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juliusoh

Cardio

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Philip Chubb

The internet is quite full of misinformation my friend. I will agree on that. Good thing that isn't where I got my knowledge of conditioning for fighters. It is actually from years and years of being in the sport myself since I was little. So your claim is a bit off. I say this because I am able to hang with fighters much bigger than I am through superior conditioning. They use their methods of distance work and I use my intervals. I have been much less active in fighting but am still able to hang with heavier people and not even get close to gassing. As for this debate, lets not degrade ourselves to talking about people's experience negatively. We are all here to put out new ideas and take in new ones. Even if I come off as strong in my position, you had better believe I will give Coach's method an honest try and see the results myself.

My two cents.

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Grissim Connery

I own a copy of Joel's book, and he explains everything with a good level of depth within its pages.

LSD cardio causes eccentric heart gains, primarily causing your heart to increase in the amount of volume it can hold.

HIIT cardio causes concentric hearts gains, primarily causing your heart to become stronger.

If all you do is HIIT, then you become very efficient at pumping that specific volume of blood from your heart. But if you develop eccentric heart gains, then you can pump a larger volume at a time, thus putting less strain on your heart.

Thus, doing a lot of HIIT gives you more endurance when you work at higher heart rates, but if you do a good amount of LSD, then you can actually keep your heart rate lower in the first place, making work easier as well. This is the basis of incorporating road work.

Furthermore when you are performing a lot of HIIT, you will have a good amount of lactate accumulation in the muscles. This fuel can actually be utilized more effectively in the heart. Thus if your aerobic capacity and circulatory systems are well developed, than you can transport lactate out more efficiently and bring it to the heart to covert back to pyruvate and enter TCA. Although lactate is not actually the contributor to muscle fatigue, the change in pH may be the contributor (debatable). Being able to cycle these products more effectively will allow you to increase your anaerobic threshold, thereby allowing you to generate more power without reaching lactic or alactic pathways.

In a nutshell, high intensity training will allow you to generate high amount of power in a short amount of time, but not training the aerobic pathways will reduce your capacity (how long or how much; think volume of high power output) to produce high amounts of power because you can't cycle out the metabolites as quickly.

There are also local effects as well; Joel states that your slow twitch fibers are capable of producing similar strength to fast twitch, but they can't fire as quickly. Thus if you incorporate methods to increase the strength of slow twitch fibers while also training to increase the mitochondrial capacities (aerobic abilities) of your fast twitch fibers, then you can generate high amounts of power for a longer duration of time.

Does this matter to gymnasts? maybe, maybe not

Does this matter for fighters? definately

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Philip Chubb

Remember that with interval training, there are highs and lows. There are short hard parts and slower parts. I do not believe much would be missed from LSD. Once again I know this from things such as sparring with fighters who use such methods and even going along with them on some of their runs. I teach students and they have no trouble at all when I give them some long distance work.

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Julekman

Phillip, we can talk serious about conditioning for competitive sports, or we can talk arbitrarily without conception. There is no need to choose one vs the other. Both methods have their place in serious conditioning program. I agree with Grissim, read Joels book, is excellent. I am sure you learn something new.

Parallel, Coach Sommer just now said that chinese gymnast are most strongest, and they regulary practise cardio 3-4 times a week. Instead to informed about their cardio training and why they incorporate that method, some people start to minimize this despite the results. I just hit my self for that observation. I dont want to preach to anyone, but if someone want to learn something, then he must keep eyes and mind open.

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Philip Chubb

I have no problem with a serious talk. You assumed something and I corrected it. There is no need for negetivity here. That is usually my favorite thing about this board.

I simply see LSD as already covered during my intervals. I have seen it in my own conditioning as well as my trainees in my classes. If you feel the need to use it then go for it. I have tried it, implemented it, and the results were not as good as what I have now.

I do enjoy a good book reccomendation. I will read it. Thank you. Even though some fighters may be getting results one way, there are many others starting to find new methods. I would wonder what people like GSP are doing.

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Julekman

Sorry if I sound a little negative, this is not my intention. Wish you all the best in your training.

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Felipe

This is an italian site of running, http://translate.google.it/translate?hl ... nesi.it%2F

The guy is an electronic engineer, writer, and expert on many topics like statistics, chess, running, nutrition, rational living. He's really impressive, since he has a strong opinion on everything.

He wrote that everyone who trains, beside of the sport involved, should be capable of running a 10km race in under an hour http://translate.google.it/translate?hl ... ortivi.htm

He based that on statistics correlation studying blood tests, choosing that distance because everyone can train it without long period problem. He suggests progressive metabolic conditioning on at least 2 days. He followed thousand of individuals.

Even a running master at 85+ years old can run that distance, so should you.

After reading that I worked up to 10km in 60 mins in September before starting my strength workouts.

I'm not really into running but I prefer to posses an aerobic base like that, it can be achieved in 8 weeks or less so it seems possible to me that's the minimum for every serious sportman.

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Philip Chubb

No insult taken my friend. Thank you for your own insight. And to Coach as well. This already makes me very excited to learn at the seminar this Sept which I am saving now to attend.

Actually it is funny that you bring that up Felipe. I was just approached by a client to do a 10k. Or it may have been five. I would like to train it just for kicks.

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Rafael David

I definitely agree with the opinions of Ido on cardio. You really do not NEED cardio to become strong, to lose weight, to gain aerobic resistance, to maintain the percentage of fat or something, bodyweight training and good nutrition will give it all to you. You just NEED a smart program, and this is the GB program.

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Coach Sommer

I definitely agree with the opinions of Ido on cardio. You really do not NEED cardio to become strong, to lose weight, to gain aerobic resistance, to maintain the percentage of fat or something, bodyweight training and good nutrition will give it all to you. You just NEED a smart program, and this is the GB program.

Thank you for the nice compliment.

However this does not change the fact that the Chinese are still the strongest in the world on rings, and they firmly believe in running. And this is in addition to the German and Russian teams who also swear by running. Now one great team doing something may be an accident. Two may be a coincidence. But when three excellent teams are all exhibiting a common factor in their training, a thoughtful man should take note and pay attention.

Whether or not you decide to include running in your own training is up to you, however the correlation should not be casually disregarded.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Quick Start Test Smith
I definitely agree with the opinions of Ido on cardio. You really do not NEED cardio to become strong, to lose weight, to gain aerobic resistance, to maintain the percentage of fat or something, bodyweight training and good nutrition will give it all to you. You just NEED a smart program, and this is the GB program.

Thank you for the nice compliment.

However this does not change the fact that the Chinese are still the strongest in the world on rings, and they firmly believe in running. And this is in addition to the German and Russian teams who also swear by running. Now one great team doing something may be an accident. Two may be a coincidence. But when three excellent teams are all exhibiting a common factor in their training, a thoughtful man should take note and pay attention.

Whether or not you decide to include running in your own training is up to you, however the correlation should not be casually disregarded.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

Coach, is it the running itself that is good or could someone substitute the same amount of time and intensity of a few miles run into light kettlebell swings?

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Julekman
Coach, is it the running itself that is good or could someone substitute the same amount of time and intensity of a few miles run into light kettlebell swings?

I think that post from coach is clear and understandable.

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Philip Chubb

Good question. Makes you wonder if you could get even more direct results from something like jumping rope. It would be closer to a rebound in gymnastics than the run yet still increase the blood flow. Something I have toyed around with myself as well as been doing during our fighter training for nationals.

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Quick Start Test Smith
Coach, is it the running itself that is good or could someone substitute the same amount of time and intensity of a few miles run into light kettlebell swings?

I think that post from coach is clear and understandable.

Yeah, I agree 100 percent. What I'm wondering is whether running specifically is extremely beneficial or if it could be replaced by another full body exercise. Personally, I enjoy running if I can find the space (I hate running on the street), but KB swings and similar exercises are very convenient.

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braindx

Let me use an analogy.

"Aerobic base" is similar to the gas tank in your car. The bigger your aerobic base the more possible "fuel" you have to use. Providing you fill it up with high quality gas which is akin to high quality food.

Aerobic base can be built any number of ways through running, cycling, swimming, etc. The aerobic base is somewhat non-specific -- you have the bigger gas tank -- but the method of training tailors the body structure (e.g. the car's tires, height of the chassis, etc.) to the specific sport.

This is why there is very little transfer from one sport to another even between those which build aerobic bases. You can't take someone who is suited for cycling and have them do extremely well in running as Lance has found out just like you wouldn't be able to take a boat and give it wheels and have it compete in a race.

Now, what exactly does an aerobic base do?

For a 400m runner whose max event time about 45s in a race, you see the best method as stated before by gymrob has a series of tempo runs which aim at building an aerobic base for the athlete earlier in the season (something like 8x200m with 1 min rest at a certain tempo say 28s which decreases the farther you go into a season).

Remember, that 400m sprint is extremely metabolic. For those untrained and even the elite athletes will hit "the wall" where muscular glycogen (let's compare it to nitrous oxide which can be used as a high energy fuel to make cars go faster) is fairly depleted at around 300m into the run. A significantly greater aerobic base (e.g. more gas in the gas tank) helps to prevent the nitrous oxide/glycogen system from running out too fast.

That is to say that the greater your aerobic base, the faster you can run at your top speed without depleting significant amounts of glycogen. That extra glycogen can then be used nearer to the end of the race to significantly improve your speed down the stretch and subsequently your overall time. Elite endurance athletes can push their lactic acid threshold up near 80-90% IIRC (lactic acid threshold is basically your "aerobic base") whereas untrained athletes tend to have a lac threshold around 60%.

This is why fighters and multi-round event athletes do significantly much better with their "wind" (e.g. aerobic base) when they run significantly.

For reference the studies bear out that 400m sprint for men is about 60/40 anaerobic/aerobic and 50/50 anaerobic/aerobic for females. For males the 800m is 40/60 anaerobic/aerobic. The times for these are 43s and 1:40 approximately which means a 50/50 anaerobic/aerobic is around 75s for males. This shows that aerobic base should not be neglected in any sport over about 30s or so of duration.

400m is a particularly interesting case because it requires a semi-hybrid of pure sprinting work and a semi-form of endurance work. Likewise, 800m runners require a lot of sprinting work too, but more of an emphasis on aerobic base. 1500m is a bit more biased towards endurance. Beyond that is pretty much all aerobic base and specialization as evidenced by Gebrselassie dominance of 5k to marathon events.

Now, let's take this back to gymnastics.

Gymnastic routines typically take between about 20-90 or so seconds each. Generally, I think the longest they would be are about 75s which is the max time for floor exercise IIRC. This falls particularly in the range where building a semi-aerobic base is effective (e.g. >30s of work which is the 300m mark in a 400m run). So already we know that building some sort of minimal aerobic base will benefit gymnastics training.

Most gymnasts will be in the gym about 5-6 days a week, and even in the compulsories they may be spending upwards of 4.5 hours or more in the gym. Elite athletes will likely be spending 7-8 hours or more. Hence, gymnastics is like a full time job. Thus, since we need a lot of energy to do a lot of skill work as well as the volume for strength and conditioning you can see how an aerobic base will be helpful especially for recovery from these factors.

Metabolically, most of the aerobic adaptations are occurring in the legs. However, the offset of the development of the endurance adaptations can be offset by the presence of lower body strength work and plyometrics in athletes to a certain extent which is how the 400m runners structure their programs. This is why the Chinese in particular require that all their athletes squat at least 2x their bodyweight. This does mean that there is likely some slightly negative effect on their ability to exert maximal forces for tumbling passes, but it is made up in the fact that the additional aerobic bases now allow them to tumble for 5-6 passes well without dropping from fatigue.

There are less overall aerobic adaptations occuring in the upper body for obvious reasons. Though the increase in ability of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems to pump blood for recovery to the upper body does enhance both short term metabolic and overall recovery to the upper body in some fashion. This again allows additional help to allow both skill work volume to increase, strength and conditioning to occur without significant overreaching.

I'm skeptical that the aerobic adaptations are what has gotten the Chinese to the top of the strength continuum (in terms of it being a "major" factor). It's one factor that helps obviously, but their methods are continuation of the Russian sport development program is the major factor I believe (e.g. the continuation of develop of strength/power athletes via periodization and latter more effective protocols).

They "got it" in sometime around the early '90s and implemented proper strength and conditioning protocols with their athletes at that time in regards to gymnastics strength work. Their work has come to fruition about 15-20 years later with the development of the super strength athletes like Chen Yibing and Yan Mingyong.

Like I've said before the various methods of strength and conditioning in almost all US gyms except the top ones is pretty disheartening because they don't utilize progressive strength work. Rather the majority of gyms think you need specific exercise endurance and have their athletes do hundreds of pushups and such which does not work as effectively as real structured strength and conditioning protocol as evidenced to most of the people on this forum.

Basically, what it comes down to is this. You don't NEED running, but it may help. It helps the national gymnastics team BECAUSE it enhances their recovery. That is to say it enhances their recovery from being FULL TIME ATHLETES where they're doing skill work and strength work for 7-8 hours for 5-6 days a week.

For us if you have a more advanced level of strength and regular train lots of skill work as well it will probably be effective in enhancing your recovery to do say 10-20 minutes of steady state running work 2-3 times a week.

For those of us who just do this for fun to get cool skills it's up to you whether you do it or not. I don't think there's going to be any significant benefit to doing it until your strength starts to get more advanced where the volume load of your skill work and strength work starts to become greater. This is where you need the additional recovery factors.

At a fairly novice ability level where most of the people here are now I would say to avoid it because extra training stimulus on top of other workouts will likely lead to quicker overreaching/overtraining. But as your abilities and conditioning start to improve it may be something you want to work in the future if you have the time or desire.

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pogo69

Cheers Steven. That post was full of awesome; explained lots of concepts in practical and theoretical terms without getting too "technical" for those of us (me) that don't have a strong background in sports physiology.

You should write a book. :wink:

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Quick Start Test Smith

Great post, Braindx. I expect I may be wrong about this, but just intuitively speaking, it seems to me that a few short runs (6-7 miles per week, I suppose) would be highly beneficial to beginner, who I expect would lack general basic strength and work capacity above all else. It seems to me that a few short aerobic sessions a week would help increase that quite well.

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Larry Roseman

Basically, what it comes down to is this. You don't NEED running, but it may help. It helps the national gymnastics team BECAUSE it enhances their recovery. That is to say it enhances their recovery from being FULL TIME ATHLETES where they're doing skill work and strength work for 7-8 hours for 5-6 days a week.

For us if you have a more advanced level of strength and regular train lots of skill work as well it will probably be effective in enhancing your recovery to do say 10-20 minutes of steady state running work 2-3 times a week.

For those of us who just do this for fun to get cool skills it's up to you whether you do it or not. I don't think there's going to be any significant benefit to doing it until your strength starts to get more advanced where the volume load of your skill work and strength work starts to become greater. This is where you need the additional recovery factors.

At a fairly novice ability level where most of the people here are now I would say to avoid it because extra training stimulus on top of other workouts will likely lead to quicker overreaching/overtraining. But as your abilities and conditioning start to improve it may be something you want to work in the future if you have the time or desire.

Keep in mind that an aerobic base is also needed for floor routines and running is helpful for vaults. So the endurance and speed is quite helpful at that level too. I basically agree with what you say in regards to gymnastics however I disagree that a novice who is training GB 30-60 minutes 2-3x per week can't handle 2-3 cardio sessions up to 75% max of 20 minutes or so. This is far, far (really far) from overtraining or overreaching. At that minimal level it can act as warmup for the GB routines as Coach mentioned above, or even as active recovery on off days.

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braindx
Great post, Braindx. I expect I may be wrong about this, but just intuitively speaking, it seems to me that a few short runs (6-7 miles per week, I suppose) would be highly beneficial to beginner, who I expect would lack general basic strength and work capacity above all else. It seems to me that a few short aerobic sessions a week would help increase that quite well.
Keep in mind that an aerobic base is also needed for floor routines and running is helpful for vaults. So the endurance and speed is quite helpful at that level too. I basically agree with what you say in regards to gymnastics however I disagree that a novice who is training GB 30-60 minutes 2-3x per week can't handle 2-3 cardio sessions up to 75% max of 20 minutes. This is far, far (really far) from overtraining or overreaching. At that minimal level it can act as warmup for the GB routines as Coach mentioned above, or even as active recovery on off days.

Well, that depends on a lot of factors.

Generally, I think it's best to use the limited training capacity of the beginner on more useful adaptations such as strength (as it most highly correlates to any other skill). They have the ability to adapt fast, so use most of the recovery on the qualities that are most likely to be beneficial in the future.

Thus, I tend to recommend about 3x a week full body routines to start for strength training.

If someone wants to do a light run on an off day... maybe two if its pretty light then it may not be a bad idea either as FutureisNow is saying. I wouldn't put anyone more than 5 days a week to start even if they are recovery runs.

Still, depends on the lot of factors like certain goals which decrease recovery even further (e.g. weight loss) or if you have a lot of exams coming up (stress, lack of sleep). Generally, you gotta play it by feel cause everyone is different.

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Coach Sommer
... I expect I may be wrong about this, but just intuitively speaking, it seems to me that a few short runs (6-7 miles per week, I suppose) would be highly beneficial to beginner, who I expect would lack general basic strength and work capacity above all else. It seems to me that a few short aerobic sessions a week would help increase that quite well ...

Very good point. Yes, the addition of this low level of mileage will rather rapidly increase a beginner's recovery ability; not deplete it.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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gymrob

This is only my opinion but whilst I agree that establishing a base of general work capacity and general endurance is necessary, I'm not sure running miles continously is the answer. What if you can achieve significant aerobic development with tempo runs? I.e. low intensity extensive intervals. I just don't think long runs correlate to athletes in high intensity sports. Also I think when discussing aerobic development it would be useful to know when to try to develop aerobic power or capacity.

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Philip Chubb

No one sees these runs causing adaptation in an unfavorable direction?

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Larry Roseman
This is only my opinion but whilst I agree that establishing a base of general work capacity and general endurance is necessary, I'm not sure running miles continously is the answer. What if you can achieve significant aerobic development with tempo runs? I.e. low intensity extensive intervals. I just don't think long runs correlate to athletes in high intensity sports. Also I think when discussing aerobic development it would be useful to know when to try to develop aerobic power or capacity.

The purpose of a tempo run though, whether it is broken up into intervals or not, it to do

higher intensity aerobic work, not lower intensity. Lower intensity, longer runs. Higher intensity, tempo runs and intervals.

I personally do not like running for cross-training purposes even though I realise its benefit. So I toss in a few 5K charity runs during the year that I can train for. It then becomes my primary activity, and strength training secondary. After the run I'll turn the tables.

That's me not neccessarily everyone. Intervals are more fun and have a purpose, but I think if you give short slow 2-3 miles runs a chance you may feel they add something else.

Also keep in mind that once you attain that base, you *could* reduce the frequency and still *maintain* it.

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Quick Start Test Smith
No one sees these runs causing adaptation in an unfavorable direction?

Like increasing type II slow twitch fibers and decreasing quickness? I don't see how that could be a problem considering the very small running volume. Besides, people have been running for centuries and there have been amazing athletes who have ran constantly. I know that doesn't prove anything, but those guys succeeded because/despite a LOT of roadwork. Someone doing the type of running that Coach is talking about wouldn't be doing half that. It's only a few miles here and there.

For what it's worth.

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Philip Chubb

That is definitely true. 30 minutes is definitely different than 60 to 90 minutes that a lot of coachs give to fighters. I think I would rather just increase the duration of the low part of my intervals though if there is really some benefit to gain. I prefer to keep most adaptation going one way though and it is getting me great results but I realize other people get good results other ways as well.

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