Starting Strength: The Cardiovascular Conundrum Starting Strength: The Cardiovascular Conundrum

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Thread: Starting Strength: The Cardiovascular Conundrum

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Default Starting Strength: The Cardiovascular Conundrum

    We all know that lifting big hunks of iron that are sufficiently heavy that we can only muster 5 repetitions while progressively overloading your barbell for every performed exercise every session will make you a strong boy. But there are some of us that are interested in also increasing our cardiovascular conditioning while on the SS program. Is this possible or wise or even prudent? Share with me some strategies on improving this vital function of the human body all the while not compromising my ability to maximally make strength increases.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2008
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    Drag a sled on Saturdays.

  3. #3
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    May 2015
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    For real?

  4. #4
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    Read the very last sentence of your original post. This is my answer.

    What would you rather me say?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Mexico City
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    99

    Default Repetitive inquiry

    Both in SSBBT3 and in PPST3 is written that you should really adhere to the program. You can do whatever you want (and I'm certain that you will) but you won't get the expected results. If you are weak and cardiovalscular unfit THE PROGRAM will help you with both things (the novice effect). If you're already an athlete that really needs to train "cardio" maybe you should seek a professional consultation for programming.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    With Andy's permission I offer for your examination the results of my first foray into doing a Starting Strength session while wearing a heart rate monitor chest strap:

    Heavy weight training with a Heart Rate chest strap today. At age 52, my (supposed) max HR is 168.
    Squats: 3 sets of 5 @ 310 (Personal Record)
    Presses: 3 sets of 5 @ 145 (failed, got 5,2,3)
    Deadlifts: 1 set of 5 @ 295 (didn't even attempt, was smoked after DL warmup sets. Too much volume, not nearly enough food prior.)

    Session Duration: 52 minutes and change (didn't wear the strap for squat warmup sets ~10 minutes)
    Max Heart Rate: 144
    Avg Heart Rate: 115
    Calorie Burn*: 496

    Compare and contrast this with a HIIT session on the Prowler on Tuesday:
    Protocol: 20 seconds sprint @~85% pace/1+40 rest, 8 rounds;
    Session Duration: 20 minutes
    Max Heart Rate: 151
    Avg Heart Rate: 125
    Calorie Burn*: 226

    * my gut tells me not to put too much stock in the calorie burn guesstimate, but my old kettlebell instructor tested his $19 Timex HR monitor's results against a MetCart at Vanderbilt and it was within 10%. Luckily, I don't really care about calorie monitoring, I just like to compare things.

    So the Prowler has a higher average intensity for a shorter period of time. However, I note that the strength session looks identical to a longer, slightly less intense HIIT session.

    What does all this mean you should say when somebody asks you "yeah, but what do you do for cardio?"

  7. #7
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    I don't know what the OP wanted to hear, so I am not trying to put words in his mouth. But what many are WANTING to hear is that they can lift MWF and then go run their ass off Tues/Thurs/Sat.

    My reaction to that is - fine. BUT he asked at the end of his post - "how do I avoid compromising my ability to maximally increase strength." Running compromises your ability.

    I never tell people NOT to run. I totally understand that for many running is theraputic mentally and physically. As long as they understand what happens when LSD jogging and strength training are blended I'm fine. I have had lots of clients over the years that were runners. They know they don't progress as fast and for most that is acceptable. If they're cool with it, I'm cool with it.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2014
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    West Lafayette, IN
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    Do you have any recommendations for templates for people who want to do both? My assumptions are that you would want less running volume than a pure runner and less lifting volume than a pure lifter and that lower body lifts would be more affected than upper body lifts.

    (I would like to try to do this at some point in the future after a strength base is built up. Think 5k-ish for distance.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default

    Great points by sergio and Bill and of course Andy. Kind of lending my own experience to what they say.

    Knowing what I know now and assuming the OP doesn't have unlimited resources as far as time and recovery ability and/or doesn't need to lose weight fast for some medical problem, I'd just concentrate on executing the program to the best of your ability unless maybe you want to compete in some Long Slow Distance type event in the near future. If you can fit it in and find you really need some extra conditioning, do some HIIT conditioning work like Andy says.

    Since I've typically been real busy, don't have equipment handy and have limited recovery ability since I'm 51 y/o, I've pretty much just been doing the lifting part, and my general work capacity has been served well.

    Here's a recent experience I had wrt general conditioning: http://startingstrength.com/resource...ml#post1124270

    I'm currently a desk jockey for work but I'm no stranger to physical labor b/c I did a lot of it when I was younger, and in general I'd say maybe I've lost a step or two but can probably still do most of the work I once did. I can "keep up" with my two teenage sons when it comes to physical labor, at least for the first couple of hours, and they are pretty fit. It's gotta be the weight training.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2013
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    14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Baker (KSC) View Post
    Running compromises your ability.
    Agreed!

    For pure calorie burn, I like walking as it doesn't compromise recovery. Some would argue that the downside is time (and that's true), but I typically have enough time for a one-hour walk or so.

    What's your opinion on biking? I've read that it does NOT affect your recovery . . . perhaps due to having little to no eccentric component.

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