, then the limiter to maximal aerobic performance appears to be central VO2max, particularly cardiac output.

If I get what you're saying here, your assertion is that strength training decreases the amount of intensity that is required to activate higher threshold motor units, and thus cause the higher threshold motor units to perform aerobic work thus changing their fiber characteristics. But, that is the opposite of what happens.

I am asking if it might be that with improved neural abilities (improved wiring conductivity if you want) will one be able to recruit a greater range and number of fibres for the same level of perceived exertion, compared with pre-strength training? And/or as you suggest, is it that in response to high resistance work that the ST contingent become more able to generate force somehow, therefore reducing the need for the higher fibres which 'feel' more difficult to recruit?

I would like to better understand what is physiologically responsible for the increases made in strength following training.... From what I can gather... first there are neural improvements - improved motor unit recruitment (although I cant find a definition of what precisely this means!), intramuscular coordination (defined as "the extent to which individual fibres in a muscle are voluntarily activated"-Zatsiorsky - does this mean that there is such a thing as a 'partial activation' of a muscle fibre... I thought they were 'all or nothing'!), intermuscular coordination (smoothness of action with no antagonistic opposition?), rate coding (speed of MU firing and repetition), MU synchronization (coordinated MU firing); then fibre hypertrophy (sarcoplasmic and/or myofibrillar depending upon type of strength training emphasis). I would like a better definition of what is really happening?

For example, if I get stronger, say, improve my squat from 100lbs. to 400lbs., doing a squat at 100lbs. when my max is 100lbs. will require immediate recruitment of my type IIB, whereas doing 100lbs when my max is 400lbs may only require my ST fibers unless I try and move the weight at maximal velocity.

So, on the contrary, increasing strength increases the level of intensity that is required for higher threshold motor units to get activated.


I think what I'd like to know is why is it that following training to a new max of 400Lbs, the 100Lbs which previously was a maximal effort now feels easy? The untrained 100LBs effort will have involved all available fibres, and now it only requires the lower threshold fibres, mainly the ST and maybe some FTa? If this is the case, then strength training is somehow increasing the force generation abilities of the ST fibres, which is a very positive argument in its favour for endurance athletes.

Could this the case???

Motion MacIvor
05-20-2007, 12:20 PM
From my research it would appear that in sports like swimming, biking, and running - provided an athlete is blessed with, or has trained a high muscle specific oxygen uptake capacity, then the limiter to maximal aerobic performance appears to be central VO2max, particularly cardiac output.

My understanding is that VO2max is a corralary (sp) and not a cause of high aerobic performance. It's not how much oxegen you take in it's what you do with it that counts. I think the limiting factors are much more likely to be capillary, mitochondia density, and the efficiency of the neuro muscular conections. Another point is that VO2max is not even an indicator of high performance it's the % of VO2max that your AT sits at that is the more meaningful number. I seem to remember the power running site has a bit to say about this if you have'nt already checked it out I highly recomend it.

BTW I have no idea who you are, whats your background?

Paul Kayley
05-20-2007, 01:45 PM
My understanding is that VO2max is a corralary (sp) and not a cause of high aerobic performance. It's not how much oxegen you take in it's what you do with it that counts. I think the limiting factors are much more likely to be capillary, mitochondia density, and the efficiency of the neuro muscular conections. Another point is that VO2max is not even an indicator of high performance it's the % of VO2max that your AT sits at that is the more meaningful number. I seem to remember the power running site has a bit to say about this if you have'nt already checked it out I highly recomend it.

BTW I have no idea who you are, whats your background?

Yes you are right, VO2max is more a measure of aerobic potential rather than of current aerobic ability.

As you say, performance in any given event is usually dependent upon many phsiological variables. In most normal endurance events, with a high VO2max one is simply more likely to succeed with the right training.

I know very little about neuro-muscular connection limitations... I think I remember writing a really boring essay once on acetyl-choline as a potential site of peripheral fatigue!

Capillary density and the extent of mitochondrial reticulum development are of course both very responsive to endurance training. Improving mitochondrial development beyond a certain stage does not appear to raise the fiber's QO2, thereafter the increased density appears to be related mainly to improved glycogen sparing via lipolysis.

My background... nothing special!

Pierre Auge
05-20-2007, 05:48 PM
Paul Kayley,
seems its been a very long time since I've seen that name. I think before I even started posting on the CF message board, back before I was the stupid kid I am now.

Ben Reynolds
07-15-2009, 10:49 PM
What are your thoughts on the relevance of resistance training to aerobic sports performance?

Have you experienced complimentary benefits? If yes, why do you think improved strength increases aerobic performance?

Ideally, training should incorporate both resistance and strength based movements just to make the body more adaptable to varying stimuli. I believe strength helps endurance to the extent that muscular fatigue takes longer to set in.

When I only trained burpees they were brutal. By incorporating ring dips, L-sit pullups, and pistols alongside my routine, muscular fatigue set in later and I could handle longer sets before reaching the anaerobic threshold. Just those three exercises filled in the gaps for me.

Tom Rawls
08-07-2009, 06:00 PM
Do any of the elite cyclists do strength training? Or do they let their climbs develop the strength they need?

Clearly, their sport demands that they limit upper body mass. No one wants to carry extra weight up the Alps. So that has some implications for their training and diet. And I expect their legs are largely slow-twitch.

I am skeptical of Robb's assertion that strength training 2-3 times per week would be valuable to road cyclists. But I'm also quick to admit, damned if I know for sure.

Stephen Seiler's site discusses the use of strength training for rowers (power/endurance athletes). It also goes into their muscle-fiber composition. He concludes that lifting is only marginally useful for endurance athletes who clearly also need to be strong, and he also notes that Olympic rowers are slow-twitch freaks. That's probably a genetic gift, in part, and a result of adaptations from many two-a-day sessions lasting 90-120 minutes. Seiler's stuff hasn't been changed for several years, so I don't know whether recent studies would lead him to refine his thinking about strength training.

Fritz Hagerman, exercise physiologist who has worked with Olympic rowers, has noted that some elite rowers pump heroic amounts of blood through their systems, thereby powering their aerobic engines. Other rowers are uncommonly efficient at extracting oxygen from the blood that is pumped. So two different physiological mechanisms--big pump or better utilization--result in elite endurance performance in a shell. Is is reasonable to think that cyclists would also fall into one or the other of those categories? (Along with having clever doctors and pharmacists.)

I never know whether the VO2 max conversation is useful. VO2 max is genetically limited (so I've read), and it doesn't take that much specific training to reach that limit (so I've read). You want to do some VO2 specific training, because this will allow your "lactate threshold" training to occur at faster paces, but overdo the VO2 stuff, and you'll fry yourself and not be able to do the important distance training that prepares you for longer races.

Of course, if your goal is something other than being an emaciated freak, then by all means lift, but I'm not sure you'll be improving your cycling performance.

One other piece of evidence suggesting strength training is irrelevant to cyclists: the physique of Michael Rasmussen, who was leading last year's TdF before being DQ'd

http://www.ulrichfluhme.com/skeletor.jpg

bryan butts
08-13-2009, 02:38 PM
We can't look at Tour riders only. That would be like compairing Ultra Runners to 100m sprinters.

Steven Low
08-13-2009, 03:00 PM
This is what I think:

http://eshlow.blogspot.com/2009/06/why-speed-work-is-necessary-for-elite.html

Donald Lee
08-26-2009, 02:05 PM
http://www.verkhoshansky.com/Bookshop/tabid/101/Default.aspx

It addresses resistance training used for endurance running.

Tom Rawls
09-01-2009, 07:38 PM
Donald,

Is the book worth the money?

Donald Lee
09-02-2009, 10:56 PM
Donald,

Is the book worth the money?

The book is definitely an eye-opener. Verkhoshansky has some great ideas, although his breakthroughs are more in the explosive strength arena. It may be difficult for you to comprehend, as some of it was difficult for me to comprehend as well. The translation by his daughter was pretty good, so some of the difficulty just came from the fact that he doesn't fully explain everything and assumes that the reader understands the logic.

Even if you do have trouble understanding parts, I'd be more than happy to explain them to you. I think it could possibly be an educational interaction for everyone here on this board. I also asked questions to someone on another board who is well-read in Verkoshansky's works, so you could read that as well after reading the book.

The book has two primary aims: 1. Answering the question of how to increase both aerobic power and capacity so as to stay aerobic until the final kick at the end of a race. 2. Showing a model for implementing the block periodization model, which is not well understood by many in the West.

If those two aims interest you, then I suggest you purchase the book. Plus, Verkoshansky is one of the pioneers of periodization and the creator of shock training (aka. plyometrics). His works are worth the read, if you can understand what they're saying.

Tom Rawls
09-03-2009, 04:58 PM
Thanks for the comprehensive answer, Donald. I expect much of what he has to say would elude me, but I might give it a try.

Mike Prevost
11-26-2009, 07:45 AM
What are your thoughts on the relevance of resistance training to aerobic sports performance?

Have you experienced complimentary benefits? If yes, why do you think improved strength increases aerobic performance?

Paul

I do not believe the benefits are there. Honestly, it does not take a degree in exercise physiology to understand that these are two different physiological adaptations. It might seem logical that if you are stronger, you can put more power to the pedals, but, even at high power outputs, force on the pedals is not very much. This is true, even for events like prologue time trials. Look at some of the best cyclists and runners in the world for example. They are able to perform at elite levels with very little limit strength.

Again...force requirements for endurance activities are VERY low. You are better off working endurance than trying to force some improvements through strength training. Honestly, strength training is more likely to interfere with quality workouts. I recall trying to do a time trial after a heavy deadlift day. Not the best experience. Doing that week in and week out would just be counterproductive.

Some will qote research that shows improvements in running economy from strength training. You have to look at these closely. Many are using relatively untrained subjects, and in some cases "strength training" consists of sprints or hill sprints.

Finally, the concurrent endurance/strength training studies generally show more interference with strength adaptations than endurance adaptations. However, some argue that mitochondrial dillution from increased muscle mass is a problem for endurance athletes.

Mike Prevost
11-26-2009, 07:49 AM
J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1998 Sep;38(3):201-7.Correlations between peak power output, muscular strength and cycle time trial performance in triathletes. Bentley DJ, Wilson GJ, Davie AJ, Zhou S.

School of Exercise Science and Sport Management, Southern Cross University,
Lismore, NSW, Australia.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between the peak power output (Wmax),
peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), lower limb muscular strength and cycling time (CT)
during a short course triathlon race. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The study involved a
cross-sectional analysis involving both physiological and biomechanical
variables. SETTING: Testing was performed at the exercise physiology and
biomechanics laboratory, School of Exercise Science and Sport Management,
Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Ten male
triathletes who had been endurance cycle training for a minimum of 12 months
prior to the commencement of the study. MEASURES: Subjects completed a maximal
incremental cycle test as well as a series of muscular function tests including
a 6-s cycle test, a concentric isoinertial squat jump as well as an isokinetic
leg extension test performed at velocities of 60 degrees (s-1, 120 degrees (s-1
and 180 degrees.s-1. In addition, each subject also participated in a triathlon
race of distance 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle and 10 km run. RESULTS: A significant
correlation existed between CT and absolute VO2 peak and Wmax. However, no
significant correlations were found between the results of the muscular function
tests and the incremental cycle test as well, as CT during the triathlon race.
CONCLUSIONS: Wmax and WDmax are useful variables in assessing cycle performance in triathletes. However, the importance of muscular strength of the lower limbs may be minimal in overall cycle performance during a short course triathlon
race.


Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Jun;31(6):886-91.The effects of strength training on endurance performance and muscle characteristics. Bishop D, Jenkins DG, Mackinnon LT, McEniery M, Carey MF.

Department of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane,
Australia. dbishop@wais.org.au

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of resistance
training on endurance performance and selected muscle characteristics of female
cyclists. METHODS: Twenty-one endurance-trained, female cyclists, aged 18-42 yr,
were randomly assigned to either a resistance training (RT; N = 14) or a control
group (CON; N = 7). Resistance training (2X x wk(-1)) consisted of five sets to
failure (2-8 RM) of parallel squats for 12 wk. Before and immediately after the
resistance-training period, all subjects completed an incremental cycle test to
allow determination of both their lactate threshold (LT) and peak oxygen
consumption VO2). In addition, endurance performance was assessed by average
power output during a 1-h cycle test (OHT), and leg strength was measured by
recording the subject's one repetition maximum (1 RM) concentric squat. Before
and after the 12-wk training program, resting muscle was sampled by needle
biopsy from m. vastus lateralis and analyzed for fiber type diameter, fiber type
percentage, and the activities of 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase and
phosphofructokinase. RESULTS: After the resistance training program, there was a
significant increase in 1 RM concentric squat strength for RT (35.9%) but not
for CON (3.7%) (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant changes in OHT
performance, LT, VO2, muscle fiber characteristics, or enzyme activities in
either group (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: The present data suggest that increased leg
strength does not improve cycle endurance performance in endurance-trained,
female cyclists.


Swimming and Strength Training

1: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993 Aug;25(8):952-9. Links
Dry-land resistance training for competitive swimming.
Tanaka H, Costill DL, Thomas R, Fink WJ, Widrick JJ.
Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.
To determine the value of dry-land resistance training on front crawl swimming performance, two groups of 12 intercollegiate male swimmers were equated based upon preswimming performance, swim power values, and stroke specialties. Throughout the 14 wk of their competitive swimming season, both swim training group (SWIM, N = 12) and combined swim and resistance training group (COMBO, N = 12) swam together 6 d a week. In addition, the COMBO engaged in a 8-wk resistance training program 3 d a week. The resistance training was intended to simulate the muscle and swimming actions employed during front crawl swimming. Both COMBO and SWIM had significant (P < 0.05) but similar power gains as measured on the biokinetic swim bench and during a tethered swim over the 14-wk period. No change in distance per stroke was observed throughout the course of this investigation. No significant differences were found between the groups in any of the swim power and swimming performance tests. In this investigation, dry-land resistance training did not improve swimming performance despite the fact that the COMBO was able to increase the resistance used during strength training by 25-35%. The lack of a positive transfer between dry-land strength gains and swimming propulsive force may be due to the specificity of training.

Mike Prevost
11-26-2009, 07:54 AM
Ideally, training should incorporate both resistance and strength based movements just to make the body more adaptable to varying stimuli. I believe strength helps endurance to the extent that muscular fatigue takes longer to set in.

When I only trained burpees they were brutal. By incorporating ring dips, L-sit pullups, and pistols alongside my routine, muscular fatigue set in later and I could handle longer sets before reaching the anaerobic threshold. Just those three exercises filled in the gaps for me.

No, not for endurance events. It is a time domain thing. Strength training simply does not provide the metabolic challenge to slow twitch muscles that is necessary to improve endurance performance in TRAINED individuals. In untrained individuals, almost anything works.

Strenth training does not make the body more adaptable to endurance training. The extra muscle mass is often detrimental to endurance performance and the strength training workouts can interfere with the quality endurance sessions.

Realize that we are talking about different time domains. Doing burpees for 10 minutes is different than a one hour time trial or a 10 K run.

Tom Fetter
11-26-2009, 09:07 AM
Perhaps, Mike. But I strongly suspect it does depend both on the specific endurance event, and on the athlete's time spent developing the capacity to apply their gained strength through the energy pathways specific to their sport.

I'm more familiar with rowing ... where a 2k race for well trained but non-elite folks tends to run in the 6.5-7.5 minute range. This is well into the aerobic domain, something like 80% or above of the energy used is through the aerobic pathway ... but the strength demands are substantial throughout.

The research shows that rowing competitiveness correlates not only with a vastly trained aerobic system but also with greater strength, up to a point. That point's relatively low in comparison to the barbell sports (i.e. elite rowers show about 2X bodyweight squats), but relatively high in comparison to, say, cyclists or middle -long distance runners.

The question we're trying to resolve in my house through this year's off-season training is whether it is more productive to gain greater aerobic capacity first, or greater strength. We've tried the first route, through conventional on-the-water training with the rowing club; this Winter, we're trying the second - a primarily strength phase, followed by a primarily aerobic phase. I'll let you know how it's worked out in April.

Steven Low
11-26-2009, 09:59 AM
Mike:

There's many studies that show positive effects of strength training on endurance.

Of course, diet needs to be programmed to ensure that there is no loss of body mass, AND the strength training MUST be programmed along with concurrent endurance work so that endurance adaptations are not lost.

There is a reason why elite endurance runners and such do have power/strength work in their training.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18545191
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19816215
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18978605
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19077735

etc.

Mike Prevost
11-26-2009, 06:50 PM
Mike:

There's many studies that show positive effects of strength training on endurance.

Of course, diet needs to be programmed to ensure that there is no loss of body mass, AND the strength training MUST be programmed along with concurrent endurance work so that endurance adaptations are not lost.

There is a reason why elite endurance runners and such do have power/strength work in their training.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18545191
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19816215
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18978605
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19077735

etc.

Steven

Study one, strength training prevent loss of stride length..OK...maybe relevant...maybe not. Second..soccer players..not endurance athletes. More of a stop and go sport. Third study a review in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. It is an OK journal. I subscribe, but they have a large pro strength training bias. Not sure I would look there for a balanced review on the subject. Third study, core strength training. Not sure what they did.

Consistently what is found is that in some cases running economy can be improved with some strength training. Probably resulting from an increase in the elastic properties of the muscle (stiffer series elastic component). There is SOME evidence to support strength training for runners, but it is not overwhelming and most elite runners do not employ strength training regularly. Some include some in the off season. Rarely do they continue it into racing season.

For other sports like swimming and cycling, the research is much more consistent; strength training does not improve endurance performance.

Mike Prevost
11-26-2009, 06:52 PM
Perhaps, Mike. But I strongly suspect it does depend both on the specific endurance event, and on the athlete's time spent developing the capacity to apply their gained strength through the energy pathways specific to their sport.

I'm more familiar with rowing ... where a 2k race for well trained but non-elite folks tends to run in the 6.5-7.5 minute range. This is well into the aerobic domain, something like 80% or above of the energy used is through the aerobic pathway ... but the strength demands are substantial throughout.

The research shows that rowing competitiveness correlates not only with a vastly trained aerobic system but also with greater strength, up to a point. That point's relatively low in comparison to the barbell sports (i.e. elite rowers show about 2X bodyweight squats), but relatively high in comparison to, say, cyclists or middle -long distance runners.

The question we're trying to resolve in my house through this year's off-season training is whether it is more productive to gain greater aerobic capacity first, or greater strength. We've tried the first route, through conventional on-the-water training with the rowing club; this Winter, we're trying the second - a primarily strength phase, followed by a primarily aerobic phase. I'll let you know how it's worked out in April.

Rowing is a different animal than endurance running, cycling and swimming.

Donald Lee
11-27-2009, 02:12 PM
Mike,

Have you read any of the stuff written by the East Germans or former Soviets on aerobic conditioning and special strength training? I haven't read much of their actual work, but I have read some of the stuff of people who apply their work. At least with Verkhoshansky, he doesn't recommend traditional strength training. With long distance runners who do not have any strength training background, he does recommend traditional strength training as a primer for his special strength training recommendations. He primarily utilizes light jumping squats for strength training. He also utilizes cable hip flexor exercises, which I don't know if are useful. In addition, he utilizes slight incline hill runs and skipping-type running with little to no bending of the knees.

I don't know if many elite endurance athletes follow the Block Training Model, but in the block training model for endurance athletes, the various components are developed in this manner:

Block 1 cardiac output and peripheral circulation, oxidative capacity of slow twitch fibers, contractile capacity of slow twitch and fast twitch fibers (LSD, bouncy running, aerobic fartleks, uphill running, etc.)

Block 2 myocardial (contractile) power, contractile capacity of slow twitch and fast twitch fibers, oxidative capacity of fast twitch fibers (repeated and interval running),

Block 3 power output of specific work (interval running and competition running)

Basically, Block 1 is low intensity work on both the running and strength training side. These have the longest residual training effects and interfere with each other the least. Block 2 is higher intensity work. Block 3 brings everything together with specific competition work.

Also, Lyle has an article series going on right now on endurance training that is probably worth reading.

Also, note this from Chapter 9 in "Strength and Power in Sport," which is edited by Paavo Komi. Chapter 9 is written by Walter Herzog and Rachid Ait-Haddou from the University of Calgary:

Research that Dr. Herzog has performed indicates that the force-length
relationship of a muscle will adapt to the particular activity the
individual performs. In runners, the in-vivo force-length relationship
of the Rectus Femoris muscle is exactly opposite that of a cyclist. In
runners, in-vivo measurements of the force-length relationship of the
Rectus Femoris muscle revealed a positive slope while for cyclists the
force-length relationship had a negative slope. This occurs because in
running the rf. muscle undergoes a SSC and larger force is required at
longer muscle lengths whereas for cyclists, the rf. muscle only
shortens and force is produced at shorter muscle lengths.

It was concluded that the specific mechanical muscle adaptations that
occur in response to chronic running versus chronic cycling would
prevent a champion in cycling from becoming a champion in running and
vice versa.

Steven Low
11-27-2009, 02:57 PM
That's a pretty interesting quote Donald. Makes sense though.

I still advise putting some strength work in for athletes.. if I was coaching. I have a friend who's going to be working with some high school athletes soon, and he has a similar approach so we'll see.

Mike Prevost
11-27-2009, 06:05 PM
Donald

Have not read any of that stuff. I can see strength training modalities like jumping and sprinting being less of a problem than traditional squats. WHen I was training for Iornman, there was no way I could recover from any lower body strength training and still be able to put in quality sessions in the run and on the bike. I think most elite level endurance athletes would have the same problem. Why fatigue yourself with an exercise modality that has little specificity for your particular event? Besides, if I had an extra 30 minutes, that time was better spent on an extra run.

Stop and go sports like soccer, basketball, and football are different.

Mike Prevost
11-27-2009, 06:09 PM
Mike,


Also, note this from Chapter 9 in "Strength and Power in Sport," which is edited by Paavo Komi. Chapter 9 is written by Walter Herzog and Rachid Ait-Haddou from the University of Calgary:

I wonder if Dr Herzog is familiar with some of the top leve triathletes? At Clearwater this year the top guys were riding 28mph for 56 miles, then running sub 6:00 pace for 13.1 miles off the bike.

Eric AUciello
12-11-2009, 05:24 PM
Donald

Have not read any of that stuff. I can see strength training modalities like jumping and sprinting being less of a problem than traditional squats. WHen I was training for Iornman, there was no way I could recover from any lower body strength training and still be able to put in quality sessions in the run and on the bike. I think most elite level endurance athletes would have the same problem. Why fatigue yourself with an exercise modality that has little specificity for your particular event? Besides, if I had an extra 30 minutes, that time was better spent on an extra run.

Stop and go sports like soccer, basketball, and football are different.

do you really mean...I love LSD... don't wast my time with actually studies/data/etc...

"if I had an extra 30 minutes, that time was better spent on an extra run." ...or you could have read some of the info that has been mentioned???

Mike Prevost
12-12-2009, 09:17 AM
do you really mean...I love LSD... don't wast my time with actually studies/data/etc...

"if I had an extra 30 minutes, that time was better spent on an extra run." ...or you could have read some of the info that has been mentioned???

Hi Eric. I would respond but I cannot figure out what you are saying. Maybe if you wrote actual sentences it would make more sense?

I am not a LSD/Maffetone fan. There is a place for LSD but LSD all the time is a waste and not optimal.

Jonathan Yoon
12-21-2009, 07:32 AM
Hi Eric. I would respond but I cannot figure out what you are saying. Maybe if you wrote actual sentences it would make more sense?

I am not a LSD/Maffetone fan. There is a place for LSD but LSD all the time is a waste and not optimal.

Maffetone's method does work, but it does that a very long time to top out your highest speed at a low HR. However, there have been plenty of other methods that have come out that are also effective. When I was using Maffetone's training methods, I was seeing my speed increase while my HR stayed low. But I also ran out of patience for it after several months and decided to give up being a slave to the HR monitor. After trying low-HR/low-intensity work, high-HR/high-intensity work, and everything in-between, I've found my body seems to be good with a mix of both low and high efforts.