We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, December 31. 2019
The Maggie's Fitness for Life program includes about a one-hour session of aerobic endurance exercise per week. For true cardiac exercise, we include plenty of HIIT cardio whether in calisthenics or sprints. That tends to be anaerobic.
Why do we include the endurance work at all? For ordinary functionality. We figure that if you can swim for an hour, or do the stair machine or high-inclined treadmill for an hour, well then a 6-hour hike, a day of skiing or basketball ought to be manageable. We strongly oppose road running.
So pure endurance work is only about 15% of our program although we assume most people also do fun recreational things like sports or hiking which do not count as exertion. Mark Rippetoe has other ideas. He is convinced that endurance exercise is a waste of time, and sometimes deleterious.
He is a smart guy, and might be right. Our Maggie's program attempts to strike a balance between strength-building (2 hours/wk of powerlifts and accessory weights), calisthenics (athleticism, balance, agility, HIIT, some strength), and "cardio" (an hour total of HIIT intervals with good rest intervals, and an hour of strenuous but aerobic endurance things). No need to do the hour of HIIT, for example, at the same session. In fact, not a good idea. Mix and match 1/2 hours of different categories but if doing weights, always do them first.
Most fitness trainers consider an hour of endurance work as a "recovery day," but I do not. For me, a half hour on the Stairmaster and a half hour doing high incline walks and jogs on the treadmill leaves me limp for a while.
Final word of 2019: Exercise for fat loss is nonsense. That is 99% nutritional. However, exercise does reduce appetite.
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Rippetoe is smart, but he's wrong here.
Or perhaps he's just being too careless with language, and taking issue with people who only do "cardio". That will make you weaker w/o strength training.
Regardless, lifting weights is fun, and it will improve your stamina in some ways. But you have to train that too to get good results. Just watch some muscle-bound pro wrestlers who tire out after 1-2 minutes. Dull. The good ones are strong, but keep up the performance for 10-20 minutes, with only a breaks using "rest holds".
A waste of time! Depends. If your single goal is conditioning then how could you not consider endurance a big part of that. Everyone should run a 10K race. Seriously if you cannot run 10K (and I do mean run not walk) than you are not in condition. This is a minimal goal for endurance conditioning. That is I can guarantee you if you talk to any runners/joggers who have been doing it for more than a few years they will tell you that 10K isn't even a workout. But that is the point. If 10K isn't even a workout for anyone who is in condition and YOU can't run 10K what does that say about you and whatever exercise program you are doing?
I'd say a 5 K race is good enuf conditioning, but you need to be able to lift and jump too.
I'd say a 5 K race is good enuf conditioning, but you need to be able to lift and jump too.
You repeated yourself.
Glad to see you're getting in some extra reps (endurance training).
A 5K race is a good thing. I will agree that if you can run a 5K race a month that your training and conditioning is pretty good. However the 5K race is the most "walked" race in history. It is "walked" for a good reason; because most people who enter a 5K race couldn't run it to save their lives. The first thing any runner does is stop entering 5K races. They aren't challenging enough and the field is crowded with old and over weight people. (That is just a fact I am 100% behind old and over weight people working to improve their health.) Literally everyone who runs 3-5 times a week can run a 5K race with zero preparation and even after doing their regular workout. For any runner in shape 5K is nothing.
Having said that I honestly do agree that if you can run 5K your endurance conditioning is adequate.
The best exercise program is the one you will actually do, and we are all different. If you enjoy running, and can handle the pounding, do it (and also throw in some push-ups or other upper body work). I think Ripp is wrong that all you need to do is lift; for real life being able to move your body for a while is a good ability to have. But again, if you hate doing any cardio, you're way better off just lifting than sitting on your butt.
That first sentence is spot on. Do what you like and you'll do more of it.
I don't know if any of you fine folks can help, but I thought I'd ask. I have tennis elbow (actually computer mouse elbow), lateral epicondylitis, and have for the last several months been unable to lift weights (at least with my right hand) - or it's very limited. Do any of the weight lifters have ideas for adjustments that can be made so that some weight lifting can still be done?
Apparently high volume chin-ups help. By high volume, I mean 25 sets of 2 chins each, twice a week, for 2-3 weeks. It'll hurt, no doubt, maybe even get a bit worse before it starts to get better. When you can handle it, go to sets of 3.
You can also look at this forum thread for more information: Chins for elbow tendonitis
Good luck, tendonitis can be a bear to get rid of.
Most people find an excuse to avoid work they either do not enjoy or they suck at or both.
In the world of fitness, examples are found at both extremes, i.e. fat meathead lifters (like Mark Rippetoe) who disavow any cardio that exceeds 45 seconds and foolish marathoners who think lifting 25 pounds will make them "musclebound" (and then wonder why they have difficulty at age 85 standing up from a standard toilet after taking a dump).
If you suck at something, that should be a clue that it's your "weak link" and you should work on it....preferably before it kills you.
Agreed. How often in life is what we like to do the same as what we need to do?
You mischaracterize Rippetoe's position, mike m. Sure, he recommends novice lifters, in their beginning phase where strength gains are the largest and most rapid, to not waste recovery resources on conditioning, but once a reasonable strength level is reached, conditioning can be emphasized.
Strength and Conditioning
He recommends the prowler as a very effective conditioning tool.
Death by Prowler
How to push the prowler
Interestingly enough, if I'm understanding correctly, the energy pathways worked by the prowler (and HIIT in general) improve both aerobic and anerobic performance. The same can't be said for the lower intensity conditioning work.
In general, I agree with your points, but....
The Prowler is a very effective conditioning tool (I personally favor the sled made by Armored Fitness (XPO Trainer) - I also have the Prowler 2 and the sled made by Sorinex). However, it gets back to specificity. If your goal is to be good at pushing a sled or a car or some other object, sleds are great - and for many/most people they probably should be a PART of their conditioning routine. But the carryover to running/walking activities isn't as great as one would thing (better than swimming or biking, but not nearly as good as running/walking for conditions for running/walking. NOTE: A significant goal I have is moving over various types of terrain as rapidly as possible while carrying a various amount of gear.Here's the problem: Each muscle fiber has its own set of energy systems, i.e. training the ATP system of your biceps doesn't transfer over to making your quads have a better ATP system. In other words, the missed term "cross training" is BS. The body doesn't work like that. Even within the "thigh", different sets of fibers are involved in different movements or actions (better than training biceps to help legs, but still not optimal).
I agree that "too much" endurance work can interfere with strength gains - Indeed, I think one of BirdDog's mistakes is perhaps doing too much volume, i.e. more isn't always better. But, when it comes to developing a more efficient running pattern , repetitions count (that should say "quality" reputations count). That applies to any skill. As I'm sure you will agree, there has to be a balance and that is determined by one's goals. Rip has even made this point - there's a difference between "exercising" and "training". Training implies that there's a goal, i.e. getting better at doing heavy squats or propelling oneself thru various terrain with a heavy rucksack, etc.
There's also the mental issue (especially for those of us who hump gear thru the jungle/desert/swamp/etc for prolonged periods of time with little or no sleep). Many lifters can endure high amounts of pain for very short periods of time. Enduring pain for prolonged periods of time - especially when the endpoint is uncertain - needs to be trained with at least occasional episodes of long drudgery (and then one needs adequate recovery).
I am more familiar with Ripp's old (very old) posts about conditioning than anything he has posted recently. He previously advocated times similar to what I have stated. In fairness to him, there's a difference between a 45 second work interval with a 10 minute rest interval and HIIT training involving a different work:rest ratio. My point wasn't to pick on Mark, but to point out that many (most) people - even if they claim they want to develop overall fitness - end up limiting themselves to the type of training they enjoy and/or are good at (one usually reinforces the other) and they make excuses for avoiding areas they should be training (unless they are training to be world class lifters or marathoners, etc). But in reality, there are very few people - especially over the age of 40 - who are elite athletes (if the NFL hasn't invited you to the Combine yet, don't fool yourself by training like you're a pro prospect).
As far as the energy systems all being trained by HIIT, yes and no. I'll see if I can find the links to an old website that explains it better than I ever could, but basically even when you are doing anaerobic work, the aerobic pathways are involved trying to recover the body's energy resources to "bail out" the anaerobic pathways. If I can find the website, I'll link it, but I fear that the guy that set up the site is no longer active.
"To a carpenter, everything looks like a nail."
I come from a crew, (rowing) background. We lifted heavy in the fall to build muscle, and then used long rows on the water to make it useful, to be able to put out power for long periods of time.
Seems about right when working out "for life". Lift heavy to build/maintain muscle. Make it efficient and useful via endurance work and some HIIT.