Concurrent Strength Training & Running 2015: Eight-Week Workout Cycle II

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. Bare Lee

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    According to that guy's theory, I'm definitely a fast-twitch kind of guy. I think my 5RM and 8RM are probably lower than my programmed 85% and 75%. Or in other words, I could probably do my 1-3RMs a little heavier. Like today, when I do my 1RM OH Press at 150, I might feel like I could probably have done 155 if I really had to. But I think it's good to keep the 1RMs as a training max rather than a true max. The 5RM and 8RM come much closer to true maxes, which I understood as the nature of the rep-count but maybe it has something to do with my fiber composition. After a while, it just starts to get to be too much to think about though.

    For the upper body pulls, I would think that medium, neutral grip probably recruits the fast-twitch prime movers more than the other grips, which bring secondary and stabilizing muscles more into play, which tend to be more slow-twitch, especially the stabilizers.

    That's a problem with that article--how do you even test a 1RM on something like a Pendlay Row? If the weight is light enough that you can do it with strict form, chances are you could do another rep or two if you had too.

    What do you mean by progression here?

    I mean just increasing loads or volume. Nothing complicated.

    OK, thanks for the clarification.

    Yeah testing the lifts is probably impractical. Also something different I have noticed. I have much more capacity for doing multiple sets of heavy lifts for the bench but the opposite is true for the press. Usually I only have one good set per workout for the press. That's probably an indication about the muscle type as well. But there is very likely variation between muscle types within your body. Or maybe that is a product of years of development for patterns.

    Hmnn, I don't know about that one, I haven't ever really pushed the OH Press like I have the Bench Press in the past, so it's hard to say what a heavy session of, for example, several singles and then multiple drop sets would be like. I have been able to do the 1/2/3 descending sets, but those are more controlled and less intensive than the way I used to do drop sets with the Bench.

    One thing I agreed with in that article is that it does seem like you can squat pretty much every day. I've been surprised how easy it is after a hills workout. The first few warm-up sets kind of suck, but once the tightness from the previous day's hill runs has been removed, the worksets proceed just fine. I wonder if the OH Press is like that too, and also the chin-up, as something that tolerates greater frequency, for whatever reason, be it muscle fiber, greater structural balance, or what have you ...

    That article did say that the muscle fiber test will only work for relatively isolating lifts, right? With compound lifts, you have all sorts of muscle fiber types coming into play. I think that's one of the ideas behind accessory lifts, in that you work the slow-twitch muscles, like stabilizers, that are involved in the main lifts, but in isolation, so that they may lend greater support to the prime movers targeted in the main lifts. That's why it's useful for me to make the distinction between lift variation and substitute, on the one hand, and lift accessory on the other.

    Then again, that T-Nation article on Kroc versus Pendlay describes lifts that target the upper back as accessory for this reason:

    "And we need to remember what the upper back is – a major link, but not the prime mover in the squat, deadlift, or bench press. A strong back reinforces the spine and resists the barbell, so when we think of rowing, we need to remember that a combination of size, density and endurance is more important than 1RM strength or explosiveness."

    In this sense, it's not so much that the lift doesn't target a prime mover, because the upper body pulls do target the lats, the prime mover in the upper back, but that it doesn't target a prime mover in a performance lift. Since I'm not a competitive powerlifter, I don't know if I agree with this definition, but I understand the point. Because I want general strength, I think there is value in targeting the lats using both low-rep 'main lifts' and high-rep 'accessory lifts.' Hence my variation between 3-8 reps for the various types pulldowns and rows. Really heavy 1DB Rows target the lats, but higher rep, Kroc style DB Rows help build the general "size, density, and endurance" of the upper back so that it will hold up under heavy deadlifting.

    Yeah that is recommended hit your training max and do drop sets if you want to do some extra work. Just keep doing what your doing this is just mental stimulus that probably shouldn't be translated to the garage.

    That's a good way to put it. When I was re-reading the Broz article, my initial reaction is "whoa, I should try that sometime." But then there's Westside saying just the opposite. Reading the two articles back-to-back was a great reminder that there are many ways to skin the proverbial cat. It is good mental stimulus however, and the more ideas you're exposed to, the more clearly you can develop your own program and make adjustments, both in general programming, and during workouts. Those articles and this discussion have really helped solidify my decision to try doing two different kinds of rows each workout. I think it might be beneficial.

    Good luck on your race this weekend BTW.
     
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  2. BroadArrow

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    i now resume my role of trying to distill something from much earlier in the discussion, affirm it as if is a profound truth, and then be told, "duh!". :)

    i think that the scheduling plan might be well considered within your tolerance for uncertainty and incurring transaction costs. and every-other-day, alternating exercise types and/or rest would work if you knew for sure that it's gonna happen just that way. but, as mentioned earlier, if you miss one of your planned events, you suddenly have a gaping hole.

    the novel thing i wish to contribute is the consideration of transaction costs. if you have to spend time/money driving to the gym or to find a good place to run, then an alternating scheme might still make sense to avoid having all those transportation resources burned up every day. we're all working the home gym, so the commuting costs are pretty low (although the toddler interruptions can be greater than the distractions/waits at a "real" gym). but, if you still have to get out and away to find a decent place to let your feet loose, those costs might be enough to push you back to an alternating days scenario so you can get more out of those sunk transportation costs.
     
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    It could also just be the whole developing the way you train argument. If you develop certain rep ranges your muscles will adapt and respond. The frequency method should work on any lift I guess.

    That's the way I read it. It doesn't make sense really from a compound lift. Then you have muscle insertion and bone structure to also deal with.

    You know I actually think this is a very good idea, these are probably the small changes between cycles we should be looking at.
    For me the back work seems to respond better to a multi-angle approach and when you look at the anatomy it supports that though as well. The pushing muscles are much more directional orientated where the back has capabilities of working in various angles.

    Capture.JPG

    Alright I gotta jet, I am running a 100k tomorrow it'll be my longest race I have ever done. Looks like it'll be nice weather though.
     
  4. Bare Lee

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    Running pretty much involves the same transaction costs as lifting, because I can easily begin a run right outside my front door. Driving a few miles out of my way to the river is more like a business expense like dinner at a nice restaurant that I can write off and have someone else pay for. But the transaction will go through no matter where I eat.

    There is some scheduling flexibility built into the EOD plan, as I have one spare day per week to shift to if I miss a day. Also, for running, I can and should probably get back to early morning running, now that I've passed through the springtime transitional stage of having to run in the afternoon if I want to run barefoot. In the dead of winter, it's mostly impossible to run barefoot at any time, so I often run first thing in the morning, but when afternoon highs get up over freezing, or when there isn't any snow on the ground, I like to take advantage and run bare in the afternoon. Of course, I didn't need to be such a baby this morning. Even though I woke up at 1:30, I could've gotten in a run and still have done my ST this afternoon. Also, my wife is starting to understand better how daily exercise for me isn't a luxury. I simply don't sleep or function well without it. So yesterday, after we got done seeing the dentist with our daughter, I could've insisted on getting in my run, but then my wife and daughter said they'd like to run with me, and I knew that meant just messing around for a few blocks before doing something else, so instead I tried to take advantage of the unexpected late afternoon family time by taking them to Menards to get seeds for the garden they want to plant, and lumber for the monkey bars I'm going to put up this weekend.

    Anyway, I might try to start the early morning running tomorrow. It always sucks the first few times, but then you get used to that metabolic jolt first-thing, and it's actually quite nice to run in the dark or dawn with little traffic and only the occasional other jogger looking at your feet or perhaps wondering if you're running so slow because your feet must hurt.

    I've been enjoying your inclusion of running in your logs BTW. You're as fast as the English guy I used to run with in Chicago. First we'd do five miles in Washington park, chatting as we'd go, then I'd drop out and go back to our grad student co=-op while he'd do another five miles, at seemingly twice the pace! He had a classic endurance build like you.

    Yah, the perpetual tweak. If I subtract all the rehabbing over the last six months, what I see in my workout plans is more or less a continual modification of the basic six lifts/full body idea. That's the basic framework, the method is progressive overload, everything else is details.

    Yah, that's a good point, and that illustration really drives home the idea of the upper back being more a link for the performance lifts.

    Good luck, 100K will be an awesome achievement. I hope they have good beer at the end of it.
     
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  5. Bare Lee

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    Nuckols (section on "Muscle Fiber Types" in http://www.strengtheory.com/powerlifters-should-train-more-like-bodybuilders/) seems to suggest that this guy's application of the theory of muscle fiber types to lifting might not apply to the slow lifts:

    "However, the maximal force production for a given area of Type I fibers is almost exactly the same as the maximal force production for a given area of Type II fibers. Type II fibers simply reach maximal force output sooner, making them better for power-dependent activities like sprinting or jumping. Powerlifting, though (contrary to what the name may lead you to believe), is NOT a power-dependent sport. Power output actually peaks around 30-60%1rm and is quite low with maximal loads."

    Therefore, the fact that some lifts, like rows and isolation lifts, seem to work better at higher reps might just be due to leverages, or something, and not fiber composition. I mean, in principle, it seems like doing heavy bentover row singles could be beneficial, it's just that it's almost impossible to do them with strict form. Or maybe it's because they're inherently a little more explosive, so it's harder to rev up and recruit maximal muscle fiber? With bracing, as in the 1DB Row, you can tense up quite well before the lift, and then when it's overloaded like I like to do them, it's a fairly explosive movement, almost like a clean.
     
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  6. Abide

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    Yeah I think that explanation is pretty legit. By time you complete any of the power lifts all muscle types should have plenty of time to contract. Plus when you talk about the how many different muscles are being used the power lifts are probably not the right ones to do that test with. I think after talking about all of this its probably good practice just using all rep ranges if you have the equipment for it. And with the lighter higher rep stuff try to perform it explosively.

    Type distribution
    Individual muscles tend to be a mixture of various fiber types, but their proportions vary depending on the actions of that muscle and the species. For instance, in humans, the quadriceps muscles contain ~52% type I fibers, while the soleus is ~80% type I.[9] The orbicularis oculi muscle of the eye is only ~15% type I.[9] Motor units within the muscle, however, have minimal variation between the fibers of that unit. It is this fact that makes the size principal of motor unit recruitment viable.

    The total number of skeletal muscle fibers has traditionally been thought not to change. It is believed there are no sex or age differences in fiber distribution, however, relative fiber types vary considerably from muscle to muscle and person to person. Sedentary men and women (as well as young children) have 45% type 2 and 55% type 1 fibers.[citation needed] People at the higher end of any sport tend to demonstrate patterns of fiber distribution e.g. endurance athletes show a higher level of type 1 fibers. Sprint athletes, on the other hand, require large numbers of type 2 b fibers. Middle distance event athletes show approximately equal distribution of the 2 types. This is also often the case for power athletes such as throwers and jumpers. It has been suggested that various types of exercise can induce changes in the fibers of a skeletal muscle.[10] It is thought that if you perform endurance type events for a sustained period of time, some of the type 2b fibers transform into type 2a fibers. However, there is no consensus on the subject. It may well be that the type 2b fibers show enhancements of the oxidative capacity after high intensity endurance training which brings them to a level at which they are able to perform oxidative metabolism as effectively as slow twitch fibers of untrained subjects. This would be brought about by an increase in mitochondrial size and number and the associated related changes not a change in fiber type.
     
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    Nice job on the press PR. You can share it here all you want.
     
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  8. Bare Lee

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    Nuckols is someone worth paying attention to. Not only is he an elite lifter, but he seems like he really has a good education in the science behind all this stuff. And he's only 23 or so.

    His refutation of the other article just shows to go you that a lot of the theories out there, even when backed by a modicum of knowledge in anatomy and physiology, can be bunk if the author doesn't have a more thorough-going background, or a truly scientific mind. A little knowledge is dangerous, in other words. That's why I tend place more trust in experienced trainers than small-sample studies and exercise scientists.

    And that's a big reason why I've been trying to train multiple rep-ranges, because most trainers agree each range confers unique benefits. So I figure why not just to train the muscles and energy systems in a variety of ways, for a complete fitness stimulus. I think your idea of training lift variations at different rep-counts might be even better, with each rep-count exploiting each variation's leverages and loads best. I hope you go through with this idea next cycle. I'd like to hear how it works. It's definitely something I might try further on down the road.

    Thanks, and congrats on completing your first 100K! I once rode a bike for 15-16 hours, with a half-hour break for lunch, but I can't imagine running for that long. And it's great that you were able to jump back into your st routine just two days later.

    That gets back to an earlier discussion, and some of the stuff I've read about the Eastern Block training. Seems like it's much better to do something light than take a day off oftentimes. I missed my run this weekend too, but I did get in some exercise trying to remove a tree stump so that I can put up some monkey bars for my daughter. Anyway, that got me to thinking about the ED running again. Get in at least a mile. I think some kind of aerobic exercise every day might be the way to go. I tried it last fall, and it seemed to be working until the snow and then the hip/glute injury knocked me off my game.

    So this morning I walked to my office instead of driving, and ran half the way. I mostly did it because I'm a little nervous about deadlifting later today without having done anything running-wise to loosen up my hips/glutes for many days. But it struck me while running that this is really a good way to start the day. And it would be even better if I were in shape. Also, reading about BA's daily running has helped inspire me. So I might try to relaunch some version of the ED running this week.

    For the OH Press PR, I'm a bit confused by the 10-pound jump. I kind of knew that a five-pound jump was possible, but 160 just doesn't fit with my 5RM and 8RM projections. So this week I'll have to experiment a bit more with the 5- and 8-rep sets. With my 1RM test still fresh, I'll try to find more definitive percentages for those rep-counts. Although, there might be a sort of Easy Strength value in always working the higher-rep sets at lower percentages, like 5% less, 80% instead of 85% for the 5-rep sets, and 70% instead of 75% for the 8-rep sets. The last week or two I did notice that the squat and press weights seemed a little too easy, but maybe training at slightly easier loads is what primed me for the new PR?

    I guess if the 5RM and 8RM sets feel too heavy this week at their projected 85% and 75%1RM loads, then I'll first try reducing to 82.5% and 72.5%, which is 133 instead of 137, and 117 instead of 121lbs, respectively. If that's still too heavy, I'll reduce to 80% and 70%, which is produces loads at about where they'd be this week anyway without the 1RM jump.

    Thibaudeau had another article in T-Nation today. Sort of validated my approach of only testing 1RMs every five weeks or so, and doing the other heavy days at 2-3RM. I like 3x3 because it's easy, but I could see doing something like 2x2/2x3 too. In any case, it's really great to end the week with the heavy reps after priming everything on Monday and Wednesday.

    Edit: Thinking a little more about the value of 1RM testing to monitor progress, maybe I should screw the idea of testing at five- or ten-pound increments, and simply test each of the four performance lifts once every four weeks. It would've been nice, for example, to have caught the discrepancy in my OHP max a little earlier. There's a kind of feedback loop between the different rep-counts, but the only way to monitor it really is to periodically recalibrate it with the 1RM, and then adjust, if necessary, the percentages accordingly.
     
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  9. Abide

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    Hey thanks, yeah I'm gonna follow through with the plan. I enjoyed doing it Monday and it felt good to get a full body session in. I think the variation of reps really helps with the time. The I can superset some of the opposing lifts pretty well, or at least cut down my rest between sets by going back and forth between lifts.

    I started out a race report, I need to edit and finish it, the pcs are cool.
    https://6movements.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/limurgs-zwarste-101k/

    Still feeling a little sore in my Achilles and lower calves though so tomorrow I don't think I'll go too heavy on the DL's.

    Yeah I really like that concept, even just hopping on the bike was amazing relief from the kinks on Monday. That's why I did the workout Monday just to get some movement in different and deeper planes. That's probably the worst thing about these long events, the movement atrophy you feel after.
     
  10. Bare Lee

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    Hey nice write-up! I'll re-read it after you've edited it too. Congrats on the new distance PR! How do you feel now heading to Leadville in a few months? BTW, that's an interesting assortment of food intake. Have you ever considered adding a little more protein to even out the influx of sugars into your bloodstream?

    I managed to do 4 x 5 x 136 yesterday, so my angst over the weekend on what to do about the sudden 10-pound increase in my OH Press 1RM was unfounded. However, the sudden bump showed me that the rate of increase may need continual monitoring and adjustment, so I think I'll start testing 1RMs every week, each week a different lift (Squat>OH Press>Deadlift>Bench Press), no matter if it falls on a nice five- or ten-pound increment or not (1RM tests highlighted in yellow):

    1RM tests for 2015 1.jpg

    So a further tweak to the scheme.

    This Friday I'll test my Bench 1RM at 258. Or maybe I'll just go for a straight 260. Don't want to get too caught up in these fractional increases. The heavier the load, the less a pound or two matters. I think the real value of microloading lies in the small weekly increases for multiple sets of 5, 8, and 3 reps. Anyway, if successful this Friday, it will be nice to establish a new Bench PR. There's an outside chance I did 265 in Chicago, but the more I think about it, the more likely it seems that my best there was 245.

    Yeah, there's something to be said for active recovery. Today I'll do my river run I think, as I'm getting a little tired of hills, but tomorrow I'll try to do another run-commute just to stretch the legs.
     
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    Wow nice work again on the press, see this is why experimenting is good too. One lift can affect us profoundly different. I think it's fine to test the lift once every 4 week's especially how you work it into the normal routine. As long as you aren't mentally psyching up I think the potential for injury isn't that great. And try to keep form degradation to the minimum, that's where ramping up to the lift comes in handy. Something else to consider, if you don't hit your 1RM that correlates to the other increases you may still want to keep increasing your rep maxes. A 1 x 5 x 136 would assume a 160 max, but you did it 4 times so its likely not an easy ratio between the two ranges. On the other hand it also doesn't mean your true max is higher than 160, it very well may be.

    A little more nervous for Leadville actually. I think at the 60 mile point at LV I have 17:45 hours for the cutoff, but there is a little more elevation gain at that point plus the high elevation. I was pretty beat up at the end too. To think have to go 40 more is kind of daunting. I have read and heard advice that you don't really need to do longer training runs than 30~40~50 miles to prepare for a 100, but I am glad I decided to do a few longer ones. Its amazing how different you feel between the aid points. It's one of the reasons I really liked that race having aid stops every 10k helped experience usually a high and a low between each stop. But also gave me a chance to try out all different things.

    I have thought about protein, in fact I made some energy bars with protein powder in them but I left them in the freezer. I am trying to come up with an easy way to get more proteins in, I despise eating chewy bars so those are mostly out. I could do a BCAA drink like this guy recommends? Or maybe chug a couple of shakes but they aren't that portable unfortunately, or that good. Any ideas? I have read that protein and fats mid race cause gastric distress, but I think I should be fine especially at the speeds I am running.
    I guess I could eat a couple of hard boiled eggs, and make some bean burritos.

    http://www.completehumanperformance.com/proper-hydration.html
    http://www.bodyenfitshop.nl/workouts/post-workout/body-fit-sportsnutrition/magnificent/#ingredienten
     
  12. Bare Lee

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    Yah, the plan is to stick with training maxes, not true maxes or "competitive" maxes as Thibaudeau's article yesterday put it I think. I'm not really interested in pursuing true maxes. Even with something like our elusive goal of a 400-pound deadlift, when it's time, I want it to be fairly workaday, not something I have to psych myself up for, like I did last summer when I maxed at 355 and then almost at 365. I want the weekly 5/8/3 rep counts to tell me when I'm ready, and then know that I should have it in the bag. So, for example, if 160 is my current training max, then 165 or even 170 might be my true max, but I have no interest in finding out. I'll get there eventually without any pause or disruption to my current routine. And most importantly, as you note, no risk of injury. Next time I test a 1RM, the idea will be to do two singles, two doubles, and two or three triples, either 1/1/2/2/3/3(/3) or 1/2/3/1/2/3(/3). Last Friday I didn't do this because the single's load was unexpected, so I wanted to get a sense of where the doubles and triples might lie. I'm pretty sure I could do 150 or a little higher for a double, and then I found out that I can do triples at 145, which is exactly where these rep-counts should be. That gave me the confidence to try the 5RM yesterday at its proper load. And voilà, everything conformed to the percentages, which was nice.

    So what I learned yesterday is that when doing multiple sets, especially the five-rep sets, confidence makes a big difference, because, much more so than with singles, there's some wiggle room. I knew, theoretically, that I should be able to do 5 x 136, but I doubted it on practical terms. Even after the first set, I doubted the second. But it's always the first set that's hardest. If you can make that, you can probably make the second and third. The fourth was a little challenging on the last rep, but that was mostly because fatigue was starting to set in, and not the load per se. I didn't have that confidence a month ago when 130 felt challenging, and so gave up on it prematurely.

    If I can clear 258 for the Bench on Friday, and then 250 for the Squat the following Friday, I think I'll be able to proceed with full confidence in my scheme. I'm pretty sure I could boost the Squat a bit more, and definitely the Deadlift, but I think it's best to train both of those at slightly submaximal loads, because, with the deadlift, the risk of injury is greater, and with the Squat, failure would be pretty unpleasant. I have safety bars (bolts), but I haven't practiced failing squats with lighter loads too much, unlike the Bench Press, where I have plenty of experience failing, either with a spotter, or with safety pins or a rack lower on the posts. There's also the idea of building up volume gradually so that I can go further in the long run. I think this principle applies more to the squat and deadlift, where it seems like the potential for improvement is greater than with the presses.

    So like you say, one lift can affect us profoundly. My experience last Friday and then yesterday with the OH Press has really given me a tremendous amount of confidence, both in my potential to progress in all the lifts, but also in a very gradual, workaday approach. I also think this latest tweak of monthly testing will create a good, cybernetic sort of feedback loop between all the rep-counts. So lots of things seem to be falling into place lately. Perfect for the end of a cycle.

    I should also explain that when I say 'training max' or doing something at about 90% effort level, that also implies, for me, that I should be able to do more than one set, like 2-4. So if 160 is my 1-rep training max for the OH Press, I should be able to do at least two singles, maybe three or four, but if 136 is my 5-rep training max, then I should be able to knock out three or four sets. In general, I would think that the higher the rep count, the more sets one could do at 90% effort level, as endurance takes over and raw strength becomes less of a factor. I've never tried a true max for anything but singles. Actually I don't really understand the point of attempting a true max at higher rep-counts. As far as I'm concerned, higher rep counts are there to drive improvements in the 1RM, whether it's tested or merely projected. Same with hypertrophy, if it results from a greater 1RM or helps drive a bigger 1RM, great, but I wouldn't train just for hypertrophy, especially since hypertrophic protocols like really high reps, training to failure, and slow eccentrics really suck. That would take all the fun out of it. I really like the movement approach, getting better/stronger at specific movements.

    In any case, since I train alone, it's best to stay away from true maxes, especially for the squat and bench press. Plus I'm not sure true maxes accomplish anything outside of organized competition or giving a young man bragging rights. A training max is plenty motivation for me, a little numerological pat on the back. But more importantly, they're a means of calibrating and monitoring loads for worksets at higher rep-counts, where the real progress is made. The idea is to always keep the sets challenging but doable, for steady, consistent progress and motivation.

    Well, Leadville is a daunting challenge, especially with a job and young family. It's fun experiencing the prep and races vicariously through you. I think your race plan leading up to is very good. I don't have any idea about supplements. I've been taking protein shakes again for the last few weeks, but I have them in the morning. If I take them right after a workout, it does seem to irritate my stomach a bit. I usually mix in some strawberries and organic yoghurt, then it's whole milk, whey, creatine, BCAAs and glutamine. I haven't looked into it too much, but it seems like most people agree that those four supplements are useful. I no longer worry about timing though. I just try to eat protein with every meal. I have no idea how any of this translates into a ultra race strategy. When I was cycling, I mostly ate whatever was locally available, but it's a lot easier to cycle right after eating than it is to run, I would think. In general, I like to run on a fairly empty stomach, but lift fairly full.

    What I'm saying, in other words, is nothing in my experience is really useful for giving advice on how much or when to take protein, but I know from my sporadic experience with hypoglycemia, that eating some protein is key to preventing spikes in blood sugar levels after eating.

    Anyway, awesome achievement! You and BA put me to shame, but also inspire me to make a push next cycle to get some kind of running rhythm established again. My toe feels pretty good now, so no excuses . . .
     
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    I notice this same situation with squats. My first 1-2 sets are usually much more difficult than 3+. I think that was one of the hard things of doing 5/3/1 you only do 3 sets of ascending weight and by time you hit your heavy weight you still aren't comfortable or "grooved up" for that weight. I think this is one of the reasons I have been enjoying doing less reps but more sets (5-8sets x 2reps ) for the squat. On the other hand my stamina for doing multiple heavy sets on the press drops off quick after a hard set of 5. I really don't think I could get 4x5x135, but then again maybe my max isn't 160ish anymore either? A lot of times I've picked something as my true rep max simply because I couldn't do another rep, or tried and had a technical failure.

    And this brings me back to another issue I have with the split program, frequency. I really don't think significant gains are made when you only train a movement once or twice a week. It will be interesting to see what performing the movement 3 times a week with variation between the lifts and loads. But I think just performing the movements with submaximal loads more regularly is likely the better way to go. Grease the groove. Maybe if you were really hitting it hard in the gym like some of the heavy PL's and WL's do I could understand the once a week. But maybe that's it, the basic patterning with heavier weight is more important for intermediates?

    Yeah now that you mention it the whole 90% and the ratio of a 1RM is kind of an arbitrary number. I think maybe I might dig into the RPE process a little more. It's a little more subjective but you might end of with more accurate numbers.
    I was also thinking of adding a little structure to my progressions by rather than checking a 1RM do a rep max (not testing weight), for example say I squat 3 x 3 x 100kgs and the second set is pretty easy, if I want to see if I should increase weight the following week then the last set I will increase the reps to the next level 5 (ie. 1-3,2-4,3-5,5-8), if I hit that then the following week I can increase.

    It's funny you are also taking shakes, I have been doing the same for a couple of weeks. That's pretty much my same feeling is to eat what's available as much as possible. I think I will also start to pack some PB&J's and make a bean burrito or two. At least I know I can throw these in the pack and they wont go bad. I do drink a protein shake right before my runs and it doesn't bother me. But remember the paces I am running are pretty slow.

    Ok I might pick up a container of that BCAA/creatine drink. I usually try to stay away from creatine cause of the weight gain but if I take it infrequently enough it probably doesn't matter. I also grabbed some Isotone type of drink, basically Gatorade with more salt. I find that highly beneficial as I tend to sweat a lot. Now I am just working the quantity angle, say I am burning 6-800 calories an hour. That's a lot to keep up on. One lady says you burn 12,000 and need 8,000 externally, but that's probably a 130lb female. So by my calcs I need to get 11,000 calories over 30 hours, 367 per hour, or 1,100 per aid station. so even 200 calories per aid stop of that sugar water and I need to eat a lot of food...
     
  14. Bare Lee

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    I notice this same situation with squats. My first 1-2 sets are usually much more difficult than 3+. I think that was one of the hard things of doing 5/3/1 you only do 3 sets of ascending weight and by time you hit your heavy weight you still aren't comfortable or "grooved up" for that weight.

    Well, I always do ascending warm-up sets for all four performance lifts. The heavier the load, the more sets I need before I'm ready for the worksets, because I go up by adding 25-pound or 45-pound plates. I don't have any number of reps in mind though. Usually 1-3 reps at each weight increment going up, but when I start with the empty bar, sometimes I'll do up to 10 reps, just to get the blood flowing or the joints lubed up.

    I think this is one of the reasons I have been enjoying doing less reps but more sets (5-8sets x 2reps ) for the squat. On the other hand my stamina for doing multiple heavy sets on the press drops off quick after a hard set of 5. I really don't think I could get 4x5x135, but then again maybe my max isn't 160ish anymore either? A lot of times I've picked something as my true rep max simply because I couldn't do another rep, or tried and had a technical failure.

    I think 4x5 is something that you get used to over time, as you build up work capacity. That might explain my recent jump, whereas before, I struggled to make the transition form 4x5x115 to 4x5x120, and then again from 4x5x125 to 4x5x130. Maybe my work capacity, or stamina, wasn't sufficiently developed yet. Hard to say.

    And this brings me back to another issue I have with the split program, frequency. I really don't think significant gains are made when you only train a movement once or twice a week. It will be interesting to see what performing the movement 3 times a week with variation between the lifts and loads. But I think just performing the movements with submaximal loads more regularly is likely the better way to go. Grease the groove. Maybe if you were really hitting it hard in the gym like some of the heavy PL's and WL's do I could understand the once a week. But maybe that's it, the basic patterning with heavier weight is more important for intermediates?

    Yah, I'm really sold on frequency. It can get boring sometimes, but with just 2-3 day's worth of recovery in between workouts, everything feels comfortable and I'm sort of pre-warmed-up. A run in between helps keeps things loose.

    And I guess even some of the heavy PLs are converting to more of a volume/frequency approach, in light of the Eastern European successes. Greg Nuckols credits this approach for his success. In my case, it's hard to tell if it's just been the greater consistency this cycle or my 'program' but I'm definitely making good progress now with a higher frequency/volume approach. I think the obsession with adding load keeps a lot of people from going more gradually and building up their work capacity. Even now, I'm always tempted to cheat my program and add more weight prematurely, but I have to remind myself that by going more slowly I will go further in the end. It's a marathon, not a sprint in other words. Especially for the deadlift, I've just slowed myself down even further, adding just two pound per week instead of the 2.5 pounds I was adding when the deadlift was tied to the squat at 125%. At this reduced rate, I won't reach 400 until February of 2016, but hopefully, the theory goes, I'll be able to go well beyond that in the long run, maybe even reaching 500 at some point. A middle-aged 500-pound deadlift would be a gas. Right now the deadlifts feel workaday, not challenging, and I like that, especially since I'm so focused on improving the Squat and OH Press. It might be nice to keep the deadlifts in a supportive or fortifying role until the other lifts have advanced pretty well, and then use those as a sort of platform or slingshot to push on ahead in the deadlift, since the deadlift requires the most overall strength.

    I guess I would say intermediate level isn't when frequency or volume become more important, but rather, it's when it becomes important to build work capacity, and frequency and volume are the means to do so. So yah, it's a Grease the Groove or Easy Strength approach, but there still has to be sufficient volume for the frequency to have an effect. I'm adding load through fractional or micro increases, but I think I would also like to add some volume as soon as I can handle it too. It might even consider pausing the microloading for a month and try to add a set to each lift on each day. I would need shorter rest periods though, to make it all fit within an hour, and I don't think I would be able to do this until my cardiovascular fitness improves, so I'm going to wait until my running is better before contemplating that sort of tweak.

    Another way I would define intermediate is Rippetoe's idea of transitioning from daily cycles to weekly cycles. This gives you a lot more room to program in variation in volume, intensity and frequency, which provides a means, if done correctly, of increasing work capacity. Each daily workout should combine with the others to create a weekly effect of increased strength (maximal fiber/force recruitment) and increased work capacity (hypertrophy, stamina, and recovery). That is, in addition to adding to the peak, we need to expand the base that supports the peak. Much as runners must increase their weekly mileage in order to sustain faster paces. If you only run 15 miles a week, there will be a limit on how fast you can run a 10K, for example, that is far less than one's potential.

    Yeah now that you mention it the whole 90% and the ratio of a 1RM is kind of an arbitrary number. I think maybe I might dig into the RPE process a little more. It's a little more subjective but you might end of with more accurate numbers.

    Yah, 90% effort level as a training max at any given rep-count is just a guess. This is distinct from 90% of 1R(training)M, which is my 3RM, but which is also just an approximation. It's subjective but using normalized increments--100/95/90/85/80/75/70--makes the calculations easier. My one-rep training max is 160 for the OHP, but it could be 162 or 163, and the 3RM could easily be 87-93% of 1RM instead of an exact 90%. That's kind of why I threw out the idea of testing 1RMs at five- or ten-pound increments. It doesn't really matter. Once I freed myself of that preconception, it became easy to schedule the testing every four weeks, which fits in well with an eight-week cycle and the idea of testing one of the four performance lifts each week. The testing is there to monitor progress on the other rep counts, but also to push the intensity on the performance lifts once in a while. I think one intensity day per week is about right, at 3RM, but then each intensity day singles out one of the main lifts and include singles and doubles as well for a little extra intensity. That seems like a good dosage of intensity to volume/frequency over a weekly or monthly cycle, with little danger of overtraining or injury.

    I was also thinking of adding a little structure to my progressions by rather than checking a 1RM do a rep max (not testing weight), for example say I squat 3 x 3 x 100kgs and the second set is pretty easy, if I want to see if I should increase weight the following week then the last set I will increase the reps to the next level 5 (ie. 1-3,2-4,3-5,5-8), if I hit that then the following week I can increase.

    Yah, that would be the repetition-based model of microloading, right? Add reps until you reach a certain number, and then increase load, decrease reps, repeat. We discussed this a while ago, but the reason I went with microloading via fractional plates is that you get the same gradual increases without any fluctuation in volume or intensity. Plus it takes some of the thinking or guesswork out of things. I don't have to approach a set and wonder how many reps I can bang out, if microloading is set correctly. If it starts to feel a little bit too hard, you simply slow down the rate of increase before you get to the point where you're missing reps. If it starts to feel a little bit too easy, you increase the rate of load increase.

    It's funny you are also taking shakes, I have been doing the same for a couple of weeks. That's pretty much my same feeling is to eat what's available as much as possible. I think I will also start to pack some PB&J's and make a bean burrito or two. At least I know I can throw these in the pack and they wont go bad. I do drink a protein shake right before my runs and it doesn't bother me. But remember the paces I am running are pretty slow.

    I remember Jason saying that part of his ultra training was learning how to eat while running. I think it would make me nauseous at first. I can't imagine eating some of the things you ate on Saturday, and a beer would put me immediately into relaxation mode.

    Ok I might pick up a container of that BCAA/creatine drink. I usually try to stay away from creatine cause of the weight gain but if I take it infrequently enough it probably doesn't matter. I also grabbed some Isotone type of drink, basically Gatorade with more salt. I find that highly beneficial as I tend to sweat a lot. Now I am just working the quantity angle, say I am burning 6-800 calories an hour. That's a lot to keep up on. One lady says you burn 12,000 and need 8,000 externally, but that's probably a 130lb female. So by my calcs I need to get 11,000 calories over 30 hours, 367 per hour, or 1,100 per aid station. so even 200 calories per aid stop of that sugar water and I need to eat a lot of food...

    Yah, I dunno, I'm already overweight so it's hard to say what effect creatine is having. I'm pretty sure no supplementation is necessary. You should see what I had to survive on sometimes while traveling across Africa on my bike, but I did fine, energy-wise. Supplementation is probably 80% scam for the purposes of recreational lifting, but in case it helps . . . Alan Thrall does a nice job debunking the whole supplementation obsession. And that's one thing that really irritates me about T-Nation's inner circle when they write articles--they almost always find a way to plug one of their supplements.

    Fueling for an ultra though, that sounds like a lot of work. It's a lot easier to get into an aerobic groove while cycling.
     
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  15. Abide

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    Thanks for the work capacity information. I read a little more of Nuckols thoughts on it and he does make a good case. Do you not find a huge difference between 50lbs n your warmup sets though?

    One question I have though, where does it end? You can't keep growing in every direction right? Progressive work capacity can really only get you so far right?

    Yeah supplementation is a scam mostly, but protein powder and electrolytes work in my experience. hey by the way your don't diet and let the running work for you plan is working pretty well for me. I am down to about 198 right now, but I really feel my strength slipping away from me.
     
  16. Bare Lee

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    It's probably just recovery from the epic 100K run. I would think it'd take at least a week to recover from something like that. It could also take several days to properly rehydrate after something like that. If you can, try drinking enough water so you have to pee every hour or so, then reduce the intake to peeing about every two hours for about 24 hours. This is also where supplements like whey protein, BCAAs, creatine, and glutamine might help. Also, a few naps if you manage it, but that's probably impossible given job and family commitments. In general, I wouldn't worry about it unless this carries over into the second week. And even then, it's worth sacrificing your st for a few months more to make sure everything's set up well for your races.
     
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  17. Bare Lee

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    Yah, it's still hard to wrap my mind around the concept of work capacity sometimes, but I think it's a valid concept. I'm glad my ramblings made sense to you. It's always a good practice to try to write out one's thoughts to test their coherence.

    Once I discovered Nuckols, I spent several hours reading through his stuff. I would keep reading him until you've exhausted his small but impressive collection of articles. Here's his article on work capacity: http://www.strengtheory.com/increasing-work-capacity/

    I used to think it was all about singles and maximizing intensity, thinking you're only as strong as what you can lift, but now I see how short-sighted that was. It's probably why 225 always seemed like a natural limit to my Bench Press. I hadn't developed a good work capacity in general, and I didn't develop enough overall strength in the other lifts to have a good supporting platform for the bench. Now I'm thinking 300-315 might be possible.

    My warm-ups are pretty cursory, it's always bar (35lbs), 85lbs, 125lbs, 175lbs, 215lbs, 265lbs, 305lbs. If my workset is 208lbs, for example, my last warm-up set will be 175lbs. I won't add another 20 pounds to get a little closer. I usually find just 1-3 reps at each weight increment is enough, but I'm not lifting first thing in the morning like you either. I lift at the end of the day when my metabolism has already been in mid-gear for 10-12 hours, and I usually stretch pretty well before lifting.

    What is the endpoint to building work capacity? Well, I guess there are three possible limits: workout time, recovery time, and genetics. I guess for the recreational lifter, time constraints probably trump recovery ability. That is, we'll probably never be able to work out so much that we begin to run up against the limits on our ability to recover. Then there's genetics. Once we reach 80-90% of our strength potential and/or work capacity, it will probably just be too much work to squeeze out that last 10-20%. And in my case, since I'm already on the decline, I'll never be able to find out what I would've been capable of in my 20s or 30s anyway. I know I don't have elite strength potential, that's for sure. So I guess I would say that without much attention to work capacity, I could probably reach 400/320/280/180 for the four main lifts, since I already came within 50 pounds of those figures without really trying. But with a little more patience, building up work capacity, I can probably add 50-100 pounds to those figures. I'm not sure, but I think 500/400/300/200 might be possible for me sometime in 2016 or 2017, working out an hour each day, three days a week. If not, who cares? At least I tried.

    I also think I could run considerably faster, and I think I can do it with a weekly rhythm of a LSD run, a tempo run, and hills/intervals, maybe adding another short aerobic run in there somewhere. This would be about four hours a week. It would be nice if I could run aerobically at about an 8mm pace. With a greater commitment, maybe I could even get that down to 7mm. Since I've never run consistently for more than 18-24 months at a time, it's hard to say.

    One other thought about work capacity, and I have no idea if this is true or if I have understood the concepts correctly, but I think as work capacity grows, the need for all-out intensity diminishes. That is, the ratio of peak (intensity) to base (volume) decreases as the base widens. I read that Yates would only do one intense workset per movement or muscle per week, or something like that. So, if you can get the programming right, you don't actually need to spend that much more time as you progress, but rather, it might be the case that you shift more and more of your workout time to volume, away from intensity. I might be completely wrong about this though. I've been trying to download Nuckols free Bulgarian Method e-book, but the link appears to be broken. I should probably fork over the money for his Art and Science books, but I'm placing a moratorium on spending money on exercise stuff for a while. And I'm still waiting for my Inzer belt to arrive in 5 weeks, and the t-grip bar, if it ever arrives.

    Good to hear the weight-loss is going well. I know it depends on the person, but for me, if I'm exercising an hour a day, one day running, and one day lifting, my appetite tends to crave healthy foods and portions. I've never been overweight when I'm moderately active. It's frustrating though, because everyone around me tells me I have to diet, even though I can show a one-to-one correlation between weight gain and not exercising in my lift history. It's also amazing how many people who should know better believe in spot reduction.

    Anyway, I like to have a beer before dinner and a glass of wine with it. Then during and after dinner I drink 3-4 glasses of water before I go to sleep. I know the beer and wine are extra calories, and cutting them out would speed up the process, but I've also been pretty slim with the same regimen. I had a good run on Tuesday, so if I can get back to hour-long, continuous runs soon, I'm pretty sure I'll start to see the weight come off. I think there's already some redistribution going on. I've been pretty consistent with my lifting lately and I'm feeling my upper back and thighs growing. I've been described as 'burly.' It still amazes me how many people in the lifting community are against cardio. I even read one T-Nation guy, I think it was Chris Shugart, citing some stupid study, say that jogging makes you fat. It was nice to read Nuckols argue against that kind of stupidity. I never believed the anti-cardio crap, but it's nice when a serious lifter with a science background debunks it.

    Hey, just stumbled on this: http://swoleateveryheight.blogspot....00-07:00&max-results=16&start=3&by-date=false
    Might be relevant to your program next cycle. Seems like a good site in general. I'll explore it a bit more later . . .
     
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  18. Abide

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    Shit I went over my handlebars and ate some dirt this morning. Really jacked up my right shoulder. Hopefully its an easy strain, the post injury depression is settling in. Although I am trying to stay positive. This is a bad time to happen from all aspects.

    You know whats funny with alcohol and weight, the more beer i cut the more difficult it is for me to lose weight. Even though beer is calories it seems to have appetite suppression properties if i only drink one or two.

    Spot dieting is kind of a silly thing. I think whats difficult for people to understand is we all hold weight and fat a little differently. I have the love handle curse and usually once they start going away the amount of calorie restriction needed is significant enough to affect the cardio work. And my overall mood.

    Well crap looks like easy cardios all I have for a bit so forget the haters. We'll see if it makes me fat. Your shoulders are one of those areas you take for granted in how much they affect movement. I feel like I am dead in the water for lifting for a coupke of weeks.
     
  19. Abide

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    Good blog find. And interesting article. His spreadsheet one is pretty funny too.
     
  20. DNEchris

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    Heal quickly Abide. Sorry you met the ground hard!
     
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