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Endurance Strength it....hate it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So I really enjoy my workout schedule. I try to get in 3 days of ST plus 3 days of cardio in any given week.

Cardio varies between riding my bike (my supercool Trek which is also my avatar), working out on the elliptical, taking a spin class, and any other activity to get my HR up to 80-90% of max

For ST it's a little more complicated.

Now I freely admit that I've been working out with a trainer for these past 3 years (I'm pretty sure he received some Sadism 101 training as an East German Stasi agent or quite possibly was a Russian Spetsnaz animal cruelty specialist). He changes up routines on me periodically and definitely pushes me past what I would normally do on my own on a regular basis.

We basically alternate doing a heavy weight/low rep workout, followed by the same routine with medium weight and higher reps.

For example on squats, I do 240 lbs for 5 reps (4 sets total) on a heavy day, then do 165 lbs for 15 reps (4 sets also) a couple days later.

You would think the heavy weights are the tough days.

Oh No! No, no, no, no, no......the tough days are the medium weight/hi rep days. "These are the days we train for endurance", says Stasi trainer guy (imagine Arnold saying this).

Today was such a day!

Now I consider myself a fairly tough-minded Mo-Fo. I can endure all sorts of privations & pains. I've run marathons, spent days in the woods eating only what I can catch, and all sorts of other weirdness.

But endurance ST is a whole other ballgame.....I don't think there's a tougher thing I do (at least I think that right now, at this moment, today)

Right as I get to 8, 9, 10 reps, I realize, "Scheisse, I still have 5 more of these to do!"

Meanwhile, my glutes, hamstrings, & back are screaming, and I am getting an incredible aerobic workout as I am huffing and puffing for all I'm worth (Stasi guy says it's technically an anaerobic workout...."Screw you Stasi guy" I mutter to myself as I focus on reps 12 & 13)

Man, oh, man what a combination though...strength training and endurance. I used to think endurance meant running (or biking) for long distances, usually measured in hours. In the ST world it's about how long can you stretch out that time where you are stressing your musculature with repetitive movements while bearing a load. Yes each set is over in under 2 minutes, but it sure feels like hours to me!

But I've come to believe that you have to do both. Doing heavy weights is good to build muscle and strength, but I know a lot of folks that do just that, and are explosively strong for a minute or 2, but ask them to do something repetitive and they're out of Schlitz pretty fast.

Lifting less heavy weights for a higher number of reps is also great for building muscle strength & tone, but also helps build mental strength where you learn to recognize the fatigue and work through it as well as building up your stamina, which may be a better measure of overall health than just the amount of weight you moved in a day.

By Jove, maybe I've got it....maybe I can fire Stasi guy, quit my day job, and become a Personal Trainer myself!

Have a great night spark friends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I totally agree. my program actually does rotate weeks of heavy lifting with weeks of high reps. Right now its crazy 20-30 reps with active rest in between.
    I'll take those 8 reps at high weight any day!! Something about going over 10 is a mental game... usually I have to count to 10 twice to avoid that panic of 18...19...20.

    Definitely switching up routines (not just weight but different lifts too) every couple of weeks is generally a best practice.
    After my 12 weeks (I'm in week 9), I'll be working up a 4 day ST routine that changes up every couple of weeks, focusing on the parts that need the most improvement...
    2017 days ago
    Ach you LOVE it! You KNOW you love it! You love getting beat up by Stasi guy, and most of all you thrive on the rush of success when you finish AND can still crawl to the car! LOL
    2018 days ago
    Great. Personal trainers sound like they can be very beneficial but not something I've ever thought about and certainly not in my budget. However, I've noticed a few students (former varsity athletes) at our fitness center working one on one with other students and I've thought about asking them if they would work with me and how much they would charge but I don't think I'm ready to go that route yet.
    2019 days ago
    You do need both! I see so many at the gym that do either/or. They are missing the boat.
    2019 days ago
  • BILL60
    Gold stuff!! I personally dislike bike speed intervals and hill repeats. While they're made for increasing endurance and strength, I would much rather do a 50-miler than a lousy 1hr intervals/repeats workout. They truly humble you.
    2019 days ago
  • CHEEKY1000
    Okay, seriously, you said picture Arnold...but all I pictured were Hanz and Franz "Pump you up!" LOL

    I did some lunges and squats on Sunday. Did a relatively easy workout since I haven't used the muscles other than running in months. Did I say easy? Today was the first day since Sunday that I could actually get onto and off ...the...uh...toilet (shhhh) without crying. Okay, maybe I didn't cry, but holy guacamole did it hurt and I was definitely grimacing if not crying. On Sunday, the workout felt fine--even considered adding weights. Sooooo glad I didn't. So, at the moment, I'm in awe of you. I'm pretty sure 5# (let alone triple digits) would break me at the moment. LOL
    2020 days ago
    Be careful, BEATLETOT and I, both, speak German. emoticon LOL.
    Actually I was born and grew up there. To picture Arnold pushing you, makes me laugh.
    I certainly don't work out at your level, but I have worked out with a trainer for this past year, and it definitely makes a big difference.
    Keep it up!!!
    2020 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/10/2012 10:30:40 PM
    Ooooh! Sounds good and awful at the same time! :)
    2020 days ago
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