Strength Endurance

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The past two blog entries have been about simplicity, conditioning while being able to move well, so it is only logical that I end the series with something about strength endurance. I have to admit, this topic should have been mentioned first, as it is the basis of all training. Yes, ALL training, be it for the marathoner or the powerlifter, the martial artist or the triathlete. Why first? Training should always start and end with strength, just like movement starts and ends with the core. Develop strength, EVERYTHING ELSE gets better.

Work on your “cardio” by running only. You’ll get good, improve your cardiovascular endurance, maybe destroy your knees or toes in the process, and continue feeling low back pain, with a crap looking body.
Work on getting stronger with squats and deadlifts, which are compound exercises working many muscles over multiple joints, your running will become much better, with a lesser probability of injuries, a more efficient muscular recruitment, thus less fatigue (and even more speed) all leading to better cardiovascular endurance if better “cardio” is your goal. You burn more fat, experience less pain and improve the way your body looks.
WINNER: he/she who trains with weights.

I’ve said before that I have never had a client come to me and ask to get weaker. However, indirectly, some have made this odd request because all they wanted was to lose weight, and weight loss is obtained through cardio, as sycophants and ignoramuses (ignorami? Spell checker can’t decide) would have you believe for the last 3 decades. As indicated in the previous paragraph, if you develop your muscles, your abilities improve, your protect your joints, you burn more fat and feel and look better. Runners who lift run faster: easier stride for long distance running, while sprinters work those biceps and upper body, pumping their arms which helps their speed (and have you seen their bodies? Very muscular bodies with caloric furnaces!).

Some folks talk about strength endurance and it’s been noticed that few people work on their strength to achieve that. To have strength endurance implies you must have strength first. You cannot do a snatch test (100 reps in 5 minutes with a 53lb kettlebell for men, 26-35lb for women) if you don’t have the snatch down.

Yes, why indeed. Because I want you now to go back to the first 2 blogs in this series, the one about grunge training, simply lifting heavy stuff and the one about moving better while conditioning your body, and I want you to get stronger. Keep your cardio, running and biking however you have it, don’t change a thing. Just take notes on how it’s getting better. Go back to the blog about mobility, which should be concurrent with your strength training, and see how you breeze through it instead of wheeze through it. Put it all together and you have Strength Endurance.

First thing to work on, then you can have it all!

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