Concurrent Strength & Endurance Training 2016: Cycle I

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. BroadArrow

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    as someone with neither knowledge nor experience with the matter, the following does not even consist of smoke and mirrors. i am thinking of the relationship between bodyweight and medium-term strength potential as something like this:
    stylized_strength_potential.png
    ok, we really need an 18-dimensional graph or something and the proportions here are all wrong. but my thought is that what you guys are describing sounds like you feel like you are in the "too much" zone, but at a local maximum of strength. that is, adding more weight will make things more difficult, but losing weight has other short-term effects that make you weaker (the little valley). however, perhaps with sufficient "toughing it out" and giving the body time to readjust will allow for greater gains in the new situation. i think we've all made the argument at some point that ditching 15lbs of fat should get us at least another 8lbs on squats or deadlifts. and certainly, with running/biking/whatever, you go faster when you can convince your kid that they don't really need that piggyback ride. also: suddenly, the knee-based dangers seem less perilous.

    anyways, be strong and of good courage!
     
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  2. Abide

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    I am not sure I would agree with that dip from a strength standpoint. I have to say being on the 200+ side I could make a pretty strong argument that I am the strongest I have ever been (except the bench, which is injury related). And am getting stronger at a steady weight, but its very early in the experiment. I am starting to think that the higher protein intake is causing a transformation between fat weight and muscle weight. Is it really not possible for your body to be more efficient at building muscle while depleting fat stores for energy? I don't think I am that significantly calorie deficient, my fitbit claims my monthly calories burned average is 4,275 and I seem to be averaging about 3,500 going in. Add in Sid's calorie counter margin of error and my calorie deficit is about 200-300 calories? Or does that mean whats going out should equal what's coming in without any actual weight loss. Although some I have read state that they are usually off by about 10%, so that would be closer to my original values.

    Oh well any way since I liked your graph this is the one that is most important to me. Think its legit? I guess the point I would like to be at is where the lines merge to maximize both strength (blue line) and stamina (red line). Now I need to figure out where that weight is? I seem to think the heavier you get the stronger you should get to a certain point. All other factors excluded.

    Capture.JPG

    edit: the more I think about it to build one pound of muscle it would take about half the calorie requirement as fat, basically 9 calories for fat vs. 4 calories for protein (muscle is protein and water essentially) so that could explain the change with no weight loss initially. Eventually this transformation between fat and muscle will have to reach a point where it can't maintain weight though I think... or hope.
     
    #62 Abide, Feb 4, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  3. Bare Lee

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    I don't have a graph of my own, but I do think that it's probably a matter of giving the body time to adjust. To that end, I think I'll lower my Squat 1RM (upon which everything else is based according to the Iron Ratio) by 18 pounds. I'll continue to eat a little bit less and see if I can't power through the lifting at suboptimal energy levels. But I'll also continue to eat a banana and a protein bar right before my lifting sessions. I still have my strength goals in view, but it's really high time to get serious about some weight loss before it begins to affect my health long-term. I don't place a lot of faith in health/fitness/nutrition studies, but there seems to be a consensus that carrying around excess belly fat can have several deleterious effects on one's health. For Abide, of course, it's more about being able to run more effectively.
     
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  4. Abide

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    Not so much in the face yet, but I did lose a hole in my pants belts and my weight belt so definitely some change there. Plus compliments from another party, so that's a good indicator too. I don't think Rip's wrong but I hesitate to take dieting advice from a fat dude.

    Thanks for the idea of a machine shop. I might see if I can find some plates too.

    Oh by the way I tried out the push presses after the press and I didn't really like the idea. It brought back memories of why I quit doing them and cleans. I tend to think that they are best performed in small amounts when you are at full strength. Unless you are really focused on form and keeping tension there is a lot of potential for aches and pains. So I think I am gonna leave them out, and take your drop set idea for the pluses, maybe do drop set at the end and go all out?
     
  5. Bare Lee

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    I think Rip devotes a whole article on the topic somewhere on his site. I can't see him being completely right, but maybe in terms of rate of strength gains, trying to cut fat could undermine progress. He thinks that an optimal BMI for strength gains would be around 18% or more, so I think he's speaking to the bodybuilder freaks who are aiming for 8-9% bodyfat or less, which does involve some serious dieting and nutritional strategies if you want to maintain or increase muscle mass. I know from my brief foray into modeling that getting rid of that last couple of pounds of fat is brutal. Your body just does not want to get rid of all the reserves. And I wasn't even lifting that seriously at the time. Mostly machine bullshit. I remember almost passing out while doing high reps stuff.

    For the plates, another thought would be if you have something like Home Depot or Menards there that could be a good place to start. They might have those strip type braces with holes already drilled. The come in varying lengths and would probably be strong enough. Just buy four six-inch strips and you'd be all set. There might also be a section with longer strips of raw steel that you could cut and drill holes in. I know my local Menards has that stuff cuz I looked into using it when I was making my safety station.

    Yah, I still haven't really tried the push press idea, or the clean to press idea. Today I'm going to do everything just to get through a complete workout. The situation is getting ridiculous. I don't know if I took this much time off even when I've been injured or sick with shingles.
     
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  6. Abide

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    Yeah the weight loss is kind of two-fold for me, the main reason being from a health standpoint but the more vocal or immediate reason is the running. When my weight goes up usually the other indicators go up as well like resting heart rate and blood pressure so I am actively keeping track of those as well. Actually something else that I was gonna bring up in light of the Todd Ragsdale passing away is the whole how healthy is running discussion. I recently had another running friend pass away while running from a heart attack and the whole concept of fast running is a bit scary. I would like to believe that there is a comfortable medium but who knows. So agreed weight is an important piece for us middle agers to consider.

    You know I never have energy levels with lifting in the morning. Usually I just drink a protein shake and a couple of cups of coffee and I am fine for the workout. In fact I normally don't eat until 10-11. But you are lifting later in the afternoon which would be a little different for me as well. I really only notice the energy drain during my bike rides and its usually the evening one that sucks.
     
  7. BroadArrow

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    that is probably why we are all making such slow progress: we are trying to see what we can do without endangering our health or existence. excuses, excuses. i haven't been able to make much sense of some of the contemporary debates. i find it difficult to distinguish between legitimate inquiry and simple contrarianism. surely both extremes are wrong, but the "truth" could reside almost anywhere, including right next to one of the major options.
     
  8. Bare Lee

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    Yah, blood pressure is a big consideration for me. Back when I was running consistently, and got my weight down to around 210-215, my blood pressure was 120-125 over 80-85, which is great for me. So that should be my number one goal, not how much I'm able to squat. Still, knowing that from here on out I'm destined to get weaker with each passing year, there is a little urgency to see how much I can squat or deadlift or press while I still have the capacity for improvement.

    I don't know about Todd's case, but a certain amount of apparently healthy runners are going to die every year. The question is whether they would've died sooner without the running. I mean, everyone knows that planes are safer than cars, but a certain amount of planes are going to crash every year anyway. If you have the time to drive instead of fly, you've probably greatly increased your chances of dying in an accident. Hutchinson over at Runner's World, in his Sweat Science column, has dissected most of those running is bad for you arguments and found them spurious. Just the selective manipulation of data and and an inability to discern confounding factors.

    It's impressive that you can lift without more fueling. I usually need two meals in me before I feel properly fueled. For aerobic exercise, however, it's easy to go on an empty stomach. After 15-20 minutes I switch into fat-burning mode. But with lifting, I need to have that glycogen handy and within reach immediately. I think I might try lifting around noon at the university gym for this semester though, as that works in better with my current schedule. Plus I'm finding it nice to take a break from the garage gym. After a few months maybe I'll be ready and excited to get back at it, but right now I need something different to snap me out of this lame inconsistency. I think once I squatted 300 and could see that 350 was definitely doable in 6-12 months, I kinda lost that fire. But I miss that post-workout buzz, so gotta set aside my goals for a bit and just focus on achieving that again.
    Anyway, I was actually making good progress. Consistency is the key. Everything else we talk about doesn't mean squat without consistency.
     
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  9. Abide

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    Yep we are just trying to optimize ourselves with limited resources and devolving technology really. I agree, if the motivational factor resides in the concept of goals or achievement I don't think there is anything wrong with taking liberties now, but I also don't think the goals have to be mutually exclusive just slower as BA says Thanks for pointing out that column I'll take a look. The main argument I have heard is that running is better than no running, which is rather obvious. I sometimes wonder if high intensity running, or exercising is good for you on a routine basis, but yeah there are a lot of runners who pushed it well into their old ages with no problems. Plus how many runners, run because they had health issues?

    To be honest slow running and weight lifting seems to be working for me so I am going to stick with the formula as long as its working. I probably need to be more patient on the weight loss side, but its nice to see improvements in numbers too? My resting heart rate has been steadily decreasing since Dec, from in the low 50s to around 45 now, I'd like to get it down in the low 40s. My blood pressure wasn't bad then in the 120/70 range but I like it to sit around 110/65 ish which are the normal ranges when I weigh around 185. So I would definitely encourage it for high blood pressure. I think weight affects it way more than salt.

    Maybe the change of scenery will help, the one big positive at the gym is that its easier to focus on the lifting with less distractions around at home. That's always good for consistency, even more so if it fits your schedule better. I'm looking forward to your gym stories.


    What are these debate extremes you are talking about?
     
  10. BroadArrow

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    the (stylized) extremes i was referring to are pretty much what you outlined:

    * under-activity kills: you must run, run, RUN! or you will die as an amorphous blob of fat incapable of circulating blood. (alternatively, you must be able to squat 800lbs or else you will drown after falling into to toilet because you can't stand up after pooping, etc.)

    OR

    * over-activity kills: you must sit still, or you will die from a literally exploding heart on top of a mountain far from civilization and the panthers will lap up your blood and the vultures will pick the meat off your bones. (or your biceps will be so big that you won't be able to feed yourself and your heart will not be able to support those arms and you will die of dehydration in your apartment because no-one checked on you to trickle water between your lips after you passed out from oxygen starvation of the brain.)

    due to my particular sub-sub-cultural background, i am predisposed toward the "under-activity and junky food will kill you" end of the spectrum.

    and we are all proud of lee's progress!
     
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  11. Bare Lee

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    I think there is a good argument for crosstraining the aerobic stuff, since most aerobic stuff is highly repetitive. But yeah, to say that running is bad for a healthy individual is just stoopid.

    And slow, gradual progress is definitely the way to go. I'm so happy I've learned to take it easy. Even today, I knew all I had to do was get something in, just to reawaken things, then do a little more on Monday, etc. No use jumping into things or trying to recover my 1RMs too quickly, the main thing is to avoid injury.

    I guess with all the running you do those are good heart measurements. I wonder if I could ever get back to that range?

    Yah, it was getting too much at home. Schedules changed and all of a sudden it became increasingly difficult to get in a workout without interruption, and then there's the resentment, mostly from my son, that I'm defying gravity instead of hanging out. He can't appreciate I'm trying to increase my longevity so we can hang out for longer. Of course, he probably won't want to hang out with me past the point I would've died without exercise.

    I know you're teasing BA but it is good to see how your running has progressed. I think with the weights you just need a little more consistency, like I do, plus I'm still convinced there's a certain threshold that might need to be crossed, although my recollection of how it all unfolded for me is very cloudy.

    Anyway, fifth week of the cycle and I think I'm on the verge of getting back at it again. Fingers crossed.
     
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  12. Abide

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    I must have missed this, nice job!
    Got it with the comment, I'm just going to keep thinking my way is best for a while. The indicators seem to be supporting this as well.
     
  13. Bare Lee

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    Yah, I missed it too. Congrats BA! A twenty-pound jump is awesome.
     
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  14. Abide

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    Are there motivational benefits to lifting at the gym?
    I'd probably wear a pair of headphones, the right music really helps keep the workouts interesting for me. You ever check out the Bluetooth ones? they are very handy in the gym.
     
  15. Abide

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  16. Bare Lee

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    I dunno, probably just a phase I'm going through. I guess I just got tired of all the interruptions late in the afternoon, but I think I'll get better at anticipating them, so on those days I'll use the u gym, and then on days when no one is going to be around at the end of the afternoon, like today, I can use the garage gym.

    Overall, I'd say there are pluses and minuses to both. If I could work out first thing in the morning without waking everyone up, or having them bug me when they wake up, I'd probably opt for an early morning routine like you have. Even if it sucks first thing in the morning, I think most people who consistently exercise for years and years are more often than not early bird exercisers. And I love the way it sets up the rest of the day. Problem is the university doesn't have a separate space for the athletes, and they tend to train first thing in the morning, so all the power racks are taken up by multiple people. Maybe I could enroll in one of the fitness chains. I'm sure I'd have free rein at five in the morning.

    Anyway, next time I work out at the u I'll choose a power rack away from the speakers.

    Thinking about creating an even looser program. Basically just use a chart telling me what all the rep-count loads should be, and then wing it. Some days straight sets across, some days ladders, etc. I don't know if it was squatting 300 for the first time or the sore throat and low energy levels I had for a couple weeks in January, but I've really been knocked off my game. Gotta make it fun again, and not worry about getting back to where I was in December.

    I loved that article btw. I can't believe how hard it is to convince people that lifting is crucial to any anti-aging approach in the second half of our lives. OK, not anti-aging--that sounds suicidal--but rather, lifting is a key component to aging well.
     
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  17. Abide

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    Well you could look at it as a forced deload? To be honest that has been my experience as well, once I start getting up to certain levels (285 squat, 275 bench and 350ish DL) it's practically impossible to keep everything gradually improving when all else remains static. I think that's the infamous plateau and some significant changes need to be made in your training plan. I also think a lot of plans are simply unsustainable for non drug users and people with other significant stressors in life. Everybody's got a plan until they get punched in the mouth! As Tyson liked to say. Anyway try not to get discouraged and one recommendation I would make is to make small tweaks rather than a wholesale change. Your plan was working pretty well but maybe its something as simple as decreasing loads in one or two of the workouts? Or take away a lift or two a day and only focus on three or four. Consistency is the paramount, then progression and movements are probably the next two important things. Keep those in mind. To be honest one of the better concepts I have come across is your simplification of lifting and letting go of some of the less important lifts while focusing more on the important lifts. So overall less, but higher quality work.

    However I do like your idea about having some flexibility. But I think with something like that you might actually need a little more structure than a chart of loads and reps. There is a big difference in doing a 10x2 vs a 5x5 workout and I think you would have to plan for the differences to make sure you factor for progression. I also think at this point estimating maxes with sub-maximal repped lifts might not be the best way to calculate at this point for you. I don't think this chart fits as well at a certain point and I tend to think that the gap between your 1 rep true max and your 2-5 reps increases.

    Capture.JPG
     
  18. Bare Lee

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    I think it's getting a little beyond a deload by now. I've probably lost at least 10-15 pounds off my 1RM squat. Not a big deal, a 300-pound 1RM is still decent for an old man like me, but it should be up around 320 by now, if I had kept consistent.

    I think there's merit in your observations, but I think my plateau is still off by 50-100 pounds. I've never stalled when I've lifted consistently. For me, it's been more holiday interruptions, then changes in schedules that made lifting at home late afternoon more difficult, and then the low energy levels when I had the persistent sore throat. Just lame excuses really, except for the illness. Anyway, not a big deal, just have to put together a solid three-workout week and I'll be back in the game. I think you nailed it though, with the big threes: consistency, progression, and movements. That's the Wendler/Rippetoe approach, and it has made sense to me for almost two years now. I don't see myself ever veering away from those principles.

    Which brings me, sorta, to the idea of looser programming. I'm pretty much settled on my rep-counts--1/2/3/5/7--and I know that the meat of any program, for me, is going to be 3/5/7. And I don't know if it really matters which of those latter counts I do, as long as I do three sets. So one day I could do (2/)3/5/7 drop sets, one day I could do 3 reps straight sets across, another day five or seven sets across. I don't think it really matters too much, as long as I'm micro-loading my 1RMs and following the rep-count percentages. So I would use the kind of chart I've uploaded as a pdf file. I don't know if I agree with you about there being a gap. So far, I've found the percentages pretty reliable in predicting what I can and cannot do. But these aren't true maxes, but rather training maxes. I don't know if I would ever go for a true max again. Just too risky, not worth it, and anyway, what's the point of trying something 5-15 pounds heavier than is comfortable when I'll be able to do the same weight comfortably after another few weeks of consistent training?
     

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  19. Abide

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    Yeah my only concern with that is you are doing all lifts at the same intensity you are just varying the reps and volume. Just something to think about. Sorry not trying to be preachy just tossing up some ideas. I'm not sure about plateaus either where we are at, but I do like the slow building idea. It makes a lot of sense when you look at the whole picture such as joints, bones, connective tissue and muscles, rather than simply a muscle strength idea. An maybe hanging out at a certain area for a chunk of time isn't a bad idea.

    Funny because I decided to kind of microload pyramid density superset my bench and pull ups. It was kind of a fun challenge maybe mixing things up is a good way to go. I have the flexibility on my lighter days to do it so maybe I will?
     
  20. Bare Lee

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    Yeah, that's the big question. So far I've come up with two different ways to deal with it, but I haven't tried them with enough or any consistency to know how much merit they have. I can alternate heavy squat and press day with heavy deadlift and bench day, doing the former on Mondays and Fridays, and the latter on Wendesday, which is what I proposed for this cycle, but haven't really implemented. Then there's the two heavy days on Monday and Friday and a lighter day on Wednesday, which I've tried to some extent. But what I'm concluding is that I kinda got how each different program works, and I've come close to exhausting the logical possibilities, given my preferences and capabilities, time constraints, motivation, etc. So perhaps I can autoregulate to some extend and do the workout I feel at the moment, or the weekly routine I'm feeling for a given week. In any case, it would be a lot easier to deal with the inevitable interruptions if the program had a greater degree of flexibility, although I guess I got to the point where I had a interruptus flow chart for the 5/7/3 weekly wave, which reduced to 5/3 on a two day per week schedule, and a 5-rep workout if I can only get in one workout, for whatever reason.

    Anyway, really felt like lifting today, but I kind of got work obsessed and only rowed again.

    So I dunno, I think I go with your theory that to progress, you really need at least/just two solid workouts a week. One workout per week and you'll start to decline, and three per week and you'll progress more quickly, even if the third day is a lighter day. That seems to be the way it is for me anyway. I know you like your supersets, but I'm more of a one-thing-at-a-time kinda guy.

    Edit: OK, just read Thibaudieu's latest 'program': Neural Charge Training. I admire how he's able to constantly pull this stuff out of his butt. Very creative. Of course, I'm not going to do it, but it did provoke an interesting thought. What if my M-W-F workouts were always based on the Squat and Press, my two lifts of emphasis. So instead of thinking, oh shit, today I don't have the energy for a full one-hour, six-lift workout, or I don't have the time, or I feel a little under the weather, and so on, I always do those two lifts M-W-F in some shape or form, even if it's just basically warm-up sets with no real worksets. Then optionally, I do my rows and pulldowns on the same days as the Squats and Presses, and if not, then on off days. Finally, also on off-days (T-Th-S), or on Squat-Press days in which I'm really feeling good, I do light-to-medium intensity DLs/RDLs and Bench Presses. This could conceivably mean working out six days a week, in addition to aerobic stuff, but a super high frequency approach might work, and workouts would never last more than 30-40 minutes unless I really felt like going for it. It would depend on my intuition being correct that Squats drive Deadlifts and Presses drive the Bench Press, because I would rarely be doing Deadlifts and Bench Presses full intensity. But by keeping them light-to-medium, I would hopefully avoid overtraining issues. It kind of goes back to the idea that guys who do physical labor somehow manage to do it every day, 5-6 days a week. I think Sid also does relatively high frequency training, or at least breaks things up into 20-to-30-minute chunks. With proper maintenance, could be sustainable even for an old fart like me. Anyway, just a thought, the main thing is do something, anything, sooner rather than later . . .
     
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    #80 Bare Lee, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016

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