Is work capacity systemic, local, or both? Is work capacity systemic, local, or both?

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Thread: Is work capacity systemic, local, or both?

  1. #1
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    Default Is work capacity systemic, local, or both?

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    Mark,

    I bounced around in PPST last night looking for an answer to a question that occurred to me while I was squatting yesterday, and that is; Is work capacity a systemic or a local phenomenon (or both)?

    For example, I am a far, far, FAR better squatter/ deadlifter than I am at power cleans. This means not only am I stronger, but I have a much higher work capacity. Now, if I had come to all the lifts at the same time as a novice, this might not be a training issue, but I guess what I'm asking is; when we coach an athlete who is, is this something that needs to be taken into account in any way? Or am I worrying over minutiae?

    Thanks,

    Steve

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    If you're speaking in terms of overtraining, it is obviously systemic. In other words, can you overtrain your hamstrings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    If you're speaking in terms of overtraining, it is obviously systemic. In other words, can you overtrain your hamstrings?
    No, I was thinking more in terms of the weaker lift. Systemicly, I have a large capacity for work due to the amount of work I've done doing big squats / DL. Locally, my BP muscles do not have anywhere near the strength compared to, say, my hamstrings, quads, low back,etc. Can this systemic work capacity affect then how I should train a far weaker BP? Or is the novice progression limiting enough that I don't have to really worry about this?

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    I think you're confusing work capacity with strength, on which it is dependent. It is obviously possible to have a weak bodypart through lack of training it. But we are in danger here of becoming rather obtuse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I think you're confusing work capacity with strength, on which it is dependent. It is obviously possible to have a weak bodypart through lack of training it. But we are in danger here of becoming rather obtuse.

    Yes, well, no one has never accused me of being especially acute. Typing on an iPhone while falling asleep probably doesn't help, either.

    I'll ask it a different way: Does the work capacity that a body gets when some fool foolishly ignores the upper-body lifts (because they're no good for your sport says the experts!) give the trainee any added benefit in ability to do work when he finally pulls his head out of his ass and decided to actually train the previously ignored lifts? Can I train my BP / Press harder (more sets) than someone who was not squatting 2x bodyweight because of the recovery capabilities that squatting such weights have gained me?

    I apologize in advance if I have moved further into obtusity. My mother always said I was a slow child.

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    An excellent question. I don't know, having little experience with Your Kind -- cyclists on an unbalanced program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in ATL View Post
    Yes, well, no one has never accused me of being especially acute. Typing on an iPhone while falling asleep probably doesn't help, either.

    I'll ask it a different way: Does the work capacity that a body gets when some fool foolishly ignores the upper-body lifts (because they're no good for your sport says the experts!) give the trainee any added benefit in ability to do work when he finally pulls his head out of his ass and decided to actually train the previously ignored lifts? Can I train my BP / Press harder (more sets) than someone who was not squatting 2x bodyweight because of the recovery capabilities that squatting such weights have gained me?

    I apologize in advance if I have moved further into obtusity. My mother always said I was a slow child.
    That is indeed a very good question. I wonder myself

    Do our recovery abilities extend to our whole bodies, or just the specific muscle that we train?

    Can we have a localized "novice effect" because of ignoring a body part?

    Well, I guess I have my reason to pull out my physiology book now. Doubt I'll find anything, but it's good to review it from time to time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in ATL View Post
    Can I train my BP / Press harder (more sets) than someone who was not squatting 2x bodyweight because of the recovery capabilities that squatting such weights have gained me?
    Correct me if I'm completely off base here Rip, but I was under the understanding that in some respects, more work wouldn't provide any benefit, once enough work to provoke adaptation has occurred. For example, for a novice who's happily trucking along with 5lb/workout increases on their (currently) 200lb squat, even if they could do 5x5 with their working weight, it wouldn't make them stronger faster than doing 3x5.

    Maybe that's too simplistic of a view, though.

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    You are correct in that there is a limit to the ability to adapt beyond one's rate and capacity, determined by genetics and level of training advancement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    If you're speaking in terms of overtraining, it is obviously systemic. In other words, can you overtrain your hamstrings?
    Rip,

    I know this was supposed to be a rhetorical question, but it reminded me of something I heard Matt Kroczelski say in an interview; that leading up to a meet he had to back off of deadlifts because his lower back would start getting overtrained (his words). Maybe he was just using the word "overtrained" to mean generally fatigued, and it's not actually an example of actual overtraining, but it seemed worth mentioning.

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