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Old 12-24-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
Mike Prevost
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Default Fitness Transfer from Rowing to Running

There was a thread on this over at crossfit but that forum is not a productive place to discuss training logically....

The theme of that thread was that there should be quite a bit of transfer from one to the other because many adaptations that occur in each would benefit both like reduced lactate, increased lactate metablism, increased capillary density etc.....

However, ALL of those are metabolic adaptations inside of the muscle. Rowing and running are training different muscles. So.....there would be little, if any, transfer of these metabolic adaptations from rowing to running. Too many over there do not understand training specificity at all. Is it a systemic problem with their certification program? It is a VERY basic and simple principle of exercise physiology that has been well known for more than 50 years.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:24 PM   #2
Donald Lee
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With all the Interval craze, specificity of training adaptations with regards to conditioning has been thrown out the window. The most useful transferable adaptation between rowing and running would be that of the heart. I'm sure the training of the legs on rowing would be useful to prevent atrophy of the running muscles if you can't get outside for some reason, but I don't think you should really think rowing will help your running or vice versa.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
Garrett Smith
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Mike,
The CF board is basically a bunch of rookies talking amongst themselves, with little fundamental knowledge in physiology between them.

Curious, was your post just to point out their lack of physiology understanding, or did you want to actually start a thread to discuss it? I think Donald pretty much summed it up...the systemic adaptation (cardiovascular, mainly) is the only thing that would transfer much.

When I had trochanteric bursitis, I was able to maintain some semblance of my running fitness with aqua jogging. We also prepped my wife for her sprint triathlon (5k run) with solely aqua jogging. However, gaining running fitness through rowing is unlikely to happen except in the very detrained.
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:22 AM   #4
Mike Prevost
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Default Rowing and Running

Garrett

Water running has a lot of research behind it. The transfer to running has been shown in a number of studies. But...it should be expected because you are training many of the same muscles.

I guess I was pointing out what I see as a weakness or a flaw in the crossfit concept as it is pushed by many of crossfit followers (I don't know if Glassman feels this way), that training a particular skill or activity will make you better at other skills or activities. THere may be some small crossover (not for skill though), but if you want to get better at running, run, for rowing, row. It seems that the whole crossfit concept centers around the idea that a varied and random workout program can transfer to almost any sport, which is not exactly true. Most adaptations that affect performance are inside of the muscles. The central adaptations are less important when it comes to performance. For example, only a small percentage of the most fit athletes actually desaturate (less than 98-100% oxygen saturation on hemaglobin) at max exercise levels. Even these athletes are rarely doing any event at this intensity level, even in a shorter event like a 5K. As a result, we are almost never limited by central adaptations, which argues for a focus on training specificity if you want to perform.

The same is true when you think about training intensity. There is a reason that endurance athletes do a fair amount of volume. They are recruiting the lower threshold motor units and training them for A LONG TIME, which drives deep metabolic adaptations in these muscles. TABATA intervals do little for these low threshold motor units. It is not enough of a stimulus (in terms of time) to produce much of a change in these motor units. TABATA drives changes (sometimes big changes) in the higher threshold motor units that are not used very often, which is good. However, the high threshold motor units may contribute little to actual performance when it comes to something like a 5K or 10K, especially a marathon. Just because you improve VO2 max, does not mean you are faster at your given race distance. BOTH time and modal domain specificity are important and many seem to ignore that, primarily due to lack of knowledge about where and why the adaptations are occuring.

If you understand all of this, you realize, for example, that crossfit endurance is not the IDEAL way to train for your ideal marathon performance. If you don't, it looks really attractive, but would lead to suboptimal performance.
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Old 12-25-2009, 01:49 PM   #5
Shane Skowron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
However, gaining running fitness through rowing is unlikely to happen except in the very detrained.
Well, the detrained appeared to be the context of the thread in question.
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Old 12-25-2009, 07:27 PM   #6
Jonathan Silverman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Prevost View Post
Garrett
... TABATA intervals do little for these low threshold motor units. It is not enough of a stimulus (in terms of time) to produce much of a change in these motor units. TABATA drives changes (sometimes big changes) in the higher threshold motor units that are not used very often, which is good. However, the high threshold motor units may contribute little to actual performance when it comes to something like a 5K or 10K, especially a marathon. ..


so would you agree Tabata Programming would be a practical thing to program into weight training?
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:26 AM   #7
Mike Prevost
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so would you agree Tabata Programming would be a practical thing to program into weight training?
For what purpose?
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:37 AM   #8
Garrett Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
Well, the detrained appeared to be the context of the thread in question.
I did not realize that...and I wasn't about to go search the CF board for the thread in question (need to not numb the brain right now).
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:15 PM   #9
Jonathan Silverman
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Originally Posted by Mike Prevost View Post
For what purpose?
well you were saying how tabata can drive big changes in higher threshld units, so i am assuming those are used when you do low reps heavy weights, so thats why im asking you if you think it makes programming sense to use a tabata protocol with heavy weights?
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:41 PM   #10
Steven Low
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well you were saying how tabata can drive big changes in higher threshld units, so i am assuming those are used when you do low reps heavy weights, so thats why im asking you if you think it makes programming sense to use a tabata protocol with heavy weights?
Why would you add tabata unless you had a specific purpose for it?

You can just as easily work high threshold motor units with heavy weights or acceleration.
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