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Thread: Maximal strength and the athletic benefits

  1. #1
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    Default Maximal strength and the athletic benefits

    Hi Rip,

    How does linear progression on sets of 5 across 3 sets affect strength endurance and general athletic ability?

    For example, what would be the effect of an increased squat on my sprinting and distance running? Will an increase in bodyweight as per the program compromise any athletic attributes such as general conditioning and strength to bodyweight ratio?

    Consider a boxer that competes in a given weight class. When he moves up in terms of bodyweight and strength is he likely to be less strong and athletic than someone who naturally sits in the class above?

  2. #2
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    In the absence of developed strength, strength training always improves work capacity by reducing the relative intensity of repetitive tasks. Read this, where it has been discussed at length by people with experience: http://startingstrength.com/resource...ad.php?t=17306


  3. #3
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    I've had quite a bit of success with my anorexic concentration camp athletes (road cyclists) when we put them in the gym and get them strong (in comparison to other road cyclists). I've seen benefits not just in overall strength, but also in ability to recover, work capacity, injury prevention, and aerobic capacity.

  4. #4
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    "Strength training improves work capacity by reducing the relative intensity of repetitive tasks."

    Catchy. I like it.

  5. #5
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    I can assure you it will help you pick up the other average person and throw them on their head/back.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    In the absence of developed strength, strength training always improves work capacity by reducing the relative intensity of repetitive tasks.
    I dunno Rip, I thought that doing squats would make walking up long flights of stairs less annoying, but that hasn't been the case.

  7. #7
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    Stop squatting and see what happens.


  8. #8
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    Jun 2009
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    I've heard that endurance athletes (cyclists in particular) often get to a point where they lack the musculature to adequately stress their highly developed cardio system. It's a rut you can't ride your way out of because your cardio system is fully adapted to the muscle output. The only way to get faster is to get stronger although I'm sure it seems counter-intuitive to some.

    Steve, Rip, can you comment on this. B.S. or not?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Stop squatting and see what happens.
    I'm amused by the notion that one has to actually stop the process of getting stronger to experience the benefits.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2011
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    Grand Rapids, Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeC1 View Post
    I dunno Rip, I thought that doing squats would make walking up long flights of stairs less annoying, but that hasn't been the case.
    Interesting example. I sometimes do stair intervals at a 138-step staircase leading to a nearby park. A co-worker who was a college soccer player recommended it, saying it was a "killer" and he "can barely walk" when done. He can still run sub-19 minute 5k's.

    Long story not-so-short, I find his stair workout a relative piece of cake. I have to believe squats are the reason why.

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