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Old 08-15-2011, 08:23 AM   #1
Eric Birkner
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Default Linear Progression with sets of 3?

Everything I have seen on LP utilizes 3 sets of 5 reps. Would using 3 sets of 3 reps be just as effective? Now that my triathlon season is over I would like to start another stint of LP, but I am running in the Chicago Urbanathlon (nearly 10 miles of running) in October, and I am concerned that squatting twice a week with 3x5 would not allow sufficient recovery for my running training. I would still use 3x5 on upper body exercises (shoulder press & bench press), but would use 3x3 for squat and 3RM in lieu of 5RM on DL.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
Josh Heinrichs
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There's no point trying to simultaneously pursue two goals at the complete opposite ends of the spectrum, which is what you are doing by combining long distance running with heavy squats. You will end up good at neither. Decide whether you want to do well at long distance running, and if so, train appropriately for that. If you want to get strong and powerful, forget the distance running and squat heavy for 3 x 5 (or 5 x 5 etc.).
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:51 PM   #3
Eric Birkner
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Josh, thanks for the feedback.

I realize the two goals are polar opposites of each other, but now that I am dropping swimming and biking from my training, I thought (probably naively) I could step up my lifting just a tad. My schedule over the summer included lifting only on Mondays and Thursdays, where I would do power cleans, squat, and shoulder press on Mondays and power snatches, deadlift, and bench press on Thursdays. Pullups were also thrown in on either of those days. I basically maintained my strength on SQ & DL by using a variety of set/rep schemes, including dynamic efforts.

I guess regardless of whether LP plus endurance training is not a good idea or not, I still have the question of whether LP using 3x3 in lieu of 3x5 can be just as effective in gaining strength.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:19 PM   #4
Derek Weaver
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I have no idea how effective it would be, but you can do LP with 3x3 etc. I did front squats w/ 5x3 on a 2x/week LP set up a while back and made good progress.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:20 AM   #5
Spencer Mackay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Heinrichs View Post
There's no point trying to simultaneously pursue two goals at the complete opposite ends of the spectrum, which is what you are doing by combining long distance running with heavy squats. You will end up good at neither. Decide whether you want to do well at long distance running, and if so, train appropriately for that. If you want to get strong and powerful, forget the distance running and squat heavy for 3 x 5 (or 5 x 5 etc.).
This is about as accurate as it gets. Haile Gebrselassie can't squat heavy/Hossein Rezazadeh would likely struggle in a marathon.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:48 AM   #6
Steve Shafley
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Disagree.

1. The Chicago Urbanathon is an obstacle type race, therefore it is more like running a series of longer intervals, not 10 straight miles.

2. Appropriate volume of squatting isn't going to impact distance running much, once you get used to it. Although the distance running is going to slow down the rate of improvement in the squat. The best distance runners in the world just run (Kenyans), however, I would suggest that Eric is NOT one of the best distance runners in the world, rather, he is looking at keeping a more balanced range of abilities and is seeking an intelligent way to do so. Low volume strength training, with moderated intensity is generally compatible with running training.

In Eric's case, setting up some sort of more specific training on a bi-weekly basis might help...running 1-2 miles, then engaging in some strenuous work to simulate hitting an obstacle course would give him an idea on how that kind of work will impact his running in between.

It could be something as easily set up on a track:

1-2 mile run, 5 minutes of stadium sprints
1-2 mile run, kettlbells swing/burpee combo
1-2 mile run, push ups and pull ups
1-2 mile run, shuttle run

Just some shit like that.

As far as the squat training, what's most important in the race is the running, since that is going to take up the most time.

Linear progression while training that much running might be too much to ask for, unless he's very undertrained in the squat.

I would move to a more intuitive weight selection.

Warm up, then
Set 1: 2-3 reps left in the tank
Set 2: 2-3 reps left in the tank
Set 3: 1-2 reps left in the tank
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:25 AM   #7
James Evans
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I zoned out for a while and would previously just have resorted to posting something sarcastic about CrossFit Endurance.

Some people might tell you Shaf doesn't know what he's talking about but he's give you a 'could be/maybe' answer not a flat no.

Go by feel and you'll be fine. Yeah, it won't be optimal for massive strength gains and don't be cut up when you don't get massive strength gains (have a feeling you're looking at from the direction anyway). Like Shaf says, a 10 mile urban adventure race doesn't require you to be able to run like a Kenyan.

When was it decided that we all had to be either aerobic or anerobic? I blame Rant.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:24 PM   #8
Steve Shafley
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Shit isn't black and white.

When I played rugby I could run 3 6:30 miles in a row, Squat 405x5, and also do the splits, so, it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:25 PM   #9
Spencer Mackay
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Indeed, but when it comes to it, if you want to get good at something, do it. As said previously, your window of opportunity will get smaller as you try to juggle the potential overload of multiple goals. Of course it's still doable, but you almost certainly won't be as good at everything.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:01 PM   #10
Steve Shafley
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At the level he's doing things, he can mix and match virtually at random and be fine as long as he prioritizes the running.

Let's not get all stupid with this.
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