Strength/Conditioning Combo? Strength/Conditioning Combo?

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Thread: Strength/Conditioning Combo?

  1. #1
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    Default Strength/Conditioning Combo?

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    Hey Rip,

    I was just reading over a quote of yours on why 5s are so useful, where you give the extremes of 1s and 20s as an example on both sides of the spectrum.

    You end by saying: "Sets of five reps are a very effective compromise for the novice, and even for the advanced lifter more interested in strength than in muscular endurance. They allow enough weight to be used that force production must increase, but they are not so heavy that the cardiovascular component is completely absent from the exercise. Sets of five may be the most useful rep range you will use over your entire training career, and as long as you lift weights, sets of five will be important."

    I was just wondering if this means sets of 1 (more realistically sets of 1-3 only) could be used exclusively for the trainee only concerned with strength when it comes to lifting. Could a combination of only training singles, doubles, and sometimes triples, (and never 4s and 5s) produce better and quicker pure strength gains than 5s?

    Also, I'd like to know how useful the "muscular endurance" you mentioned is to a lifter who just wants to be strong? What is muscular endurance really, and what is practical real-world use and translation of it? If someone could get very strong never going above 3s, what would they lack by not having the muscular endurance higher reps train?

    I'm wondering if a good combination for someone who just wants to be strong and somewhat cardio-conditioned could be training exclusively with singles, doubles, and occasional triples and then running some sprints or pushing the prowler once a week or so. The shorter lifting sets would lack the cardio component I feel on sets of 5, but I feel the sprints produce a similar cardio feeling and could train that aspect. The only gap I see and am unsure about is that I see how the sprints are not really training "muscular endurance" and only cardiovascular endurance. Does this mean this type of setup/combination would leave some detrimental gap in training?

    Or maybe there is something I missing entirely in regard to volume and muscle-building that helps with strength gains that 5s are more helpful for?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalFish View Post
    I was just wondering if this means sets of 1 (more realistically sets of 1-3 only) could be used exclusively for the trainee only concerned with strength when it comes to lifting. Could a combination of only training singles, doubles, and sometimes triples, (and never 4s and 5s) produce better and quicker pure strength gains than 5s?
    Maybe. Try it and see.

    Also, I'd like to know how useful the "muscular endurance" you mentioned is to a lifter who just wants to be strong? What is muscular endurance really, and what is practical real-world use and translation of it? If someone could get very strong never going above 3s, what would they lack by not having the muscular endurance higher reps train?
    Most people train for the overall effects of the program. You may be different. Try it and see.

    I'm wondering if a good combination for someone who just wants to be strong and somewhat cardio-conditioned could be training exclusively with singles, doubles, and occasional triples and then running some sprints or pushing the prowler once a week or so. The shorter lifting sets would lack the cardio component I feel on sets of 5, but I feel the sprints produce a similar cardio feeling and could train that aspect. The only gap I see and am unsure about is that I see how the sprints are not really training "muscular endurance" and only cardiovascular endurance. Does this mean this type of setup/combination would leave some detrimental gap in training?
    Seems to me that since 5s provide all the cardiovascular work you need for just walking-around health, you'd just do the 5s. But if you want to reinvent the wheel, try it and see.

    Or maybe there is something I missing entirely in regard to volume and muscle-building that helps with strength gains that 5s are more helpful for?
    Maybe you're missing the part about the millions of people over the past 100 years who have tried every permutation of training and have concluded that 5s are the best rep-range for strength and conditioning.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalFish View Post
    I'm wondering if a good combination for someone who just wants to be strong and somewhat cardio-conditioned could be training exclusively with singles, doubles, and occasional triples and then running some sprints or pushing the prowler once a week or so.
    I am currently using an old school Hepburn routine with sets of singles increasing from 6 to 10 with deload/dynamic effort/speed sets interspersed every 3 weeks. It hasn't hurt my VO2 max any, I test in the 38-42 range which is way up in the excellent end of the scale for the 65+ geezers. My heart rate hovers in the 70-80% range during these lifting sessions. I do back it up with several other days per week of straight conditioning work as well, so it may not be an apples to apples comparison for what you are looking at. I have no idea if my age (69) is a factor in this.

    Maybe getting or borrowing a heart rate monitor for some lifting sessions might give you some data to look at for yourself.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post

    Seems to me that since 5s provide all the cardiovascular work you need for just walking-around health, you'd just do the 5s. But if you want to reinvent the wheel, try it and see.



    Maybe you're missing the part about the millions of people over the past 100 years who have tried every permutation of training and have concluded that 5s are the best rep-range for strength and conditioning.

    Cool, glad to hear I'm not way off with this line of thinking. Gonna try it out and see. Truth be told, I just really enjoy lifting in the 1-3 rep range allot more then 5's and when I read your quote about lower reps being best for straight up force production (or strength) thats what got me thinking about this. I go for a walk everyday anyway and don't mind throwing in some sprints here and there to keep cardio up. So this way of training just sounds great to me. Excited to apply it and try it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark E. Hurling View Post
    I am currently using an old school Hepburn routine with sets of singles increasing from 6 to 10 with deload/dynamic effort/speed sets interspersed every 3 weeks. It hasn't hurt my VO2 max any, I test in the 38-42 range which is way up in the excellent end of the scale for the 65+ geezers. My heart rate hovers in the 70-80% range during these lifting sessions. I do back it up with several other days per week of straight conditioning work as well, so it may not be an apples to apples comparison for what you are looking at. I have no idea if my age (69) is a factor in this.

    Maybe getting or borrowing a heart rate monitor for some lifting sessions might give you some data to look at for yourself.
    That's awe-inspiring man. Great to hear your still lifting hard, keep killing it!

    It seems you know more about how to set up low-rep set type training then me; I have to look into this more (or experiment) and figure out how much volume I need to make progress. I'll look into Hepburn routine. Thanks!

  5. #5
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    I was just talking about this the other day. The only problem when you do reps of 1-2-3 is it is hard to add weight because it is so close to your 1RM. If I'm doing a work out of 5x5 at 70% ish it is easy to add 5ish pounds almost every week for along period. If I'm doing a work out at lets say five heavy singles or 3x5 at 95% or 85% of my 1RM it is going to be almost impossible to add any weight for more then a few weeks.

    You do need a combination of both. Several weeks of 5's followed by a few weeks of 3's followed by a peaking phase. It is covered pretty well in : https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Pro...s%2C230&sr=8-1

    For more antipodal evidence I ran a 5/3/1 program similar to what you were talking about for most of last year and made minimal progress because the weight was to heavy to make much progress for most of the time. I ran one advanced program in Practical Programming for strength and made more gains in 11 weeks. *Disclaimer* Results may vary lol

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappey1 View Post
    You do need a combination of both. Several weeks of 5's followed by a few weeks of 3's followed by a peaking phase.
    Yes, if you're an advanced lifter.

  7. #7
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    Antipodal evidence? Is 5/3/1 popular down under, or something?

  8. #8
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    For Sure milk LP for as long as you possibly can! No need to complicate things if you are making gainz!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappey1 View Post
    I was just talking about this the other day. The only problem when you do reps of 1-2-3 is it is hard to add weight because it is so close to your 1RM. If I'm doing a work out of 5x5 at 70% ish it is easy to add 5ish pounds almost every week for along period. If I'm doing a work out at lets say five heavy singles or 3x5 at 95% or 85% of my 1RM it is going to be almost impossible to add any weight for more then a few weeks.

    You do need a combination of both. Several weeks of 5's followed by a few weeks of 3's followed by a peaking phase. It is covered pretty well in : https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Pro...s%2C230&sr=8-1

    For more antipodal evidence I ran a 5/3/1 program similar to what you were talking about for most of last year and made minimal progress because the weight was to heavy to make much progress for most of the time. I ran one advanced program in Practical Programming for strength and made more gains in 11 weeks. *Disclaimer* Results may vary lol
    This is what I don't really understand - why are you not able to keep adding weight? I read practical programming, but I don't think I fully grasp the concepts of volume and intensity and why they are both needed. Also, balancing workload with recovery.

    I think about Rip's famous suntan analogy - you need more stress each time for more results - and then about his quote on 1-20 reps and low reps being best for straight up force production. So if I come in and do 315x2 then my body needs to recover from that stress and make it stronger for next session where I should be able to do 317.15 or 320x2. Why do we eventually hit a wall where this cannot go on any further?. I really don't know. Obviously you're not gonna come in just do 1 set of 2 reps and get up to a 700 pound squat...but I really don't know why. I think you it's because you need more volume to create more stress, but not so much that you cant recover from it. Burt I don't really know why we need the volume and why intensity is not enough.

    So my plan for now is that Im gonna just do 1 double and see if I can add weight the next session. If I can't, I will do 2 doubles, the 3 for more volume. I want to experiment with this and do the minimum amount of sets to keep making strength gains. I'm going to train exclusively in the 1-3 rep range because I prefer it and it seems it is best for pure strength gains which is all I care about when lifting weights. I can get my conditioning pushing the prowler or sprinting once a week.

    I get the feeling that I'm missing something with this line of thinking, but Im gonna test it out and see how it works.

    If someone could explain the why we need volume (or point me in that direction) that would be really cool. Thank you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalFish View Post
    I get the feeling that I'm missing something with this line of thinking, but Im gonna test it out and see how it works.
    Maybe you're missing the part about the millions of people over the past 100 years who have tried every permutation of training and have concluded that 5s are the best rep-range for strength and conditioning.

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