Workout for Speed Skating
I just ordered SS, and I am starting the basic novice program to help my strength and power for speed skating, with maybe adding a little bit of size. I have a few questions about the workout though:
1) Will it help my endurance any, or is there a way that I can modify it or add something else to help my endurance?
2) Will doing the workout help my cardio and aerobics, as these are both key for this part of the season along with strength building.
3) Is this workout alright to do during the speed skating season, which will start in mid September?
I'd like to attempt to answer one, to see if I'm correct.
1. Sets of five will not increase muscular endurance, but increasing strength will reduce the relative effort required to perform a stride. This will indirectly aid in endurance. I doubt it's going to be a linear contribution.
I think if you haven't been squatting heavy often, and progressing the lift steadily (so you're basically a weightlifting novice), that you should focus first on increasing your general strength using SS, THEN worry about muscular endurance and higher rep sets and other methods. Progression will occur much quicker this way then trying to progress using a different set/rep scheme.
Check out Lyle McDonald's website. He logs his training, and is a speed skater.
He might even answer a question if you are really nice to him, or buy him a monkey.
I'm sure Rip can answer these questions much better than I can but I'll take a stab at it. For the first question, strength does increase muscular endurance. Think of it like this: if you can lift 50 lbs, you are better at lifting 20 lbs than someone who can only lift 30 lbs; you can lift 'light' things pretty damn easily and strength training helps you increase the number of things you consider 'light'. Cardiovascular endurance is another question, and while cardio is improved by strength training, it may not be the most effective method to get there for a serious athlete.
Originally Posted by speedster101
For the second question, yes you do get a cardiovascular benefit from lifting, and really I think this is under-sold. Not only is your heart beating like crazy during the whole session, but you get lots of anaerobic effort in there too. This is not the case with usual cardio training, which strives to maintain an elevated heartrate with steady effort. As someone who ran both track and cross country in high school, I know the benefit of bumping up your anaerobic threshold. Lifting does this remarkably well. Combine a higher VO2_max with a pair of legs that sees your body as very light and you've got a very fast person.
The answer to your final question is a slightly more negative version of "maybe". If you compete, and I can't imagine someone who speed skates casually, you will have practices and meets that heavily tax your body. You can't really recover from a novice strength program and a competitive sports schedule at the same time without whatever Barry Bonds is (supposedly not) taking. Lifting during the season is a good idea, but going as hard as a beginner -- setting a new personal best every workout -- is not really going to happen. Maintaining strength during the season is a goal you will probably be able to achieve with proper rest and food, so I'd aim for that.
Take all this with a grain of salt.
I think the standard response would be to let simply practicing speed skating take care of the metabolic demands of the sport for now. Only once linear progression on SS has run its course should you worry more about specificity.
During a fit of inefficiency I apparently approved this first post without a response. It has been handled admirably by the Board.
Thanks everybody for all of your help. There is one thing that recently came up and I am not sure what to do with it. Since it is essential to start this program now due to the limited time I have on it. I have been doing it for just over a week without the book. I started my bench press with 3x5x95lbs, because that was the weight I used to do for 8-10 reps prior to starting. I did 105lbs today, but my sets were only of 5-4-4 reps, with 2 raises of 5lbs since I started. I have had no trouble before today. I was at a different gym today, and I am wondering if that could be the cause, or if I should try to reset or something. I know I could probably find these answers in the book, but I do not have it yet, and I am trying not to delay due to my relatively tight schedule
It was either the different weights, which didn't weigh what they were supposed to, or you didn't rest long enough between your sets.
just curious here, because the gym I went to today was fairly old and with old equipment, and my regular gym is new, but what could the weight differences be between the weights I was using?. (they were looking a little beat up)
hate to keep asking questions, but for my next bench workout should I raise the weights, or keep them the same and get all 15 reps in? Also today I used a power rack setup, whereas I normally use a regular bench press setup.
I am not aware of any statutory increase in the weight of a pound, so if there is a difference it will be in the quality of the plate castings, some of which are quite shitty. Wait long enough between your sets and get all your reps before you move up. And be aware that you may need smaller plates soon.