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  1. #1
    Wolfeye is offline Banned
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    Default Running Out Of Strength Vs. Running Out Of Steam

    I was just curious about something. Doing low reps at high intensity builds strength without size. Doing high reps at low weight builds size without much strength. I get that, but why is it you "burn out" and can't do more that a few of something at that high level?

    I've been told fatiguing the muscle makes more glycogen be stored so that it won't get tired next time. And that glycogen bonds one part of itself to two parts water, so the size isn't really fibers- just fluids. Why is it that that doesn't happen when you get to a point where you can't do more with something high weight?

    I know resting might be a part of it, but that just raises further questions: What happens with all this when you train while tired (doing push-ups while already exhausted, for instance)? Also, training to failure with strength doesn't work out too well, but what about endurance/stamina? Same thing or no? I've been told not to max out too much because the body gets used to a pace of things going "harder, harder, stop" that it'll shut down when things are getting harder & harder. Does this apply to stamina, as well?

  2. #2
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    I don't know the "whys" of the questions you ask. I do know from my own experience that trng to failure works for only a short time and sometimes gets me injured. And I do recall in ETK that Pavel advises to build strength in the presses slowly and not to mindlessly chase reps or move up in weight too quickly - but to master that weight and make sure you plug all the leaks and get strong with that weight and in that groove - in other words LEARN TO PRESS. He also advises to "SAVE YOUR TESTOSTERONE FOR THE SWINGS". Save the testosterone for the swings is something that I have read many times over but it did not register in my mind until recently. So I know to ease up a little on presses and learn to press - but work the swings a bit harder. As for the ETK program he put it in the book for a reason..Dennis

  3. #3
    AndrewR is offline Senior Member
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    There are ways around it - you can use bigger ladders. 2-3-5-10 works well for both size and strength (great for double presses and clean and jerks or snatches). The 2-3-5s allow you to recover before another big effort.

    I think that movements involving body weight seem to reward higher reps - so calisthenics and distance running allow you to push more and more often, but sprinting doesn't as it increases the intensity exponentially from distance running. Body weight movements seem to actually respond to trying for that last rep too. Chad Waterbury wrote an article on T Nation ages about how his pull ups never increased much until he started going to near failure instead of keeping the reps low.

    I'm in the middle of a lot of endurance work (11 sessions/ week) and while a lot of it is easy (e.g. 45min easy run followed by 15mins hard and then 10 easy to cool down) that 15 mins is awful and near all out. With that work one of the things you're trying to dis increase lactate tolerance and getting used to a high heart rate. The only way to improve that is to do it repeatedly. One of the biggest things for me is to use strength exercises for strength and fitness for fitness. So don't deadlift for high reps. Do it for low reps for strength. If you want fitness then run and run hard.

  4. #4
    Wolfeye is offline Banned
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    You know, I've been wondering something else: If someone sprints a lot, will that increase their capacities for a long run? Building up the ability through sprinting, then just pacing yourself to do a distance run. Seems like that's what a lot of people did, but I don't know if that's actually what the strategy was (reading about different runners from around the world & their training styles, some didn't give an explanation & others I didn't finish reading entirely).

  5. #5
    GunnyHighway is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    You know, I've been wondering something else: If someone sprints a lot, will that increase their capacities for a long run?
    Back when I used to run a lot the best thing I ever did to improve my times for long runs was to start adding sprints in the middle of longer runs.

  6. #6
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    Charles Staley in his book - MUSCLE LOGIC Escalated Density Training - talks of different strength attributes ranked by their intensity.Pp. 4-5. He termed this the LADDER EFFECT. From highest intensity (maximal strength) followed by explosive strength, starting strength, anerobic and lastly aerobic strength. Each level/rung of intensity when practiced will by default improve all those other strengths on the lower rungs. Aerobic will only improve aerobic. But maximal will improve all the other strengths on ther lower rungs. My question is that if I practice hard sprints - maximal - will that take care of my aerobic strength attributes for running a half marathon? My guess is that I would still have to actually run the half marathon in order to know mentally that I can cover the distance - but physically the sprinting would have covered the aerobic strength rung as Staley indicated. Does this sound right to anyone? I never heard of this before so just wondering..Dennis

  7. #7
    Chris Hansen is offline Senior Member
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    I would think that, while sprinting will improve your fitness, it won't prepare you to run a half marathon. Specificity and all. You still need to practice the thing you are trying to improve.

  8. #8
    GunnyHighway is offline Senior Member
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    Not sure if this is what you're talking about, but "endurance is born of strength." The way to build stamina in a movement is to get stronger. That's what I was referring to above with my statement about sprinting. If my 1-rep max in a movement is 10 pounds, I can only do one rep. If my 1-rep max for that movement is 100 pounds, it goes without saying that I'm going to be able to do more than one rep at 10 pounds.

  9. #9
    Rich in Nor Cal is offline Senior Member
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    Strength, if by that one means the contractile force of a muscle, is limited by energy pathways, but does not itself significantly increase or decrease the potential energy derived from the energy pathways.

    Stamina is a product of the energy pathways and their development. Basically, there are three pathways: the ATP; the lactic acid, or LA; and the aerobic, or O2. The ATP funds efforts lasting to about 15 seconds; the LA system funds efforts lasting from about 15 seconds to about 3 minutes; and, the O2 system funds efforts lasting over 3 minutes.

    I'm painting with a broad brush and not going into details of the gray areas to keep this brief. Basically, by working near-max efforts under 10 seconds repeatedly you can increase the storage of ATP; if you work repeated near-max efforts around 90 seconds duration, you can increase storage of the enzymes for using LA for reconstituting the the ADP into ATP; and, if you work regularly in in the aerobic zone, your Type I fibers will eventually convert most to all their latent mitochondria to an active state, allowing the muscle to process more carbohydrate to reconstitute the ADP to ATP.

    There are limits to how much ATP can be stored by the muscle, to how quickly LA can be utilized as fuel for reconstituting ATP, and to how quickly carbohydrate can be used for ATP reconstitution. These are the limits of the energy systems, and place absolute limits on muscular contraction potential.

    Also, higher levels of strength use mainly type II fibers, which have no mitochondria to speak of, so they have no aerobic potential; slow-twitch, smaller type I fibers, have a lot of aerobic potential but little strength. Mix the two, and you get a middling mix of strength and endurance.

  10. #10
    AndrewR is offline Senior Member
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    Keys for running distance - 2 x easy runs/ week, 1 intervals at above race pace (not sprints, just faster than race pace) and one long run of 2-2.5hrs at an easy pace with the last 20-30mins again at faster than race pace.

    Sprints won't do anything for your distance runs. They may make you a bit faster, but beyond two minutes it's all about the aerobic system and local muscular endurance. You won't build either with sprints and short efforts.

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