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THE IMPORTANCE OF JUST GETTING STRONGER

I always bang on about the importance of being strong as it will always yield the most benefits over any other parameter of fitness in the quickest time. For instance if you commit to training your cardiovascular system on the bike for a few months you will become better at most endurance activities as long as it does not involve any power or strength work. On the other hand if you take some time to get stronger by lifting heavy things covering the 3 main lifts of a dead lift, squat and press then your overall conditioning will go up and stay up.

Imagine if you signed up with a personal trainer in London and he/she took your cash and whacked you on the treadmill for an hour?  It does happen trust me and it makes me a bit sick in my mouth.  You wouldn’t put up with doing cardio if you were paying as its the strength stuff you want, so why do just cardio when you are off by yourself?

Of course a marathon runner will destroy a guy that only strength trains on a marathon but if you were to pit them against each other over activities spanning all the 7 main parameters of fitness then the runner would find himself way down the pecking order.

Here is the Mark Rippetoe article and his take:

https://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/conditioning_is_a_sham

If you can’t be bothered to read it here are my favourite extracts:

“Strength is a very persistent adaptation that doesn’t disappear after a layoff. Once a man gets strong, he’s always stronger than he was before, even if he quits training, because the long-term adaptations have raised his baseline strength. Getting stronger is “expensive” to your body, and expensive things aren’t usually disposed of quickly.

Conditioning/endurance work, such as running, on the other hand develops very quickly and goes away just as fast, as most of you’ve already noticed. A young, healthy guy can get in pretty good shape to run in about 2 weeks. Lay off a couple of months and you have to start over from the previous baseline, but it comes back just as quickly.

A bunch of “cardio” or “met-con” (metabolic conditioning) absolutely guts your strength progress, while getting stronger improves your work capacity all by itself. There’s time to do your conditioning work later – you’re not going to die immediately, and if you do, nobody will talk about your shitty 5-mile time. The very programs that should be preparing young guys to be more useful are instead making them very good at running away, and that’s about all.”

Thanks

Tim – Personal Trainer in London