Resistance training... A compatible platform for minimalist training?

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by LittleBitKnowSomething, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. LittleBitKnowSomething Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2014
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    5
    Hi, I'm brand new to running, and brand new to minimalist running. I have weight-trained in the past, using resistance methods. I found my 1RM for each major muscle group, then lifted 70-80% of that VERRRY SLLLOWWWLY until I could do no more reps, and increasing the weight used each workout day. No stretching immediately before or after, two to three days between workouts, 20 minutes each workout, eating every 3 hours to provide raw material for the muscle I was building.
    Now that I'm looking to begin training in minimalist shoes, and working my way up to interval training in them for my first goal as a brand new baby runner, I'm wondering if resistance training is a helpful way to get my body ready for forefoot striking. Can anyone help me out with the whys and hows of this? I'd prefer to avoid injury caused by ignorance! XD I'm also wondering if the increased storing of kinetic energy in connective tissue needs the support of bone broths and such. I hope my question is clear, I'll try to word it differently if it's muddy.
    Sid likes this.
  2. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Message Count:
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    Most here will tell you to run barefoot first, to take advantage of all the proprioception available in your soles' nerve endings. Barefoot running also serves as a useful limiting factor, at least initially, as you are forced to run shorter distances while you wait for your plantar skin to thicken. Once you've adapted and can run reasonable distances problem-free, then use minimalist shoes as needed, for example, in cold temps or on rough surfaces. Give yourself plenty of time to adapt though, as your foot and lower leg have probably atrophied to some extent.

    For resistance training, I think full-body workouts are best. Upper body strength makes for better posture, lower body strength directly aids in running. For upper body strength, you need some kind of pull and some kind of push/press. I like rows and chinups, bench and overhead presses. For lower body, it's basically just squats and deadlifts. It's also beneficial to work in some plyometric exercises like bench hops (great for lower leg), box jumps, step-ups, etc. Don't worry about 'core' exercises. If you lift heavier weights, do plyometrics, and run, especially if you run fast once in a while, your stablizers will get plenty of work. If you do do ab stuff, try to do exercises where the muscles are working isometrically, as in hanging leg raises, rather than concentrically, as with crunches.

    The slow rep thing was a fad in the 90s. No pro-style trainers that I've read recommend it for strength, but it might be useful for strength-endurance. If you're a novice or getting back into shape, higher reps might be useful, but after that I would stick to lower rep ranges done at normal bar speed. For any given rep-count, choose the maximal weight you can do over x number of sets. I like 1/3/5-rep counts over 2-3 sets for the heavier exercises. Others prefer 5-8 reps. If you go much beyond 8 reps, you'll be training stamina instead of pure strength, encouraging lactate build up and fatigue. Both slow reps and high reps are hypertrophy protocols, but as runners, we want strength, not mass per se.

    Good luck!

    ________________________

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  3. LittleBitKnowSomething Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Message Count:
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    Yes, strength plus endurance are what I am looking to build, as well as what I wanted before. I've always done full body workouts, I've chosen not to do "leg days" and such. As a female, I found that my mass did not increase past 125, even though by the end I was calf-pressing 700-1000. Thank you for your feedback! Just to clarify, running with no shoes is best initially because of the feedback I'll get from the nerves in my feet, and resistance training will not cause me injury as long as I'm not running while lactically loaded?
    For a bit more info, I've never been a runner, I've gone barefoot for a good portion of my life; especially childhood and teen years. My exercise over the last three years has been pregnancy and toddler-lifting associated. XD
  4. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Message Count:
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    Ah yes, baby-carries and toddler-lifts, along with spouse-repeats, have long been sanctioned exercises by the IFRF (International Federation of Recreational Fitness).

    Some will tell you that barefoot running is a very technical exercise, with lots of form cues to keep in mind. For me, I've found that simply running barefoot provides adequate feedback for decent form, stride length, cadence, knee bend, etc., although it's useful to read up on all that if you have time. Also, I'm not a very accomplished runner so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

    Steve Magness http://www.scienceofrunning.com/ just put out a book. He's not a barefoot runner, and a mediocre writer, but he has great grasp of running science, it seems to me. Alex Hutchinson has a great book "Cardio or Weights?" http://smile.amazon.com/Which-Comes...go_smi?_encoding=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0
    that summarizes a lot of the topics associated with running and weight training. Check out McMillian's web page too http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/tips

    If you've grown up barefooting a lot, then you're way ahead of a lot of people, and there's a good chance you'll take to barefoot running like a duck to water. I've been a casual barefooter most of my adult life, and used to train karate and run barefoot as part of the training, and I think this has helped.

    Contrary to the current functional fitness fad, I think fitness components are by and large best trained separately. So for strength training, I prefer to really focus on strength, and do heavier weights at lower rep-counts. But in the end, what counts most is doing what you enjoy and in the manner you most enjoy it. If doing slow reps or high reps is what does it for you, that's great. I would find it extremely boring and tiring. Some people think it's great to do dumbbell curls standing one-legged on a bosu ball. Well, if they're happy, who am I to argue with the insane?

    I'm not sure what "running while lactically loaded" means or how you could run while doing resistance training. But if you mean in a fatigued state, as in conditioning stuff, then yes, I would say it's best to do conditioning separately from resistance training. Resistance training with weights is best done in a fairly controlled manner. In my case, I like to do resistance training one day, and running the next, with a little easy recovery running or walking on the resistance day. I've found that resistance training, done properly, decreases injury risk in running as well as in daily life. I try to do conditioning work at the end of my resistance training sessions, and also get in some intervals/hills on running days once in a while.

    There is a thread on the "Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions" forum called "Optimal Strength Training for Runners" http://www.thebarefootrunners.org/threads/optimal-strength-training-for-runners.7760/page-57, where several of us discuss concepts and experiences. It's quite a long thread, and our thinking has evolved quite a bit, but it might be worth skimming through if you have the time.

    Hope you end up participating regularly here at BRS!

    ________________________

  5. LittleBitKnowSomething Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Message Count:
    5
    Thank you so much for all the feedback! I'll see what I can do about actual barefoot running around here, though the hot dryness has put a damper on my tootsies enjoyment of grass. I may have to keep the minimal shoes on till spring.

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