Question about "muscle endurance" Question about "muscle endurance"

starting strength gym
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Question about "muscle endurance"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    46

    Default Question about "muscle endurance"

    • phoenix arizona seminar date
    • texas seminar date
    Coach,

    I'm not exactly sure where to begin or how to formulate my question, but I believe that I'll get the idea through.

    I'll define "muscle endurance" as the number of reps that one can do with a specific (low) weight.

    Strength is force production capacity; the more force ones muscles can generate, i.e. the heavier a weight one can move, the stronger one is.

    Endurance is the adaptation of producing more red blood cells to transport oxygen, the muscles' storing capacity of glycogen, and as far as I understand, the muscles' "efficiency" in converting that glycogen to kinetic energy, i.e. the better the muscles are at it, the more reps X grams of glycogen will permit you to perform. I guess that this mystical "efficiency" also entails that the muscles are better at utilizing oxygen, so the more "efficient", the more reps your muscles can do with X liters of oxygen.

    Now, obviously strength = higher work capacity; strong muscles need less energy and oxygen for a submaximal rep, the more submaximal that the rep is, i.e. the stronger the muscle is.

    ... my understanding of "muscle endurance", is that it's determined by strength (submaximal reps are easier, thus a greater number of them can be performed), by "endurance" (oxygen transportation and glycogen storing capacity), and, by the muscles' efficiency in using both oxygen and chemical energy.

    So my question is made up of 1) is my understanding of "muscle endurance" correct, if not, how does it work, 2) is that thing about the muscles' "efficiency" in burning calories right, and 3) if there is such a thing as "muscle endurance" (whether it's as I understand it or not, as long as it's even a thing), is it a thing that some athletes should be physiologically adapting to specifically, or is strength + prowling the way to go (except for swimmers, long distance cyclists, marathoners etc)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,535

    Default

    These are outside my bailiwick. We'll ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    La Jolla California
    Posts
    1,906

    Default

    Muscle endurance seems like a misleading term. The question is more properly phrased as work or work over time. Bodybuilders (real ones, like guys who bench 405 x 15 reps not skinny little douchbags at your globo-gym who weight 170 pounds and bench 185) do a shit ton of work in a short amount of time -their muscles adapt accordingly to those needs. The skinny little twit who owns the Guiness book of world records record for pushups also does a lot of work, but over a much longer period of time - his muscles also adapt accordingly.

    The question of "muscle endurance" seems to be a red herring. The proper question is one of what is the desired adaptation.

    All athletes - includign marathon and other ridiculous long slow distance athletes - benefit from strength because it gives them more to "play with" i.e. fins tune their adaptation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    46

    Default

    The proper question is one of what is the desired adaptation.
    Right, that's what I was getting at. What is that adaptation, exactly? I was hypothesizing in the OP about what I thought it was. Red blood cell count because more oxygen, the better. Energy storing capacity, because the more energy available, the more reps you can do. Strength, obviously, because the more submaximal a rep, the more reps you can do. What I wasn't sure about, was if there is such a thing as a muscles efficiency in burning energy when doing reps.

    ... The other stuff is clearly achievable through strength training + prowling. But again, if muscles can adapt to i.e. improve their efficiency in burning energy when doing reps, that would seem like an adaptation that has to be specifically programmed. Not necessarily "specifically" as in practiced, no, just that it would be an adaptation that has to be acquired by doing light work / long time (I'm guessing).

    So yeah, exactly, what IS the desired adaptation? ... is what I'm wondering.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default

    The human body is complicated and there are a lot of adaptations that are responsible for endurance. A few just off the top of my head are

    Increased blood volume / red blood cell mass
    Increased mitochondrial mass / density
    Increased capillary density
    Changes / increases in metabolic enzymes
    Increased hydrogen ion buffering in your blood
    Increased glycogen storage
    Increased muscle tissue mass
    Increased heart stroke volume
    Neural stuff

    What's important probably depends on what exactly you mean by endurance. If you are talking about the ability to do 20 rep squats as endurance then simply getting strong in the squat is a probably a great way to go about it. If your talking about the ability to do a million rep squats ( say a 100 mile bike ride ) then getting a stronger squat is still probably helpful, but things like having more muscle and liver glycogen and your ability to consume and utilize oxygen are probably more important.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Raymondo, your comment was superb. Thank you.

    What's important probably depends on what exactly you mean by endurance.
    Absolutely, and that was what I was getting at. My framing of the question was poor, because I wasn't even aware of the existence of most of those adaptations you mentioned.

    So, my original question was basically "What is 'muscle endurance', like how many pushups one can do before fatiguing, and how does it differ from 'other endurance', like how long one can jog before running out of breath?" ... I already knew, aerobic vs anaerobic and so on, but, bearing in mind that the body is more nuanced than that, I guess a better question is, why is the prowler so highly recommended, is it because it offers a complete package of all types of endurance i.e. adaptations responsible for endurance?

    It's obvious that the preferred adaptation will depend on the athlete's sport. I know a few of the reasons why the prowler is deemed to be king (e.g. the kinetic chain). And I suppose that it's highly versatile in that you can keep it as light or heavy as you want, so in short, I guess that it can be used for "aerobic" and "anaerobic", "muscle endurance" and "jogging endurance" alike. I just don't see this talked about here that often.

    For the sports I'm most interested in, being boxing and kickboxing (haven't competed for years), my guess is that the optimal adaptation would be a decent mix of "ATP efficiency" (whatever the physiology responsible for that is) for bursts, and "aerobic" adaptations like red blood cell count to have the air to fight for several rounds, and perhaps some type of adaptation responsible for recovering from those bursts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,535

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by adamanderson View Post
    so in short, I guess that it can be used for "aerobic" and "anaerobic", "muscle endurance" and "jogging endurance" alike. I just don't see this talked about here that often.
    I wonder why that would be?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Running out of breath conjures up images of someone running until they die which is fortunately rare because the body tends to make some pretty bold choices without your input to void that.
    Anyway, the specificity principle is pretty unforgiving when it comes to endurance activities.
    This is why strength is so cool. It is general. It crosses over to a lot of other things very nicely.
    Anyway, I think Barbell Logic talked about the prowler in their HIIT video from a few weeks ago. You can find it on YouTube. I agree with them, for what it is worth, that the average person can get a lot out of a small investment of time via HIIT and the prowler is a fine way to check that box.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    874

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I wonder why that would be?
    Cos we're a shrimp cooking board, not a cardio board.

    Or some kind of board anyway. Something about shrimp.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    46

    Default

    I wonder why that would be?
    So do I. Most people don't seem to be interested in the whys and are content with just following presciptions.

    Ivey,

    I watched the video, and it answered a lot of questions. Thank you.

    Anyway, the specificity principle is pretty unforgiving when it comes to endurance activities.
    Yeah.

    I was mostly interested in the What is it that makes someone good at doing many pushups consecutively (besides strength, of course!!!), which I termed "muscle endurance" vs What makes someone good at jogging for a long time ... just out of curiosity, I'm not pursuing that ability. Understanding the various energy systems and other physiological adaptations, makes speculation about how an athlete in a given sport is supposed to train, more fun.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •