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Thread: SCT's Triathlon Training, Sponsored by Controlled Labs

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    Talking SCT's Triathlon Training, Sponsored by Controlled Labs

    This log will run from today until the end of the triathlon season, or whenever Tank sees fit to cut off my supply of Red Acid Gen 2.. hopefully never.

    About Me:

    I'm a 24 year old male who is on a journey. A journey to finish my transformation that began back in September 2005, and a journey to be a competitive triatlete. While that may seem a lofty goal, it is one that I will acheieve, because I have nothing to lose but more weight.


    About The Product:

    Red Acid GEN 2? is the most advanced fat incineration matrix available today... so effective you can actually feel it working !! This unique formula is designed to enhance your metabolism, control your appetite and cravings, and keep you focused and energized all day long.

    Even with proper diet and cardio, many individuals will eventually experience problems losing fat at an "optimal" rate. Now we have the answer: Red Acid GEN 2?. Unlike other fat loss products, Red Acid GEN 2? helps you to achieve fat loss via several different pathways to overcome your metabolism for optimal fatloss results.

    Red Acid GEN 2? includes a special cacao extract, that serves as a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-alpha) agonist and can help to modulate ghrelin levels, producing a hunger satisfaction and stimulating glycerol and fatty acid release from adipocytes throughout the body. To enhance this effect, we included herbal appetite suppressants that work via the brains central nervous system rather than the digestive tract to deliver a one-two punch to "knock out" hunger and cravings.

    With cravings and appetite under complete control, we took Red Acid GEN 2? to the next level with powerful naturally occuring energizers, nootropics, and thermogenics like isobutyryl-thiamine disulfide, theobromine, hordenine, evodiamine, and vinpocetine. Forskolin stimulates cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and a synergistic blend of cayenne extract and raspberry ketones releases norepinephrine, which in turn increases lipolysis and results in the reduction of fat storage. The potent cayenne extract aids in delivery and absorption. Working together, these powerful compounds work to increase your metabolism, activity level, and focus all day long making Red Acid GEN 2? one of the most powerful and effective fatloss products on the market.

    Let's face it, fatloss shouldn't be torture... with the Red Acid GEN 2? formula, instead of constant hunger, low energy, and carb cravings, you can focus on cardio, the gym, and the other important things in your life !




    REFERENCES
    1. Dorfman LJ, Jarvik ME. Comparative stimulant and diuretic actions of caffeine and theobromine in man. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1970 Nov-Dec;11(6):869-72.

    2. Hapke HJ, Strathmann W. Pharmacological effects of hordenine. Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 1995 Jun;102(6):228-32

    3. Morimoto C, Satoh Y, Hara M, Inoue S, Tsujita T, Okuda H. Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci. 2005 May 27;77(2):194-204. Epub 2005 Feb 25.

    4. Van Reeth O. Pharmacologic and therapeutic features of sulbutiamine. Drugs Today (Barc). 1999 Mar;35(3):187-92.

    5. Micheau J, Durkin TP, Destrade C, Rolland Y, Jaffard R. Chronic administration of sulbutiamine improves long term memory formation in mice: possible cholinergic mediation. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1985 Aug;23(2):195-8.

    6. Rampler H, Weinhofer I, Netik A, Forss-Petter S, Brown PJ, Oplinger JA, Bugaut M, Berger J. Evaluation of the therapeutic potential of PPARalpha agonists for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. Mol Genet Metab. 2003 Dec;80(4):398-407.
    Back to the basics!

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    Previous Related Training Logs Can Be Found At:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=1470891

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    When today started I could feel a buzz in the air. I felt in my bones that it would be a good day. I decided upon waking that I was going to head to the gym early enough to eat some oatmeal (they make the best oatmeal) and then chill out until it was time to work out. The oatmeal was not only delicious, but it turned out that it was FREE! Theresa insisted on it being on the house since she had accidentally added walnuts, which are the one kind of nut I despise. I tried to gently reject the offer of free oatmeal, but I was vetoed by the Cafe staff.

    After my meal I hung out for a while and talked to a few regulars, all who asked about my indoor tri experience. Finally, about 45 minutes later, I felt that I had digested enough to head for the sauna. Normally in the sauna I just sit with my mp3 player and rock out for 5 minutes, just to get myself 'warm' before my warmup. However, today was also the start of my training being MP3 player FREE.. meaning that since my races are music free, so will be my training.

    The 5 minutes in the sauna provided me a chance to really think over the plan I have been working on. I've posted the link a few times, so I won't bother to look it up now, especially after the modifications that have been made make it very unlike the original 'cookie cutter' plan.

    After leaving the sauna I headed for the weights area. Today was the restart of my weight training routine, I'm taking it nice and easy on weights to ensure my shoulder holds up this time.

    Weights:
    Bench Press, 4 sets of 15
    Incline Bench Press, 4 sets of 15
    Seated Row, 4 sets of 15
    Shoulder Press, 4 sets of 15
    Seated Bicep Curls, 4 sets of 15
    Overhead Tricep Extensions, 4 sets of 15

    As you can see the weight routine is all high rep work, which means the weights are superlow. I will share increases in weights used from week to week. During my weight training I talked a bit with TC about my August Sprint Tri and he informed me that due to MY motivation, he went and registered for a July Olympic distance triathlon, that crazy man.

    After weights I had to attend a meeting with Kathy to discuss my and her thoughts on the swim portion of my triathlon training. We were both of the mindset that I should not drop volume just to follow the program. Because of this I will be keeping distance high, and using a variety of drills and distancework to ensure that I am prepared for the race.

    After the meeting I was stoked beyond all belief, and headed for the bike for today's ride.

    Bike: 4 miles, 12 minutes and 2 seconds

    The pace on the bike was JUST under 20mph, which made me cheese from ear to ear since it was done without music. Talk about being a different type of animal, training without music is just plain harder for me.

    After the bike I started to walk a mile cooldown when I noticed a younger guy (maybe 19) playing basketball on the courts. He had just asked an older gentleman if he wanted to play one on one, to which the older guy had said no. The young buck, as he shall now be referred to, was kind of cocky and arrogant about it, telling the old guy he would have lost anyways. That was just about all I needed..

    Walking onto the court I asked the kid if he wanted to play a game of one-on-one.. after smirking at me he said he would love to. I shot for ball, made it. We were going to 21 by 1s and 2s.. I ended up 11-0 after the first few minutes, I think he expected me to be slow for some reason. He was huffing and puffing, hands on his knees.. I was just cruising along.

    I think at that point he mentally decided he needed to find an edge on me, and on my next layup he decided to elbow me hard.. in the nuts.. Yes.. I was seeing red. My first reaction was to strangle the twit, but instead I walked it off and came back to claim the ball. He said, 'That wasn't a foul.' It was then I knew he was going to play dirty for the rest of the game.

    I did my best to play defense while avoiding the elbows and trip attempts when I was shooting, but after I had managed to get up 18-6 the play became even MORE rough.

    He attempted a layup, I blocked it. Instead of taking a step back and regathering himself he just jumped up again. I leaped, with my hands up, prepared to block him again. However, the ball did not head for the goal, but instead my nose. I took the 'shot' right in the nose. Luckily I have a tough nose and titanium frames for my glasses.

    At that point I just literally stood there and let him score the 15 points he needed to do to win. I didn't attempt a shot, didn't attempt a rebound.. didn't attempt anything. I just wanted to be done with this moron.. he won and he was happy.. I was sad for him.

    After the game I finished my cooldown walk and headed to the cafe for a wonderful chicken breast with 99% fat free ham sandwich with swiss cheese and fat free ranch on homemade honey-almond bread with mixxed fruit.

    You would think that I would have been aggravated by the basketball game, but inside I felt on top of the world. I have came so far in my journey that I managed to outrun, outplay, and outclass someone 50lbs less than me and 5 years younger. It feels good to realize that..

    I ended up taking unplanned time off from work today, because I am getting behind on laundry and some other things that NEED to be done. We get a lot of vacation at work though, so it is ok. I tend to frontload a bunch and then work a long of the year without vacation, but so be it.

    I stopped at Spoke and Sport on the way home and talked shop with the bike guys for a good 30 minutes, and sent them on the hunt for a GOOD trisuit for my August triathlon for under $100, in a size XXL. They seemed to love the challenge.

    After the stop at S&S I headed home, to find that I received TWO packages.. yes TWO.

    The first was my package from Amazon.com with my recently ordered books of: 'Total Immersion' and 'The Triathletes Training Bible'.. talk about exciting. I now have TWO of the premiere books used by triathletes worldwide.

    The second package was from a former boss of mine, Tank, who owns Controlled Labs, a bodybuilding supplement company I used to be a rep for. He sent me a goodie package to help along the way with my triathlon adventures!

    To top it ALL off, the wife and I are going to look at bikes tonight.. I might be able to talk her into letting me buy one.. oh yeah baby.. what a freaking day.

    Josh
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    lol, good luck man. Just don't get a bike with tassels or John Lee with take it from you.

    Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. - Psalm 144:1

    As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another - Proverbs 27:17


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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan
    lol, good luck man. Just don't get a bike with tassels or John Lee with take it from you.

    Picked up a basic road bike for now, and after a few tris I'll upgrade to a nice bike. But for now, here it is:

    Back to the basics!

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    Default February 21, Sprint Training Day 3

    Supplements Taken:
    Red Acid Gen 2, 20 minutes prebreakfast

    Supplement Effects:
    Smooth energy that lasted a while. Not as much 'kick' as I remember, but that could be because I am a caffeine addict. I did notice the hunger benefits though immensly. Having been off supplements for a while the hunger factor was just HUGE for me. I don't know if I'll want to eat for the rest of the day, haha.

    Training:
    Today I had to wake up at the buttcrack of dawn to take the wife to work, since we are doing a car juggling act today to make sure everyone gets to go to work. My original plan was to do laundry and then head to the gym, but instead.. I just went to the gym! I wanted to see the morning crowd that I normally miss, so at 7am I walked in the gym doors.. groggy-eyed and sluggish.

    After a nice breakfast at Simon's Cafe (I spend too much $$ there) I headed to the pool and read some of the Total Immersion book for about 40 minutes before changing out into my swim gear. Swimming in the morning is way different than the afternoon, because the pool windows face the east.. so as the sun rises it makes lots of cool reflections on the pool floor, anyways.. I digress.

    I did the following in the pool:

    400 warmup
    50x2 catchup drills
    50x6 freestyle w/ fins
    50x2 6 kick rolls
    50x6 stroke count drills
    100 cooldown

    Total - 1300 yards

    After the swim I changed into my running gear and headed for the gym. Today was scheduled for a total of 3 miles of walk/run with the majority being walked, so I did the following.

    5 laps brisk walk, 2 laps run

    I repeated this for a total of 3 miles, and as time progresses the walks will get shorter while the runs get longer. I estimate about 12-13 weeks before I can run a 5k nonstop.

    After the gym I headed home and am now going to relax a bit before work.
    I might try riding my new bike..

    Josh
    Back to the basics!

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    Nah, with the routine you have now, the 3 miles won't be much. However, no music would kill me personally, so you are truly a stronger individual than I. Oh, and I like the bike. Didn't know GMC made those too...



    Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. - Psalm 144:1

    As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another - Proverbs 27:17


    Current Supps:
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    Green Magnitude
    Orange Triad
    White Flood
    Blue Up
    100% ON Classic Whey


    Ninety percent of everything is crap.

    Theodore Sturgeon
    US science fiction author (1918 - 1985)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan
    Nah, with the routine you have now, the 3 miles won't be much. However, no music would kill me personally, so you are truly a stronger individual than I. Oh, and I like the bike. Didn't know GMC made those too...



    Actually, after some careful research and negotiating with the LBS (local bike shop) I returned the walmart special and got myself a REAL bike.. oh yes baby.. a real road bike.



    Yeah, I know the 3 miles will probably be pretty cake, but the lack of an mp3 plkayer is so huge it is hard to imagine.

    SCT
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    February 22, Sprint Training Day 4
    Well, I got my workout in today. However, before I left the gym I managed to get sick all over the place. There must be a stomach bug in the area or something because when I went to the doctor she didn't seem suprised nor concerned that I had blew chunks all over the locker room.

    Supplement Facts:
    2 Red Acid Gen 2
    1 Multivitamin
    1 Vitamin C

    Energy:
    4/10 - could be due to being sick.

    Notes:
    Huge energy dropoff, which is why I rated today a 4. I think the virus/whatever just decided to kick in right as soon as my workout was over because the workout felt strong.. then it all just went to hell.

    Anywho, workout from today:

    1.5 mile warmup walk @ 4.0mph
    5 mile bike, 14 minutes 47 seconds
    1 mile cooldown walk @3.5mph
    Core work on swiss ball

    I'm off to be miserable and hope that this is only a 24 hour bug..

    Josh
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonecoldtruth
    As you can see the weight routine is all high rep work, which means the weights are superlow. I will share increases in weights used from week to week. During my weight training I talked a bit with TC about my August Sprint Tri and he informed me that due to MY motivation, he went and registered for a July Olympic distance triathlon, that crazy man.
    Why are you just sticking to higher reps ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LancerV
    Why are you just sticking to higher reps ?
    The purpose is two-fold:

    Working slow-twitch muscle fibers and slowly recovering my repeatedly injured shoulder.
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    Supplements:
    2 Red Acid Gen 2 preworkout

    Energy:
    10/10 - Felt very strong today even though it was a short workout.. if I didn't have to work I'd be back at the gym knocking some miles down on the treadmill.

    ----------------------------------------

    Today was an eventful day to say the least! I had a shortened workout due to having a few very special events occur today.

    The first was having my interview with Jaine Andrews for the Kelo-Land Healthbeat, that will be ON THE AIR tonight at 6pm CST. I'm hoping to grab the webcast of this so I can post it to the page.

    The interview 'started' at around 11:45 and encompassed a q/a session as well as them filming me doing some treadmill running.

    The downfall of this was that there was another treadmill runner in the shot and he was running at 6.0mph, so I had to crank it up faster to not be outdone on my own tv segment. I figured they would take a couple minutes of footage and be done, but after what seemed an eternity they said.. ok we got it all. I had went through FOUR songs on the mp3 player... hehe.

    I got in a quick 10 laps in the pool, then changed out and headed to lunch with Joi and Kevin, a couple of myspacers also from here in South Dakota. We had a nice lunch and conversation, it was nice to meet some other fitness enthusiasts from around here.

    Now I'm writing this on the fly so I can get ready for work.

    Tomorrow I'll be finishing the workout that was originally scheduled for today.

    Josh
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    Quote Originally Posted by LancerV
    Why are you just sticking to higher reps ?
    Muscular endurance > power for triathalon athletes.
    Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. - Psalm 144:1

    As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another - Proverbs 27:17


    Current Supps:
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    Green Magnitude
    Orange Triad
    White Flood
    Blue Up
    100% ON Classic Whey


    Ninety percent of everything is crap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan
    Muscular endurance > power for triathalon athletes.
    Just wait until I kick in my fatigue based training. This is reversing the typical weights then cardio routine and doing full swim training followed by upper body or full run/bike training followed by a leg routine.

    Insane? Why thank you.

    SCT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan
    Muscular endurance > power for triathalon athletes.
    Higher reps isnt a good way to gain muscular endurance

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    Quote Originally Posted by LancerV
    Higher reps isnt a good way to gain muscular endurance

    In this article you will learn that the higher the reps, the more slow twitch fibers you work and the lower the amount of reps, the more fast twitch fibers you work and much more...

    Slow & Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers.

    By: Shane Giese

    It is generally accepted throughout the world that there are two different types of muscle fibers. Slow twitch (Type I) muscle and fast twitch (Type II) muscle fiber. From there, you can further categorize fast twitch muscle fiber into Type IIa and Type IIb.

    Type I Muscle Fibers

    Type I muscle fibers have the slowest-contractile speed, the smallest cross-sectional area, the highest oxidative (aerobic) capacity, and the lowest glycolytic (anaerobic) capacity. They contract slowly and are able to hold a steady paced twitch for long durations without fatigue. Type I muscle fibers are predominately used in endurance activities. Long distance runners, swimmers, and cyclists mostly use Type I fibers.

    Type II Muscle Fibers

    Type IIb muscle fibers have the fastest-contractile speed, the largest cross-sectional area, the lowest oxidative capacity, and the highest glycolytic capacity. They are ideally suited for short fast bursts of power. These muscle fibers are used in such activities as sprinting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding. Type IIa muscle fibers are intermediate and their properties lie between type I and type IIb.

    How Type I & Type II Muscle Fibers Are Different

    Type I fibers are different than type IIb fibers for many reasons. You can think of them as opposites. Type I is for long endurance activities while type IIb is for short fast bursts. Type I fibers are highly oxidative and are not likely to hypertrophy as much. Type IIb fibers are highly gycolytic and tend to hypertrophy more than type I fibers. Type I fibers are also known as red fibers due to their abundant supply of blood. Type IIb fibers have little blood causing them to be white in appearance.

    How Your Body Recruits Muscle Fibers

    Even the small muscle groups in your body have over 100,000 muscle fibers. A motor neuron is what stimulates our muscles to contract. It carries impulses (messages) from our brain and spinal cord to our muscles. One motor neuron controls anywhere from 2-2,000 muscle fibers. A single motor neuron and the fibers it stimulates are called a motor unit. Each motor unit mainly contains muscles of its kind. Also, the motor unit fires with a frequency that is conducive to the fibers it stimulates. Simply put, a slow twitch motor neuron will cause the muscles in it to contract slowly while a fast twitch unit will fire quickly.

    The quicker it fires the more power it produces. If the activity is light, it will mainly stimulate type I muscle fibers. When it becomes too intense it will call upon type IIa muscle fibers. And finally, for the highest intensity movements, it will recruit the type IIb fibers. This is why type I fibers are called low threshold, and fast type IIb fibers are called high threshold. Low threshold because they are the first muscle fibers to be recruited and high threshold because they are only recruited under the most intense circumstances. Your body always activates its muscle fibers in this fashion.

    An Example Of How Your Muscle Fibers Are Recruited

    Say you were to help someone lift a heavy couch up a flight of ten stairs. You would use your hands as grips and let your legs do all the work. On the first step your legs will start to recruit type IIa fibers. By the 2nd or 3rd step your nervous system does not recruit more motor units. This being the case the first set of fibers rest and more type IIa fibers are recruited. Along with these, a number of type IIb fibers are called into play (to maintain fluent motion up the stairs).

    As your journey continues more type IIa and type IIb fibers are recruited until by the last step they have all come into play. Your muscle fibers weren't twitching at maximum speed until the end of the stairs when they neared failure. The faster a muscle fiber twitches the greater the force is. At the beginning, the fibers weren't forced to twitch at maximum frequency to overcome the weight, but at the end they had to produce as much force as possible to overcome the weight. This is how recruitment is designed to maintain a certain amount of force.

    Recruitment In Low Rep Sets

    Low repetition work (in the 1-5 rep range) provides an extremely unique adaptation. To overcome the weight, your body must recruit as many motor units as humanly possible. This will cause your nervous system to become more efficient at this process. Over time, you will learn to lift the heavier weight with all (or close to as possible) of your motor units in one rep. Powerlifters are brutally strong for this reason. They can basically make all the their motor units fire at once.

    Strength Gains Without Muscular Hypertrophy?

    Strength gains in the 1-5 rep range can take place without muscular hypertrophy. This doesn't mean that growth cannot occur at these junctions. It just means that growth is not the optimal method of adaptation in this zone. This is for two reasons. First, although more motor units are recruited at once, low repetition sets cannot recruit as many muscle fibers as in a higher repetition set.

    This is due to signaling problems occurring in the nervous system. These problems occur because the nervous system is asked to act extremely fast and furious and is taxed to its limit. Second, contractile proteins in a cell are responsible for muscular growth. These must be exposed to enough stress (which they aren't in low repetition sets) or they will not be damaged enough to overcompensate and increase in size.

    How Does A Certain Rep Range Affect Your Muscle Fibers & Strength Gains?

    Overview Growth In Muscle Fibers Below
    Repetition Range Type I Type IIA Type IIA Strength Gains
    1-2 repetitions Very Low Low Low Excellent
    3-5 repetitions Very Low Low Decent to Good Excellent
    6-8 repetitions Very Low Good Excellent Good
    9-12 repetitions Low Excellent Very Good Good Within Rep R.
    13-15 repetitions Decent Very Good Decent to Good Endurance
    16-25 repetitions Very Good Diminishing Low Endurance
    25-50 repetitions Excellent Low Very Low Endurance

    SCT
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    That article is flawed out the ass, you cant change your muscle fibers. You should do both lower reps and higher reps in every workout. Or at least alternate the two.

    Doing higher reps wont give you musclar endurance, doing stuff like Complexs, GPP, HDE, HIIT, has shown to give a greater longer and shorter aerobic capicity.

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    ive Resistance Training Myths in the Running World

    By: Eric Cressey, MA, CSCS

    To some, resistance training is the Rodney Dangerfield of the running community; it gets no respect. To others, it’s like Tom Cruise; runners think it might be useful, but it just doesn’t make any sense to them. And then, there are those to whom resistance training is like Abraham Lincoln; it’s freed them from being slaves to ineffective programming. As a performance enhancement specialist who has a lot of “Abe” endurance athletes under my tutelage, I’d like to take this opportunity to bring the Rodney and Tom runners in the crowd up to speed. With that in mind, let’s look at the five most prominent myths present in the running community with respect to resistance training.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking: this Cressey guy is just another meathead who doesn’t run telling me what to do. We’ve had lots of pigheaded guys like this over the years, and none of them understood us. They were all like this guy.

    Myth #1: Runners don’t need to resistance train.

    I figured I’d start with the most obvious of the bunch. I had been under the impression that – now that we’ve done a ton of resistance training research over the past 20 years – that this wasn’t still a myth at all. Then, just last month, one of my marathoner clients brought in a copy of a popular running magazine; it included a “debate” that featured two experts arguing over whether or not runners needed to lift weights.

    Huh?

    This is what some people within the running community have taken from over two decades of dedicated resistance training research from some of the most brilliant scientists in the world? I thought back to the hundreds of hours I’d spent working in the human performance laboratory at the University of Connecticut as I worked for my master’s degree; time and time again, our research had proven unequivocally that resistance training was important for making and keeping people healthy, strong, fast, and lean. Had all our efforts been in vain? At that moment, if someone had told me that the Easter Bunny isn’t real, I might have lost it altogether.

    Just to recap: we know resistance training is good for general health, as it:

    1. Enhances endocrine and immune function (which are compromised by endurance training)
    2. Maintains muscle mass (also negatively affected by endurance training)
    3. Improves functional capacity in spite of aging by maintaining maximal strength and power (both of which decrease with prolonged endurance training)
    4. Builds bone density (something many runners lack due to poor dietary practices, but desperately need in light of the high risk of stress fractures)
    5. Enables us to more rapidly correct muscle imbalances, as evidenced by the fact that resistance training is the cornerstone of any good physical therapy program (and I’ve never met a runner without imbalances)

    So, I think that the answer is somewhat clear. It’s quite obvious that runners are a superhuman race that is not subject to the normal laws of physiology like the rest of us.

    In case you’re not picking up on my sarcasm, please go splash some cold water on your face and knock back a bit of Gatorade to get some glucose to your brain. Then, reread those five points from above (which are just the tip of the iceberg, for the record). Ask yourself:

    1. Do I have an endocrine system?
    2. Do I have an immune system?
    3. Will I get old? Do I do things that require strength and power?
    4. Do I have bones?
    5. Do I have muscle imbalances?

    If you answered “no” to any of these questions, I would seriously recommend that you consult a psychologist instead of a running coach, as you’re obviously dealing with a serious case of denial.

    Runners are just like the rest of us. You may wear shorter shorts, but you still put them on one leg at a time. You need resistance training.

    And, if the general health benefits aren’t enough, consider these research findings:

    -A University of Alabama meta-analysis of the endurance training scientific literature revealed that 10 weeks of resistance training in trained distance runners improves running economy by 8-10% (1). For the mathematicians in the crowd, that’s about 20-24 minutes off a four-hour marathon – and likely more if you’re not a well-trained endurance athlete in the first place.

    -French researchers found that the addition of two weight-training sessions per week for 14 weeks significantly increased maximal strength and running economy while maintaining peak power in triathletes. Meanwhile, the control group – which only did endurance training – gained no maximal strength or running economy, and their peak power actually decreased (who do you think would win that all-out sprint at the finish line?). And, interestingly, the combined endurance with resistance training group saw greater increases in VO2max over the course of the intervention (2).

    -Scientists at the Research Institute for Olympic Sports at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland found that replacing 32% of regular endurance training volume with explosive resistance training for nine weeks improved 5km times, running economy, VO2max, maximal 20m speed, and performance on a 5-jump test. With the exception of VO2max, none of these measures improved in the control group that just did endurance training (3). How do you think they felt knowing that a good 1/3 of their entire training volume was largely unnecessary, and would have been better spent on other initiatives?

    -University of Illinois researchers found that addition of three resistance training sessions for ten weeks improved short-term endurance performance by 11% and 13% during cycling and running, respectively. Additionally, the researchers noted that “long-term cycling to exhaustion at 80% VO2max increased from 71 to 85 min after the addition of strength training” (4)

    The take-home message is that running is more than just VO2max, anaerobic threshold, and a good pair of sneakers; it’s also about localized muscular endurance and nervous system efficiency. And, you can’t have strength endurance unless you’ve got strength. Build a solid foundation and you’ll be a complete runner.

  18. #18
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    Myth #2: Machines are just as good as free weights.

    Next time you’re running, I want you to ask yourself how many times you’ve been seated and moving in a fixed plane of motion while you run. If the answer isn’t a resounding “NEVER,” then you probably ought to get your head examined.

    Resistance training isn’t just about “feeling the burn” in your muscles; it’s about grooving connections between the muscles and the nervous system that tells them what to do. When you plop down on a machine and work through a fixed line of motion, you’re allowing your nervous system to get lazy, so to speak; it doesn’t have to recruit any stabilizing muscles to ensure that you move efficiently. Machines turn you into a “motor moron” and ingrain muscle imbalances that can negatively affect your running efficiency and lead to injury. Let’s take a look at an example to illustrate my point.

    When you do a dumbbell lunge, your body has to generate force in single-leg stance – and in order to generate force optimally, you need to have what is called “frontal plane stability.” With the lunge, this refers predominantly to the ability of the adductors (inner thigh muscles) and abductors (outer thigh/butt muscles) to co-contract, working together stabilize your thigh so that you don’t tip over. By doing a lung correctly, we can teach these muscles to balance each other out properly, and in doing so, improve running efficiency and prevent problems such as lateral knee pain, anterior hip pain, and lower back pain (just to name a few).

    A look at the status quo, however, shows that most women will try to train their adductors and abductors with those inner and outer thigh machines that you’d only expect to see on a trip to the obstetrician. Unfortunately, the adductors and abductors NEVER work in isolation like this, and they never work in a fixed line of motion. The adductors and abductors don’t just move the thighs in and out; they also have subtle effects on rotation of the femur, so when we’re “stuck” into one plane of motion, we promote dysfunction.

    Factor in that the lunge also trains the hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, and core stabilizers extensively at the same time, and you’ll realize that it isn’t only safer than these machines; it’s also offers more bang for your buck. Why do five different exercises when you can get even better results with just one?

    Myth #3: Yoga and Pilates “count” as resistance training.

    This was another great information tidbit a client brought in after a conversation with an endurance training coach who is actually quite popular locally. I have to say that I was really surprised when I heard:

    “He said that we need to resistance train, but it didn’t matter if we used free weights, used machines, or took yoga or Pilates classes.”

    After I finished choking on the gum I was chewing, I explained the concept of progressive overload to my client.

    When we resistance train, it’s important that we – over time – gradually increase the load that is imposed on our system; otherwise, our body doesn’t really have any reason to adapt in a manner that will be favorable to use getting stronger, faster, or leaner.

    Now, how do we make a class that is body weight-only harder? I’ve never seen anyone wear a weighted vest to yoga class, so – as Mike Boyle has pointed out – gaining weight is your only option. After all, the most overweight people always sweat the most during yoga, right?

    Obviously, I’m being facetious – but I’m proud to say that it’s with good reason (although I’ll probably never date a yoga or Pilates instructor after this article). When you lift with free weights, you always have the option to provide progressive overload to your system; there is no “ceiling” effect when you get proficient handling your body weight.


    Myth #4: Super-slow training is valuable.

    About a year ago, I had a phone conversation with a noted triathlete coach who had previously worked with one of my clients, Jon (who completed his first Ironman this past July). When I took over Jon’s training, he was a mediocre endurance athlete with a VO2max of 50.6 ml/kg/min., with anaerobic threshold occurring at 60% of VO2max (laboratory test). After six months of training with me, Jon’s VO2max had improved to 73.1 ml/kg/min, and his anaerobic threshold didn’t occur until an impressive 80% (anaerobic threshold is now generally believed to be the best predictor of endurance performance; the higher the percentage, the better). It’s also important to note that during this time, Jon’s max heart rate remained constant; normally, it decreases when an endurance athlete does a lot of longer duration steady-state training. When this coach got wind of the results, he just had to know how the heck we had gotten such staggering results. My response was essentially:

    “We got him to go faster instead of longer, incorporating more threshold runs and sprint work. And, probably more importantly, I told him he had to stop lifting like a sissy. He got a lot stronger and more explosive on compound free-weight movements, and it clearly made a big difference.”

    His response: “Wait, you mean you don’t use super-slow training? Free weights are dangerous! Endurance athletes aren’t conditioned to handle high-speeds and heavy lifting!”

    I had to cover the mouthpiece on the phone because I was laughing out loud. For the next ten minutes, I explained to this coach that the last time I checked, the most successful endurance athletes I’ve known are the ones who go the fastest for a set distance – not the ones who can run the longest. Anybody can go forever; just look at the people who jog at a snail’s pace for years and years and never look or perform any differently. Jon got out of his comfort zone by moving faster, desensitizing himself to zones above his normal race pace, and – perhaps most importantly – by taking his training serious with heavy and explosive resistance training. Super-slow training has no place in this picture.

    In layman’s terms, if you train an athlete slowly, that athlete will be slow in competition; specificity of training is more important than we think. If you want to run a marathon, you don’t do all your training on a cycle, do you? Of course not! It wouldn’t be specific for you!

    In scientific jargon, super-slow training doesn’t work due to a phenomenon called “asynchronous recruitment.” We all have slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers, and it’s to our advantage to activate as many of them as possible when we resistance train in order to truly reap the benefits that our nervous system and muscles can offer. As you may already know, slow twitch fibers are always recruited first; your body won’t also call upon the fast twitch fibers in your muscles unless it really needs help with a challenging task – like the last few reps on a set of five squats. Once we’re a bit experienced with resistance training, in order to recruit fast twitch fibers (which can actually be converted to slow twitch fibers to enhance endurance performance), we need to train with at least 70% of our maximal strength on a particular exercise in order to build strength with classic “repetition work.” The more experienced one gets, the higher this percentage goes; really experienced lifters won’t get stronger below 85-90%, in fact.

    With super-slow, we’re stuck with a protocol that forces us to use less weights because we have to do a lot of reps – and at a very slow tempo. This load falls short of the crucial 70% mark – and definitely far short of the 85-90% mark. And, believe it or not, we don’t even getting all our slow twitch fibers contributing! Instead, through asynchronous recruitment, certain fibers simply “turn on” and “turn off” during the set; the weight is so light that they can actually take breaks while their “helpers” pick up the slack in the meantime. I’m not making this stuff up!

    Don’t forget that super-slow is traditionally performed on machines, too, and we already know that machines are about as useful to an athlete as a Derek Jeter Fan Club membership would be for a Red Sox fan.

  19. #19
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    Myth #5: Runners should avoid heavy weights and dynamic lifts.

    Once we get endurance athletes lifting weights, we always have to deal with the contention that because they’re endurance athletes, they should only do higher-rep sets because they just need to train muscular endurance. Originally, that works fine, as you’re really just learning the exercises and conditioning the tissues for what is ahead. Unfortunately, as the athlete gets more experienced with resistance training, it becomes readily apparent that not all reps are created equal.

    There are three ways that we can develop tension in our muscles (basically the goal of any resistance training exercise):

    1. The Repetition Method – This is the classic approach most gym-goers use. Do a bunch of reps, and as you fatigue, the muscle tension accumulates; the last few reps are what make the big difference.

    2. The Maximal Effort Method – This is an approach where the load utilized is heavier, so the tension is “automatically” applied to the muscles. You just have to work against it. This method – which uses rep ranges of 1-6 – is great for building muscular strength and teaching your nervous system to recruit more muscle fibers.

    3. The Dynamic Effort Method – This approach uses non-maximal loads, but the focus is on lifting the weight as fast as possible. Jump squats are a good example of dynamic effort training, which teaches the nervous system to recruit muscles faster. Additionally, some dynamic effort training can teach your tendons to store more elastic energy (like plyometrics). If your tendons work more efficiently, your running style is more relaxed, reflexive, and “springy,” as you don’t have to “muscle” every stride.

    With all this said, it should become clear that you can’t pursue the maximal or dynamic effort methods with sets of 12-15; you have to use different rep ranges and loading parameters if you want a truly effective resistance training program.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Won’t I gain body fat if I cut back my running volume and replace it with resistance training?

    A: No! Contrary to popular belief, resistance training is extremely valuable for burning fat – primarily due to something known as “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption” (EPOC). This is just a fancy way of saying that after any exercise session, our metabolisms are elevated significantly. Research has shown that EPOC directly related to how intense our exercise sessions are; the more intense the effort, the more metabolic “debt” we accumulate. For this reason, activities like sprinting and weight-training – both of which are much more intense than steady-state jogging – have a ton of merit in “battling the bulge.” Amazingly, a single bout of resistance training can elevate the metabolism for more than 48 hours – and favorably affect endocrine and immune status in a manner that is conducive to fat loss. If you want to be lean, you have to lift weights!

    Additionally, you rarely see ultra-endurance athletes with very low body fat percentages – and it’s largely because all the mileage they do leads to higher levels of cortisol and lower levels of testosterone in the body. This endocrine fluctuation leads to a loss of muscle mass (which burns a lot of calories) and an increased tendency to store body fat. Fortunately, resistance training has been shown to have favorable effect on testosterone levels chronically (good for men and women…trust me). By keeping your hormonal status in check by including some resistance training, runners can get faster and leaner!

    Q: I have limited time to train; wouldn’t I be better off just running if time is limited?

    A: Obviously, this would depend on how you define “limited” – but it’s been my experience that runners can always “make” time to run, but will only “try to find” time to resistance-train. Generally speaking, you can bang out a run here and there without much time preparation, so it’s best to schedule your 2-3 resistance training sessions ahead of time. Additionally, in some cases, you can incorporate some body weight resistance training exercises as part of your warm-up – but this certainly won’t cover all your needs.

    Also, don’t forget the study I cited earlier about the group of endurance athletes who saw appreciable gains in performance by replacing 32% of their running volume with resistance training. If you run six days a week, try moving to four runs and two lifting sessions – and watch your times improve dramatically.

    Anyway, my feeling is that from a body composition, health, and performance standpoint, you need to make time for two lifting sessions per week regardless of how much you run.

    Q: Won’t resistance training will interfere with my running?

    A: Great question – and the answer is no, provided you schedule your running sessions appropriately. Ideally, you would lift on days that you don’t run, or pair your lifts up with your tempo (sprint) sessions in order to “consolidate” your most intense training and allow for better recovery.

    There is some research to show that running efficiency is impaired slightly for up to eight hours post-exercise, but you should be fine if you lift and run on separate days. I always prefer that my athletes lift before they run, though; you always want to do your speed and power work before you move on to endurance training.

    Q: Won’t resistance training make my muscles bigger? I don’t want all that weight holding me down!

    A: Endurance training by its very nature is not conducive to muscle growth (especially in a female population with lower testosterone levels). The sheer volume of exercise makes it difficult to get in enough calories to support muscle mass gains, so the effects of resistance training are largely confined to muscle density (tone), strength, and overall efficiency rather than actual increases in muscle size. If it was so easy to get “bulky,” there would be a lot more bulky people walking around!

    Closing Thoughts

    All this information won’t be of any use if it isn’t put into action, so now is the time to either modify how you’re lifting, or start lifting in the first place. At the very least, you need to complement your endurance training with two resistance-training sessions per week – and preferably three.

    Just as running is more fun with a partner, so is lifting, so find a few buddies to hit the gym with you. In our facility, time and time again, we’ve seen athletes make much better progress when they’re training in small groups and pushing each other to get better. Plus, for those of you who might be a bit intimidated at the thought of joining a gym, some training partners can do a lot to ease your worries.

    At your fingertips, you have an opportunity to dramatically improve performance, overall health, and the way your body looks and feels. There’s no time like the present to turn that opportunity into a reality.

  20. #20
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    All articles aside, I find that doing heavy weight training while trying to also train for multisports, I end up falling very short in one area or another. However, using higher reps I am able to get weight training in while still getting my multisport training done.

    When this quits improving my times and feel of it all, I'll change it up.
    Back to the basics!

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