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Thread: Starting strength + sprinting

  1. #1
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    Default Starting strength + sprinting

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    Thanks for your time,

    In college I did crew and I followed Starting Strength (and then Texas Method) to a 1,200 total. Since then my primary focus became the 400m sprint and from neglect my total is now likely around 700. I'd like to run the program again to build power and hopefully increase speed. Should I run the program verbatim on a high caloric surplus on top of my existing running and sprint-workouts, or are there key changes that ought to be made?

    Also, given the sprint focus, would I benefit from training with shorter rests between sets and a greater focus on squatting up explosively?

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
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    In other words, can you train to significantly increase your Standing Vertical Jump? No. You can increase your strength, as you already know, but the explosive part of power is primarily genetics.

  3. #3
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    You're describing effectively the dynamic effort method, which is explained in the Grey Book. It is used very differently than regular 5s. The short version is that it doesn't "train explosiveness" but rather preferentially trains fast motor units over slow motor units for a different training effect, similar to how the cleans work for pulling exercises. It works similar to the cleans, trained in very low (1-3) rep ranges with short rests in between. This is not to "condition," but rather to ensure that the fast motor units remained primed. The weights are submaximal, so shorter rests won't impact your ability to complete the reps.

    Either way, as I said, they don't "train explosiveness" but rather use innate explosiveness to train strength, when "slow" work becomes insufficiently stimulative, or too difficult to recover from. It is pointless to try to make an NLP or early phase Texas method "work" like DE training. There's no downside to trying to move the weights as fast as possible: you should already be trying to do that, but it's not a training variable. Shortening the tears between maximal 5s is just a stupid idea. Your best bet will be to follow the program as written, progressing to an appropriate intermediate regime when the time comes, and including DE work when appropriate, which probably won't be until you well exceed your previous 1200 total.

    The program does not change: if you are sprinting on your off days, it will affect your strength training, and mean you need to transition to intermediate sooner rather than later. The Texas Method is generally unsuitable for people with external athletic demands: either non athletes or strength sport athletes are best suited to it. You may have gotten away with it because you were in college. But try it and see.

    Keep your running to a minimum. There is no reason as a sprinter you need to train aerobic capacity, because sprints do not use the aerobic energy system (a sprinter who does so is a sprinter who has lost). Treat sprints as practice and possibly anaerobic conditioning.

  4. #4
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    Isn't the point of dynamic effort to prevent a more advanced trainee from detraining? Dynamic effort lets a trainee use a higher percentage of motor units at a lighter weight without inccuring the same recovery cost as a normal rep at a heavier weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asm44 View Post
    Isn't the point of dynamic effort to prevent a more advanced trainee from detraining? Dynamic effort lets a trainee use a higher percentage of motor units at a lighter weight without inccuring the same recovery cost as a normal rep at a heavier weight.
    Yes, as I said: when "slow" work becomes insufficiently stimulative for its relative recovery cost. It is still used to increase, not merely maintain strength. If it can't be used to increase strength, it won't be useful to maintain it.

    It works exactly the way the clean does for training the deadlift.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookfine View Post
    Thanks for your time,

    In college I did crew and I followed Starting Strength (and then Texas Method) to a 1,200 total. Since then my primary focus became the 400m sprint and from neglect my total is now likely around 700. I'd like to run the program again to build power and hopefully increase speed. Should I run the program verbatim on a high caloric surplus on top of my existing running and sprint-workouts, or are there key changes that ought to be made?

    Also, given the sprint focus, would I benefit from training with shorter rests between sets and a greater focus on squatting up explosively?

    Thanks again!
    Donít overthink it. Do the program as written. As youíre already adapted to sprinting just maybe operate on the principle of reduce but maintain your sprinting workouts, while you do the program as written. Given youíre young (youth is wasted on the young!) you should have plenty of recovery capacity, but should probably eat more.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    You're describing effectively the dynamic effort method, which is explained in the Grey Book. It is used very differently than regular 5s. The short version is that it doesn't "train explosiveness" but rather preferentially trains fast motor units over slow motor units for a different training effect, similar to how the cleans work for pulling exercises. It works similar to the cleans, trained in very low (1-3) rep ranges with short rests in between. This is not to "condition," but rather to ensure that the fast motor units remained primed. The weights are submaximal, so shorter rests won't impact your ability to complete the reps.

    Either way, as I said, they don't "train explosiveness" but rather use innate explosiveness to train strength, when "slow" work becomes insufficiently stimulative, or too difficult to recover from. It is pointless to try to make an NLP or early phase Texas method "work" like DE training. There's no downside to trying to move the weights as fast as possible: you should already be trying to do that, but it's not a training variable. Shortening the tears between maximal 5s is just a stupid idea. Your best bet will be to follow the program as written, progressing to an appropriate intermediate regime when the time comes, and including DE work when appropriate, which probably won't be until you well exceed your previous 1200 total.

    The program does not change: if you are sprinting on your off days, it will affect your strength training, and mean you need to transition to intermediate sooner rather than later. The Texas Method is generally unsuitable for people with external athletic demands: either non athletes or strength sport athletes are best suited to it. You may have gotten away with it because you were in college. But try it and see.

    Keep your running to a minimum. There is no reason as a sprinter you need to train aerobic capacity, because sprints do not use the aerobic energy system (a sprinter who does so is a sprinter who has lost). Treat sprints as practice and possibly anaerobic conditioning.
    Is there something in the strength training world I should particularly lean towards then? At a 400m distance stride frequency tends to hover around 4 steps per second, so keeping a long stride length becomes crucial rather than putting down many short strides. My top end speed is already very high, so in a 400m I would benefit most from being able to continue putting down those maximally powerful strides for a longer period of time. Is there a particular regime from the strength training world that would help this best?

    I feel like the right analogy would be that I'm not so concerned with improving my maximal vert, as I am concerned with my ability to jump near my maximum 20 times

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookfine View Post
    Thanks for your time,

    In college I did crew and I followed Starting Strength (and then Texas Method) to a 1,200 total. Since then my primary focus became the 400m sprint and from neglect my total is now likely around 700. I'd like to run the program again to build power and hopefully increase speed. Should I run the program verbatim on a high caloric surplus on top of my existing running and sprint-workouts, or are there key changes that ought to be made?

    Also, given the sprint focus, would I benefit from training with shorter rests between sets and a greater focus on squatting up explosively?

    Thanks again!

    Out of curiosity:

    Age ? Height ? Weight ?

    What did you row? 4's, 8's ? What seat ?

    Do you have a Track background ?

    What's your current 400 time ?

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Assuming your in the age range of 15-35, what was your 400 time when you totaled 1200? I'd guess your 400 time (when you totaled 1200) wasn't too far behind your current 400. The reverse is rarely ever true in my limited experience.

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