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Old 11-14-2011, 07:56 AM   #1
Larry Bruce
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4
Default Endurance & strength question(s)

Hi,

First time poster I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

I'm early 50s, in good shape, better shape aerobically (RHR mid 40s) so want to
focus on strength for a while, and just maintain aerobic conditioning until
the spring when there are outdoor races (5K mostly). When I train I don't do a lot of running volume (10-15 miles a week). My last 5K was about 26 mins.

1) Do you think 2x week runs maintaining about half the training volume - 1x week longer slower , 1x week shorter/more intense - be sufficent for maintenance purposes?

For strength currently, mostly I'm doing bodyweight exercises, and some dumbells 2x week. I can do 30 pushups, 12-13 pull ups, and 15 dips max set (unweighted).

I'd like to work up to say 50,20 and 20 and have seen plans and recommendations out there. They take weeks and weeks to get anywhere.

2) I'm wondering does success depend upon having sufficent muscle mass in the arms in first place? Should I focus on doing weighted movements to build mass first? Or will whatever mass is neccessary will come with following the programs?

As mentioned I'd be focusing on strength and just maintaining endurance, on different days.
I will be eating at maintenance levels.


Also, I have never squatted with weights, though have a good idea of the form
doing it without weights. Tried 85 on the smith machine and want to continue
that and work up to bodyweight (170), 1x week. When I can do that
I figure to move over to standalone weights.

3) Is better to work up to 2x week squat? I am not intersted in posting heavy weights, but rather being about to move the weight around a bit more dynamically, after I have reached a being able to squat my bodyweight.

I would do this in combination with the above strength and endurance workouts, basically 4x week in total. I'm not looking for the strength to be neccessarily helpful to running, though hopefully it won't hurt it. It is just to raise my ability to a basic level.

Thanks much for your opinion!
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:47 AM   #2
Blair Lowe
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You are better off not using the Smith machine at all. It forces a very strange bar path in the squat. Start off using a bar only or DB at your sides, hell anything but a Smith Machine.

Yep, squatting 2x/week is better than once, especially if you want to get anywhere with it.

Your numbers are decent for those BW exercises. Most of the pull or pushup programs generally deal with just doing more volume.

So it's either that or get beast enough strong that a BW exercise is so easy that you can do ridiculous reps. This will take a long time.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:28 AM   #3
Larry Bruce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Lowe View Post
You are better off not using the Smith machine at all. It forces a very strange bar path in the squat. Start off using a bar only or DB at your sides, hell anything but a Smith Machine.

Yep, squatting 2x/week is better than once, especially if you want to get anywhere with it.

Your numbers are decent for those BW exercises. Most of the pull or pushup programs generally deal with just doing more volume.

So it's either that or get beast enough strong that a BW exercise is so easy that you can do ridiculous reps. This will take a long time.
Thanks for your feedback.

Yeah they aren't bad #s Actually was visiting a friend and was able to outrep a few young H.S. wrestlers in L-Pull ups. (They were competing at the time I walked in). Felt good, so I guess that's encouraging me in that direction.

I guess I'd also have to eat at a surplus to grow muscle and I'm not really inclined to do that now anyway. I suspect that I probably have a high proportion of S.T. endurance fibers anyway that I believe are harder to hypertrophy - to a large amount anyway. So will work on the volume program, and take whatever size comes my way.

I'll also give squatting with free weights a shot. I'm mainly concerned about getting off balance and dropping the weights. At the light weight the smith machine felt ok, however I will give the free weight a shot. Starting low and going slow I guess will allow the balance to develop...
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:35 AM   #4
Troy Kerr
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Strength and aerobic endurance training force different adaptations in the body. To get stronger, you have to train for strength. Doing countless reps on bodyweight exercises, or any exercise for that matter, will produce little gains in hypertrophy(muscle mass).
Getting stronger is usually a misconception with those that have never tried it. They usually think that it has little health benefits, and has more to do with meatheads that have nothing better to do. Nothing could be farther from the truth.Training to get stronger will not only keep you healthier than standard cardio, but will also go a long way with injury prevention. Provided it is all done with proper form and in the proper intensity ranges. Muscle mass gained through a program deals with the quality of your nutrition (paleo vs. a diet high in processed carbohydrates like grains and rice) and the amount of calories you take in each day.
I could be wrong, but if switching from a primarily aerobic program, and do to your age, your body is probably low on its testosterone levels. Might want to ask Steve Low.

Also where do you work out? Local gym like golds or a crossfit facility?
Blair is right about the smith machine as well. In the beginning your strength program will be very basic, and will depend a lot on your recovery abilities ( sleep, nutrition, etc). A basic template would be 2-3 total body sessions a week. Mark Rippetoe's starting strength might be a good place to start. As well as finding a coach that can show you how to properly execute the lifts.

I know this is a lot to process for your question, hopefully some of the mods can provide additional insight.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:07 PM   #5
Larry Bruce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Kerr View Post
Strength and aerobic endurance training force different adaptations in the body. To get stronger, you have to train for strength. Doing countless reps on bodyweight exercises, or any exercise for that matter, will produce little gains in hypertrophy(muscle mass).
Getting stronger is usually a misconception with those that have never tried it. They usually think that it has little health benefits, and has more to do with meatheads that have nothing better to do. Nothing could be farther from the truth.Training to get stronger will not only keep you healthier than standard cardio, but will also go a long way with injury prevention. Provided it is all done with proper form and in the proper intensity ranges. Muscle mass gained through a program deals with the quality of your nutrition (paleo vs. a diet high in processed carbohydrates like grains and rice) and the amount of calories you take in each day.
I could be wrong, but if switching from a primarily aerobic program, and do to your age, your body is probably low on its testosterone levels. Might want to ask Steve Low.

Also where do you work out? Local gym like golds or a crossfit facility?
Blair is right about the smith machine as well. In the beginning your strength program will be very basic, and will depend a lot on your recovery abilities ( sleep, nutrition, etc). A basic template would be 2-3 total body sessions a week. Mark Rippetoe's starting strength might be a good place to start. As well as finding a coach that can show you how to properly execute the lifts.

I know this is a lot to process for your question, hopefully some of the mods can provide additional insight.
Thanks for your points. I'm aware of potential conflicts between aerobic and strength. That is why I said that I am not building my aerobic but just maintaining it, so it doesn't backslide too much. And I'll be doing the strength on different days. The volume of aerobic is low, so I don't believe there should be a conflict.

Actually my interest is in increasing reps, not absolute strength so much, although I agree there are health benefits to being stronger for sure.
Obviously more strength endurance requires one to be strong, especially if someone is lifting a signficent amount of weight, such as your entire bodyweight. Adding muscle mass is another story, and I'm not interested in specifically focusing on that. If some happens that's fine, but it's just isn't motivating to me.

I am aware that diet plays a large part in muscle building, and to strength endurance to some degree at least. With strength endurance carbs will be a bit more important to digest, though protein is always important. I won't eat paleo but do vary around 30-40% protein.

My T level is ok. Keep in mind I never overdid aerobics. At most 10-15 miles a week, which is about 1/10th the amount of a serious competitive runner!

Yeah, the gym was a concern as far as free weights go. I'm definately going to take it slow. It's not a brand name gym. A few people squat, but more are into the machines and dumbells. The problem with getting a trainer is telling who really knows their stuff. I'll talk to a few. It's low poundage at this point, so it will be hard to hurt myself. But with the squats and any other compound movement I do, I am going to do lower reps 6-8. The high reps are just for the cool factor when doing pushups, pullups, etc.

Cheers!

Edit: Main quesiton at this point is whether 2 days cardio is enough for maintenance? It feels
about right in that one day is easy, one harder to work to keep both higher and lower gears in tuned.
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:48 PM   #6
Troy Kerr
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I'm sure there will be some decline in ability but you should be okay. If there is a crossfit affilate by you could have a solid shot at learning to squat,press, and deadlift properly.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:24 AM   #7
Larry Bruce
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Yeah, I know 2x week isn't enough to gain much aerobic fitness, unless you are doing absurd volumes. But it should keep the pathways active at least.

Will keep an eye out for clinics. I'm not built for heavy lifting (long appendages, thin arm bones and muscles) but as you say is healthy to incorporate some. Assuming good technique.

Cheers!
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
Bred Pit
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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I am beginner in bodybuilding, and i feel that I have not much strength for the workout, I am increasing my sets and weight also, but I could not get my required result. Please help me how can I achieve my goal of Endurance and strength.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:12 PM   #9
Dave Van Skike
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PNW
Posts: 1,738
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Bruce View Post
Hi,

First time poster I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

I'm early 50s, in good shape, better shape aerobically (RHR mid 40s) so want to
focus on strength for a while, and just maintain aerobic conditioning until
the spring when there are outdoor races (5K mostly). When I train I don't do a lot of running volume (10-15 miles a week). My last 5K was about 26 mins.

1) Do you think 2x week runs maintaining about half the training volume - 1x week longer slower , 1x week shorter/more intense - be sufficent for maintenance purposes?

For strength currently, mostly I'm doing bodyweight exercises, and some dumbells 2x week. I can do 30 pushups, 12-13 pull ups, and 15 dips max set (unweighted).

I'd like to work up to say 50,20 and 20 and have seen plans and recommendations out there. They take weeks and weeks to get anywhere.

2) I'm wondering does success depend upon having sufficent muscle mass in the arms in first place? Should I focus on doing weighted movements to build mass first? Or will whatever mass is neccessary will come with following the programs?

As mentioned I'd be focusing on strength and just maintaining endurance, on different days.
I will be eating at maintenance levels.


Also, I have never squatted with weights, though have a good idea of the form
doing it without weights. Tried 85 on the smith machine and want to continue
that and work up to bodyweight (170), 1x week. When I can do that
I figure to move over to standalone weights.

3) Is better to work up to 2x week squat? I am not intersted in posting heavy weights, but rather being about to move the weight around a bit more dynamically, after I have reached a being able to squat my bodyweight.

I would do this in combination with the above strength and endurance workouts, basically 4x week in total. I'm not looking for the strength to be neccessarily helpful to running, though hopefully it won't hurt it. It is just to raise my ability to a basic level.

Thanks much for your opinion!


What is the primary goal?

If it's simply to get strong(er) there are plenty of ways. a very low volume, high frequency focus on those lifts would not require a huge drop in weekly running volume but definitely intensity. The bodyweight stuff is just fine, no appreciable mass gains would be needed to reach those goals.

Where the plan may derail is squats. Real squatting can take a big recovery toll, especially with runners. If I were going to suggest an adjustment, it would be you learn how to deadlift and use that as your primary whole body strength movement. It will pay off a little more in terms of long term joint health, will be easier to progress with low vol. and will not mess with your front side running mechanics.

Does this make sense?
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