Absolute Strength and Strength Endurance Similarity/Difference

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offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
My legs are stronger on my bike since I've been doing heavy squats. Strength developed in one task may be used in another. Not really a strange concept, is it? Maybe I am missing something...
Yes of course, but your grip isn't any stronger because of heavy Squats...
So in that sense, and according to S.A.I.D. strength is actually quite task specific. Strength developed in one task as long as it closely related may be used in another.
 

jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
Yes, but squats made legs and abs stronger, and this strength can be used when you need it, not just for squatting.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Yes of course, but your grip isn't any stronger because of heavy Squats...
That's why I do deadlifts too. :D

Seriously, if you do the "Big 4" barbell lifts - squat, deadlift, press, and bench press - you will develop tremendous full-body strength that is applicable to just about anything you want to do with it.

Of course there's still some specificity that needs to be adressed. One example that came up recently is leg strength for climbing. The demands are slightly different and the range of motion in which you need to use your strength is greater, so additional training in hack squats or Cossacks may help too, but I still believe that developing leg strength with barbell squats would be an effective way to get the legs really strong... first.
 

Shahaf Levin

Level 5 Valued Member
Yes, but squats made legs and abs stronger, and this strength can be used when you need it, not just for squatting.
Agreed.
Period.

However...
Is it possible that the task the CNS is perciving is not "squating" , but "simultaneous hip-leg extension with a stabilized trunk"?

While it might sound like semantics it seems to explain carry-over/transfer/etc. Vs. SAID better... It removes the Vs.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Strength is a general adaptation.
The application of this strength in a certain context may be skill-dependent, but the ability to produce force is general.
Some strength is general in that there will be a bit of carryover. However many studies and anecdotal shows that strength is largely task or movement pattern specific. Since most athletic activities cannotbe loaded in the same movement pattern, you'll only get so much carryover.
This is something S Maxwell has spoken of many times-there is always a point of diminishing returns unless the sport IS lifting weights. A soccer player wont benefit from squatting ever increasing loads, and probably perform better stopping at a 2x BW squat opposed to higher.
 

Deleted member 5559

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Are you suggesting a distance runner training for a 10 km might do a weekly total, or daily total, of 10 - 25 km, by doing 2.5 km intervals/segments? And at what pace.
Yes, on an interval or tempo day; 10k race pace for multiple 2.5km intervals. Probably wouldn't see much zone 5 interval pace for training a race length over 3km. The idea includes the shorter middle distances also. The quantity of intervals of the training session would be inversely proportional to the race length. For a 10k distance, less intervals (3-5x 2.5k) would be more appropriate. A shorter middle distance race like the 1500 could do 6-8 intervals. An even shorter middle distance race like 400-800 could be 6-10 intervals.

10km race template similar to the template you describe might look like:
Mon: 4x 2.5km intervals @ 10k race pace with 3-5min rest between intervals
Tue: 40min easy run @ zone 2 with 10sec sprints every 5-10 minutes
Wed: 40min easy run @ zone 2
Thur: 3x 2.5km intervals @ 10k race pace with 3-5min rest between intervals
Fri: 40min easy run @ zone 2 with 10sec sprints every 5-10 minutes
Sat: 80min easy run @ zone 2​
 
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Steve Freides

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@Bro Mo, FWIW, I've never seen a distance running program like that. Interval work is usually 1/4 mile to 1 mile, longer distances at a pace are tempo runs. 2.5 km intervals are a bit on the long side. Not saying it couldn't be done, but it doesn't serve any purpose I'm aware of in a distance running program.

-S-
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
One example that came up recently is leg strength for climbing. The demands are slightly different
Yes agreed. But 'climbing' is a pretty broad sport. Strength (especially leg strength) requirements vary considerably across the disciplines.

Bouldering
Sport Climbing
Multi-Pitch Trad
Big Wall Aid Climbing
Ice Climbing
Alpine Climbing and Mountaineering

As an aside... I can honestly say (over 4 decades in the game) that leg 'strength' has never been a limiting factor.
If one has the requisite skills and foot work 'normal' leg strength will suffice for the majority of bouldering and rock climbing.

The other Climbing disciplines require leg endurance, and lots of it. Of course getting Strong first is a prerequisite to building that endurance. And there is not much argument that squats are a fantastic way to do that.
 

Deleted member 5559

Guest
@Steve Freides I don't think we are conflicting in application. I use the term interval to mean anything with alternating hard and easy effort. A 2.5km interval would be a zone 3-4 effort run alternating with easy effort or rest. A 400m interval would be zone 5 effort run alternating with easy effort or rest.
 

Deleted member 5559

Guest
Strength is a general adaptation.
The application of this strength in a certain context may be skill-dependent, but the ability to produce force is general.
- It’s also helpful to keep in mind that while Strength is not task-specific and therefore need not be developed in postures and positions which mimic the expression of strength on the field (another thing to pray that your competition believes), conditioning IS highly specific to the task at hand. You wouldn’t train for a 40m sprint by running 5k’s nor vice versa. But either event is improved by getting an untrained individual’s squat up tbrough the easy gains of the Novice lifter.
For the purpose of this thread, I'm most interested in the specific context of endurance. I've seen weak and strong people have similar endurance at equivalent sub-maximal loading equating to a lower percentage of max for the strong and higher percentage for the weak. Making the sub-maximal loading a smaller percentage of max is one side of the equation but I don't know if I agree that if 70% max gets you 10 reps, the only way to hit 11 reps is to make it 69% of max.
 

Steve Freides

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Senior Certified Instructor
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I don't know if I agree that if 70% max gets you 10 reps, the only way to hit 11 reps is to make it 69% of max.
You're right that it's not the only way, and past a certain number of reps, it doesn't work as well, either. But it's nonetheless a lovely "what the heck" effect of getting stronger that, in some circumstances, your endurance goes up, too. My favorite example is walking - when we walk up a hill, I almost always notice my companions becoming shorter of breath but it doesn't happen to me as a rule.

-S-
 

jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
Since most athletic activities cannot be loaded in the same movement pattern, you'll only get so much carryover.
Strength training make us stronger. Practicing skills makes us better in athletic activities, and using this strength.
I think that this is a mistake to mix both (like practicing punches with dumbbells).
So far, for me and my students, getting stronger the old-fashioned way has had a lot of carry-over to everyday and athletic activities. Sure, it is only anecdotal evidences, but they accumulate.

This is something S Maxwell has spoken of many times-there is always a point of diminishing returns unless the sport IS lifting weights. A soccer player wont benefit from squatting ever increasing loads, and probably perform better stopping at a 2x BW squat opposed to higher.
Yes, I agree that there is a point of diminishing return.
It is when getting stronger demand so much dedication that it distracts from practicing the skills. This will be different for every individual.
As a ballpark, though, a double bodyweight squat is probably a good enough performance for most.

To the original question, let's imagine a 70kg lifter who focused on max strength and can squat 140kg, and one who focused on strength-endurance, can squat 90kg and worked on increasing reps at 80% of his max.
Which one will do more reps at 70kg?
I don't have the answer on this one, just an opinion.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
....

To the original question, let's imagine a 70kg lifter who focused on max strength and can squat 140kg, and one who focused on strength-endurance, can squat 90kg and worked on increasing reps at 80% of his max.
Which one will do more reps at 70kg?
I don't have the answer on this one, just an opinion.
This is where I keep coming back to strength as skill. The question as I see it isn't who will do more reps but who will perform an unprogrammed endurance task with greater ease. I've never seen high end limit strength help with this beyond a fairly superficial level.
 

Bryant W

Level 6 Valued Member
This is where I keep coming back to strength as skill. The question as I see it isn't who will do more reps but who will perform an unprogrammed endurance task with greater ease. I've never seen high end limit strength help with this beyond a fairly superficial level.
Strength as a skill is such a crucial concept when considering the transfer of strength. Squatting carry-over to sprinting is a great example. In my experience with myself and others, an exaggerated focus training heavy squats will not get you fast (usually in my experience it's just the opposite). I've heard a number of theories about this, like it suppresses the crossed extensor reflex, or the focus on bracing begins to interfere with relaxing during the explosive work, etc. And there are just too many sub 10.5, even sub 10, sprinters who can barely handle bodyweight, much less double bodyweight squats. This isn't to say that heavy squatting can't help speed, but that it has to be incorporated in a way where the body can make use of the strength while you develop it. Maybe a good question to ask when designing your program is whether you need to improve neurologic v/s muscle density/hypertrophy v/s connective tissue strength, etc, and then program accordingly. Of course this example doesn't directly address the question of strength v/s strength endurance in the original post, but I think similar questions probably apply.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Strength as a skill is such a crucial concept when considering the transfer of strength. Squatting carry-over to sprinting is a great example. In my experience with myself and others, an exaggerated focus training heavy squats will not get you fast (usually in my experience it's just the opposite). I've heard a number of theories about this, like it suppresses the crossed extensor reflex, or the focus on bracing begins to interfere with relaxing during the explosive work, etc. And there are just too many sub 10.5, even sub 10, sprinters who can barely handle bodyweight, much less double bodyweight squats. This isn't to say that heavy squatting can't help speed, but that it has to be incorporated in a way where the body can make use of the strength while you develop it. Maybe a good question to ask when designing your program is whether you need to improve neurologic v/s muscle density/hypertrophy v/s connective tissue strength, etc, and then program accordingly. Of course this example doesn't directly address the question of strength v/s strength endurance in the original post, but I think similar questions probably apply.
Very well said.
 

jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
We will have to agree to disagree.
Now more strength-oriented, I have been able to handle endurance activities better than my younger and weaker me, who did train for endurance.

Like trekking for hours in the Tatras, and then doing a session of S&S when my friends were too exhausted to move, or running a half-marathon in a decent time with little running in training (I actually out-ran all my friends who trained for endurance).
I also have report from students that noticed help in day-to-day activities, like a late 40s amateur kyte-surfer who has no time for endurance training : "Since we started to squat again, I can surf the whole afternoon without feeling my legs fatigued".

High-end strength? No. We are not talking about powerlifting strength.
But did we focus on building absolute strength rather than strength-endurance? Yes.

One key, though. Fundamental endurance is built at a very low intensity. I walk. A lot. Both ends of the spectrum.
 

Bryant W

Level 6 Valued Member
We will have to agree to disagree.
Now more strength-oriented, I have been able to handle endurance activities better than my younger and weaker me, who did train for endurance.

Like trekking for hours in the Tatras, and then doing a session of S&S when my friends were too exhausted to move, or running a half-marathon in a decent time with little running in training (I actually out-ran all my friends who trained for endurance).
I also have report from students that noticed help in day-to-day activities, like a late 40s amateur kyte-surfer who has no time for endurance training : "Since we started to squat again, I can surf the whole afternoon without feeling my legs fatigued".

High-end strength? No. We are not talking about powerlifting strength.
But did we focus on building absolute strength rather than strength-endurance? Yes.

One key, though. Fundamental endurance is built at a very low intensity. I walk. A lot. Both ends of the spectrum.
No disagreement from me. Many of the folks I know who train endurance do nothing else but endurance. And they haven't for some time. When you watch them: poor posture, poor stride patterns, poor mobility, poor ability to absorb force, poor amortization on their landing, their hips shift back and forth, foot mechanics are off, etc. Personally, I think a steady dose of GS/Swings/TGU, or any other iteration of strength training, combined with long walks and some short periods of running, would in the long run make them much better runners (and more importantly healthier human beings) than simply going longer and longer in their running. Eventually, though, they will be "strong enough", and then progressing along the strength spectrum will carry lower and lower carry-over to whatever it is they enjoy doing (unless its lifting heavy weights).
 

jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
Personally, I think a steady dose of GS/Swings/TGU, or any other iteration of strength training, combined with long walks and some short periods of running, would in the long run make them much better runners (and more importantly healthier human beings) than simply going longer and longer in their running. Eventually, though, they will be "strong enough", and then progressing along the strength spectrum will carry lower and lower carry-over to whatever it is they enjoy doing (unless its lifting heavy weights).
Agreed.
 
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